5 Minutes with TOP PRODUCER and Luxury Real Estate Expert: Don Pingaro

What’s going in the Miami luxury real estate market? What makes it unique? And what do you look for when hiring a good realtor?  

I was fortunate to get up close and personal with one of the most successful brokers in real estate: Don Pingaro, ISG Asia Partner and Broker and also the force behind Ocean Insiders, the leading real estate firm specializing on Fisher Island properties. Don or Donnie, as his closest colleagues call him, has brokered more than $550 million in deals, which includes the highest sales price on Fisher Island. Most recently, Don made the 2016 A LIST and was awarded the #3 TOP PRODUCER spot in the nation by AREAA (Asian Real Estate Association of America). 

What makes the Miami real estate unique?

Miami is one 5 "Super Prime" cities in North America. A super prime city has unique location, breathtaking views, iconic architecture, exquisite interior design and exceptional amenities and services. 

Miami is a global city where the worlds ultra-high net worth individuals come to play.

How would you define luxury in Miami?

Luxury in Miami is like nowhere in the US. We are blessed with some of the most gorgeous waterfront properties. Living in Miami is all about embracing our warm tropical climate. 

The building standards in Miami are top notch so the level of finishes from a builder are of extremely high quality. The new 1000 Museum Tower is the only residential building in the US by the late Zaha Hadid. The architecture is stunning. 

The recent developers have been adding so many luxury amenities in their buildings such as a Hammam spa, rooftop pool,     9-acres amenity decks (as in the Miami World Center), retina recognition for your elevator, just to name a few. At the Porsche Tower you can bring your car right into your living room!

What’s the profile of the International buyer in Miami?

Miami is a global city. We have a multitude of nationalities represented locally. Historically, the greatest influence has been from Europe and South America, but we see an emergence of interest from the Asian buyer due to the lower prices and greater returns compared to the traditional US immigration destinations.

The international buyer is most focused on lifestyle. Clean air, clean water, access to great medical care and abroad array of arts and culture options are high on their wish list.

What are some of the trends you are seeing in the current Miami real estate market?

Urbanization...Transformative billion dollar projects such as Brickell City Centre & Miami World Center are leading the way. 

The downtown corridor was strictly for 9-5 business hours. Now downtown Miami has a vibrant 24-hour lifestyle with shops, parks restaurants & bars. Many are now calling the Brickell corridor the "mini-Manhattan."

What should an international investor look at when trying to work with a realtor in Miami?

Great question. I believe the most important aspect is working with a realtor that has a broad array of market knowledge. 

Miami is comprised of many micro-neighborhoods such as Wynwood, Edgewater, Coconut Grove to name a few. The key for success is for the realtor to ask many questions and listen to the buyers needs and desires. They can then best professionally guide the buyer to their best fit. 

How do you spot a good realtor?

Real estate is a relationship business. There is no “one size fits all mold,” but all good realtors have a great work ethic, are outgoing and are great listeners.

Do you have some advice for realtors that are starting up?

Surround yourself with the best. Learn the best developments, go to the best networking opportunities, choose a broker that will interact with you to nurture your professional growth rather than just "hang your license" for a high split.

What are three qualifications of an outstanding realtor?

Great Listener


Relentless work ethic


To read up more on Don, visit Ocean Insiders or follow him on Instagram @Dpingaro. Always warm and welcoming, often at ease and unassuming, yet extremely professional and determined, Don is a pleasure to work with. An avid runner, he's participated in more than a dozen marathons.