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Julie_Jones_BernardIn the following interview, Julie Jones-Bernard, broker/owner of Florida Luxurious Properties in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., discusses marketing listings.

Region Served: South Florida
Years in Real Estate: 17
Number of Offices: 1
Number of Agents: 25
Favorite Part of Your Job: Helping both U.S. and global customers achieve their real estate goals and smoothly integrate into the South Florida lifestyle

What is the most unique way you have marketed a new listing?
We’re focusing on VIP events that are meaningful and imaginative instead of just the usual cocktail approach. I believe people like to learn as well as socialize. One of our most successful events centered around the impact of rising sea levels on real estate in South Florida, where a panel of experts shared their knowledge and expertise. I also believe in paying it forward by extending support to local charities. Last October, we hosted a brunch for Breast Cancer Awareness [Month] at our office, and in February, we promoted heart-healthy living with Go Red for Women at our Love Your Healthy Heart Event, which was hosted at one of our exclusive listings in Bay Colony, a gated community. We’ve embraced technology, such as Matterport, videos and virtual staging, to highlight our listings and then share them on Facebook, making them accessible to a wider audience. As technology and social media continue to evolve, we’ll be expanding our digital marketing initiatives.

You use an integrated marketing strategy, including print and, specifically, Homes & Land. How does it benefit you?
It’s critical to have an integrated marketing strategy. It’s rare that any one single method will work in isolation, so I always try an approach at least three times to properly evaluate its effectiveness. Over the last 16 years, I’ve advertised in so many different print magazines. One of the best values is Homes & Land, not only because the page rate is so reasonable, but the real estate portals—which include The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Mansion Global, etc.—are truly effective. I appreciate the energy brought to the magazine. Every month the content is more luxurious, and its distribution continues to grow.

What demographic segments are driving your business today?
Florida Luxurious Properties is unusual in that our associates are fluent in numerous languages, including French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Malay, Mandarin Chinese and Polish. Because we have a wide range of ages and backgrounds on our team, I encourage my team members to develop a marketing niche and build a specialization that’s exciting to them. While our market was previously driven by boomers, our younger associates are working hard to reach millennials and Gen Yers.

Where does your market stand in terms of the real estate recovery?
We’re still a relatively new brokerage. 2017 will be our third year in business. 2016 was a good year, but had its peaks and valleys. I believe 2017 will be much more consistent and that there’s pent-up demand for luxury real estate in the South Florida sunshine. I also feel that foreign investors will be more confident about making a purchase this year.

What is your top strategy for closing a transaction?
Never give up. Buyers and sellers will move forward if they’re fully educated and feel that the offer is fair. Also, never underestimate the importance of teamwork with the other broker, as you’ll get a much quicker and more effective result when working together. It’s always a matter of timing, but the art of the transaction is to ensure that both the buyer and seller believe the time is now.

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Gabrielle van Welie is RISMedia’s editorial intern. Email her your real estate news ideas at

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