Luis Enrique Coll is the founder of the Alco International Group, a real estate company with a presence in Venezuela, Panama, and the United States. In the United States, he has largely been involved with developing luxury real estate and retail spaces. His most recent project, Adagio Fort Lauderdale, is due to open in 2019. The luxury condo building has 31 residences with high-end amenities. Luis Enrique Coll has over 35 years of experience in the real estate business. His developments in Panama and Venezuela are mostly in the category of affordable housing.
Luis Enrique Coll has a background in business and is a self-made entrepreneur. His family business, Alco International Group, constructs high-quality buildings with a high quality of life for their residents. Their buildings are an integral part of their communities, with value added for the people who live and shop there. Coll is a well-known expert in luxury housing development and an essential part of the South Florida business community. His beautiful buildings show an attention to detail that is unparalleled in the market. The Alco International Group continues to expand and become more influential in the residential markets in the United States, Venezuela, and Panama.
What was your best/favorite subject in school?
Math was my best subject in school. I have always been interested in numbers and figures. This came in handy when I started my business and had to be very careful with financial fundamentals. Calculating the costs and benefits of each of my developments is an integral part of building a business plan.
What was your first job?
My first job was as an assistant construction manager of a real estate development company. I learned to plan projects from the ground up. I also learned how to manage the varying needs of our customers. My favorite thing about real estate development is seeing the transformation of a piece of land into a robust building project and then a home for our residents.
Where and how did you first get into the industry you currently work in?
My first job was in Venezuela, where I grew up. I have been in the business since the late 1970s. My family and I started the Alco International Group in 1980. Working with family is extremely rewarding, though of course, it can have its problems at times. It is best to separate family tensions from work as much as humanly possible. This isn’t always practical, so sometimes my brothers and I have conflicts. I am pleased to say that over the years of owning our company together, we have mostly been successful in running a smooth operation.
How have those jobs prepared you for what you do now?
Everything I have learned throughout my career influences my daily life. I believe that people’s experiences greatly shape the person they become. I have a great deal of experience in real estate development. I have learned the business in detail over the years so that I can manage every aspect of a project, from financing and construction to interior design.
Describe the best day of work you’ve ever had.
It’s difficult to decide since my entire working life has been full of exciting highlights. My best moment in the last several years was when we broke ground on Adagio Fort Lauderdale. I am much excited about our newest building and its future.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
I am continually motivated to be the best person I can be, in all areas of my life. I believe that success is not possible unless you push yourself to be better. Sitting back on your laurels only leads to stalling. I am also motivated when I think about how the residents’ daily lives will be enriched in each new building we construct. I am excited by the idea of building a vibrant community.
What kind of business ideas excite you most?
I am the most interested in value-added residential buildings. Adagio Fort Lauderdale has many amenities for its residents, including pools, fitness rooms, and a media room. Through common spaces, we hope to build a true community. I am also interested in mixed-use buildings with both residential and retail space. Retail spaces in our buildings make life more convenient for our residents and draw people from the surrounding community as well.
Have you ever tried any unorthodox techniques to attract attention to your business?
I wouldn’t say so. We prefer to advertise our buildings through print, online, and realtors. I would prefer to let the quality of our buildings speak for themselves rather than trying any gimmicky sales pitches. Our customers have a high level of sophistication and would be turned off by such techniques.
What personal achievement are you most proud of?
Every project we complete is a proud achievement for me. I am greatly looking forward to the opening of Adagio Fort Lauderdale.
What wisdom you would have liked to share with yourself when you first started out?
Have faith in your family. It was nerve-wracking at first going into business with them. We started small and had grown into a robust company. I would also tell myself to believe that our company would one day be a powerful force in real estate and to look forward to financial and professional success in the future.