Business partnerships are often created among university colleagues. But for Lorenzo Perez Jr. (MS ’07) and Kristine Lubian Perez (MS ’08), real estate studies at Florida International University’s College of Business delivered a partnership that encompasses more than dollars and cents.
They have both been active in the evolution of the Miami residential and commercial real estate market. Plus, Perez, founder of Premier International Properties, and Lubian, a realtor, now share married life and three young sons, ages 4, 18 months and 3 months.
Their success has led them back to the Hollo School of Real Estate and its Master of Science in International Real Estate (MSIRE) program, where they mentor and engage with students.
Today, FIU’s MSIRE program counts 91 current students and 322 Alumni. The Hollo School is ranked #1 in the U.S. and #2 globally for real estate research by the Journal of Real Estate Literature.
Perez and Lubian say their meeting and relationship were destined to happen, thanks to FIU.
Upon completing the MSIRE program, Perez returned to attend a real estate law class with the incoming cohort, which included Lubian. After graduating, they reconnected at an alumni networking event. She was a realtor and in-house agent at Infinity at Brickell and he operated Premier International Properties, founded in 2000 and specializing in commercial real estate.
“It was love at first sight,” said Lubian, who now runs her clothing line, Kichu Wraps. “It’s great that we met through FIU because we go to school events together and are very involved in the MSIRE program.”
With the 10th anniversary celebration of the MSIRE program, Perez and Lubian reflected on how FIU’s Real Estate Program will shape the Miami real estate market.
“MSIRE and the Hollo School now have a global footprint, which gives you a different perspective and adds value to the program,” said Perez. “Everything affects real estate and when you’re dealing with other countries, you need to know the economy of those countries.”
Lubian agrees. “Getting a higher education gave me a one-up on my competitors,” she said. “Aside from the education, it creates a community and opens up new business relationships.”
Perez found that the in-depth focus on technology and analysis was an additional advantage that MSIRE delivered.
“I learned underwriting fundamentals in the program and that made me a savvier analyst,” he said. “Success is a combination of experience with knowing how to break down the market and having the right guidance in analyzing properties.”
He noted that one of the program’s significant benefits has been his involvement with the Real Estate Alumni Affinity Council (REAAC), which links active real estate professionals with one another and with the school’s programs.
“Real estate is a passion, and like the MSIRE program, I too have evolved in the industry,” said Perez. “When I surround myself with like-minded people I can establish new relationships and I can help people getting into the industry make sure this is the career path they want.”