Real estate is always on everyone’s mind. At any dinner party, I am often asked whether it’s the right time to buy or sell, whether a home in Miami is a good long-term investment, what’s going to happen with the interest rates, or how hard it is to get a mortgage these days. A few years back, the success of my real estate talk show, Eye on Real Estate on WOR, compelled me to create, an Internet portal where the public can ask questions about the ever-complex process of buying, selling, and renting a home. Two years in, generated tremendous interest, with thousands of questions coming in. As president and CEO of the largest regional real estate fi rm, I have selected a team of the best minds in our industry to educate consumers on everything they need to know about real estate, dispel myths, and to talk about opportunities, challenges, and how to overcome them. With this column, I will be sharing the latest trends and tips for you to stay on top of your real estate game.

Real estate is really hot, with the lowest levels of housing inventory in 12 years. And this is not only a regional but a national phenomenon. The shortage of available homes has put even more upward pressure on prices, but at the same time, buyers have more purchasing power than ever before. For every 1% that interest rates decrease, buying power increases by 12%, and since interest rates are historically low, affordability is at an all-time high. When it comes to buying a home, the key word is now. Take advantage of this market before conditions change and interest rates begin to climb. Be sure to have all of your fi nancials in order, and be prepared to make an offer if you see a home you love. The competition in this market is fierce.

One of the most interesting trends we are seeing is this incredible synergy between the New York and South Florida markets. Miami is on fi re right now, and it’s not only because of foreign buyers—New Yorkers are purchasing luxury properties in Florida, and make up about 60 percent of the buyers. I am proud to say that Douglas Elliman got ahead of this trend by expanding its presence across South Florida. There is so much shared interest between the markets. Miami is experiencing a real renaissance, with many extraordinary opportunities and properties. Our complete collection of South Florida listings is now on

To stay competitive in today’s market, we are seeing more new developments in New York, such as 150 Charles, and in South Florida, with Faena House and The Residences at Miami Beach Edition by Ian Schrager, offering homebuyers a wealth of amenities traditionally found in four-star hotels. We’re seeing 24/7 concierge services, valet parking, top-of-the-line spas and fi tness centers, in-house dry cleaning, and even room service. There is no request that these luxury buildings will not fulfi ll, whether it’s organizing your next fl ight out of town, arranging car services, or sending up a six-course dinner to your apartment at 3 o’clock in the morning. The sky’s the limit.

Ninety percent of homebuyers start their search online, and I think the Internet is a great way to shop and compare homes and prices. We recently revamped to include magazine-quality photography, along with granular information on neighborhoods, school districts, and lifestyle choices. Conversely, the Internet can be a very complex place that promotes a sea of misinformation. We created the portal to help consumers cut through the noise by receiving timely, accurate information from a panel of experts. My team and I have been answering so many questions related to everything from current market trends to mortgage fi nancing, legal advice, credit, and more. You really need to arm yourself with the best information available, and Douglas Elliman is committed to providing this service to our customers.

Douglas Elliman Real Estate is New York’s largest residential brokerage, with over 70 offi ces in New York City, Long Island, the Hamptons, Westchester/Putnam, and South Florida, and more than 4,000 real estate agents and a network of national and international affi liates. We are a strategic partner with London-based Knight Frank Residential for residential business. Douglas Elliman has been ranked in the top four of all real estate companies in the nation each year since 2007. We also control a portfolio of real estate services, including Manhattan’s largest residential property manager, Douglas Elliman Property Management, as well as DE Title and DE Capital Mortgage. If you are seeking real estate advice, head to, where a panel of Elliman experts is waiting to answer your questions.