Bruno Junqueira’s real estate journey has been a winding road, beginning his career as an investor when the housing market crashed in late 2008. However, the Coldwell Banker agent was unafraid of the risks: He’d spent 22 years navigating some of the world’s most dangerous tracks as a professional race car driver.
“I was able to buy, with the money that I had from racing, a few properties here in Miami as an investment,” he told Inman. “I started to do very well and learn about real estate and [enjoy] it.”
He got his real estate license in 2014, and his first deals were selling his own properties. “Then I sold a very nice house for one of my friends,” he added. “I became more involved in real estate, and today, I spend most of my time working in real estate and growing my career as a Realtor.”
Although Junqueira no longer races professionally, the lessons he learned from 33 years in the racing world are never far behind as he aims to take pole position in Miami’s competitive real estate scene.
“I started racing when I was 10 years old, and I’m 43 now, so it’s been a whole life of racing,” he said. “I had a very successful racing career; I won many races and big championships. I was a Formula One test driver, so I was on the top of the world of racing.”
“We all [had] the same goal to perform at the best level and to try to win,” he added. “I think that’s the No. 1 thing I learned about racing that I use in everything in my life.”
“In real estate, when I do a deal, I try to win the deal,” he continued. “Doing a deal creates excitement, it’s a challenge to make it happen and it’s like winning a race.”
Beyond developing a competitive spirit and ironclad work ethic, Junqueira said racing helped him gain an appreciation of different cultures, as he spent much of his teens and 20s jet setting from continent to continent for Formula One.
“I was able to travel the whole world for racing,” he said, recounting his experiences racing in Mexico, Australia and Japan, and his time living in Brazil, Italy and England, all of which he says helps him to connect to Miami’s international clientele.
“The No. 1 thing I learned in England is to be on time,” he said while laughing. “You have to be there five minutes before to be on time [in England]. So I always try to be ahead of time.”
“If there’s someone from Italy, I can say I lived there. If someone is from Australia, I can say I raced in Surfer’s Paradise. All those places where I raced, where I had fun — that helps me,” he added. “When I was racing, I could learn a little bit about the culture of the place, and when I meet people from those places, that bit of knowledge that I have helps me to know the client better.”
Even though racing will always be his first love, Junqueira said his love of real estate is just as deep.
“I did a year and a half of engineering in Brazil before I moved to Europe, so if I hadn’t become a race car driver, I probably would have become a builder or something like that,” he said. “I’ve always had a connection to real estate.”
“My dad owned a construction company, my mom is an architect and my wife is an architect, so I’m surrounded by real estate people,” he added. “I enjoy the investment side and the numbers, so real estate combined what I love. It’s a perfect match for me.”