From Founder to Successors: The Evolution of Related Group’s Leadership
In the world of real estate, a generational shift is taking place as younger leaders step up to guide companies into the future. This transition is evident in the case of Miami’s Related Group, where founder Jorge Pérez’s sons, Jon Paul and Nick Pérez, are assuming greater responsibility in the family business.
At a recent real estate forum in Fort Lauderdale, the topic of discussion was the investment potential of downtown Fort Lauderdale. While the focus was not on Millennials specifically, the panelists themselves represented a generational shift. On one side was Michael Harrison, a senior managing director at Hines, who has been in the industry for decades. On the other side was Charlie Ladd, a local development legend, who began his career before Nick Pérez was even born. Nick Pérez, at the age of 35, sat between these seasoned professionals, acknowledging the responsibility that comes with being a young leader in the field.
This shift in leadership is not unique to Related Group. As the Millennial generation takes over as the largest demographic group and Baby Boomers retire, companies are experiencing a changing of the guard. Jon Paul, 38, and Nick represent this generational shift both in the marketplace and within Related Group itself. Their father, Jorge Pérez, who built the company from the ground up, is gradually scaling back his involvement. While he still devotes a significant amount of time to Related, his sons recognize the need to take the reins and lead the company into the future.
Jorge Pérez’s success story is legendary in Florida. Born in Argentina to Cuban immigrants, he witnessed the financial ruin his parents faced due to the Communist regime in Cuba. Determined to create a better life, he worked his way up in the real estate industry, starting Related Group in 1979. Initially focusing on affordable and subsidized housing, the company later ventured into market-rate rentals and condos. Despite the challenges posed by the 2008 recession, Jorge Pérez’s resilience and adaptability allowed the company to bounce back and continue its growth. Today, Related Group is known for its extensive portfolio of over 100,000 apartments and condos developed for more than $40 billion.
The Pérez brothers have been immersed in the real estate world from a young age. They recall visiting construction sites with their father and witnessing the evolution of the industry firsthand. While Jon Paul and Nick followed in their father’s footsteps, pursuing careers in real estate, their siblings chose different paths. Cristina, the eldest sibling, became a social worker, while Felipe is currently studying at Wake Forest University.
As they take on greater responsibility at Related Group, the Pérez brothers are focused on maintaining the company’s reputation for excellence and innovation. Their approach involves staying attuned to the needs and preferences of buyers and investors. They have earned the trust of brokers by actively engaging with them and attending international real estate events to promote Florida properties. By listening to feedback and observing buyer reactions, they continuously refine their projects and identify new opportunities.
The brothers credit their father for instilling in them the importance of attention to detail and leaving room for repeat business. They have learned to balance profitability with creating value for buyers, often going the extra mile to enhance the aesthetics and amenities of their developments. Even in affordable housing projects, they prioritize superior design and landscaping, recognizing that these factors can attract higher rents and tenant satisfaction.
Beyond their commitment to Related Group’s success, the Pérez brothers are also focused on addressing broader housing challenges in Florida. They emphasize the need for a more efficient approval process to accelerate the development of affordable housing. They advocate for a mix of below-market and market-rate units within projects to ensure financial viability and social impact. With their insight and knowledge, they contribute to the ongoing conversation about housing affordability and sustainable growth in the state.
Despite their youth, Jon Paul and Nick Pérez are well-respected within the industry. They possess an in-depth understanding of their projects and the market as a whole. Their commitment to continuous learning and collaboration is evident in their engagement with their executive support team and their eagerness to seek guidance and exchange ideas. While they acknowledge the weight of responsibility on their shoulders, they embrace the opportunity to shape the future of Related Group and contribute to the ongoing growth and success of the company.
The transition of leadership from one generation to the next is a natural progression in any industry. In the case of Related Group, the Pérez brothers are rising to the challenge, bringing their unique perspectives and innovative ideas to the forefront. With their passion, expertise, and commitment to excellence, Jon Paul and Nick Pérez are poised to continue their father’s legacy while forging their own path in the dynamic world of real estate.