Real estate startup Belong flees Bay Area for Miami

While it’s not an uncommon phenomenon — in recent years, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has made an aggressive push to court tech and crypto firms — the rhetoric behind the move is new. Belong CEO and co-founder Ale Resnik said in a statement that the city “represents a glimpse at a possible future of the USA.”

“One that’s multicultural, more pragmatic, and less ideological,” Resnik said in the statement. “This is an ecosystem where consumer tech can blossom.”

Suarez himself celebrated the news, calling it proof of “the Miami Movement,” his push to bring more tech companies into Miami, at work. 

What, specifically, Resnik means by “less ideological” remains unclear. Florida at large has historically been considered a battleground state, though it has leaned more Republican in recent years. Miami skews more liberal than the rest of the state, voting for the Democratic presidential candidate in the last three elections, but is not as unequivocally Democrat-leaning as the Bay Area. 

The move comes as Miami and other cities in South Florida experience a steep rise in housing costs, making it among the most expensive cities to live in the country relative to residents’ mean income. 

Belong, according to press material, is a “home management platform” for small landlords that promises to build a path for home ownership. Earlier this year, it snagged $80 million in funding, led by venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz. The company offers services in the Bay Area, Miami, Seattle and Southern California.

The news was first reported by the South Florida Business Journal.

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