Today we’re buzzing with Michael Budovitch, President and Broker of Record at TradeUp Real Estate. Having worked for over 25 years in the real estate sales and marketing industry, Michael is an undeniable expert when it comes to analyzing and creating value for new condo developments.
One of his big projects at the moment is Picasso, the iconic tower planned for Toronto’s Entertainment District.
In our interview we get Michael to shed some light on this unique project and chat with him about what he’s learned during his many years in the industry.
BuzzBuzzHome: When did you get your start in the real estate industry?
Michael Budovitch: My family has a background in real estate so I naturally enjoyed it and became passionate about it. I got my start in the early 80s with Cadillac Fairview. At the time we were working on bringing condos on the market in Toronto with prices at $100 per square foot. It wasn’t just about affordability though, it became a lifestyle.
At that point it was actually looking at who the purchasers were and how it was all going to affect the lifestyle change. You were bringing people out of homes that they’d been in for years. It wasn’t an investor market at that point.
BBH: What are some big changes you’ve witnessed over the last 20+ years?
MB: Prices in the downtown core have gone up obviously. Prices were under $100 per square foot and now we’re looking at a norm of $700 to $1000 for a square foot. That’s a big change in a little over twenty years.
BBH: Do you think prices will level off or keep increasing?
MB: I think prices will keep increasing because Toronto as an international city is still under-priced.
BBH: What’s your company Trade Up Real Estate all about?
MB: We help real estate developers plan, position and develop real estate properties in the market profitably. Our philosophy is each property is unique therefore it needs a customized strategy in order to achieve the ultimate goals of the clients. We’re involved from concept to closing. We’re working with research teams. We direct and coordinate marketing efforts with advertising, PR, interior design. We’re involved with all facets of the process.
BBH: What are some unique attributes of Picasso that people are drawn to?
MB: The iconic architecture is exciting. It’s not your traditional glass tower where all your floor plates are the same. We’re working with several buildings within a building so it gives the purchaser the advantage of not having a similar suite to someone else. It’s also a great location in the Entertainment District. Another thing we’ve had great reception from is the combination of Monarch and Goldman developing the project. Picasso is real because we have a hundred year old company like Monarch and a fifty-plus year old company like the Goldman Group.
BBH: How have sales been going so far?
MB: Sales have been excellent. We opened up in late-November and at that point within a month we were almost 60 per cent sold. At this point we’re about 80 per cent sold of the released portion of the building. We’ll be releasing the top five floors within the next month. The building was actually fast tracked because reception has been so fantastic.
BBH: What was the most important thing that your experience in the industry has taught you?
MB: You have to create a cutting edge property. It can’t be your traditional type of property because it’s a competitive market place.
BBH: Any advice for someone starting in the real estate marketing and sales industry?
MB: You should work with a high-energy and innovative company. Integrity and good principles are also very important. That’s what it’s all about. You have a very educated and savvy consumer now. They’ve done their homework before they’ve come into the sales office.
BBH: What’s your favourite place you’ve ever traveled to?
MB: Hong Kong. I like the energy and attitude of the city. I also love the architecture and the skyline.
BBH: What’s your drink of choice?
Thanks for buzzing with us Michael!