Inman Innovative 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.”

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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Episode 97 – Raj Qsar, Owner – The Boutique Real Estate Group

via tres online

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June 6th, 2017 – Raj Qsar, owner/principal of The Boutique Real Estate Group in Orange County, California shares his unique journey into the real estate profession. Unique is an appropriate term, as no other guest has traveled the path Raj details. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, so tune into Episode 97 of The Real Estate Sessions and enjoy.

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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How to hustle like a real estate rock star

via inman

Always doing it right, thinking downstream and focusing on connections are the keys to success

  • Be prepared for and willing to hustle 24/7 for your clients.
  • Make decisions with your future in mind. Think about how taking a listing you don’t want now can benefit you later.
  • Success in real estate comes down to the personal connections you make, so get out and network.

Recently, Raj Qsar — the principal/owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group — composed an intriguing and inspirational post on the Facebook group Lab Coat Agents about how a listing for a leased property, which he made no initial profit from, snowballed into at least 11 subsequent sales, countless connections and increased visibility over the course of the past three years.

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So, how can agents replicate the success that Qsar gained from an “undesirable” listing? He says it’s all about hustling and “doing it right.” Here are some of his tips on how to get your hustle on:

Be prepared and willing to hustle 24/7

Qsar said one of the first questions he asks potential hires is “What is your hustle like?” He looks for agents who have the natural drive to build face-to-face connections rather than those who prefer to stay cooped up in an office all day.

These type of agents are harder to find, Qsar said, because many professionals in the business think that becoming a top producer is an overnight process.

“Most people think they can show up, do some social media posts and all of a sudden they’re going to be a top agent in their area,” he says. “It’s not like that. You have to meet people where they are.”

“We’re able to look the tenant and the tenant’s agent in the eye, we’re able to open the door for them, make sure the beds are made, the lights are on, the music is playing, the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming.” – Raj Qsar

Qsar says agents must realize that real estate is a total hustle. “You wake up hustling, during the day you’re hustling and you go to bed hustling, and then you dream about hustling,” he says.

So, what is the hustle? Qsar says it comes down to never saying “no,” executing each listing the right way and always putting your best foot forward.

“Even on million-dollar listings, if agents can take a reduced commission or they feel like it’s overpriced or whatever, they’re not going to put their best foot forward,” he said. “That’s just too bad that they’re not thinking downstream. ‘Cause the world is able to see anything that we drop on the Internet, and who knows what opportunity that will bring. It’s all downstream.”

Always do it right

Qsar says he knew he wasn’t going to make any money from the initial lease listing, but he decided to take the opportunity anyway.

He invested in professional photos and brochures, staging, a single-property website and even ordered custom signs that were up to the neighborhood’s code.

In addition to stellar marketing strategies, Qsar provided five-star customer service through appointment-only showings.

“We’re able to look the tenant and the tenant’s agent in the eye; we’re able to open the door for them, make sure the beds are made, the lights are on, the music is playing, the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming,” he says with a laugh. “We’re driving, taking time out of our day to make sure we can open the door for someone we don’t even know. That’s doing it right.”

 

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Think downstream

Qsar says he treated the leased property like a million-dollar listing to “give the client the best chance of success.” Plus, he knew that his current efforts would lead to future rewards.

“What we preach at our brokerage is that it’s all about downstream. You’re not taking a listing for this listing, you’re taking it for the next listing,” he says. “You’re taking a listing for the digital content you’re going to produce, and you’re taking it for the online leads you’re going to generate from that one listing.”

Furthermore, Qsar says most agents are transactionally trained, which means they are trained for “this one and only transaction.” Basically, agents are playing a game of checkers when they should be playing chess, which puts them behind in the long run.

 

“[Agents are] not trained digitally, they’re not trained for content, they’re not trained to meet real people in real life,” he says.

Focus on making personal connections

Out of all the aspects of being a successful real estate agent, it’s clear that Qsar treasures his ability to make personal connections the most.

“Something that everyone seems to forget is that you’re going to meet real, live human beings from this listing,” he says. “That’s an opportunity for you to connect with people in real life, and when you connect with people in real life your chance of success is much greater.”

Qsar says that personal connections not only make it easier on the agent but also the client, which is what the work of real estate is all about.

RESAAS’ 2016 Real Estate Rockstars: Social Media

via Resaas Blog

Social-Media

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.

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.

Activity

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?

Content

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?

Quality

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

The Boutique RE

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YouTube
RESAAS
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Twitter
Instagram

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

Top chef at Yard House restaurants selling Yorba Linda estate for $10 million

via The Orange County Register

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Carlito Jocson, the top chef for Yard House restaurants, is selling his modern, five-bedroom Yorba Linda house on one of Orange County’s highest peaks for $10 million.

Set on 3.1 acres, the estate includes a full-size outdoor kitchen with a bar and wood-fired pizza oven. Two glass-tiled fire pits flank a zero-edge swimming pool.

In addition to an expansive parking area for guests, there’s space to add a helipad, says listing agent Raj Qsar of The Boutique Real Estate Group.

Built in 2011, the 8,320-square-foot home designed by David Streshinsky of DKY Architects boasts double-height ceilings, a restaurant-caliber kitchen, 1,200-bottle wine room and home theater. The house also has a solar-power system.

Grounds include drought-friendly landscaping and a meditation garden with more than a dozen olive trees. A basketball court and disappearing entertainment system are among the outdoor amenities, and the Pacific Ocean can be viewed in the distance.

The house is by far the highest priced Yorba Linda home offered on the Multiple Listing Service right now. The next most expensive one is a seven-bedroom, 9,411-square-foot residence built in 1995, with a $5.18 million price tag.

Jocson is a Yard House vice president and its corporate executive chef. He’s also an original partner. He said his favorite room is – of course – the kitchen, relishing the layout and plating his creations on the large island

“I wanted to build the kitchen with a sense of community,” he said. “It’s the (home’s) heart. From a chef’s standpoint, I love to feed people … I want them to watch me.”

When a chef friend created a seven-course meal at the house, Jocson added, “He didn’t skip a beat. It felt like (cooking in) a restaurant.”

He also savors how the master suite’s sliding glass doors open to the zero-edge pool. “I wanted to wake up in the morning and jump in the pool straight from the bed,” he said.

With four grown children out of the house, Jocson said it’s time to downsize.

Jocson and his wife Elizabeth for the past decade have been feeding homeless and needy Orange County residents through The Storehouse ministry of North Orange Christian Church, where they are members.

Yard House restaurants are known for their contemporary atmosphere, rock music, eclectic food and more than 100 beers on tap. The chain, with 13 states, was sold to Darden Restaurants by private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners in 2012 for $585 million in an all-cash deal.

Christina Boladian of the Boutique group is co-listing the house. A video of Jocson and the home is here.

Him or Her? Featuring Raj Qsar & Christina Boladian from The Boutique Real Estate Group

via Give Back Homes

The Boutique Real Estate Group is a boutique real estate brokerage founded in Orange County, CA, that focuses on brilliant design, beautiful marketing & luxury services. The Boutique has created a culture that spurs collaboration, technology and social media with a unique marketing approach. We stopped by their new listing The Pinnacle House to ask them a few questions… 

Who is the patient one?

 

Raj: Me, for sure that’s me I’m the patient one.
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Who spends more time on their phone?

Raj: Me, but for work!

Christina: Not true! He’s on social media 24 hours a day! He snaps everything.

                        

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Who is the better driver?

Christina: Me, he’s just on his phone all the time and its a green light and no one goes! He hits curbs all the times.

Raj: You should see my rims they’re so messed up.

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In negotiations, who is usually the bad cop?

Raj: That’ so me, I’m totally the bad cop and I love it.

Christina: I’m too nice.
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Who is more opinionated?

Raj: Oh dear god, that’s so you

Christina: No! Definitely him.
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Who is better at calming down clients?

Raj: That’s so me, for sure so me.
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Whose instincts are usually always right?

Raj: That’s both of us it really is, we both have good instincts.
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Tell me something unique about this property that nobody else knows.

Raj: We’re going to apply to have a helipad! Which is pretty cool.

Where?

Raj: Right here

Christina: So we can bring you in from L.A.

Raj: Uber helicopter!

Yes please 🙂

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With the sale of this home, Raj & Christina will be making a donation towards the Build Day in Orange County.

Push play below so you can fully experience this gorgeous home and it’s story.

 

July Events at Pavilion Park | The Boutique Real Estate Group | Michele Chiu

COOKING DEMO | Ode to the BurgerUnleash your inner chef. The theme of this month’s cooking class will be Ode to the Burger. Perfect for cooks of all levels. July 5 10:30am-12:00pm
YOGA IN THE PARK | Self NavigationYoga and meditation that will focus on self navigation. Perfect for beginner and intermediate yogis. July 12 9:00-10:15am
FRIDAY NIGHT HAPPENINGS | Honky Tonk NightCountry music is about storytelling. Join us for a night of music in the great southern tradition, by the Freightshakers. Plus a convoy of food trucks, including GD Bro Burger, Bear Flag Fish Co., the Viking Truck, and Drive Me Cookie. And pottery demonstrations. July 18 6:00-9:00pm
YOGA IN THE PARK | Strength and SoftnessYoga and meditation that will focus on strength and softness. Perfect for beginner and intermediate yogis. July 19 9:00-10:15am
GARDEN WORKSHOP | Surviving the Summer HeatThe heat of summer can take a toll on gardens and gardeners. Discussion to include irrigation techniques, how to operate irrigation timers, water conservation, runoff friendly hardscape, and the benefits of mulching. July 19 10:30-11:30am
YOGA IN THE PARK | Creating SpaceYoga and meditation that will focus on creating space. Perfect for beginner and intermediate yogis. July 26 9:00-10:15am
Please register in advance for Cooking Demos, Garden Workshops and Yoga Classes.
 For More Information on These Events Please Email Michele.Chiu@TheBoutiqueRE.com
 Connect with Michele Chiu.Events sponsored by Great Park Neighborhoods.

Are you prepared for the big one?

Are you prepared for the big one?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Camp stove and fuel, along with utensils.

4. Whistle, in case of need for rescuers.

5. Extra set of clothing & shoes.

6. Emergency cash, in small denominations

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

8. Copies of your vital documents.

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

10. Toiletries.

11. Toys – if you have kids

12. Lanterns, flashlights & batteries.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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