Are you prepared for the big one?

Are you prepared for the big one?

By:  Melissa Sims | The Boutique Real Estate Group | @MelissaSimsOC

I am not a California native. I came to California in 1986 for my father’s career. We moved to Arcadia in the middle of one of the hottest summers on record. Coming from Wisconsin, we were not prepared for the heat. Nor, would I learn, were we prepared for earthquakes. I still remember very vividly where I was when the 1987 5.9 Whittier Narrows earthquake hit. I was getting ready for school… out of nowhere, dishes were flying out of cabinets and the floor was seemingly gone beneath my feet. My mother grabbed my sister and I and we all ran outside. I wish I could find words to appropriately explain what I saw…the earth was flipping, side-to-side. Earthquake, you say, mom? What’s that? I was only 7 at the time, and coming from the other side of the country, we never spoke of such things. Tornados? All the time. Needless to say, we were ill prepared – no extra water or canned food on hand, no extra clothing, batteries, blankets…nada. It was a very serious quake, with several deaths and many homes destroyed.

Fast forward 7 years, we are living near Northridge, CA. We must have had a knack to follow where the next big earthquake would be. My mother and I were living alone in a condo, on top of a subterranean parking garage. I was awoken at 4:31 am by being physically thrown out of my bed onto the floor. I looked up and saw a huge free-standing mirror about to crash over me…instinct told me to roll under my bed while the mirror shattered where I had just lain. The intense noise, not just the shaking, is what was so terrifying about this quake – I screamed the entire time, as did my mother, neither of us hearing anything from the other. As we got our bearings and cautiously went downstairs, we had no idea what had happened. How big was that? Is there power anywhere (not here, obviously)? As we scrambled in the dark, I am still thankful that my mom had just recently decided it was time for an ‘earthquake kit.’ We had water, food, blankets, a flashlight, radio and extra batteries. We sat in our doorway for probably close to 3 hours, listening to the battery-powered radio in the dark, trying to find out how bad the quake was, getting tossed over and over with aftershocks. We stayed in the house for over a week with no power or clean water, until the fire department finally made its way to us. To let us know that we couldn’t stay. While the Northridge quake was a 6.7, the ground acceleration of that quake was one of the highest ever recorded in an urban area, making it feel more like a quake in the 7.5 range.

Looking back on both quakes, I am so thankful that we were more prepared for the second quake. Nothing can prepare you, really, for the disorienting feeling of having the earth beneath you come to life, and rock your senses silly. After this most recent La Habra quake, we are reminded yet again that we live in ‘earthquake country’ and most of us are embarrassingly unprepared for the aftermath of a good shake.

seismograph

Here are some tips for an effective earthquake kit. Some things to remember: you may not have access to water, electricity or emergency services for a few days, if not more.

1. Water. The single most important item you’ll need. Another option: steri pen. Will sterilize water from any source. You’ll need at least one gallon per day per person in your house.

2. Food – canned food (don’t forget an opener), boxed food that has a long shelf life. Pastas, canned tuna, canned vegetables, etcetera. Camping food is another good option.

3. Camp stove and fuel, along with utensils.

4. Whistle, in case of need for rescuers.

5. Extra set of clothing & shoes.

6. Emergency cash, in small denominations

7. Tool kit (to turn off gas/water)

8. Copies of your vital documents.

9. Tarp, plastic bags – in case of rain. Or, if preferred, a tent.

10. Toiletries.

11. Toys – if you have kids

12. Lanterns, flashlights & batteries.

13. Portable radio – don’t think your cell phone will work. You need the good ol’ fashioned antenna radio.

14. Solar panel for charging any items that might still work.

15. Portable power generator. There are solar versions out there as well. Most generators run on gas, and if there is a main break at your local station, no-can-do. There are other personal preference items you can bring, of course, but try to make your kit as accessible as possible. It should be in a waterproof container, easily accessed OUTSIDE. Do not keep it in your garage – you’ll probably not be able to access it if the damage is severe.

Nothing, like I said, will prepare you for the moment a large earthquake hits. The fear and adrenaline are intense and the disorientation is dumbfounding. But, your preparedness for the moments right after a quake can make the comforts of home enough to get you through mother nature’s moody behavior.

To connect with Melissa Sims please email her at Melissa.Sims@TheBoutiqueRE.com

Apple To Release Larger iPhone 6 in September

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Apple is to release its newest iPhone in September, with higher resolution and bigger screens, a report said Friday, its latest salvo in the smartphone wars where it has lost global market share to rivals such as Samsung.

The new handset, expected to be called the iPhone 6, is to come in two versions with a 4.7- or 5.5-inch screen, both bigger than the current four-inch panel, the respected Nikkei business daily said, without citing sources.

US-based Apple is ordering its higher-resolution liquid crystal display screens from Japanese electronics giant Sharp, Japan Display and South Korea’s LG Display, it added.

Apple released the iPhone 5 in September 2012 and newer versions in the series last year.

A Japan-based spokesman for the California tech giant could not be immediately reached for comment on the Nikkei report, which was widely picked up by a string of technology news websites.

The Nikkei story comes after Taiwan’s Commercial Times said this month that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. had started producing chips for the next iPhone.

That news fed rumours that Apple is reducing its reliance for parts on South Korean giant Samsung, its main competitor in the mobile phone market and a bitter rival with which it is contesting several copyright court battles globally.

Samsung in February unveiled its new flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone armed with a fingerprint scanner and a built-in heart rate sensor, as it tries to cement its leadership of the multibillion-dollar market.

However, the South Korean giant voiced annoyance after domestic telecoms operators released its latest smartphone ahead of schedule in order to dodge sales restrictions imposed by regulators. The world’s biggest mobile phone maker had planned a worldwide debut of the Galaxy S5 on April 11.

Samsung made about 30% of all smartphones sold globally last year, nearly twice the share of Apple.

A survey by International Data Corporation (IDC) last month said Google’s Android system — used by Samsung among others — extended its gains over Apple’s iPhone in the last quarter of 2013, and Windows Phone grabbed the number three market position.

But other challengers are moving up the ranks with Taiwan’s HTC Corp. having launched an update of its HTC One smartphone while Sony has seen strong sales of its Xperia offering.

Global shipments of smartphones last year topped a billion for the first time, up 38.4% from the 725.3 million shipped in 2012.

Apple, however, had the lowest year-on-year increase of all major smartphone makers even though its 5s and 5c models were available in more countries, according to IDC.

While record iPhone and iPad sales pushed Apple’s fourth-quarter revenue to a new high investors have been concerned over weaker profits in fierce mobile gadget markets.

The California-based tech giant reported net income of $13.1 billion US on revenue of $57.6 billion in the quarter that ended December 28, helped by selling 51 million iPhones.

The profit was the same as Apple reported in the same quarter a year earlier when its revenue was $54.5 billion.

The firm is leaning on the potentially huge Chinese market as its looks to power future growth.

In January, that goal got a boost as China Mobile, the country’s biggest wireless provider, started selling the iPhone to millions of customers nationwide, ending a six-year wait in a crucial market.

China Mobile has a 760 million-strong customer base and its plans to roll out the world’s largest 4G (fourth generation) network have both companies forecasting a fruitful union.

A Sharp spokeswoman declined to comment on the Nikkei report Friday, as the company’s Tokyo-listed shares rose 1.63%, outpacing a 0.5% increase in the broader market.

 

xPlode Orange County | Real Estate Technology Conference | Anaheim, Ca

Hope you can join us for the 2014 xPlode Conference in Anaheim for a jam packed day of real estate, technology and next level marketing!  As always, The Xplode Conference will feature the best of the best speakers and educators from all over the USA.

 

xPlode OC Schedule

 

Plus all the top technology products and services from companies like www.Realtor.com, www.Homes.com, RESAAS, RPR, eMerge, IDX Broker, Onjax, The Boutique Real Estate Group and many more!

You’ll get a 2014 update on mobile technologies, websites, contact management, email marketing, video, content marketing and much more!

The venue for this conference is the fabulous Marriott Hotel in Anaheim at 700 W Convention Way Anaheim, CA 92802.

Our Story | The Boutique Real Estate Group | www.TheBoutiqueRE.com

http://TheBoutiqueRE.com 949-612-2535 #tbregourstory
The Boutique Real Estate Group is a boutique real estate brokerage headquartered in Orange County, CA, that focuses on brilliant design, beautiful marketing & luxury services and is set to open their 2nd office in the beach city of Corona Del Mar in Newport Beach. Raj Qsar, Principal & Owner has created a culture that spurs collaboration, technology and social media with a unique marketing approach.

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Our story goes a little something like this… Beautiful design evokes emotion. Emotion stirs the soul and creates a connection between client, agent and the home buying process. The Boutique Real Estate Group has invested heavily in bringing all aspects of the real estate experience completely in-house. From design, staging, photography, cinematography and social media to technology, internet optimization & cloud based transaction management. This not only provides them complete control of the design, marketing & technology of luxury real estate but also gives them the look & feel of a true boutique marketing agency. This design & tech-forward approach has earned The Boutique Real Estate Group accolades & awards worldwide.

Most recently The Boutique Real Estate Group has been recognized as the 2014 Next Generation Real Estate Brokerage by Better Homes & Garden Real Estate and 1000 Watt Consulting. Raj Qsar & Jeremy Lehman, The Boutique’s CTO have both been recognized as Inman News Top 100 Most influential Real Estate Leaders for their work & dedication to raising the bar in the Real Estate industry. And their #GoodbyeHello video was named Top 20 Real Estate Videos in the USA in 2013.

Look for their new office in the beach city of Corona Del Mar in Newport Beach as they launch into the Coastal Orange County Real Estate Market in 2014.

The Boutique Real Estate Group
http://TheBoutiqueRE.com
Corona Del Mar
Homes for Sale in Corona Del Mar
How’s The Market in Corona Del Mar
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Realtors in Corona Del Mar
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#tbregourstory

Raj Qsar | The Boutique Real Estate Group | Corona Del Mar

“Whatever you do, DO IT WELL.  Do it SO WELL that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and SHOW THEM HOW WELL you do what you do.”

WALT DISNEY 

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We are truly a Boutique Firm with complete in-house services including HDR Photography, HD Video & Film Production, 360 HD V-Tours, Interior Design & Staging and Custom Graphics & Design.

As highly sought after National speakers, Raj Qsar (The Boutique’s Owner) and Jeremy Lehman (The Boutique’s Chief Technology Officer) have traveled the country educating & training Real Estate Professionals on the value of Technology & Social Media in today’s Real Estate market. As recent speakers at some of the most prestigious Real Estate conferences across the country Raj & Jeremy continue to make their mark in todays ever changing market.

Most recently both Raj & Jeremy were named TOP 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL REAL ESTATE LEADERS in the country. This annual list recognizes those who embody leadership, ingenuity, strength, conviction, power, persistence, perseverance and progress — their voices and actions can move the industry toward change. Also, The Boutique Real Estate Group was named 2014 Next Generation Brokerage by Better Homes & Garden Real Estate and 1000 Watt Consulting for their tech forward approach to real estate and their massive investment in marketing & design.

Weather you are looking to buy or sell real estate in Orange County or if you are a real estate professional looking for a change give us a call today or visit us at www.TheBoutiqueRE.com

Corona Del Mar Office

3653 E. Coast Hwy

Corona Del Mar, Ca 92625

949-612-2535

 

Brea Office

3000 E. Birch St. Suite 102B

Brea, Ca 92821

714-482-6362

Save The Date | Tuesday May 6th | Educational Dinner

Join industry experts as they talk shop about the way our economy is changing. Meet Morris Boladian from CML Wealth Management, Allycyn Bennett from United American Mortgage Company and Raj Qsar from The Boutique Real Estate Group. Tuesday Evening May 6th at The Summit House Restaurant in Fullerton.  Please RSVP to Lisa Ortega at 714.494.2460 or LisaO@CMLwealth.com

 

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Yorba Linda Country Club | The Boutique Real Estate Group

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Looking for a place where everyone in your family can enjoy themselves, create

new memories and make new friends? Then look no further! The Yorba Linda

Country Club (YLCC) offers that all and more!

This club was established in 1957 and has a beautiful par-71 Harold Rainville

designed golf course, manicured to perfection and lined with mature trees to

outline the Bermuda fairways, elevated greens and the inviting water features.

Even President Nixon has enjoyed a round or two of golf here! How cool is that?

I am fortunate to be a tennis member and love being apart the YLCC family. I

can tell you that when you join they really do go out of your way to make you

feel at home. From the new member happy hours, your photo on the wall and

the welcoming smiles you receive as you walk through the door, the staff at the

club certainly know how to make you feel special and appreciated. There is

always something fun organized to do here and the food is great! You can also

just come up and enjoy a relaxing day at the heated pool! Either way, this has

certainly become one of my favorite places to be!

57  If you are into golf there are two memberships (Corporate and Full Golf) both offering you full club privileges and the best of what the club has to offer!

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With the Tennis Membership you receive all the benefits of a social membership, full use of the 8 lighted tennis courts, events, club house and more! 

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With the Social Membership you have access to the clubhouse, pool and a calendar full social events!

What NOT to do when trying to qualify for a home loan | The Boutique Real Estate Group

We get so caught up in the moment!   Is there granite on the kitchen counters?  Is the master bedroom big enough?  Is there grass in the backyard for our dog?  And we have not even closed escrow yet and we are shopping for furniture, buying new cars and opening up new credit cards to fill the new house!  YIKES!!!

Here are some helpful tips on what NOT to do when buying a new home or when you are trying to qualify for that new mortgage…

1) Do not open, close, or extend credit lines/limits once you are formally in escrow.

2) Refrain from having any inquiries to your credit 90 days in advance of applying for a mortgage as all inquiries must be explained to the lender in writing and all inquiries reduce the borrower’s credit scores.

3) Since you must disclose all new accounts that are opened during the escrow period, it is important to not open any new trade lines during the entire escrow period. Only after the loan is recorded, is it “safe” to open a new account or extend the credit limit on an existing account.

4) To play it safe, discuss your debt ratios with the loan officer to see if making any type of a purchase will negatively impact your ability to qualify for the loan.

5) Most appliances, furniture, and decor purchases are larger than normal purchases so it is safer to refrain from doing this until the loan is recorded.

6) Please note that lenders typically run an additional credit report before the loan funds. The intent is to see if there is any new debt that now appears. All new debts must be re-evaluated and explained and this may have a negative impact on the borrower’s ability to qualify.

For more info on the right loan for you please call Allycyn Bennett at United American Mortgage Company at 949-717-7290 or email her at abennett@uamco.com

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Interview with Raj Qsar | The Boutique Real Estate Group | www.TheBoutiqueRE.com

“So in a sense our team has digitaized the real estate experience.” Raj Qsar

Q: As a full service Real Estate Brokerage What makes The Boutique Real Estate Group Different? 

A: We had out “ah-ha” moment back in 2008 as technology and social media found Real Estate. We knew there had to be a better way of not only marketing real estate but there also had to be a better way of managing the mountain of paperwork and people involved in a real estate transaction. So in a sense our team has digitized the real estate experience. You will never find our clients running to a fax machine and most likely never even pick up a pen to sign anything. We are a paperless office. Completely mobile and can run an entire real estate transaction from our iPads and phones. Our technology does not require our clients to be tech savvy – it only requires our agents to understand the benefits of technology and to implement that technology with our clients.

Q: Your marketing platform is truly amazing. Can you share with us a little bit of why your team has become globally recognized for your work in Real Estate Marketing?

A: Real Estate marketing has truly evolved over the last 10 years. We have developed a comprehensive strategy which showcases our client’s home through real life video (actual movies), HDR Photography, 360 HD V-Tours (amazing technology), individual property websites for each individual home, staging & interior design, custom graphics & design, and a social media content strategy that reaches people on a global scale. We have had the pleasure of being able to bring all aspects of our marketing completely in-house. What that means is that we have complete control over our designs, feel and strategy when marketing luxury real estate. When surfing the web for real estate, our listings stand out: they have a unique look & feel and buyers recognize our listings as being “boutique-ified.” Every part of the marketing strategy has been touched by our in-house team to unsure absolute perfection.

Q: The Boutique Real Estate Group has a massive social and web-presence. Why have you focused so much on this part of marketing?

A: The world is on the web – advances in technology are changing the way businesses interact with clients. People are on their smartphones, heads down and focused. We know we need to be where our clients are, so we can be at the forefront of their minds. Our clients are on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Linkedin, Pinterest, Twitter and Four Square. However, the Facebook user is different than the Linkedin user, who is totally different than the individual on Instagram. So when thinking about marketing, you will see that our strategy is different depending on the platform and who we are trying to reach.

Q: Why did you choose Corona Del Mar as your new home base for The Boutique Real Estate Group?

A: I am an Orange County Native and growing up, my family & I we always at the beach playing, surfing and just enjoying our time together. As a real estate professional it only makes sense that our marketing platform, our luxury services, and our attention to detail is needed in Coastal Orange County. Corona Del Mar was a natural choice – not only is it centrally located between Newport, Huntington, Laguna, and Dana Point, but it encompasses exactly what we stand for, laid-back luxury.

 

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Jeremy Lehman Named Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of The Boutique Real Estate Group in Orange County, Ca

Technology meets Real Estate on the coast of Orange County in the beach city of Corona Del Mar as The Boutique Real Estate Group sets its eyes on the Coast of Orange County with the addition of an In-House Chief Technology Officer.

As Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of The Boutique Real Estate Group in Orange County, Ca, Jeremy brings technology and tools to help his team provide the highest level of customer service to their clients. Jeremy says, “Using mobile, social & cloud based technology, we are able to respond quickly to client requests, property inquiries and showings, create/edit/sign contracts, and communicate with our entire team faster than ever before.” Jeremy has been instrumental in creating a paperless office for The Boutique Real Estate Group giving their agents and clients the ability to manage an entire real estate transaction from their smartphones & tablets. As The Boutique Real Estate Group expands its operations to Coastal Orange County, Jeremy will be able to provide this tech forward approach to their agents and clients in the beach cities of Orange County

Jeremy is a second generation Realtor with a passion for real estate, marketing and bleeding edge technology. With professionalism and productivity at the core of his daily plan, Jeremy uses a client-first approach to every real estate transaction that delivers outstanding results. As an early adopter of technology and social media in real estate, Jeremy’s tech savvy nature has led him to national speaking opportunities and relationships with major companies such as Apple & Inman News. He also co-developed one of the industry’s first mobile MLS applications used by over 30,000 agents throughout North America.

Most recently Jeremy became the youngest president ever for the Pacific West Association of Realtors, one of the top ten largest associations in the U.S. and was named as Top 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders by Inman News. He also currently serves on the board of directors for the California Association of Realtors. Furthermore, The Boutique Real Estate Group was named 2014 Next Generation Real Estate Brokerage for their relentless dedication to technology, flawless design & social media and their Year End Video for 2013 entitled “GoodByeHello” was named Top 20 Real Estate Videos in The USA.

When he’s not working, Jeremy loves spending time with his wife and 4 children, enjoying the parks and beaches of OC.

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