Behind South Florida’s Real Estate Renaissance

By Patricia Canole | Photography by Neil J Tandy

Miami is in the midst of a coming-of-age and all eyes are on this alluring market. The pandemic fueled an influx of attention to the Sunshine State for its warmth, favorable business environment, and growing sophistication. New restaurants (many with New York origins) constantly open, while hotels, new residential buildings, and sprawling homes add to the appeal of the ‘sixth borough.’

Filippo Incorvaia, a top real estate broker driven by client devotion, is at the center of the market. No matter his client’s needs, Filippo is there to make the process smooth and enjoyable despite the challenging dynamics of limited supply and high-interest rates.  

The founder of FI Real Estate explained that he and his team genuinely care for every single client. “The term white glove has become so ubiquitous that it’s lost meaning. We have a team and an ecosystem to offer hand-in-hand support, guidance, and nuanced advice from start to finish. Our role as a service provider is at the forefront of every action we take. Each client is treated like my only client, and my clients come first.”

Filippo has an equal propensity for educating new buyers on building financial security through real estate to assembling strategic land parcels for development firms, and real estate has always been Incorvaia’s number one interest. He was born in Venezuela and relocated to New York City to study Engineering Science. With a tech mindset, he noted that it’s fun to stay current and get market information quickly, “I geek out using AI-powered tools like ChatGPT and love to educate my team as tech develops.” 

His creative approach to deal-making has resulted in a diverse record, including luxury sales, rentals, and unique assemblages for mixed-use, residential, and commercial development. Incorvaia has gained vast real estate knowledge since relocating over 13 years ago. 

Planting roots in Downtown Miami is a testament to Filippo’s unwavering belief in the long-term outlook of this historic, transforming live/work/play neighborhood. Downtown Miami, just north of Brickell, is experiencing an epic renaissance with rampant new construction that will secure its spot as a global
business capital. 

He practices what he preaches. “I am deeply invested in Miami, and pride of ownership is something I understood from an early age. Being rooted in a community is essential for homeowners and enhancing the community for value add is essential for all savvy investors.” 

We visited Filippo in South Florida before the prime winter season to shed light on the real estate market and what he sees for the future. 

How did you get your start in real estate?
My family owned department stores—and the associated real estate—in Venezuela after they relocated from Italy. I had early exposure to the value of owning an asset, gaining equity, and running a successful business.

After spending my post-college years in New York, I set my sights on Miami. I was lucky to entrench myself in the Magic City before it became a dynamic luxury market. Real estate is a timing business, and that early start has shaped my market knowledge.

What is the most crucial aspect of your new real estate firm?
Understanding people and genuinely listening is at the core of this business, and empathy must be practiced daily in every interaction. There is always more to discover about someone’s motivations; this intel helps me craft better deals. The fascinating relationship between empathy and negotiation hasn’t been explored enough! Listening and understanding personal and financial priorities is paramount to assisting clients to make responsible decisions. It is our number one priority.

What key trends are happening now that you expect to impact South Florida significantly?
The fundamentals that make South Florida attractive remain intact. We continue to see an influx of new residents domestically, serving as a haven for Latin America. The job market is maturing to new levels, and the talent incubation happening here is novel for the state. This will significantly impact the real estate market because a new subset of buyers is making South Florida their primary residence. Companies from Citadel to Spotify continue to open offices. Apple is building the largest Apple Store in the world in Downtown Miami.

Whether it be due to listing price or unique circumstances, what is your most significant sale as of late?
Our team advised on the acquisition of a site at 532 Mendoza Avenue in Coral Gables for the new construction of a single-family home and then managed sales and marketing. We garnered a record-breaking price per square foot on the street at nearly $1,000 per square foot. The site is on the border of the City of Miami and has become the crown jewel of the street. It will transform the property values on the street and lead to further sophistication in the design of homes in this section of Coral Gables.

What other recent deals have you completed?
Recent residential sales above $4 million include a Key Biscayne mansion with incredible water views and a pre-construction residence on the 85th floor of the Waldorf-Astoria, also sold for over $4.4 million at approximately $1,800 per square foot. Upon completion, this will be Miami’s first super-tall skyscraper. 

What else must people know about the current South Florida real estate market?
Miami has so much more room to grow. Price growth will continue and it’s an incentive to continue transacting before you get priced out of the market. Miami is still a young city with a bright future.

Having the right broker representation is crucial because of the scarcity of inventory. It really comes down to who is negotiating your deal, not the price. Brokers who have strong relationships with developers will be able to bring new inventory to the market and buyers can benefit from these ‘off-market’ opportunities.  

What do you wish more people knew about working in real estate?
I wish people saw how rewarding it can be to help people you care about create financial security through wise investment decisions. As a real estate professional, you are uniquely positioned to advise on decisions that impact the rest of someone’s life. It’s a massive responsibility with so many learnings that it never gets old.

What is the key difference between selling real estate in New York and Miami?
At the turn of the century, New York was already a metropolis, while only 100,000 people lived in Miami. It impacts every aspect of the real estate market to this day. There is a maturation happening here at a rapid pace, and for New Yorkers seeking value, there is no better time to invest.

What does it take to be a good leader?
Being a good leader means being consistently in tune with how people can enhance their skills and work smarter. My motto is “People first,” and I care deeply about my team members. I want them to feel empowered and in the driver’s seat of their career. I hope always to catalyze this for my team.

How does Filippo Incorvaia relax?
I relax by treating my family time as sacred. When I’m with my family, they are all that matters. I love spending quality time with my wife and children and cherish the small moments. This time rejuvenates me like nothing else ever will.

For more information on Filippo Incorvaia and FI Real Estate, visit