Broker Spotlight: Juan Alvarez, BlokHaus Real Estate + Investments Inc.
Name: Juan M. Alvarez
Title: Principal broker and CEO
Experience: Licensed real estate broker with 20 years of experience selling high-end luxury residential properties and various types of commercial properties, including multifamily buildings, strip malls, office buildings and triple net (NNN) both in Miami and New York.
Recently launched BRET (Blokhaus Real Estate Tokenization), the first real estate tokenization platform in Miami.
Location: South Florida, headquartered in Miami Beach
Brokerage full name: BlokHaus Real Estate + Investments Inc.
Team size: Around 30 people, including investment analysts, property managers, in-house marketing, accounting, a Realtor associate and an administrative team
Sales volume: I have led transactions for more than $500 million
How did you get your start in real estate?
Back in 2005, while I was working as a project manager for IT projects, I decided to get my license and learn about real estate and the mortgage industry. I got both licenses and learned about this amazing world of real estate. During my free time, I worked to help family and friends to rent, invest or purchase their first homes.
After a few years, I decided to make a full transition to real estate and got hired by the most IT-driven brokerage back in the day, which was the leader for marketing and lead generation for luxury real estate, Zilbert International Realty. During my time there, I worked with the best brokers in Miami Beach and learned about investments and luxury transactions for ultra-wealthy individuals worldwide.
I got my real estate broker’s license and created the Juan Alvarez Group at Brown Harris Stevens Miami, the company that acquired Zilbert and was the first brokerage in their expansion to South Florida. The team ranged from 10 to 15 agents. At the same time, I got my dual Master’s degree in International Real Estate and Finance, where I learned about all the potential for real estate transactions under REITs, syndication and digitalization of assets.
My last leg of education at Harvard University, where I received my fintech certification, pushed me to dig deeper into the tokenization of real estate and open the first real estate brokerage with a blockchain focus in Miami in 2020. Here we are two and a half years later with 15 agents and more than $100 million in transactions that have led to completing the first real estate tokenization for the city of Miami.
What’s something you know now that you wish you had known when you started?
Real estate is a true branch of finance and if you understand it that way from the start, you can become a better real estate advisor and add more value to your dealings and clients. Hence, deep understanding of financial concepts like cash flows, ROE, ROI, CAP, NOI, FCF, WACC, etc., makes a huge difference in this competitive world of real estate brokerage and investments.
What are 5 things you’d like readers to know about you and your brokerage?
- We provide services for buying, selling, renting, tokenizing, syndicating and managing commercial and residential properties. Our 360° solution includes a strong proptech approach for asset management and income generation through short-term or long-term rentals and a strong network of professionals that team up with us for all legal, tax, and financial advisory for all our client dealings.
- Strong business intelligence allows us to constantly analyze profitable investments throughout the U.S. in both commercial and residential arenas, primarily focusing on the state of Florida, where we are based.
- Our deep understanding of local and global economics, and financial and political trends makes us unique real estate investment consultants.
- We are drivers of economic growth by fractionalizing real estate investment opportunities using blockchain as the underlying technology.
- We proudly built a platform that is compliant with the SEC for the issuance and distribution of real estate security tokens, the cherry on top of the crowdfunding, leverage and syndication of smart and profitable real estate investments, the best way to connect and build everlasting relationships with the investor community worldwide.
What’s your top prediction for 2023?
There will be mass adoption of the concept of real estate tokenization and the growth of the secondary market of security tokens and transaction volume. This will allow tokens to become a recognized investment vehicle that holders can use as collateral for loans/mortgages in a matter of minutes.
Digital banks — and traditional banks looking to get into DeFi — will be willing to lend 50 percent up to 70 percent LTV in a real estate token-backed mortgage, and smart contracts will automate mortgage payments using funds generated through rental income from the token.
What’s your top tip for freshly licensed brokers?
Freshly licensed brokers should start learning right away about fintech and the adoption and benefits of real estate tokenization. Blockchain provides solutions using smart contracts to evolve how real estate transactions will be conducted.