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:

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:




Top 8 for ICNY 2018

1. Make a hit list of the people you want to meet “in real life.” Connect is an amazing time to solidify some of those online relationships and connect with people who you admire and respect and make that true emotional connection. Some of the connections I have made at Connect have become lifelong friends of mine. They are the ones I call when I need advice and encouragement. Remember this quote from GaryV“People are not addicted to social media. People are addicted to people.”  Some of my favorite folks include 👉 Vanessa Jones Bergmark, Sara Sutachan, Seth Price, Andrew Flachner, Alyssa Hellman, Lynn Johnson, Rob Hahn, Laura BradyChris Smith, Jimmy Mackin, Matthew Shadbolt, Leigh Brown, Bill Lublin, Celeste Starchild, Katie Lance, Debra Trappen, Valerie Garcia, Joe Schutt, Jay Thompson, Heather Elias, Laura Monroe, Audie Chamberlain and so many others….

2.  Attend as many sessions as you can possibly attend! DO NOT MISS ANYTHING. Specifically look for the sessions that pull you out of your comfort zone and will challenge you on a personal & professional level. See the full schedule here and meet the speakers here. This year…OMG 😳… Simon Sinek will be the Keynote and will be kicking off the festivities on the main stage at 8:55 am on Wednesday, January 24th. One of my favorite quotes from Simon Sinek that is totally in line with ICNY is, “Always plan for the fact that no plan ever goes according to plan.” Bonus: Please please please do not miss CAR’s #womanup on main stage on Wednesday at 11:45am moderated by Sara Sutachan.

3. Have you joined the Inman Coast to Coast Facebook Group? If not join here for all the latest posts, connections and updates.

4.  The Party after the Party! Do I need to say anymore? We all know the real fun starts after 10 pm! So just ask around, jump in an Uber (download app here) or Lyft (download app here) and find out where the action is. Check your email for last minute invites to all the happening VIP parties and events. If you still can not find the party make sure to DM Chalmers or Carp (they will steer you in the right direction, I promise). If you are looking for the 🎤 top-secret karaoke party then there is only one name you should know 👉 Notorious.

5. Lobbycon! You have heard all the rumors and it is true! You will find everyone in The Broadway Lounge & Bar on the 8th floor of the Marriott and this is the spot where you will meet the CEO’s, Founders, Presidents, movers & shakers all just “hanging out.” Bring your selfie stick & business cards and make sure to say hi. BTW, when is the next time you will be in the same hotel as Brad Inman, Sherry Chris, Sharran Shrivatsaa, Joel Singer, Leslie Appleton Young & Elizabeth Mendenhall.

6.  Get out into the city! New York is an amazingly gorgeous city with sights, sounds, history and killer food! And since our team at The Boutique Real Estate Group are total foodies check out this list of 100 Best Restaurants in New York City via Zagat. Or if you love to fly and want to get up in the air check out FlyNYON for a helicopter tour of the city. Hamilton! Enough said!

7. Stay fit! You will be eating, drinking & sitting in a lot of sessions. Make sure to stay fit at one of these locations: Peleton NYC, Soul Cycle, SOLACE Cross Fit, Core Power Yoga and Orange Theory are all amazing ways to keep the burn going while at ICNY.

8. Ambassadors. These are the ones who will lead us through ICNY. Joe Schutt & Laure Weston Davis have been “in charge” of this program for years now and if you have a question about anything ICNY these are the folks to ask. Have you met them? If not connect with them here.

If you made it this far and are headed to ICNY please find me in one of the sessions, lobbycon or at one of the after parties. I am currently slotted to speak at three sessions at ICNY this year so it would be amazing to connect with you!





NurtureCon 2017 Online Conference

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I’m speaking at the #NurtureCon Online Conference- let’s hang out! This online conference starts October 23rd and runs through Friday October 27th. ‘ll be speaking on How to Make Real Estate Movies that Sell Houses. The event is definitely targeting real estate agents and brokers who want to up their game at lead nurturing, lead generating, branding, video and content, but it also extends to those working in any professional real estate capacity / admin, realtor spouses, team leads and real estate trainers.

Interested in joining me?

Get your free ticket here!!!


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.


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.

5 Features of a (Real) Chef’s Kitchen

via zillow

Home cooks and foodies, look no further.

The term “chef’s kitchen” gets thrown around in real estate listings, but it can mean a lot different things. Whatever your definition, the culinary playground at 22750 Hidden Hills Rd in Yorba Linda, CA doesn’t disappoint. This home’s kitchen was designed by its owner, Carlito Jocson, the executive chef for Yard House Restaurants.

We asked Jocson to dish his home’s kitchen secrets. Here are 5 features we love.

Refrigerator drawers



We’ve all been there: stirring a boiling pot when you realize you need to add something from the fridge. With refrigerator drawers in his kitchen island, Jocson has quick access to common ingredients. No fishing for things in the back of the main refrigerator — the essentials are an arm’s length away.

Wine staging area


A mini wine fridge is a common amenity in luxury homes, but Jocson uses his as a staging area. The main course is downstairs: a temperature-controlled, 1,200-bottle room.

Jocson brings up what he needs to chill for the next meal or two, making his wine decisions before he starts cooking. This is both a time-saver and great way to ensure your meal and wine pair well.


Stacked platewear


Open shelving has been trendy for a while, but Jocson doesn’t worry about pretty displays. He’s a functionalist, stacking dishes so they’re easy to grab, like in a commercial kitchen. Plating is an important final step in meal-prep, and this kitchen makes it easy.

Tasting counter


According to Jocson, chefs love good flow. He wanted his space to feel more like a tasting kitchen, with ample counter space and a breakfast bar with barstools.

Jocson says there’s room to cook for 50 people (he did so last Christmas), and four to six people can sample the food while he’s cooking.

Outdoor extension


We couldn’t help admiring Jocson’s huge outdoor kitchen. But, this space isn’t just about the grill. A Wok Range, pizza oven, sink and ample counter space allow him to prep, cook and plate a meal without having to step inside.

Like what you see? Jocson’s kitchen is just one selling point of his $8.68 million Yorba Linda listing. (Check out the master bedroom overlooking the pool. The walls disappear, so you can jump out of bed into the deep end!)

The listing agents are Raj Qsar and Christina Boladian of The Boutique Real Estate Group.

Anaheim, CA: 10 Time-Lapse Images of the City’s Newest and Biggest Additions

via RENTcafé


Orange County’s fairytale city of Anaheim has been growing since 1890. It remains a hugely popular vacation destination, business HQ, and playground for visionaries. From Victorian mansions, to Colony Historic District, modern homes, and Sleeping Beauty’s castle in the Disneyland Anaheim Resort area, with the backdrop of the snowcapped mountains of the Santa Ana Canyon, there is plenty to feast the eyes on here.

In 2008 the city announced plans to double the number of housing and commercial business spaces in the Platinum Triangle area around Angel Stadium, as well as to incorporate a new rapid transit system. So how has the city’s face changed since then?

With the help of Google Street View, we complied a collection of interactive time-lapse images showing how Anaheim has been improving its appeal in recent years. Simply hold and drag the arrow left and right to see the old vs new:

1. Walnut Village Retirement Community – West Anaheim

Year Built: 2009

Walnut Village is operated by nonprofit Front Porch, and has become one of the top rated centers of its type since 2010. The community provides assisted living built around a shop lined village square, was awarded Continuing Care Retirement Community of the Year by 50+ Builders Magazine, Gold Award for Best Small CRCC by the NAHB, and Beautification of Anaheim Award.

2. SpringHill Suites Anaheim Maingate – Anaheim Resort

Year Built: 2014

SpringHill Suites’ new hotel in Anaheim puts guests in close proximity to Disneyland, while catering to business travelers with interiors featuring desks and light spaces, as well as an on-site snack shop and small fitness center. Conveniently located near the Anaheim Convention Center, the hotel features its own modern, boutique meeting spaces.


3. Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance – Anaheim Resort

Year Built: 2015

The new 6-story Courtyard Marriot in Anaheim sits close to the theme park entrance, offers vibrant décor, a family-friendly atmosphere, and even sports its own waterpark on-site, complete with water slides. Some rooms offer views of the Disney firework shows at night. The design provides a unique blend of mission and modern aesthetics.


4. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Anaheim Resort Area – Anaheim Resort

Year Built: 2016

The brand new Holiday Inn Express & Suits Anaheim Resort Hotel offers 5 stories of accommodations, an onsite pool and splash area, and is just moments from all the excitement of Disney. Found right off the expressway and steps to Downtown Disney this hotel is well situated for families looking to get in every moment of action they can.


5. SpringHill Suites – Anaheim Resort

Year Built: 2014

The second new SpringHill Suites hotel on this list – this building puts visitors right in the heart of it, with easy walking to the resort and Anaheim convention center, as well as downtown amenities. Modern design, kid-friendly interiors, and an on-site CVS Pharmacy and coffee and tea shop make this a great convenient choice for tourists.

6. Hyatt Place at Anaheim Resort and Convention Center

Year Built: 2014

Another new hotel just down the street, Hyatt offers guests walking access to resorts, convention center events, the farmer’s market, garden walk, and art walks. Standing out from the others on the list, Hyatt Place boasts architectural elements that reflect the interior’s more business-like minimalist chic design.

7. Kaiser Permanente Orange County Anaheim Medical Center – Canyon District

Year Built: 2012

One of the largest employers in Anaheim has opened an expansive new medical facility encompassing 434,000 square feet. The building replaces the old Lakeview Hospital built back in 1979. The new campus is built around a 3-acre ‘healing garden’, hosts 262 private rooms, emergency treatment bays, labor and delivery rooms, and a helipad.


8. The Crossing Apartments – Canyon District

Year Built: 2010

In contrast to the other new buildings on this list The Crossing rental apartments in Anaheim offer a bolder exterior with modern lines and a dash of color. Taking sustainability seriously from start to finish, the LEED Gold Certified apartment building boasts a 94% landfill diversion and 75% recycling rate during demolition and construction.


9. Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) – Platinum Garden

Year Built: 2014

The spaceship-looking Anaheim Regional Transport Intermodal Center (ARTIC) is a bold addition to the architectural landscape of this area. This transport hub’s diamond quilt-shaped exterior was created to optimize sustainability. Solar provides 20% of the energy used by the building, which lights up in bright colors at night. Winner of the 2015 Public Works Project of the Year Award, and LEED Platinum Certified, it is also home to a Bitcoin ATM.


10. Ajax La Palma Business Center – Canyon District

Year Built: 2014

Ranked as one of the largest industrial real estate projects built in the Anaheim area in years, just shy of 100,000 square feet, the business center was built by Ottomans Construction.

RESAAS’ 2016 Real Estate Rockstars: Social Media

via Resaas Blog


Earlier this week we announced the 2016 Real Estate Rockstars winners and nominees for branding and real estate websites.

We’re only getting started.

Now it’s time to reveal the nominees and winners for social media.

It’s a no brainer that by now everyone knows social media is crucial for today’s real estate agent.

This year’s competition was steep. Brokerages, firms and coaches all came out swinging in hopes to be recognized as a 2016 nominee and ultimately the winner for social media.

Let’s walk you through the criteria.


These days, it’s easy for anyone to hop onto a social media platform, create an account and post their lives away. It’s these special few that are able to keep their growing audience engaged by dishing out valuable, share-worthy content.

Let’s have a closer look at the criteria we used to shortlist our nominees.


Someone that knows their way around social media knows how to expand their reach through their social media presence.

Are they active on multiple social media channels?

Do they have a larger social following?

Are their users engaged?


The rule of thumb for content is the ‘80/20’ rule.

80% of the content shared should be of use to followers and NOT a hard sell. The remaining 20% of content can be those “sales-y” posts. But, it should be kept minimal.

Does the account follow the 80/20 rule?


Sure, you have social media accounts but what are the quality of your posts?

The Boutique RE




Here’s a brokerage that just gets it. The Boutique RE Group makes an effort to use their social media marketing to its full potential – posting beautiful photos, high-quality videos and selling a luxury lifestyle through their content. Let’s not overlook their hashtag game. Boutique RE Group makes great use of hashtags on each one of their listing photos to increase exposure of the neighborhoods of their listings.

Activity: 10/10
Content: 10/10
Quality: 10/10

Score: 30/30

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