Miami. Hear the name, and a vision clearly forms in the mind: sunshine, miles of beaches, sleek yachts, beautiful people and stunning, multimillion-dollar homes. And that image would be right on the money. Miami is the playground of the rich and famous—and Jill Eber and Jill Hertzberg are immersed in the best of it. As Coldwell Banker Real Estate’s No. 1 agent team in the world, The Jills®—as they’re commonly known—have become a household name in the glamorous ultra-luxury property market. A-list celebrities from Matt Damon to Shaquille O’Neal have turned to The Jills for their real estate expertise for one simple reason: they know luxury. Whether it’s the hottest restaurant of the moment or the most magnificent neighborhood, The Jills have their fingers on the pulse of this cosmopolitan city.
1. No. 1 luxury emerging neighborhood in Miami: “North Beach,” says Hertzberg. “It’s an up-and-coming area with new restaurants and new development. There are some prime real estate opportunities along Biscayne Boulevard, but you need to be careful. Don’t over-invest when you buy.”
2. No. 1 luxury value neighborhood in Miami: Eber claims it’s Fisher Island. “You’re totally encompassed by ocean and bay waters—and the beach is magnificent. Everything is brand new on the island: tennis, spa, beach club, marinas and even its own fire department. You have every amenity you can imagine.”
3. No. 1 advice for selling in Miami right now: Eber stresses how important it is for sellers to understand comparables and price correctly. “A lot of times, luxury sellers—because of the strength of the market—price too aggressively,” she cautions. “Because of that, the property could sit on the market.”
4. No. 1 misconception international buyers have about Miami: “They come here and think everyone is on vacation,” says Hertzberg. “But there is a whole sophisticated and close-knit community. Miami is a melting pot, and it’s very easy to become a part of the community.”
5. No. 1 requested amenity among affluent Latinos: “We’ve found that affluent South Americans often like to be on guarded islands,” says Eber. “They are very focused on security.”
6. No. 1 place to build new: “Anywhere on the water,” says Eber. Adds Hertzberg: “New construction is hot right now.”
7. No. 1 restaurant in Miami right now: “I love Hakkasan at Fontainebleau. The food is fabulous, with a very cool atmosphere,” says Eber. Joe’s Stone Crab on Washington Avenue is Hertzberg’s pick: “It’s been a Miami institution for 100 years, and everyone from Madonna to former President Bill Clinton has dined there.”
8. No. 1 shopping destination: Eber prefers the Bal Harbour shops—which include Saks and Neiman Marcus—but still ventures into the Design District, along with Hertzberg. “Developer Craig Robins transformed a once-blighted area of Miami into a luxe fashion destination,” she says. “Every high-end brand from Louis Vuitton to Hermès has set up shop there.”
9. No. 1 jogging spot: “South Beach, of course,” says Hertzberg, who has been an avid jogger for nearly 20 years. “I start at the Continuum on South Pointe Drive, and I can run forever. The sand is hard packed, so it’s like running on the street with a cushion. Plus, the ocean is right there for gorgeous scenery.” Eber, meanwhile, power walks around Fisher Island, which is surrounded by water and all sorts of wildlife from dolphins and geese to iguanas and peacocks.
10. No. 1 trend we’re seeing for 2014: “We’re seeing a lot of glass, open spaces, high ceilings and big terraces. There’s a lot of bringing the inside, outside and the outside, inside,” says Hertzberg. “Many are looking for a modern home,” adds Eber. “You know—the walls of glass that really take advantage of beautiful Miami views.”