Related Group: Corporate Feature of the Month

Established in 1979, Related Group is Florida’s leading developer of sophisticated metropolitan living and one of the country’s largest real estate conglomerates. Since its inception, the privately held company has built, rehabilitated and managed more than 90,000 condominium and apartment residences. In an interview with Related’s Executive Vice President Jon Paul Perez, we discuss the company’s projects, Related’s plans and strategies going forward and Jon Paul’s personal connection with Miami Herbert Business School.
Related Group: Corporate Feature of the Month


Jonathan Stern

Can you highlight your current role at Related Group, along with an overview on the company?

I’m responsible for sourcing deals which includes many elements such as who will finance the deals, who will we use as a designer, will we sell it, rent it, etc. I work with multiple divisions within the firm and our big focus is to think about the future, find innovative opportunities that will continue our growth- you can’t remain in the same status quo.

What are the company’s plans and strategies going forward? Are there new trends in the South Florida market we should know about?

New styles of living are emerging, co-living has become very popular. We can’t turn a blind eye to this, we need to see how it will be and how it will affect the future. We’re viewing it as adult student housing, which may be more affordable and feasible for a lot of people and we need to be part of this shift.

What is one thing you would like our constituencies reading this to know regarding Related Group?

A lot of people look at developers as greedy, only interested in making a profit. That is not the case- in fact for us, we want to make sure every project we build enhances the community and still provides green space. Even though communities with a lot of density can bring more value to the neighborhood. If you look at our developments in Wynwood which is a unique urban environment, our goal is to preserve what makes the neighborhood so special, while working to solidify it as a true live-work-play district. The properties we developed have colorful street murals around them which have now become an Instagram hot spot. We want to enhance what the community was built on. Another important commitment for us is to give back a portion of profits to charity.

You grew up in Miami, did you feel a connection to the University from a young age and did that contribute to your decision to attend Miami Herbert Business School?

Yes, it definitely did. I have always been a huge fan of the University. It’s always had a beautiful campus. Not only do you get a great education, but the social aspect is wonderful too. I enjoyed spending time at The RAT, hanging out by the pool with friends, and of course attending football games. I remember being at the Orange Bowl and really getting a sense of what a college stadium is like, sitting with my classmates and feeling part of something, huge camaraderie.” Perez received his undergraduate degree (BBA’07) at Miami Herbert Business School and has been involved ever since.

As an alumnus, what is your viewpoint on Miami Herbert Business School and how has it changed since you were a student?

It’s changed a lot and I think for the past couple of years the biggest influence of that change is Dean John Quelch. I remember meeting him and being impressed with his plan and future vision. He is diligently working on executing his plan and I think he fits well for the position. He knows where the school needs to be and he is taking us there. Another important aspect is that Dean Quelch understands there needs to be a strong connection between the city and school. His implementation of various programs including various lecture series helps strengthen this relationship.

What are some traits you look for when hiring for new positions within Related Group?

It’s important to wake up every day and be excited about what you do. This way hard work doesn’t feel like hard work. I look for this kind of passion. Real Estate is pretty simple. I want to see candidates that can follow through, are intelligent, committed, and will take the time to learn. Never be afraid to take chances, you can always learn something from it. You also have to be willing to listen and admit if there are things you don’t know.

How is it working in a family owned business?

I am part of the second generation- during my internships for the company (while I was in college), I viewed my role differently. When I graduated I moved to New York (still working at Related) but with no family around. This taught me a hard lesson. I did this for five years, and grew from an assistant PM to a PM that was eventually responsible for my own jobs. My career grew in a gradual projection which I think is the only way to be successful. By the time you are in a managerial position, you need to be able to answer your team’s questions, see things from their view point and really lead them.”

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