Q&A with José Mujica, Co-founder of floorplanGRP / by Rosana Vidal

José Mujica has been working in New York City real estate architecture since before graduating with honors from the New York Institute of Technology School of Architecture in 2004.  Upon joining The 7th Art, Jose used his skills to draft beautifully presented floorplans and quickly became involved in all stages of the creative process, from branding to design to production and even print. At the age of 23, Jose started The 7th Art’s architecture department, leading his team to design and produce marketing materials for over 30 high profile new development projects including The Plaza Hotel, The Barbizon, 995 Fifth Avenue, and The Cosmopolitan. In 2006 Jose started FLRPLANS Real Estate Marketing Consultancy where he worked with brokerages and individual brokers on the art direction and brand development of multiple projects while also project managing the 3D production of renderings and print materials.  Having produced thousands of individual floorplans for projects ranging from entire new developments to single townhouses or apartments, Jose has developed a reputation as the go-to person for impactful and high quality creative presentations that contribute to positive sales outcomes. Get to know José in the floorplanGRP Q&A.

How did you develop an interest in architecture?

I always had an interest in architecture because of my inclination towards art, sciences and technology. However, I made the decision to pursue a career in architecture after taking part in a job shadow day when I was 16 years old. I had the opportunity to spend a full day in the life of an architect. I was exposed to everything from design, to sketching, to autocad drafting, and I also got to be part of a critique session where the lead architect asked for my input on their project (the design for the Madame Tussauds’ Museum).  That influenced me a great deal and the collaborative team approach led me to get into architecture.

How did you transition from architecture into real estate architecture?

When I went to architecture school, we worked in a very collaborative environment and for each project we did, we had to create a portfolio to pitch our ideas.  After several years of working full time in architecture, what I thought was going to be a short hiatus from architecture turned out to bring me where I am today.  I was hired by the Seventh Art to create and beautify floor plans and to make them presentable. I was involved in designing, branding, printing, and a series of creative projects that I never would have been involved in had I stayed in architecture. I had the opportunity to use the skills I learned in architecture and apply them to the creation of beautiful presentations and pitches for new developments and eventually for individual resale listings. I was a one person team at Seventh Art and I eventually started a floor plan department and led a team of 6 people. By the time I left the Seventh Art to start my own firm, FLRPLANS, I had worked on over 30 new developments and thousands of floor plans for building such as 101 Warren, The Barbizon, The Plaza Hotel, and The Stanhope Hotel.

What prompted you to make the leap and start FLRPLANS?

Taking a job in real estate marketing made me think about the decisions I would have to make moving forward in my career.  Eventually I was left with the choice of going back to Architecture to find a position where I had left off, or move forward and embrace this new niche that I had been exposed to where I could still apply my knowledge in architecture and at the same time pursue a diverse and exciting creative venture to help sell real estate visually. The answer for me was simple and I followed my instinct even though I would have to start from zero. 

Since starting FLRPLANS, I have worked with several creative firms to collaborate on production of floorplans, renderings, prints etc. Aside from the New Development work experience at 7th Art, I worked on The Mark Hotel, SOHO MEWS, The Mercer, Island Gardens, Miami for PANDISCIO. I also collaborated with Tag to work on The View at East Coast, and Georgica. I also helped on a few projects for IF. 

You’ve just started floorplanGRP with two other industry leaders in the fields of technology and film.  What services does floorplanGRP offer?

floorplanGRP is bringing virtual reality (VR) technology to the real estate marketing landscape.  Virtual reality has been trying to get out there for many years but the technology has only just now caught up, so the timing is perfect. 3D renderings have already changed the way real estate sales are transacted.  Entire buildings are sold using only 3D renderings. We are taking it to the next level. floorplanGRP is making it possible for developers, real estate firms, and real estate agents to  walk into a space that doesn’t exist yet. We can walk around inside a building that hasn’t been built yet.  Virtual Reality and real estate marketing are an ideal match. This technology is a game changer.  

What are you most excited about regarding floorplanGRP?

The company is a partnership between myself and Scott Sindorf, Co-Owner of UVPH, a motion design, visual effects, and production company he co-founded 15 years ago. With the speed at which technology is moving forward, and New York City being a worldwide market leader, the collaboration makes perfect sense.  I’m excited to see the adoption of this technology and to see the effect it has on increasing sales, the speed at which sales occur, and the efficiency with which sales occur for all sorts of real estate transactions including new developments, commercial, resale, and even rentals.  I like the access this technology gives to real estate consumers in terms of really understanding a space and being efficient, and it’s also fun technology to use!  I’m excited about the timing.  It’s a great time to be in the real estate industry in New York City.  It’s all very exciting.