Cadillac + The Lime Truck + The Boutique Real Estate Group

The Boutique Real Estate Group + Cadillac + The Lime Food Truck // Thursday May 7th from 12-2pm.


The Boutique Real Estate Group is excited to welcome Southern California Cadillac and The Lime Truck to our headquarters in Corona del Mar.  Stop by for a test drive, good food and amazing people.

Thursday, May 7th from 12 pm to 2 pm.
3653 E. Coast Hwy. Corona del Mar, CA 92625

4 ways to grow your real estate marketing content — and business.

via Inman


Here are a few innovative tips to garner engaging local content.

You can’t open a trade publication these days without seeing an article urging real estate professionals to generate content in order to build their brand and get more business. It makes sense — who buys and sells houses? People. What do people like? To be enlightened, informed and entertained. That’s what great content does.

Coldwell Banker is one of the leaders in this area, and it recently teamed up with to take fans inside the homes of their favorite players.

Why content?

Many real estate professionals ask whether content creation has any real tangible benefits in getting homes sold. Top producers tend to look at the bigger picture. Tim Smith of Smith Group Real Estate says, “High-quality marketing increases the perceived value of the property.” In other words, when you make a video about a house, you’re saying to the world, “This place is worth it.”

“When we show up at a property with a truck and equipment and actors and a tent, it causes curiosity within the neighborhood,” said Raj Qsar, principal and owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group. “It gives us a way to connect with the neighborhood on a hyperlocal level. Then they tell their friends and family about the house, and word gets out. It’s a long-tail plan.” Let’s face it: Nothing makes a seller happier than to see their home being given the star treatment.

“There’s a misconception across the industry as to why people do content marketing,” Qsar said. “Video is not just for the one listing — we make our video evergreen so it can live forever.”

And it sure doesn’t hurt to have an amazing video to show in your next listing presentation, either.

But for many Realtors, the thought of creating content tends to generate more guilt than inspiration. What kind of content should you be making? And how in the world are you expected to write a script or learn to edit video when there aren’t even enough hours in the day to generate leads and get deals done?

Good news: You don’t have to do it yourself. Here are four options to get great content.

1. Beef up your team.

Most brokerages that are serious about content creation begin by hiring in-house creative talent. “Content marketing needs to start with the leadership and culture of the brokerage,” Qsar said. “If the brokerage takes control and hires an in-house team, it only makes the agents and the brokerage more successful.”

Smith Group Real Estate has created a core in-house marketing team. They started out using outside production studios to generate their marketing materials but decided to bring production in-house in order to have more control over the creative product. “Outsiders don’t have direct communication with the sellers like we do,” Jade Schuck, public relations and marketing coordinator, said. “When the production is done in-house, we know the home, and we can do a lot more with the money.”

Pacific Union built an entire in-house journalism department to bring their clients the latest news via their blog. “We decided we had to become a journalism company,” CEO Mark McLaughlin said. And it worked. Back in January 2012 their blog had “zero traffic.” Now they have 5,800 unique users on their blog every month. McLaughlin puts this in context. “We sold about 5,700 homes last year. So, that means we have about as many people at our blog every single month as bought homes in a year … so we feel it’s a really relevant tool for our real estate professionals.”

2. Supplements are good for you.

Even with a strong in-house team, most brokerages bring in freelancers or even full production companies to round out their marketing team for larger listings.

“The content is all us, 100 percent,” said Qsar, who employs an in-house team that includes a social media manager, director of creative design, cinematographer and editors. They do bring in specialists as needed, such as drone operators and hyperlapse photographers, but they’re careful to set and maintain the creative tone and direction themselves.

The real estate team knows the home best, so it’s crucial that whenever you outsource, you communicate with the production company to convey the key selling points of the home and any details about the target demographics.

Schuck said when The Smith Group gets a listing, their process begins with a brainstorming session where they distill the essence of the home’s personality. Then they create different packages of marketing materials based on the sales price. They bring in freelancers with special skills as needed.

Schuck offers some advice for smaller real estate offices whose budgets might not allow an in-house production team: “Use your network to find good people to help.”

3. Be a patron of the arts.

If hiring a marketing team doesn’t work for you, there are other options. Any given neighborhood is packed with creators who just love to make content. They eat, sleep and breathe journalism, storytelling and photography. They’re constantly churning out videos and articles, blog posts and photographs. All you have to do is find them, and then work out a deal that works for both of you.

Try these sources:

Local bloggers: They know your neighborhood and what makes it significant. See if you can sponsor their work by making a small contribution. Being quoted in an article about the five best kid-friendly restaurants in town makes you an instant local expert.

School newspapers and videos: School newspapers can always use a few extra bucks to give their kids’ reporting a boost. Help them out and your name might be the one that shows up when prospective buyers search for their dream schools.

Filmmakers and videographers: In these days of YouTube, everyone from your babysitter to your mortgage broker has a script for a Web series somewhere on their hard drive. What they often lack is funding to get it made. Provide that and voila, you have yourself a grateful content creator who will mention your name, and maybe even give you a cameo role.

4. Ask your audience.

Another way to get great content is perhaps the most obvious: Just ask for it. User-generated content (UGC) is the buzzword, but what it means is getting your network to share their own photos, videos, articles and lists.

Consider holding a contest for the best photos of your local dog park, or give a shoutout to local bands to write a song in honor of your hometown. Then all you have to do is curate the best and put it online. People will come to your site to check out the latest and greatest — and they’re sure to notice your listings along the way.

At the time of this writing, Trails West Real Estate had just announced a competition asking students to create the best video about living in northwest Montana. They’re offering $12,000 to the winning school’s video and technology departments. This is a great way to get lots of content for your money, while becoming known as a local expert and supporter of the community. It’s likely we’ll see more and more content competition like this in which everyone comes out a winner.

Bottom line

The industry agrees that offering great content is the ideal way to engage your audience more deeply and for longer periods of time. That translates to leads, listings, sales and clients for life. Now you have some ways to get your hands on amazing content while keeping your focus on what you do best: selling real estate.

Are Drones the Next Big Thing in Real Estate?

via RISMedia

Earlier this month, published a new report about the FAA’S updated regulations on the use of drones in real estate marketing, and that brought about one of the most interesting debates among agents and brokers we’ve ever seen.

To help put the issue into perspective, welcomed Raj Qsar, principal of the Boutique Real Estate Group, Corona del Mar, Calif., to a special podcast to discuss his experiences with using drones to capture images for his real estate business.

During the podcast, Qsar spoke about how his company originally owned two user-friendly DJI drones equiped with GoPro cameras, which he used to capture outstanding aerial footage. However, he had to turn the flying over to someone else due to the ever-changing operating guidelines, expensive liability issues and high equipment costs.

“It’s kind of like the wild, wild West with real estate and drones right now, and it’s hard to manage and regulate and all that,” he says. “We have been subbing it out to a very local, super high-end drone pilot here in Southern California.”

When he first started, Qsar says the drone was under the firm’s liability insurance, but it’s no longer necessary since he is outsourcing the flying to a company who uses a more advanced DJI-Inspire 1.

The benefits of using drones for real estate, he believes, include giving a bird’s eye feel to a property, and seperating it from others on the market.

“It’s all about trying to connect that potential buyer to the property someway, somehow, through a story, and one way to do that is with aerial photography and drone videography,” Qsar says.

One example he gives is a recent estate home in a gated Irvine neighborhood that was in his portfolio. At 4,300 square, the 6-bedroom, 4-bath luxury home had a pool, grotto and was part of an amenity-rich neighborhood. By using a drone to shoot aerial footage, he was able to offer potential buyers a true glimpse of what the neighborhood looked like-complete with its walking trails, athletic courts, baseball field, etc.

“With traditional video, you would never see it all,” Qsar says. “By adding in a car going through the front gate and the flying over with views of the community pools, basketball courts and trails, it gives an overall look and feel to the entire neighborhood.”

Qsar believes that using drones, along with traditional video marketing, can help move properties faster than homes that are listed without this new video marketing technology.

According to Qsar, you don’t need a pilot’s license to operate a commercial drone, but you can’t legally do it for real estate anymore. Keeping up with the rules, he admits, can be challenging.

“There are various sites such as DJI with up-to-date rules on their website and there’s also a direct feed for iPad minis and monitors to communicate directly with pilots,” Qsar says.

For his videos, Qsar likes to add music and make it feel more like a movie, even playing with the aspect ratio to add to a “cinematic look.”

Qsar says there’s no easy way to define the cost of using drones, but he feels that for an agent who wants to be on top, it’s going to cost more not to do it than to do it.

“What I try to do is preach for agents to stop thinking about ‘real’ real estate agents because all they think about is cost and that will be a barrier for anything that has the word luxury attached to it,” he says. “It’s going to cost you more not to do this stuff in the long run than it will to put the money up front. Video is not going away, but those agents who aren’t using it, will be.” Sits Down with Raj Qsar to Discuss the Nitty-Gritty on Drones

via’s Secrets of Top Selling Agents is rolling out a new podcast series of “unplugged” interviews with some of the heaviest hitters in real estate who have not only found their niche, but are dominating in it. A few weeks back, we published an article regarding the FAA’s new regulations on using drones for real estate. The response was huge, making it quite clear that this is a hot topic among agents and brokers.

After this, we knew it was time to sit down with Raj Qsar, a seasoned pro at using video for real estate, to get more insight into this new technology. Head over to Raj’s website,, to see some of his amazing video content and to get a better idea of why there is no better person to fill in the information gaps about using drones to market your listings! Here’s just a little recap of our sit down with Raj:

According to Raj, there’s A LOT that goes into being able to legally fly a drone for real estate. He says that he operated the drones himself when they first became popular and that his company owned 2 DIJI drones (the most user-friendly) that were equipped with GoPro cameras to capture aerial footage. But between the strict and continually changing operating guidelines, expensive liability issues and high costs of equipment, he now hires a company with a lot of experience to do the filming for him.

After traveling across the country and internationally for real estate events, Raj has found that cost has become an agent’s biggest concern when it comes to using drones and video. His response to this was simple, “It’s going to cost you more not to do this stuff in the long run than it will to put the money up front.” He states that agents need to recognize that instead of trying to reduce costs by keeping the use of drones “in-house,” they should invest in someone who specializes in this area. The properties that his team lists using video tend to move faster compared to the rest of the market. This is why he can’t stress enough that agents who invest more money in marketing will ultimately see their listings sell more often and at a faster rate than those who don’t.

These were just a few of the highlights from this exciting interview, so be sure to tune in for the full podcast! Head over to the Secrets of Top Selling Agents website to find even more educational sessions like this.

Raj Qsar: How The Boutique Real Estate Group Are Leading The Way With Video

via Josh Cobb of Stepps


Raj Qsar, principal and owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group, joins Real Estate Pros to discuss How The Boutique Real Estate Group Are Leading The Way With Video. Raj shares his journey in real estate and what it’s like selling high-end luxury homes in some of the world’s most stunning locations.

Show Notes

From amazing photography, video and film production, 360-degree HD v-tours, interior design and staging, custom graphics and design, complete social media engagement and search engine optimisation, The Boutique Real Estate Group do marketing the way it should be done.

With more than 18 years of sales, marketing and leadership experience, Raj Qsar has achieved this outstanding level of production as a result of his unsurpassed commitment for providing superior representation to his clients.

Most recently, Raj was nominated for an Innovator Award for Most Innovative Real Estate Agent in 2014 by Inman News. He was also named Top 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders For 2013 By Inman News, and The Boutique Real Estate Group was recently selected as The 2014 Next Generation Real Estate Brokerage by Better Homes & Garden Real Estate & 1000 Watt Consulting. Their 2013 video called #goodbyehello was named Top 20 Real Estate Videos in the USA.

As a national and international speaker, Raj travels the world educating real estate professionals on the value of technology and social media. As a highly sought after speaker, Raj has taken the stage at some of the most prestigious real estate conferences across the country and he continues to make his mark in today’s ever-changing real estate market.

Join us in this episode of Real Estate Pros as Raj takes us on a journey inside The Boutique Real Estate Group and their commitment to best-in-class marketing and sales.

Fast Five

Who has been an inspiration to you throughout your career?
“Jesus Christ, my personal lord and saviour.”

What are your favourite things in the world to do when you’re not at the office?
“That’s an easy one. I’m a dad with three beautiful kids and a wife, so getting off the grid and spending time with my family without my phone in my hand.”

What is your favourite business book?
The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive – By Patrick Lencioni.”

What is your favourite technology resource you use daily to help you run a better business?
“I literally couldn’t live without my iPhone.”

What is ‘one thing’ that prevents people in real estate from achieving success and what would your advice be to overcome it?
“Don’t try to do everything yourself. Find people who are strong where you’re weak, team up with partnered professionals and just focus on being consistent at your one strategy.”


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If you enjoyed this episode of the Real Estate Pros podcast, please head over to iTunes, leave us a review and subscribe. If you have any feedback for us on how we can improve we would love to hear from you because this show is all about helping you, the real estate pro. Please email us at

About Josh Cobb

Josh is a digital marketing strategist and the founder of Stepps: A digital marketing company focused on real estate. He works one-on-one with people in the business of real estate to help them better compete for brand awareness, improve the growth and retention of their clients and help them understand and profit from social media and content marketing.

Josh also hosts the weekly Real Estate Pros podcast where he interviews today’s most inspiring and successful real estate pros and industry experts from around Australia and across the world.


Create real estate recruiting mail that won’t get tossed

It’s about making a personal connection with marketing made for 2015

via Inman Select
Contributor – Aaron Woodman

Inman Select // The Boutique Real Estate Group

What is the deal with recruiting today? We are all talking about changing our industry, yet what we do to attract talent is concerning.

Many of you followed my return to real estate in a series I wrote. After passing my test, I received a lot of mail — 65 pieces and counting — from brokerage companies. These included everything from CDs with information to generic postcards without even a stamp.

I understand there is a list that brokerages can subscribe to that sends them new licensee information. I know the name of the real estate brokerage game is growth, so they are trying to do anything they can to get in front of potential clients (new agents). The question is, do they want butts in seats or do they want incredible, passionate and educated agents?

Let’s take a look at what I received — a lot of generic form letters using my full name (no one uses my middle name unless I am in trouble, which is why my mom wrote “Trouble” down on the birth certificate). I saw a lot about the brand and what the brand offers, but not much about the local affiliate or the people running it. One company spent $4.50 on postage alone, and nothing inside the packet they sent was worth saving; add in the print cost and the cost to create, and you’re looking at tens of thousands of dollars per brokerage. Are people responding to these?

A study by Epsilon showed that 77 percent of consumers sort through their physical mail as soon as they get it. Even better data from the U.S. Postal Service showed that 98 percent of people check their mail daily. Clearly, mail is not dead, and as a millennial I love getting mail because it does not buzz, ding or require an immediate response.

I gave the mail to someone who wasn’t in real estate and asked them to give me an opinion. The response: “It all looks the same to me … it is just junk mail.” This mail does not showcase you or your expertise. The mail all looks the same; I can’t differentiate the difference between the brands. Nothing stands out. And “blah” really isn’t the image you want to promote.”

There has to be a better way. Here are my suggestions:

Problem 1: I saw not one personal note; there was no personal connection, and no one did any research on me. This is the age of Google. It isn’t about ego, it is about research. Millennials want you to see what they have accomplished.

Solution: Get the list — don’t mass-mail form letters with it, though. Research the names. Send a personal message to each recipient and talk about how your company can help a budding career. Can’t find them online? There is your lead-in — “Let us make you prominent online.”

Problem 2: None of the pieces appealed to a millennial; few had websites; few had business cards — and they were cheap cards. The ones that sent me CDs just baffled me. I have a new Macbook, and there is no disc drive to play a CD — so now what?

Solution: Update your marketing. No one wants to be with a brokerage stuck in 2005. Think Apple packaging or Mercedes Benz, and make it easy for me to research you and find more information online. I want to know the person sending it to me as well as the company. Don’t send me a CD I can’t play; send me to a landing page where I navigate around. Send me a mail piece and follow up via the Internet whenever possible — on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or email if you can. Tell me what you can do for me … and I don’t care if your brand is No. 1 in training — what are you going to do for me at the local level? An online classroom does not count.

Problem 3: The recruiters and managers who are sending materials need to update their own online profiles. For many of them, I could not find more than a half-completed LinkedIn profile. That doesn’t help build my trust. Agents need testimonials; why don’t the people hiring agents?

Solution: Place as much value on personal brand, digital footprint and expertise on our recruiters and managers as you do on agents. Get an updated headshot, biography and recommendations. Be a magnetic ambassador of your brand so people come to you, and if I get a letter from you, I want to meet you.

Problem 4: No more butts in seats.

Solution: Research potential candidates to find out who you are hiring and bring the best into your brokerage, brand and the industry. When you reach out personally, you attract a higher caliber of person. Set the standard of what you are looking for through your first contact.

Let’s get this recruiting marketing past the garbage chute and into the hands of fabulous talent.

Aaron Woodman is the Los Angeles operations manager for The Boutique Real Estate Group and has more than a decade of real estate sales experience as both an agent and a managing broker/owner. Follow him on Twitter.

Email Aaron Woodman.

5 Insanely Creative Ways People Have Used to Sell Houses

via Mashable

The Boutique Real Estate Group has been Highlight by Mashable in the article 5 Insanely Creative Ways People Have Used to Sell Houses.

In the future, selling houses might be less about realtors and more about video creators. While traditional open houses and “for sale” signs aren’t going away any time soon, in years to come it could be a viral video that gets a buyer to sign on the dotted line.

Straightforward video tours have been around for some years, but we’ve gone beyond that and taken a look at five fabulously creative ways people have used video to sell property around the world, from music videos to high-tech drones via 3D fly-throughs.


Plain video house tours are all well and good, but what if instead of a dry, room-by-room tour around a property, you used the video to tell a story and sell a lifestyle?

The Boutique Real Estate Group is very good at this, producing a series of glossy ads for houses that engage you with a simple plot device, making them much more interesting than the average tour.

In this example, seeing the kids run through the beautiful rooms as they find a suitable cubbyhole for a game of hide-and-seek is just a genius way to show the home’s family-friendly, attractive living spaces.

How REALTORS® Can Raise Their Bar with Digital Tools

via DocuSign
Contributed by Raj Qsar, Owner and Principal at The Boutique Real Estate Group

Now that the days of paper trenches are (nearly) long gone and you’re swimming in digital options galore, how do you know what works and what might not equal the ROI you had in mind?

Your schedule probably redefines busy, so why sleuth around for the answers? Just come to me for the digital dirt and I’ll set you up with the wisdom and guide you to the tools that actually ramp your business Cloud-bound (i.e. skyrocketing success in all matters ROI and keeping your clients and employees delighted).

For my team at The Boutique Real Estate Group, we’re OCD about providing world-class experiences for our clients; It’s our marching theme for Real Estate Connect NYC. We’re in the business of writing our client’s story. When they look at a property, they imagine and dream and wonder. When you set up your Real Estate business with the right tools, you’re able to kick off their story with a happy prologue.

Excited to get started? Wonderful! We’ve vetted the digital market for ideas that struck magic and tools that did wonders for our client base.

Check out the top five mantras and tools that help us set the bar sky high for client experiences:


Always Keep It Mobile and Tablet Friendly: Give us location independence and freedom to create, share & sign on the fly.  We are all traveling 100 mph in a 55 mph world so this is essential to any business.  If it’s not mobile it does not exist.


Apps Give you “Crystal Ball Powers”  – Gmail apps integrated into your Chrome Browser give you Crystal Ball Powers that allow you to tailor messages, track responses and “big brother” inbound emails so you can work some magic with your clients.


The C in CRM Stands for (Client) Conversion: CRM integrations for your website (SMS notifications & auto-email responders) let you respond & convert clients quickly and track progress seamlessly.


Real Estate Apps –> MLS Touch + RPR Mobile + Property Radar App – Seriously – the entire Real Estate world in the palm of your hands. You are truly a real estate guru…


Invest in a Company Intranet – Creating specific channels to streamline communications to specific topics (Technology, Social Media, Contracts, Staging, Creative Design, CRM, Competition). And it has to be mobile.


We’re the pioneers behind Real Estate digital disruption.  Now that I’ve shared my secrets, I pass the mobile phone (i.e. baton) to you to socialize your words of wisdom and tools of choice. Every winning tidbit leads to a massive win-win: inspired agents and brokers who’re empowered to make dreams come true.


Please share away in the comments below.

Get to know my team at The Boutique Real Estate Group: