Aleks A.


“My favorite aspect of the job is working with the clients,” says Aleksandr Avanessov, Managing Director at Mak Realty. “It’s extremely rewarding to form new relationships and ensure our customers are satisfied.”

Aleks was born and raised in New York City and although he has only been with Mak Realty for two years, he’s a lifelong friend of CEO Max Kostyashkin. He graduated from York College in New York after majoring in business studies and is proficient in five languages. He soon realized that pursuing a conventional business path, working in an office for a large company wasn’t for him.

“I was fortunate to be surrounded by people who had an entrepreneurial spirit and made things happen in real estate,” he says. “Max and I were both influenced by his brother Sergey, who is now a major developer in New York. When Max told me he was thinking about moving to Miami to start a hospitality business I asked him when I should pack my bags.”

By nature a people person, Aleks’s multi-lingual abilities make him an ideal point person for Mak Realty’s international client base. He also liaises with Mak’s global investors, keeping them up to speed on the company’s bookings and revenue and alerting them to new investment opportunities.

“What I like about real estate is that the numbers don’t lie. The revenue is the revenue,” Aleks says. “In the business, we are in, especially, you can live and die by the number of bookings you receive because the investors are expecting a certain return on their money and we have to deliver. There’s only one way that happens in the — by providing outstanding customer service.”  

Aleks’ easy-going demeanor and ability to converse in multiple languages belies a steely determination to see Mak Realty dominate their sector and expand. 

“Frankly, there are a lot of companies that provide similar products that we do but people are also shocked when I tell them that we have such a very high rate of return customers,” he says. “The question I always get is ‘why do people want to keep vacationing in Miami at the same resort?’ That’s where our marketing comes in,” Aleks explains, “Targeting the widest cross-section of clients.”

Having grown up in New York, Aleks knows firsthand that many people from the Tri-State area travel to Miami routinely throughout the winter. 

“It’s actually cheaper to fly to Miami than it is to get the bus to some parts of New Jersey or Pennsylvania from New York,” he explains.

With numerous return guests from colder northern states as well as Floridians looking for a quick getaway, not to mention a steady stream of international visitors, Aleks prides himself on crafting different marketing campaigns for each potential audience.

“Whether you plan to stay for a one night, a long weekend, or a week or more, Miami and the surrounding areas have got something for everyone.” Aleks says, “I make it my business to let all our guests know what’s available for them. And if they don’t get round to experiencing it this time around, there’s always the next time.” 

Carlos Pena


Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Carlos Pena has been a Miami resident for the last 15 years. He first arrived to earn a degree in business administration before pursuing his real estate license. As a realtor, he gained an intrinsic familiarity with every neighborhood in the city and witnessed the massive upswing in Miami’s property market.

“What makes Miami unique compared to many other cities,” he says “is that it has tourism all year round. The weather is always good and it’s truly cosmopolitan and international. You can walk one city block and hear five different languages. It’s an exhilarating place to live or visit.”

It was because of Miami’s tourism that Carlos decided to switch tack within real estate. Instead of selling homes, condos, and apartments he now rents them. As a business manager at Mak Realty, Carlos is responsible for day-to-day operations. He ensures that all their units are immaculate and that Mak’s investor clients meet their financial expectations each quarter. Mak’s ongoing marketing campaign is a crucial factor in achieving this.

“Social media is a big driver,” he says. “Instagram especially because people want an accurate visual representation of what they are renting for their vacation. That’s my responsibility. That’s why we always hire professional photographers. Our rooms and suites are stunning and we also have views of the beach and the crystal blue sea just beyond the balconies so that’s a big draw, knowing that is within walking distance.”

With a home base at the Fontainebleau Resort, the facilities help to sweeten the deal. “We show everything that’s on offer from the restaurants, the pools the gym, and the spa. We let all our guests know that what they see is what they get. There’s no catch.”

Carlos currently presides over 50 units plus units working closely with Mak Realty’s CEO Max Kostyashkin and the company’s investors.

“Our ability to expand as a company is based on our success and specifically getting great reviews from happy customers which keeps us fully booked. We’re currently top of Airbnb for Miami Beach which is an indication of how we’re doing.”

With plans to grow to more resorts and developments within the Miami area, Carlos believes that the short-term rental formula that has proved so successful at the Fontainebleau could work anywhere.

“Guests on vacation don’t want to be worried about anything. They want a stress-free time knowing that someone responsible has got their back and if they need help they can get it,” he says. “That’s why from the moment someone books with us, we are in contact with them, establishing trust and ensuring their stay in our suites goes seamlessly. Our guests have certain expectations based on our reputation,” Carlos adds. “Our goal is to always exceed those expectations.”