Instagram Tips for 2018

Written by Raj Qsar

I have been spending a ton of time on Instagram, watching videos, tutorials and just “stage 5 stalking” some super creative accounts! Insta is NOT going away and I really feel like we need to master this ever-changing platform to be successful in 2018 and beyond.

Here are a few Insta Tips to keep in mind for 2018:

1. #Hashtags 📲 They are not going away. Posts with more than 11 hashtags do better than posts with less than 11. Instagram allows 30 hashtags per post. We think posting the hashtags in the first comment is the best & most aesthetic place to put them and not in the post description.

2. Post daily to your feed and use 10-20 stories/day. This should keep you in the newsfeed and the story feed all day long.

3. You can now follow hashtags! How cool is that? Ours is #tbreg

👉This can give you some major insight into who is using the same hashtags as you but can also gain more of a hyperlocal following or even search for hashtags in another language. 🇨🇳🇪🇸🇷🇺

4. Geotagging & tagging major/viral accounts also is a huge way to drive traffic to your account and collaborate with other grammers.

5. One of my favorites is the DM feature on Instagram. You can share your latest post with other Influential Instagram accounts and ask them to like, comment and share or repost with their followers.

6. Please please please make sure your profile is completely filled out!

7. A few cool apps to help you manage your page include VSCO (great filtering app), PLANN (great for watching analytics and keep up with hashtags & best times to post) and Photoshop Fix (for sizing and filtering your photos).

8. Stories, stories, stories…Instagram has added GIF’s, new fonts, filters, backgrounds and the ability to resize your photos. Its a ton of fun and a great way to learn & master the app and stay engaged.

9. Words matter. Be creative. Have a theme. And be consistent with Insta. Its a much more intimate platform and deserves your attention. Long caption? Short caption? Whatever you decide let it be you!

10. Who is stalking your account? Shoot me an email and I will show you who!! 😜





Connect with Raj here:

Raj Qsar // Indie Broker Summit NY 18: Live Problem Solving II

Watch the Pros Work Through Roadblocks for the Inman Audience

By Inman

Feb 27



One of the many beneficial sessions at Inman Connect New York is “Live problem solving” at Indie Broker Summit, where the pros discuss audience issues and answer tech queries live onstage.

Listen in as Michelle Walker (broker-owner, STL Buy & Sell Realtors) Raj Qsar (principal/owner, The Boutique Real Estate Group) and Sarah Richardson (president, Tru Realty) lead the second indie broker live problem-solving session and answer questions like:

  • I’m giving agents all the tools they need, but they still can’t get it right. How can I get agents to adopt and take advantage of resources that are clearly beneficial to them?
  • If my agents are not using the tools we provide, should we take them off the table completely?

Listen in to hear the answers to these and more.

Watch more sessions from ICNY 18 here.

Tech Connect NY 18: Live Problem Solving with Raj Qsar & Laurie Davis

Watch the pros work through tech roadblocks for the Inman audience
By INMAN / Feb 22

One of the many beneficial sessions at Inman Connect New York is “Tech live problem-solving” at Tech Connect, where the pros discuss audience issues and answer tech queries live onstage.

Listen in as Laurie Davis (broker/owner, BHGRE Lifestyle Property Partners) and Raj Qsar (principal/owner, The Boutique Real Estate Group) answer questions like:

  • I’m becoming overwhelmed with social media. Do I hire a social media manager? And, assuming it’s a $30,000 role, how do I keep track of it?
  • What systems are best to use when managing a team?
  • I’ve never created a listing video … where do I start?

Listen in to hear the answers to these and more.

Watch more sessions from ICNY 18 here.

Raj Qsar at Inman NYC- The Boom Real Estate Podcast

Raj Qsar at Inman NYC // It’s time for Inman—it’s Inman time! In this episode, Raj Qsar is a blinding, brilliant light from heaven. He brings all of his energy and passion for video in real estate and just CRUSHES it. You’ll be inspired—just like we were—when you hear Raj talk about how he broke into the luxury market using video; the ROI of video in his business; and how much he can bench press. For real. He can bench press a lot.” -The Boom Real Estate Podcast

Check out the podcast here:




Top 5 ICNY 2018 Takeaways

via Raj Qsar / The Boutique Real Estate Group

As I landed back into LAX after yet another ICNY I am again humbled and optimistic about the future of our industry. There is just something about being around so many amazing people from all over the world. I am thankful for the opportunity not only to attend but to present on multiple subjects on the main stage. From technology problem solving, to video marketing to lead generation & conversion.
Some of the most amazing conversations happen in hallways, after parties and intimate dinner convos at amazing restaurants. This is where you get time (precious time) with people who are shaping our industry. Their thoughts, ideas, and stories simply encourage me to push forward. People who have paved the way for the next generation and people who are simply up and coming and blazing their own trail.
Every year I try and take a few things with me. Things that will not only change my mindset and pull me out of my box but also instruments I can put into motion within my workspace. With that in mind, here are my top 5 takeaways from ICNY 2018.
1. One of my favorite quotes came from Rayni Williams and she said, “you have to be obsessed with this business or else you will be just average.”  Let that sink in a bit. It really made me think of what we are doing day to day, minute to minute. Is it obsessed? From every phone call, text, email, handshake, signed contract, design, marketing, technology…. Are we obsessed with excellence?
2.  Indy Connect is such a highlight now at ICNY. Many of these “indy’s” are not so small anymore. WE are not “mom & pop” shops working out of our neighbors’ garage! We are pushing our industry and making decisions that impact everyone. We are agile, nimble, aggressive and able to compete at the highest level on a global scale. I love what Vanessa Jones Bergmark said on Day 1 at Indy Connect, “Ignore the big boys. The revolutionary war was won by a group of scrappy independents.” OMG! #TRUTH We are quality over quantity. Depth over width.
3. This years keynote was Simon Sinek who was interviewed by Andrew Flachner with RealScout. What resonated with me was when Simon was chatting about working hard & being fulfilled, “Working hard for something we do not care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion.”
4. There was a nice focus this year on coaching and being coachable. I think so many agents are just scared of the word “coach.” Maybe they do not want to open up? Maybe they do not want to dive deep into their business? But having a coach is now the norm in our industry as they are able to give and provide something just a bit different than your office manager, broker or owner. One particular session was led by Alyssa Hellman from Compass South Consulting. She said, “coaches are not a crutch, they are an asset to help you reach peak performance but you have to be coachable. You need to decide if you are committed.” 
5. And rounding out my personal Top 5 for ICNY 2018 is the #womanup initiative driven by C.A.R. leader Sara Sutachan. In 2017, C.A.R. launched its Women’s Initiative. Even though the real estate industry is predominantly female, women are underrepresented in leadership positions at both the brokerage and senior management levels. The goal of C.A.R.’s Women’s Initiative is to create a community where mentors and leaders can communicate, collaborate, advocate for, and support one another. Download the white paper here. Register for the 2nd Annual Woman Up Conference Here.


 Since You Made It This Far it is only fair to throw a few bonus tips out!

6. Sharran Srivatsaa Top 10 Tips for Success from the nations highest performing sales teams: “Success Leaves Clues”
7. Hey Carpool Fans! Enough said. Watch here!
8. Book Review via The Notorious ROB: Disrupters, Discounters & Doubters
Connect with Raj Qsar:

Inman Real Estate Connect 2017 – Best Places to Eat

By Raj Qsar & SF.Eater

If your headed to Inman Connect in San Francisco this summer you are probably going to ask that question? Where are we going to dinner. Well, since this is my 6th ICSF and my 10th overall Inman Connect I thought I would share with you some of my latest research for the top foodie spots in the city.


Most of us will be hitting some sort of happy hour, soiree, after party or after after party the entire week but sometimes you just wanna sit down with your friends, crack open an amazing bottle of wine and just catch up with some of your nearest & dearest. With that thought in mind I have hand selected a few hotspots for ICSF 2017:

  1. The Riddler: Champagne, caviar, and the coziest corner in Hayes Valley all led by some serious boss ladies. Ladies aren’t the only ones loving this elegant take on a European Champagne bar— it’s quickly become must-hang spot for San Franciscans of all stripes. Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 2.32.54 PM
  2. Hitachino Beer & Wagyu: After a much-hyped opening with reservations booking up for weeks at a time, Hitachino continues to be very popular destination. Drop in at dinner for a taste of ten Hitachino beers on draft, or attempt to snag a reservation for wagyu in the back, which ranges from tongue skewers to ramen. Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 2.37.15 PM
  3. Beretta: This Mission hotspot is always packed, with good reason. The menu is rife with antipasti, pizzas, pastas, risottos, and rotating daily specials like cioppino and short ribs. While you wait for a table, grab one of the excellent cocktails at the bar, and plot your dining strategy. It’s open late night (food til 1 a.m.). Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 2.42.18 PM
  4. Khai Restaurant: If the chef is going to personally serve me dinner then its a must stop while in SF. Originally known for Ana Mandara (which closed in 2012), chef Khai Duong is back with a $95 tasting menu-only dining experience in SoMa. The small restaurant is staffed by just a few, and dishes are often delivered by the chef himself. Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 2.46.57 PM
  5. Mourad: OMG. This place looks sooo bomb!! he restaurant itself is big and beautiful, matched only by chef Mourad Lahlou’s Moroccan-inspired flavors. Choose from a la carte options like duck basteeya and family-style, large format dishes of lamb and short rib, or go for the tasting menu. Drinks are equally inspired, featuring combinations like pineapple and artichoke. Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 2.49.46 PM

Hoping to meet as many of you as I can during Inman Connect SF 2017. I will be presenting at the Indy Broker Summit on Monday as well.

You can connect with me here:




Just for Fun

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.





The Boutique Real Estate Group


Inman Innovator Awards 2016 Nomination

via Inman

The Inman Innovator Awards are given each year to recognize and celebrate industry innovation and accomplishments.

Who qualifies?

In some cases, a specific app, technology or business process qualifies someone for consideration. In other cases, the company as a whole consistently tries new things, adopts new technology or creates a new culture or approach to real estate.

How does the selection process work — and who decides?

The process for selection begins with identifying companies and individuals who meet these standards. A list of prospects is culled from input from the Inman editorial team and leaders in the industry.

The final decision on finalists and winners is made by editor Amber Taufen and publisher Brad Inman, and the Inman editorial team gives feedback throughout the process.

Innovator Bash

This year for the first time, Inman will be announcing one winner in each category plus two runners-up — for a total of three noteworthy names.

The winners will be announced when the red carpet is rolled out for the Innovator Bash. Do not miss this one-of-a-kind industry event, August 4, 2016, at 8 p.m. at Inman Connect. Dress up, walk down the red carpet, drink, eat, dance and celebrate industry innovation.



How to turn Starbucks into a lead goldmine

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 6.56.59 AM

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.

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 7.02.29 AM

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

Inman Launches Broker War Room Facebook Group



It’s a forum for advice and mentorship where brokers in the real estate industry can share best practices.

Inman has launched a new Facebook group for for brokers, franchise executives and real estate company leadership. Inman’s Broker War Room is a forum for advice and mentorship where brokers in the real estate industry can share best practices, help each other solve gnarly problems and become better owners.

Members are limited to broker-owners, executives and franchise team members.

It’s a closed group, but brokers and their employees, as well as franchise members, can join here.

“We created this group for brokers, by brokers and with brokers,” said Inman publisher Brad Inman. “The best advice and counsel can come from one another, not consultants, gurus or, god forbid, journalists.”

Real estate broker Raj Qsar and Stacy Stateham, vice president of marketing at Bloom Tree Realty, are serving as volunteer administrators for the group

“With so many Facebook groups geared toward agents, there is a void for real estate company leadership,” said Stateham. “Until now! As much as every real estate brokerage and company is unique in how we go to market, we have a lot of similarities in the common challenges that we all face, and my hope is that the Broker War Room gives us a place to collaborate and share.”

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