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:

7 Web Design Tricks for Realtors to Get More Leads in 2018

by  | Feb 6, 2018

If you’ve had your website up and running for more than a few months, you’ve probably noticed something curious. You’re getting some traffic, but almost none of that traffic converts into actual leads…

What gives?

Well, to some extent this is the nature of online marketing; only a small fraction of the people who visit your site will convert. C’est la vie right?

Wrong. In 2018 there is an entire industry dedicated to using design and functionality to increase the number of conversions on your site. It’s called Conversion Rate Optimization. Or CRO for short. CRO uses data and analytics to determine design, copy, and layout changes.

Today we’re going to look at 7 clever ways to apply CRO oriented design to your personal website, landing pages, or single property sites.

1. Leverage Hick’s Law to Encourage Your Visitors to Engage

Named for British Psychologist William Edmund Hick, this law states that the more choices a consumer has, the longer it will take them to make a decision.

In a study on decision making in supermarkets, Hick set up two sample displays of jam. One had 24 flavors, and the other had only six flavors of jam.

The results showed that 60% of people stopped and sampled jam from the table with 24 flavors. However, only 6% ended up purchasing a jar of jam.

Meanwhile, only 40% of people stopped to sample jam from the table with six flavors, but an astonishing 30% ended up purchasing jam.

Applying Hick’s Law to Your Site Design

7 Clever CRO Web Design Tricks

Image via Hotjar

The takeaway here should be obvious. By narrowing the number of choices your visitors have, you can dramatically increase your conversion rate.

In order to do this effectively, you need to take the time to figure out exactly what it is you want your visitors to do on each page of your site. For a landing page this might be obvious. You want them to fill out a form and give you their contact info.

For other pages on your site, the answer might not be so obvious. For example, what is the main thing you want visitors to do on your homepage? Do you want them to read the latest from your blog? Check out your brand new listings? Schedule a listing appointment?

In order to get you thinking about this, it makes sense to check out the sites of some top producing Realtors for inspiration. To get you started, here is the main page for Los Angeles luxury brokers Williams & Williams:

7 Clever CRO Web Design Tricks
Okay, I know. This is an extreme example from a team that has dozens of jaw dropping eight figure listings in Beverly Hills… Of course they’re going to encourage people to look at their listings first!

Let’s look at a site on the opposite end of the spectrum that still uses Hick’s Law. Check out the homepage for Placester’s free NAR websites:

7 Clever CRO Web Design Tricks
The main choices here seem to be home search, and testimonials. Since these sites are all about generating buyer leads, this makes perfect sense.

For landing pages or home value sites, Hick’s Law is even clearer. In most cases you don’t even have the option to do anything besides enter your address and contact info.

7 Clever CRO Web Design Tricks
To learn more about applying Hick’s Law to your website design, check out Usabilla’s excellent write up here.

2. Use Heatmaps to Find Out What Your Visitors Really Want

7 Clever CRO Web Design Tricks
One of the trickiest things to do when designing your website or landing page is figuring out where your visitors are looking for information. Even if your layout and navigation seems obvious to you, it may not be obvious to all your visitors.

Luckily, there is a clever solution to this problem. Using heatmap software, you can track exactly where your site visitors are clicking and navigating. Here’s how it works:

Sign up for a service like Crazy Egg or Hotjar and add pages from your site that you want to track. After a month or so, the software will create a heatmap showing an average of where all users navigated and clicked.

How Heatmap Software works: Heatmaps

Areas where users click or navigate to often are represented in red, while areas they click or navigate less are in yellow, green, and finally blue.

Using this data, you can tweak your layout, copy, and site colors to both improve efficient navigation, and subtly encourage your visitors to take a specific action. Depending on what you’ve decided that action is, this can mean signing up for an email list, entering their address, or browsing properties.

Here are a few common mistakes that heatmap software might uncover, and how you can fix them:

Your visitors are clicking on images or text that are not linked to anything

Consider moving your navigation, or CTA to the area they are clicking, or link the images or text in that area to a landing page or other relevant page on your site.

7 Clever CRO Web Design Tricks
Image via Hotjar

Visitors are navigating and clicking on too many areas of your page and ignoring what you want them to focus on

Keep Hick’s Law in mind and simplify your page’s layout to encourage them to click where you want them to

7 Clever CRO Web Design Tricks
Image via Hotjar

How Heatmap Software Works: Scroll Depth

Another useful metric that heatmap software can measure for you is scroll depth. This is the average “depth” a visitor scrolls down your page.

The same color codes used with heatmaps are used for scroll depth. Red areas are where the majority of users scroll down to. Going from red to orange, to yellow, and finally to blue where almost no visitor scrolls to.

Here’s what a scroll depth chart looks like using Hotjar:

7 Clever CRO Web Design Tricks

As you can see, the percentage of site visitors who scroll down past “the fold” (the area of your website that is visible without scrolling) goes down dramatically toward the bottom of your site.

Scroll depth heatmaps can be a sobering wake up call for just how much of your website is never seen by your visitors. For example, on many pages, less than 10%(!!) of site visitors scroll down to the bottom of the page.

How to Use Scroll Depth data to Increase Conversions

The most common use for scroll depth data is for your blog posts. For example, if you have a post that’s more than say, 1,000 words, and less than 10% of your audience is getting to the end of the article, you need to make tweaks to get more people to finish the article.

Since longer articles do far better in search results than shorter articles, cutting down the length of your blog posts is not an ideal solution. Instead, break up the content of the article with images, graphs, and subheadings so people can skim the article.

People are busy and attention spans short. Letting your visitors skim an article and only read the subheading relevant to them will increase conversions.

3. Learn the “F” Pattern: Take Advantage of How People Scan Web Pages

According to eye tracking research by Nielsen Norman Group, people scan web pages and phone screens in an ‘F” pattern; they start at the top left then scan right, then down, then to the right again, then to the bottom of the article.

It ends up looking something like this on a heatmap:

7 Clever CRO Web Design Tricks

Image via Instapage

While the “F” pattern is not the only way people scan article or webpages, it is the most common.

Here’s what a real estate homepage that utilizes the “F” pattern in its layout:

7 Clever CRO Web Design Tricks


Here’s another:

7 Clever CRO Web Design Tricks


…and another:

7 Clever CRO Web Design Tricks

Image via:

Here’s how you can take advantage of the “F” pattern on a blog post. Note where they’re placing the “Watch Live” button.

7 Clever CRO Web Design Tricks

Screenshot via:

4. Make Sure Buttons and Text Boxes Are Easy to Use on Mobile

Is your website mobile friendly? If it’s not, there is a 100% chance you’re losing potential leads. According NAR’s 2017 Real Estate in a Digital Age Report 72% of home buyers used a mobile or tablet website or app in their home search. That’s a lot of lost leads…

Besides making sure the WordPress theme you’re using is responsive (aka works well on desktop and mobile) you need to pay special attention to buttons and text boxes.

In 2017, that means making your text boxes and buttons large enough even for people who are all thumbs to press. If you don’t, your leads may spend a few seconds trying in vain to get in touch with you then just give up.

Here are some of the buttons and text boxes you should pay special attention to on mobile:

  • Call now buttons
  • “Submit” buttons
  • Personal information text boxes
  • Page navigation buttons
  • Drop down menus for property searches

5. Pay Special Attention to the Color, Shape, & Copy on Your CTA Buttons

Believe it or not, even the buttons you use on your CTA’s can have a huge impact on your conversion rate. Subtle changes in color, shape, and copy on your buttons can mean more leads and more closed deals.

The only problem is that the digital marketing community just can’t seem to agree on what changes exactly lead to increased conversions. That said, there are still a few rules that most marketing and CRO experts can agree on:

  1. Orange, green, and blue buttons seem to convert the highest
  2. Buttons whose color contrasts well with the background color convert well
  3. They are actual buttons, not just text links!
  4. They use specific action words in their copy- “Get My Home Value” or “Download My Free PDF” will work better than “submit” or the dreaded “click here”
  5. They’re in a strategic place on the page- Think headline, short copy, text box, button. Also keep the “F” pattern in mind, as well as data from your heatmaps.

Here are some CTA button examples from Unbounce and Instapage that follow these principles well.

7 Clever CRO Web Design Tricks

Image via: Instapage
7 Clever CRO Web Design Tricks

Image via: Instapage
7 Clever CRO Web Design Tricks

Image via: Unbounce
7 Clever CRO Web Design Tricks

Image via: Unbounce

6. Use A/B Testing to Find the Perfect Layout, Copy, & CTA for Conversion

7 Clever CRO Web Design Tricks

Okay, now that you’ve got some new CRO inspired design ideas for your website, the next step is to test them on you site. After all, there is no secret formula for conversion. Some changes or combinations of changes may work better or worse depending on a huge number of variables.

In order to find out which changes lead to better conversion rates, you need to use what the industry calls A/B testing (also known as Split Testing). Here’s how it works.

Whenever you make an edit to your layout, buttons, CTA’s or any copy, record your conversion rate and compare it to your previous conversion rate. In order to get a more accurate measurement, it helps to switch back and forth between changes more than once.

Once You’ve identified a change that leads to a higher conversion rate, then keep it and make another small change to the site and runt the same A/B testing. After a few iterations of this, your site should be fully optimized for conversion.

A/B Testing Landing Pages

If you’re trying to optimize your landing pages, then A/B testing is pretty easy. Most landing page software (Unbounce, Instapage etc) have built in A/B testing functionality.

The best thing about A/B testing with landing page software is that they serve up different versions of your landing page to different users. This is important to rule out factors like the day of the week or season that might affect conversion rates.

A/B Testing Other Pages on Your Website

If you’re not using landing page software like Unbounce, A/B testing your website is a little trickier. If you’re using WordPress, you can simply run one version of your page, record your conversion rate, then run the second version and compare the two.

Crazy Egg also offers an A/B testing platform, but you’ll have to shell out for their software to use it. With plans starting at $29 per month, it probably won’t break the bank, but manual A/B testing using WordPress edits is free. You just have to be careful about the time periods you test.

7. Use Live Chat Buttons for Visitors Who Want Instant Answers

7 Clever CRO Web Design Tricks

There’s a funny paradox when it comes to lead generation. Some leads want to talk to you right away, but they don’t want to call you, and they don’t want to email… Short of sending a smoke signal, what else is there?

Enter the live chat button. Live chat buttons are small buttons that sit in the corner of your website and beckon your visitors to have their questions answered instantly. Of course some visitors will just waste your time, but some won’t…

While there are a lot of options on the market, the best live chat software will ping your phone and allow you to respond to live chat via text message. This way you can answer questions and ideally get them to call you while you’re on the go.

Real Estate Live Chat Options for 2018

Luckily, if you’re considering adding live chat to your website there are a ton of options on the market. ZendeskLiveChatPure Chat, and Ready Chat are all solid options.

AI Chat Bots

Amazingly, some companies even offer programmable AI chat bots to interact with your site visitors and answer basic questions. Personally, I would avoid these solutions for now, as many of your visitors will be offended that you pawned them off on a robot…

The Bottom Line

If there’s one thing you do to your website in 2018, using CRO strategies to optimize for better lead conversion should be it. Pay attention to Hick’s Law, use heatmap software to track visitors, make sure buttons are easy to use on mobile, design them well, use live chat, and remember to A/B test your changes.

40 Real Estate Social Media Accounts You Need To Follow in 2018

March 7, 2018

“Social media has been a powerful tool for the real estate industry. Real estate social media accounts have sprouted up everywhere! Brokerages, publications, investment firms and real estate agents are all on social media.” – Property Spark

The Boutique Real Estate Group

It’s safe to say that you could follow The Boutique Real Estate Group on any of their social media accounts. But, with over 30,000 likes on their Facebook page, we saw it fit to include them in this section! However, it’s not just about likes, they also get hundreds of likes, loves and wows on every post!


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.

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:




Marvelous Mansion

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 8.24.44 AM (1)Via Kim Haman / Orange County Business Journal

December 4th, 2017

The home at 22570 Hidden Hills Road in Yorba Linda sold on Nov. 1 for $6.1 million, coming in under its $7.5 million list price in May. The sale represented the highest ever in the city. Nestled onto a private, 3.1-acre ridgetop lot, the estate features views that stretch to the ocean on the horizon. The 8,320-square-foot, contemporary-style home, formerly owned by the executive chef of Yardhouse Restaurants, Carlito Jocson, includes a restaurant caliber kitchen with Viking appliances, a large Subzero refrigerator and an adjacent 1,200- bottle, temperature-controlled wine storage room. Outdoors, there’s another full-service kitchen featuring an ample bar-seating area and wood-fired pizza oven. There are five bedrooms and six baths, as well as a 13-person theater and a billiards room, and a whole-home Crestron system. The grounds include a basketball court, full outdoor bath, and space for a helipad. The home was designed by DKY Architects’ David Streshinsky. Raj Qsar and Christina Boladian of The Boutique Real Estate Group represented the seller, and Edward Englehart of First Team Real Estate worked on behalf of the buyer.

22750HiddenHillsRd.comYT4 (1) (2)

You’re Invited // Legacy Loung & Music Mixer // Corona del Mar

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 8.22.24 AM Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 8.22.35 AM


RSVP Here: 

Mix & mingle at our swanky Corona Del Mar office. Experts on asset protection and digitizing photos/videos will share tips on preserving treasured memories and valuable possessions for your lasting legacy. “Unplugged” musical performance by Burden of Groove, including the Realtor-Hostess-Vocalist, Greta Tucker. Refreshments will be served.

For more info please contact Greta Tucker at 949-339-9940 or

Yard House top chef sells Yorba Linda estate for record $6.095 million

via OCregister


Carlito Jocson, the top chef for Yard House restaurants, has sold his modern, 8,320-square-foot house on three acres in Yorba Linda for $6.095 million.

That sets a record for the most expensive home sale ever in the city, according to the Multiple Listing Service.

The house, on one of Orange County’s highest peaks, hit the market in September 2016 for $10 million. The price dropped to $8.688 million in February 2017 and $7.5 million in May.

The estate includes a full-size outdoor kitchen with a bar and wood-fired pizza oven. Flanking a zero-edge swimming pool are two glass-tiled fire pits. A meditation garden with more than a dozen olive trees and a disappearing entertainment system are among the outdoor features.

Inside, the solar-powered house has a restaurant-caliber kitchen, 1,200-bottle wine room and a home theater.

Jocson was one of the Yard House’s original founders and went on to become a vice president and the corporate executive chef.

Raj Qsar and Christina Boladian of The Boutique Real Estate Group co-listed the house; Edward Englehart and Leslie Cole of First Team Real Estate represented the buyers.







Wall Street Journal Home of The Day, A Lemon Farm in Orange County


Location: 27112 Highland Dr, San Juan Capistrano, CA Price: $11,888,888

Spanning two lots, this property in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., comes with a Mediterranean-style mansion and 430 lemon trees.

By: Sarah Tilton, Wall Street Journal

Dorian Knape looked at 70 houses before she and her husband, Jim, found this property in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. ‘We had been looking for a couple of years for a unique property in Orange County that would give us ocean views and privacy,’ she says. The couple paid $5.5 million in 2007 for the more than 5-acre property. They then embarked on a multi-year remodel of the house, the guesthouse, the six-car garage and the garden. ‘It’s in town—you’re not in the middle of nowhere,’ says Mrs. Knape, adding that it is about a five-minute drive to the freeway. The couple took the approximately 9,800-square-foot Mediterranean-style main house down to the studs. ‘I wanted it to be timeless,’ says Mrs. Knape. The family moved into the home in 2010.


Mrs. Knape estimates they have put approximately $8 million into the two-lot property. On the second lot, which was recently rezoned agricultural, they planted 430 lemon trees, she says. An accountant by training, Mrs. Knape started a medical device company with her husband and more recently started Pucker Urban Farm. Along with fresh lemons, she sells individually packaged drink shots called Mrs. Pucker’s Lemon Shot. They are made by squeezing the juice from the lemon and the peel as ‘the power is in the peel,’ she says.

‘It’s been a great family home,’ says Mrs. Knape. The outdoor loggia, shown here, has a coffered ceiling with built-in heaters. ‘You go through our gate and you don’t realize you’re in a city anymore,’ says Mrs. Knape. The property has a saltwater pool with ocean views. A sport-court is now a staging area for the lemon business. ‘It’s been a labor of love,’ she says of the lemon farm. They added a full outdoor kitchen with a dishwasher and a pizza oven. The chandelier in the entry and the railing on the staircase were among the few original details that the couple preserved. The walls in the entry are Venetian plaster.


The main house has five bedrooms, six full baths and two half baths. The master suite includes a 308-square-foot closet. ‘It’s a sanctuary,’ says Mrs. Knape. The master bath, shown here, is 420 square feet. The fireplace in the library, shown here, was originally in the living room. Mrs. Knape added the burl-wood panelling. The living room is Mrs. Knape’s favorite space in the house. ‘You can go in there and look out at the formal garden. It’s very serene, and you can open up all the doors and walk out to the backyard,’ she says. There is a player piano in the living room which she says she designed around the Christopher Guy settee. The formal dining room looks out at the pool and the ocean. ‘The theater was [a] focal point,’ says Mrs. Knape. ’The kids come home and they use the theater with their friends.’


A glass wall separates the wine tasting room from the temperature-controlled cellar. The couple also renovated the approximately 1,000-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bath guesthouse. The couple also added a gym. The couple are selling as their children are grown and they are planning on downsizing. Mrs. Knape says she will miss the serenity and the privacy. ‘I’s like you’re in your own world,’ she says. Mrs. Knape is 59 years old; Mr. Knape is 55.

The home has an asking price of $11,888,888, a nod to Chinese numerology, which considers eight a lucky number. Raj Qsar and Christina Boladian of The Boutique Real Estate Group share the listing.

Link to WSJ Article.

Link to Property Website.

Top 30 Real Estate Brokerages On Social Media

via Property Spark


These real estate brokerages are reaching thousands of people by using the power of social media.

Before, going into the list, we would like to say that these real estate brokerages do not have to be our clients, subscribers or followers.

Furthermore, we did not solicit any real estate brokerages before the research or writing of the lists.

Here’s how the Real Estate Brokerages are selected:

Initial Research on Real Estate Brokerages

We looked at hundreds of popular Real Estate Brokerages across North America. We found these real estate brokerages through different mediums including:

• Google
• Bing
• Facebook Search
• Instagram Search
• Twitter Search

Inclusions and Ranking (Objective Data)

Once we had our list of popular real estate brokerages. We looked at objective data regarding the real estate brokerages’ social media presence, including the following:

• Facebook Page Likes
• Instagram Followers
• Twitter Followers

• Facebook Post likes, comments, shares and views (for videos)
• Instagram Post likes and comments
• Twitter favorites and retweets

Inclusions and Ranking (Subjective Data)

Finally, we make sure that all the real estate brokerages who made the final 30 have a great social media presence based on subjective variables, including the following:

• Brand image (quality of graphic design, pictures, videos)
• Value of content (how useful the content is to followers)
• Content mix (the mix of different types of posts)

With that being said, let’s get into the top list! Enjoy!

#10: The Boutique Real Estate Group

“Inspired by purpose, driven by passion”; that’s a motto we definitely want to hear from a real estate brokerage company. The Boutique Real Estate Group knows how to engage their followers on social media as they provide luxurious and dreamy photos of property interiors and exteriors.

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