- Chad Carroll closed $300 million in Miami real-estate deals in 2020.
- In the month of January alone, the top broker put $150 million in deals in contract.
- He shared the daily schedule that keeps him focused as hordes move to Florida during the pandemic.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
2020 was a big year for the Miami real-estate broker Chad Carroll, who leads a team of 39 brokers that closed more than $300 million in deals. That’s a sum that puts him among Florida’s top agents.
But in January, he put $150 million in homes under contract. That’s half of last year’s sales volume in just a month.
Carroll is one of the agents handling demand from the influx of buyers flocking to Florida during the pandemic. The migration of hedge funders, startup owners, and other deep-pocketed Americans lured by warmer climes, lower taxes, and a newfound work-from-anywhere culture supercharged the Sunshine State’s luxury-home market, according to a Redfin report.
During the last three months of 2020, according to Redfin, the number of Miami luxury sales jumped 55%, and the median price of luxury homes rose 18%.
The hours are long and the pace is fast: Overall, homes sold 53 days faster than they did in 2019. Carroll told Insider he’d never seen so much interest in swanky Miami properties, with local demand increasing “tenfold.” He’s handling more $10 million and $20 million-plus sales than ever before, he added, and “developers can’t build product fast enough.”
Carroll, 35, entered the South Florida real-estate scene during the 2008 financial crisis, when he moved to the state to learn about the market, which was hit hard by the downturn. He worked 16-hour days seven days a week, he said, and did whatever it took to learn about the business, joining the cast of “Million Dollar Listing Miami” (a spinoff of the popular Bravo reality show that aired for one season). His clients include TV personalities and high-profile finance and tech executives.
Routine is key for Carroll, who handles a packed slate of showings of multimillion-dollar properties in between client calls, contract negotiations, closings, and networking events.
He let Insider take a look at his typical day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Carroll is up by 6 every morning, without an alarm. Home is in Hallandale Beach, an enclave about 20 minutes north of downtown Miami. He lives in a waterfront contemporary Mediterranean-style house.
He has a cup of coffee and takes his 3-year-old French bulldog, Max, out for a walk before a daily check-in with his dad over the phone. His father, a physician, lives in Ohio but often travels to Miami to visit.
By 6:30, he’s working out. He blocks off time for exercise every morning, which he sees as a mental escape. A fan of water sports, he goes stand-up paddleboarding or wakeboarding when he can.
Then, his fiancée, the Colombian swimsuit designer Juliana Villa, cooks a quick breakfast for them both before he heads to the office.
When he gets to the office, the day kicks off with calls, emails, and showings. He likes to spend the first few hours answering emails and negotiating deals for buyers and sellers.
By 10:30, he heads out on showings. He likes to take clients out to showings on his boat — a Sunseeker Manhattan 52 yacht, which can go for more than $500,000 on the resale market — to give them a taste of the Miami lifestyle. Many properties come with their own docks, Carroll said.
Carroll most often travels via the Intracoastal Waterway, which parallels the Atlantic Ocean, and the Miami and New rivers throughout the part of South Florida that stretches from Miami northward to Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach.
He is representing a number of trophy listings, from a 10-bedroom property at 4 Tahiti Beach Island Road in the Coral Gables neighborhood on the market for $36.5 million — which has an elevator, theater, and pool, among other luxurious amenities — to a six-bedroom $18.9 million mansion at 580 Sabal Palm Road in Miami, which comes complete with an outdoor chef’s kitchen. Prospective buyers relish the stunning swimming holes and sprawling lawns, he said.
“At the end of the day, I’m not just selling a property,” he said. “I’m selling a whole experience. I love selling the high-end lifestyle.”
Carroll loves to take clients to lunch and frequents restaurants like Kiki on the River, he said. It’s a popular spot for Greek food on the banks of the Miami River, and he likes to take his boat there on the weekend.
Property showings and listing appointments with clients continue through the late afternoon. Carroll is often still answering phone calls and emails through 5.
He’s typically on calls well into the evening, he said, until 8 or 9, when he tries to stop working. But it’s common for him to keep working until it’s lights out. He tries to go to bed as early as possible when he’s not entertaining clients.
When he is entertaining or dining out for the evening, his favorite dinner spots are Zuma Miami, Il Gabbiano, Bourbon Steak Miami, and Kuro, which he rotates between a few times a week, he said. South Florida restaurants are still busy despite the pandemic, Carroll said, attributing the buzz to Miami’s many outdoor seating options.
“The restaurants have done a great job to safely set up tables so you are socially distanced from other people, and we feel totally comfortable,” he said. “For waterfront restaurants, you can pull right up, and they will set up a whole place setting on the boat so you can have a socially distanced, private dinner.”
Then it’s back home to finish up calls.