We had the good fortune of connecting with Monica Betancourt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Monica, where are you from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born in Bogotá, Colombia where my family is from, and I grew up in several countries in South America due to my father’s career with an international company. The moves gave me the advantage of becoming fluent in three languages, and also imbued me with an understanding of the significant — and often subtle — cultural differences of various similar nationalities, along with the ability to navigate them with ease. This multi-cultural personal experience has been a key asset in my career as a luxury Realtor in South Florida, which has long been a prime destination for international relocations and second home purchases.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I have a very hands-on approach to my real estate business. In working with Buyers and Sellers, I listen mindfully to their wants and needs, their anxieties, and their dreams, so that I can fully tailor my services to meet and exceed their expectations. My commitment to categorically understanding the people involved in each transaction, along with the high-level service I provide to each client, are crucial to the success I’ve been able to achieve.
Getting started in Real Estate in my 40s was not easy, to say the least. I entered an arena of people who had been in the business for many years, and it’s a highly competitive business in which you have to be involved and up-to-date on the markets on a real-time basis without fail. Furthermore, contrary to the myth that being a Realtor means having a super flexible schedule and easy hours, it’s actually a demanding and full-time career — that I happen to love!
It brings me joy to help my clients upgrade or downsize their homes — or just change neighborhoods — as their lives, careers, needs, goals, and dreams evolve. In this tight market, it’s particularly rewarding to experience my network of professionals and my great relationships with other Realtors providing my clients with the ability to find that “impossible property” that they’re looking for, or to sell for a price that someone else had told them was not realistic.
Learning the business of buying, selling, and investing in real estate took time and determination. And in an ever-changing market, learning is an on-going process. I’m always learning from each experience, from colleagues, and from targeted training and coaching. Also, I have learned to choose the people I work with very carefully, as they are a direct reflection of me and my business to the world.
I’m a Miamian and love to showcase our city. We have a lifestyle that the world wants to live and I’ve made a life out of helping those who wish to join us in our incredible home. Our rich diversity, the culture and activities, the extensively varied neighborhood and housing options, and the year-round great weather form the coveted foundation upon which we welcome the world to Miami.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
• Wynwood for Drinks & Dinner. I love Cerveceria La Tropical! It’s one of my favorites and I recommend it frequently. It’s also become a favorite for more than one person I’ve told about it. Of course, there are many more hotspots to explore in this cool, funky, art-infused district.
• Key Biscayne for Nature. This island gives you an isolated, far away feel, but it’s just a short hop from Brickell and Downtown Miami. Head to the very end of the island to discover the tropical oasis of Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. Kayak, hike, picnic, beachcomb, and photograph a historic lighthouse.
• Downtown South Miami for Dining & Shopping. Brimming over with cafes, restaurants, bakeries, galleries, and boutiques, this is a walkable, laid-back community that’s bustling with locals and well off the tourist map.
• Coconut Grove for Dining & Nightlife. It’s nearly impossible to choose a Grove favorite for dining, but I certainly recommend Glass & Vine. This indoor/outdoor eatery is set in waterfront Peacock Park. The location combined with its upscale tropical lodge architecture and ambiance deliver the perfect Grove experience. Head over to Mr. C Hotel and straight up to the rooftop restaurant for a bay-view brunch on the balcony. The service is friendly and the cuisine is a fresh, gourmet delight. For the ultimate iconic, historic Grove experience, nothing beats the casual, live-music good times at bayside Monty’s Raw Bar.
• The Miami Design District for Way More Than Fashion. This brainchild of American businessman and philanthropist, Craig Robins, has 120 flagship stores like Balenciaga, Hermes, Fendi, Dior, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, and many more, making it one of the world’s great shopping meccas. And there’s much more than that! Over 2 dozen restaurants and bars, over 4 dozen galleries, diverse year-round events, and still more make this a one-stop-fun-shop. Make a day or a weekend out of it!
• Venetian Pool & Biltmore Hotel for Swimming, Golf, Tennis, Spa & Dining. In the heart of historic Coral Gables, you’ll find two of Miami’s most beloved and unique landmarks. Opened in 1924 by City Father George Merrick, the Venetian Pool is a Mediterranean Revival-style public swimming pool on the site of a 4-acre coral rock quarry. The fabled Biltmore Hotel — a National Historic Landmark and a favorite of world leaders and celebrities since its opening in 1926 — offers day packages for all of its facilities. And beyond the expected features, the hotel also has a playhouse and a culinary academy!
• Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. The Grand Dame of performing arts in Miami, the Arsht Center is a year-round, international hub of innovative programming, education, development, inspiration, and philanthropy. As part of its 15th Anniversary celebration in 2022, every show all year will include a group of tickets for just $15 with the code SWEET15. Check it out!
• Marlins Park & Miami Arena for Baseball and Basketball. Thanks to a retractable roof, the Marlins can play rain or shine, and fans can watch and cheer in comfort. Miami Heat games are equal parts sports and social events, and absolutely always exciting.
• Florida Keys for an Island Life Weekend Escape. Each key has its charms, but I recommend Islamorada. It’s on the upper part of the island chain, so it doesn’t take too long to get there. It’s also big enough to provide plenty of diversions. It’s quiet and has several beautiful casual spots to hang out, listen to music, eat, drink, and make merry on the water – bayside or ocean side. Try them both! Some of my top picks are Morada Bay, Ziggy’s, Lazy Days, and Lorelei.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband and kids were my cheerleaders and biggest support system when I started my business. They all helped to cover for me when there just wasn’t enough time in the day and, truthfully, I could not have achieved my current level of success without them. Shortly after I got my license, I made a move to EWM Realty that allowed me to leverage incredible new resources which catapulted my business to a new level. As I build my “Forever Team,” I am grateful for their support, as well as for the trust of my clients in helping to manage their real estate wealth in order to achieve their financial goals and lifestyle dreams.
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