JR Sells, Inc.
email: jr (at) jrsellsflorida (dot) com
phone: (305) 890-7017
J.R. is a Miami-based Florida Real Estate Broker. “I’m not a farmer,” he says of the real estate tradition of focusing on a specific area, “I’m a conqueror.”
He goes where the buyers want to, and where the sellers are. Miami-Dade and Broward are his bread and butter, “but I’ve sold as far north as Volusia, as far west as Lee and Collier, and as far south as the Keys. I work the state, I’m not franchised into a region,” he smiles confidently.
That’s the advantage of being the J.R. in J.R. Sells, Inc.—his own brokerage.
Raised in Miami since age 2—studies at Boston University aside, South Florida has always been home. “I’m not the exception to the rule. Nobody’s born here,” he continues with precision and humor, “Everyone came here fleeing… the cold, prohibition, oppression, communism, state taxes, the law, the past… something. That’s South Floridian history, it’s the South Florida way.”
“I’m a city boy, and not a farmer in any capacity.” smiles the Miamian, circling back.
J.R. grew up in the Brickell financial district, across the river from Downtown. “My elementary school is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the oldest in the county,” he says of Southside Preparatory, located blocks from the Miami Circle archeological site. “and the property next door was discovered to be the original Miami High Schoolhouse,” in recent history. It has since been moved for preservation to Southside Park.
He still has family in the area, “My grandma lives in The Roads; single-family residential Brickell,” where there are plenty of older and historic homes.
“I’ve been enthusiastic about history—South Floridian history, of course—and architecture since I was a small child, because I was surrounded by it. I’ve seen the city grow my entire life, living history. I would visit my mother’s office in the McCrory’s building, thinking how beautiful and intricate the white tin ceilings were on the second floor, and how out of place they seemed with all the red paint and orange linoleum. I would later find out that it had been a hotel in the early 1900s, and the third floor which was only used for storage at that point, is where the hotel rooms where located,” he spoke lively, “and of course, the ghost stories. Old homes, historic places have stories. They make you feel. They’re full of surprises and secrets. My mother later worked at the old courthouse, and I remember how striking and ornate the painted ceilings were. I suppose I’m always looking up.”
He studied Miami Beach Art Deco in his youth, “it was part of a summer program to keep hyperactive gifted kids out of trouble. I loved all the playful detail; light and bright colors, porthole windows, the creativity and movement hooked me into appreciating architecture.”
He attended the DASH School in the city’s design district before leaving for BU, “My concentration was architecture, and I also took art history and design coursework. Afterward, I lived in Boston, where I fell in love with property conversions. Living in a brick loft conversion, or a church or schoolhouse conversion is my ultimate dream.”
He’s worked South Florida real estate for almost 10 years. “My favorite transactions include a historically designated 1920s Old Florida home on a small island called Everglades City that I listed, a 1930s home in Miami Shores with Art Nouveau detailing that I listed, and a 1930s wood-framed shot-gun home in Miami where I represented the buyer.”
He’s full of colorful stories, “I’ve gone to a million-dollar walk-through in swim trunks. I signed a $700k historic home in shorts and sandals. I’m very Floridian, very tropical that way,” he says, “you can have a tremendous work ethic, be brilliant at what you do, and do it in shorts. I knew that even before the pandemic.”