Real estate agents make movies to sell mansions as traditional home tours become obsolete

via Financial Express

In a world of extreme competition, traditional home tours are becoming obsolete. Real estate agents are now using movies to sell mansions.

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It’s not easy to sell houses. In a  market spoilt for choice, selling mansions becomes even more tougher. So real estate agents are finding new ways to lure customers and one of them happens to be making movies to sell mansions. A woman in a red dress twirls with a mysterious man through light-filled hallways. There is light music that surges in a romantically-lit courtyard, which overlooks a twinkling city. A mischievous coda plays, and then the credits roll. You could mistake it for a scene from a romantic blockbuster. Not really, as this eight-minute mini movie is a real estate advertisement—uploaded on Vimeo—for an $8.5-million, 1.5-acre compound in Encino, Los Angeles. The days of good old brochures with high-resolution pictures are over. So is successfully marketing a mansion using shots from an iPhone or even expensive videos shot by drone. In the days of ever-evolving technology and infrastructure, real estate agents need to do a little more hard work to pitch the perfect sale bid.

So luxury listings are now experimenting with full-on property movies—films featuring actors, story arcs, scores and tinseltown-caliber cinematography. The money is spent on movies to be recovered through million-dollar sales. In another movie for a mansion, gorgeous women dressed in bikinis, sipping fine wine, are sitting by the poolside. The short movie made by realtors to sell a $32-million Hollywood Hills mansion cost its makers a whopping $40,000. Real estate agents Rayni Williams and Branden Williams were one of the first ones who came up with such an over-the-top marketing idea to sell a mansion in 2015.

The storyline of the movie pays attention to showcase all the finer details of the mansion. The man of the house is out of town and his wife texts her friends to come over and party. So the director of photography used five different cameras and three drones to capture the home’s splendour. The eight-bedroom estate boasts breathtaking views, a theatre and a gym. The husband and wife realtor team also made a $100,000-mini movie to sell a $70-million property the same year.

People are short of time and so the classic, old-school walking tour of the house is becoming more and more obsolete. So here come movies for a generation that is short on attention, but is addicted to smartphones. A movie makes people feel attached to a story, and they want to stick around and see what’s happening. Making a movie doesn’t come cheap though. Typically, the filmmaking cost is covered by either the listing agents, sellers or both. Movie-style real estate videos can cost anywhere from $5,000 to upwards of $30,000. Real estate agent Ben Bacal, an early innovator of high-gloss property films, worked with married clients Ori and Nafisa Ayonmike to craft a $20,000-film to market their home in Hollywood.

The Ayonmikes star in a fictional narrative that begins with Ori skulking through the sleek, contemporary rooms of his 5,500-square-foot, five-bedroom estate. In the next 11 minutes, Ori tells Nafisa that he wants a divorce. A passionate fight ensues, Ori gets kicked out and Nafisa chucks her massive diamond ring into the pool. Amid all the high drama, the camera-person captures the home’s 20-foot ceilings, high-tech security system, marble fireplaces and the tony Hollywood Hills neighbourhood.

The video of the property, listed at $3.65 million, has generated nearly 61,000 views since being posted on YouTube last year. As movies are doled out so are online video platforms, which have become a key component in property sales. Some 36% of home buyers used YouTube, Vimeo or another video-hosting website in their search last year, despite only 8% of real estate agents using films in their marketing strategies, as per the National Association of Realtors in the USA.

Bacal posted another movie trailer-listing video last year for a Bel-Air property, in which two children develop Ferris Bueller fevers and spend the day playing hooky. The pair splash in their infinity pool, shoot golf balls over the Los Angeles skyline from their lawn, try on outfits in their generous closets and have a puppy delivered by drone. The 14,230-square-foot spread sold in December for $39 million.

Not all of the properties are extravagant or overwrought. One narrative video, for a four-bedroom home in Brea that sold in October, focused on family. The movie trailer for the 3,008-square-foot property, posted on YouTube three months earlier by the Boutique Real Estate Group, features little girls at a sleepover, romping through various bedrooms and having a late-night living room dance party to Taylor Swift songs. Some properties take naturally to the camera.

Consider the 20,500-square-foot Opus spec estate in Beverly Hills. The $100-million listing—which includes seven bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, two swimming pools, art by Damien Hirst and Andy Warhol, and a champagne vault with 170 bottles of Cristal—was featured last spring in a video inspired by David Lynch and Eyes Wide Shut. Producer Alexander Ali of the Society Group worked with Hilton & Hyland selling agent Drew Fenton and developer Nile Niami—who co-produced Steven Seagal’s 1998 film The Patriot—on the Opus film. Opus has now received inquiries from China, Russia, Brazil and India.

Inman Innovator Awards 2017

via inman

They are the visionaries, the forward-thinking, the stubborn, the obsessed, the tech-savvy, the creative minds always pushing boundaries. They are entrepreneurs pushing the old ways aside, data scientists discovering new ways to examine behavior, marketers inventing new ways to showcase properties, agents developing new ways to reach clients, companies building new technologies, brokerages creating whole new ways of doing business. They are the Inman Innovator Finalists, and they’re leading us into the future of real estate.

He’s an entrepreneur who made himself into a media brand. She’s an agent who landed a $20 million listing after just a year in the business. It’s a company that developed an augmented-reality tool to show prospective buyers what an interior-decorated home might look like — during a showing, on their phones. They’re all finalists.

“We are honored to celebrate so much creativity and invention,” said Inman publisher Brad Inman. “Never in the history of the Innovator Awards has there been so much innovation and, therefore, never has our list of finalists been so large — these are exciting times.”

This is our 4th nomination for an Inman Innovator Award and we are truly thrilled, said, “Raj Qsar,” Founder & Owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group. What we are doing is truly impacting real estate on a global scale and helping our agents and clients succeed.

Who will win? The 2017 Inman Innovators will be revealed at Inman Connect in San Francisco the week of August 7-11, 2017, followed by the not-to-be-missed party that’ll wrap up Inman Connect San Francisco and celebrate the Inman Innovators.

MOST INNOVATIVE BROKERAGE

 

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The Boutique Real Estate Group

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An indie broker talks tech, trends and creation

Catch Southern California- based influencer Raj Qsar at the Indie Broker Summit

Raj Qsar is the principal/owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group and spends much of his time traveling to far flung destinations educating those in the real estate industry on the finer points of effectively using technology and social media.

The Southern California-based influencer will take the stage during Inman’s Indie Broker Summit on Monday, August 7 to address brokers from across the country on how to strategically think about their technology choices in their own practices.

 

Register Now

We caught up with Raj to get his take on the advantages of being an independent broker and what other indies should watch out for in the coming year.

What do you see as the biggest benefit to being an independent broker?

Ability to adapt, change and execute quickly and the freedom to create & curate stories from the ground up.

What are your best tips and tricks for building your client base?

Real life networking and using technology to become more efficient.

What do you see as the most important trends (good or bad) that independent brokers should be keeping an eye on in the coming year?

Good: The merging of multiple techs into one platform.
Bad: So much “copying” and not enough creation.

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Indie broker hires goodwill ambassador to spread positivity

via inman

The inspiration for this new position came from Raj Qsar’s father-in-law, a savvy business owner

  • The Boutique Real Estate Group has added a “Goodwill Ambassador” to its team.
  • Ambassador’s “sole purpose is to spread goodwill to everyone he meets.”

The Boutique Real Estate Group has added another person to its team, and it’s not another agent, marketing guru or office management whiz — instead, owner Raj Qsar opted to hire a “Goodwill Ambassador,” a person whose only job is to spread positivity wherever he goes.

 

The inspiration for this new position came from Qsar’s father-in-law, who has owned a commercial cleaning company for more than 35 years.

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“The idea came from him and his good friend,” Qsar said. “They are in the soap business where they sell soap to restaurants.”

“His friend would always eat at restaurants and comment on how beautiful the silverware and stemware looked,” he added. “So after some time, he designated him as his goodwill ambassador.”

When thinking of the perfect person to take on this role, Qsar says he immediately thought of Chuck Underwood, a close family friend who recently listed his home through The Boutique.

“We recently sold his home in Orange County and found him a gorgeous new home,” he says. “Throughout the process, he fell in love with The Boutique and was so impressed by how we operated our brokerage and the way we marketed his home.”

Beyond his newfound passion for the brokerage, Qsar says Underwood’s experience as a business owner along with his wide network of friends, associates and colleagues make him the perfect person to extend The Boutique’s reach beyond the immediate community.

After Qsar announced Underwood’s addition to the team on Facebook, a number of friends offered their congratulations, saying that he was the perfect man for the job.

“I can’t think of a more qualified person for the job,” wrote one commenter. “Congrats, Chuck!”

Underwood will take on a number of projects, the first of which is attending a build day with Giveback Homes on June 3, and taking on the hosting duties for the brokerage’s new office opening in Brea, California, and all of the festivities surrounding that event.

Underwood says he was “a bit intimidated” when Qsar came to him with the idea, but he knew he had the chops to take on ambassador duties.

“The Boutique is such a powerhouse brand in the Orange County real estate market, but I knew that with my outgoing personality, dedication, drive and true enthusiasm I could get the job done for The Boutique,” he says.

“It means I have a weight on my shoulders and am determined to spread goodwill to everyone I meet every single day,” Underwood added.

Although Underwood is barely a week into this new position, Qsar says they’re planning to expand the program to include additional ambassadors.

“Yes, of course,” he says excitedly of adding more ambassadors. “We already have a waiting list of three prime individuals who have applied for the position.”

Screen-Shot-2017-04-14-at-3.04.01-PM-450x450For more information the the Goodwill Ambassador program or to learn more about The Boutique please visit www.JoinTheBoutique.com

Meet the Intern: Charissa Thompson & the HP OfficeJet Pro Printer at The Boutique Real Estate Group

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When TV Host Charissa Thompson visited The Boutique Real Estate Group, a worldwide luxury real estate brokerage firm, her ideas and the lightning-fast HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 printer helped to make an open house a success! She easily printed from her smartphone and took advantage of two-sided printing for superb productivity. Get your OfficeJet Pro printer at Staples: http://hp.tl/60548Pox2

The 145 Most Influential People In Real Estate

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Via Inman News

The Inman Influencers List salutes industry professionals who shape, change and influence the industry. They bring a mix of credentials, viewpoints and backgrounds from all walks of the real estate business. Some are creative, intuitive and gifted. Some have power, reach and charisma. And some are controversial, rabble-rousers and disrupters.

All of our influencers contribute to change in one way or another.

The list is both young and hardened, made up of connectors, power brokers, high earners, CEOs, hackers, troublemakers and startup founders. It’s a list of entrepreneurs, big and small; the old-school and the new; controversial and quiet plodders.

“They are not cut from the same cloth, they do not speak the same language and they do not always necessarily share the same values. But they influence the industry by their work, through their followers and by expressing their opinions,” said Inman publisher Brad Inman.

In selecting this year’s Inman influencers, we considered recommendations from Inman readers, editorial staff and outside suggestions. Yes, thousands of real estate professionals make a difference in the real estate industry every day, but these are some we believe stood out this year.

Read The Full List Here

Raj Qsar // 2017 Inman News Real Estate Influencer

Video listing of the day: European-inspired estate

Located on an ultra-private two-acre lot in Southern California

via Inman News

The estates dotting the hilltops in Europe provided the stimulus for this custom-built residence nestled into the hillside of this Southern California guard-gated community known as The Country in Diamond Bar. 3015 Steeplechase Lane is a thoughtful compilation of horizontal building forms, brick elements and detailed accents that remind you of a quaint European village.

For more information on the property, click here.

This video listing was contributed by Raj Qsar and Christina Boladian of The Boutique Real Estate Group.

 

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How to turn Starbucks into a lead goldmine

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Get out of the office and make personal connections that generate leads.

  • Starbucks and other places like it are great locations to generate leads.
  • Be consistent and focus on creating relationships that build credibility and lead to sales down the line.
  • Always bring marketing materials and discreetly advertise yourself with branded accessories, such as a laptop cover.

Starbucks isn’t only the place to pick up your daily triple nonfat latte with a drizzle of caramel and extra foam on the side — it’s also a great place to find leads.

In Lab Coat Agents, James Michaelin recounts how he got two leads in one morning at Starbucks thanks to good listening and quick action.

“I overheard a business meeting that someone was starting a business and they brought up needing to find a Realtor for a location,” he wrote. “Well, [the] keyword Realtor was said so of course I introduced myself, gave my card to both of them and they [wanted] to get together soon.”

Twenty minutes later, James got another lead from a man who overheard his conversation with the two businessmen.

As it turns out, Michaelin isn’t the only agent who uses Starbucks as a lead-generating tool. There’s been a lot of chatter online over the past two months about the power of Starbucks and other places like it, such as Panera Bread or even Dunkin’ Donuts.

Here’s some of the advice agents gave on how to make Starbucks work for you:

1. Mark it on your weekly schedule

Raj Qsar goes to Starbucks three times a week to do local real estate research and work on handwritten thank-you notes. Because of his consistency, customers expect Qsar to be there and look forward to asking him questions.

2. Make your presence known

Agents aren’t the only people who use Starbucks as a second office. Most of the people are there are to get work done and rarely look up from their phone, tablet or laptop.

So how do you let people know a Realtor is in the room? JT Takacs suggests telling the cashier to write “Realtor (insert name)” on your cup, so when the barista calls your name, everyone will know your profession.

3. Discreetly advertise yourself with branded accessories 

Order a customized laptop cover that has your name, logo, website URL and a great call-to-action. Amanda Miller Hudson says: “I have the Realtor ‘R’ logo in sticker form over the apple on my MacBook Pro. It works! I picked up a seller lead last November at Panera.”

4. Focus on making personal connections before generating leads

What agents love about Starbucks is the chance to get from behind the tech wall and make real-time, face-to-face connections. Don’t stop in with the expectation that you’ll walk out with a handful of deals each day, because as many will attest, there will be days and weeks when you won’t.

But you will build the relationships and familiarity crucial to establishing your brand and long-term success.

5. Offer on-the-spot advice

When Zillow evangelist Jay Thompson goes to Starbucks, he brings a sign that says: “Have a real estate question? Fire away!” And he buys a cup of coffee for those who are brave enough to take the offer.

6. Bring marketing materials

This seems like a given, but some may feel apprehensive about bringing their regular marketing materials with them into Starbucks. David Fresquez suggests having a set of “ready-made buyer or seller folders that includes information about you, your latest accomplishments along with some social proof.”

Keep these folders in your briefcase, backpack or bag and give them to your potential lead once your conversation is done.

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7. Small sacrifices can hook a big fish

At Luxury Connect in October, Josh Altman shared a story about how he was able to snare a sale at Starbucks. He frequents one Los Angeles store in particular and had purchased his coffee when he saw a well-known celebrity join the line.

So Altman threw out his just-procured drink and stepped in line behind the celeb, struck up a conversation and discovered he was looking for a home. He offered the star $1,000 to come with him to a place he thought would fit the bill — certain it was perfect. And it was. Being willing to throw out the coffee and offer money to show sincerity generated a happy ending to the story, a $12 million sale.

Do you have any extra advice for getting leads at Starbucks? What are some other places you like to hang out? Share them in the comments below.

Via Marian McPherson and Inman News

The 200 Most Powerful People in Residential Real Estate

January 13th, 2016

What is Power?

Power is an elusive concept. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “the ability or right to control people or things.” Of course that raises the question of what is meant by “control.” Control is defined as directing the behavior of, or to cause a person to do something. Power can also exist even though it may not be exercised, simply because having power can discourage others from challenging it.

Not easy, nor straightforward. So you can just imagine the healthy debate we had as to what criteria should be used in creating such a list. But we all agree what this is not. It is not a popularity contest. It is a not casual quick selection of people you know. It is not based solely on head count, office count or revenue, and it is not pay-to-play.

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In the end, the SP200 is based on a great deal of research. We scoured the Web, read hundreds of bios, read hundreds of LinkedIn pages, sent hundreds of requests for additional information, made endless telephone calls to verify or confirm statistics, and cross-referenced data with surveys and reviewed company financials, and annual reports, and announcements. In short, we did more homework than anyone else does.

So after some 400 hours of evaluation, eight members of the SP200 Editorial Committee got together for a face-off to deliberate the nominees (see VIDEO here). Some people have entrepreneurial power, and some have financial strength, some hold high office, some have personal power, some have positional power while others have political clout. Some are innovators, some executives, some doers, some dealmakers. It doesn’t matter. We have tried to analyze them all and listed leaders in nine different categories – check the tabs at the top of the page.

Congrats to our very own CEO & Founder Raj Qsar for being named to the SP200 for 2016. Honoring The Most Powerful 200 People in Residential Real Estate for the category of Social Media Influencers.

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#SindeoSitDown Recap: Reeling in Buyers With Video

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In our latest #SindeoSitDown, Owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group and video guru, Raj Qsar, sat down with us to talk about how and why realtors everywhere should be leveraging video to grow their business.

So…what did we learn? For starters, if you’re not already using video to market your listings you should be! Listings that use video receive 4x as many leads as those without. Video has become the #1 ROI for money spent and returned for Raj and his team, as is the case for most realtors doing video successfully.

What kinds of things can you add to video to make them exciting and “sticky”?

  • Add a human element – Create videos that are about more than just the property. Feature pets, give the house a story, include actors that “live” in the home, find ways to make it feel real so viewers can relate.
  • Include the community – B-roll footage is key. Buyers aren’t just moving into a house, they’re moving into a community. So, show it to them! Shots of local businesses, parks, beaches, and amenities go a long way. Plus, this content is evergreen, meaning you can use it again and again.
  • Make it cool – There are so many hi-tech additions you can incorporate to put your video above the rest. Use hyperlapse, add filters, film aerial shots with a drone!

Create beautiful and effective listing videos that capture a buyer’s attention and keep clients coming back.

Don’t know where to start? Get inspired by some of Boutique Real Estate Group’s amazing videos. Check them out!

Missed the webinar? No problem! You can catch the entire thing by

CLICKING HERE.

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