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.

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Real Estate Video Influencer Awards

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Congratulations to the top 10 agents and the five honorable mentions in home tours and listing videos! This was an extremely difficult category to judge with so many quality entries. While we saw many highly produced samples, we focused on the story that each video told and how well they were able to explain the amenities and characteristics of each home.

We took into consideration the human element first. If a video did not have the real estate agent, homeowner, or even actors to help bring the home to life, they were eliminated from the competition. Needless to say, slideshows need not apply.

What we ultimately came up with was a balanced list of videos that includes both highly produced videos and videos every agent can create. Check out the top agents in the Listing Video category and get inspired by their creations!

Who can tell the story of a home and why it’s so magical better than the person who specifically built the home, custom to his family’s wants and needs? We love this video because we can see and feel why this home is so important to the homeowner.

#1 Raj Qsar // Home Tour Video Award

Raj is no stranger to awards. In 2017, Raj was named The Real Estate Influencer of The Year by Inman News. In 2016, Raj was named to the prestigious Swanepoel Power 200 Honoring the Most Powerful 200 People in Residential Real Estate. On his YouTube channel, you can find a variety of interviews with him where he discusses how important it is for real estate agents to utilize video in their business. Raj truly captures the luxury and cinematic essence of his high-end listings, on top of leveraging unique storytelling within his highly produced listing videos.

The Boutique Real Estate Group

TheBoutiqueRE.com | YouTube | Facebook | Instagram

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

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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 Greta.Tucker@TheBoutiqueRE.com

Trump tax plan unveiled, wealthy homeowners to pay more

BY JOTHAM SEDERSTROM, Inman News

In a dramatic departure from a preliminary tax reform plan unveiled earlier this year, the latest draft of what’s been dubbed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, authored by House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, would limit the mortgage interest deduction to new and existing loans of $500,000 and under, down from $1 million, and cap property tax deductions at $10,000.

Released Thursday to members of Congress, the revised proposal would disproportionately impact high-earning homeowners reeling from high property taxes on the West Coast and Northeast while potentially reducing the incentive for millions of Americans to buy new homes.

The Trump administration’s original tax framework included a proposal that would potentially jeopardize homeowners with a $70 billion annual tax expenditure by doubling the standard tax deduction, housing experts warned at the time.

The latest reform plan raises the standard deduction from $12,700 to $24,400 (married), $9,350 to $18,300 (head of household), and $6,350 to $12,200 (single), the Wall Street Journal reported.

“One of the major advantages of homeownership is that deduction, and if people choose not to use it because of the doubling of the standard deduction, it will remove, to a degree, the incentive to buy a home, said Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate, citing numbers by the Tax Institute Center that project that the percent of filers claiming the deduction would plummet from 21 percent to just 4 percent should the bill become law.

The revised proposal, meanwhile, would maintain a plan to reduce the tax rate on limited liability companies and other so-called pass-through entities to 25 percent, but would be limited to passive owners, leaving principal investors with a blended top tax rate of 35 percent.

As new details of President Trump’s tax code reform gradually came to light Thursday, real estate industry trade groups cautiously doubled down on earlier criticisms of the proposal.

“We are currently reviewing the details of the tax proposal released today, but at first glance it appears to confirm many of our biggest concerns about the Unified Framework,” said  National Association of Realtors President William Brown in a statement to Inman News.

“Eliminating or nullifying the tax incentives for homeownership puts home values and middle class homeowners at risk, and from a cursory examination this legislation appears to do just that,” Brown added. “We will have additional details upon a more thorough reading of the bill.”

The mortgage cap and limited property tax deductions threaten to jeopardize high-income taxpayers with expensive homes, according to the Wall Street Journal. The plan also maintains the top bracket of 39.6 percent for high-income households and would phases out the estate tax, which includes estates worth approximately $5 million or more, according to the report.

For professional services firms — a definition that could extend to include real estate brokerages in addition to law firm and financial advisers — the proposed 25-percent pass-through rate may no longer apply, as the default rate would be considered 100-percent labor income.

“This bill leaves too many small businesses behind,” said Juanita Duggan, CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), in a statement. “We are concerned that the pass-through provision does not help most small businesses. Small business is the engine of the economy. We believe that tax reform should provide substantial relief to all small businesses, so they can reinvest their money, grow, and create jobs.”

Aaron Lesher, CPA and head of customer success at Hurdlr, said he “tends to agree” with the NFIB that the new rates don’t do enough to help small businesses, but he sees where real estate professionals may still be able to benefit from the changes.

“Even though real estate agents could be considered professional service providers, the nature of their brokerage relationship is usually that of an independent contractor,” Lesher said. “Since real estate brokerages don’t typically withhold taxes for their agents or provide many benefits outside marketing, and agents are still responsible for business expenses and taxes, agents would still be viewed as businesses and be able to claim the 25 percent treatment.”

Short on details and broad in scope, the earlier proposal, negotiated over several months among a group known as “The Big Six,” including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, National Economic Director Gary Cohn and top House and Senate Republicans, would have lowered corporate rates from 35 to 20 percent while slashing the number of personal tax brackets from seven to three.

The revised plan holds true to the corporate rate of 20 percent, but breaks down the tax brackets into four groups rather than three: 12 percent, 25 percent, 35 percent and 39.6 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional details about the tax plan.

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!!!

 

How to Create a Tech-Enhanced Brokerage that Wins

By Raj Qsar, Principal | Owner The Boutique Real Estate Group

The real estate industry is changing.  Hand-written offers, filing cabinets and printers are a thing of the past.  Mobile offices, instantaneous responses, and data analytics are here to stay.  For a brokerage to survive in this new digital age, their agents need to be equipped with state of the art tools at their fingertips.

Now that the days of drowning in paper are over, it seems like a new real estate technology pops up every day and it can be easy to get overwhelmed and lost in all the options.  So how do you differentiate the useful from the useless and figure out which tools are right for you and your brokerage?

I spent a lot of time thinking about this very question for my team at The Boutique Real Estate Group.  I started this brokerage with the primary objective of providing a world class experience for our clients.  I have known from day one that in order to deliver on this goal my agents would need the right tech tools to do high quality work and provide a seamless experience to their clients.

I invest in technology that will improve the agent experience and the customer experience.  I have developed these 5 “rules” for picking the right technology to develop a tech-centric brokerage:

1. Set a vision for your brokerage

Spend the time to brainstorm and define what kind of brokerage you want to be.  What is important to you?  What does your brokerage stand for?  And how will technology help you achieve this?  Clearly define it.  Write it down.  Memorize it.  Now every time you look at a potential tool ask yourself if it fits into your tech framework and if not – pass!

2. Culture is everything

You’ve defined your vision, but how do you bring it to life? The answer is – culture.  Don’t underestimate the power of culture to get everyone in your office to achieve your vision. It is up to you and your leadership team to develop a culture that embraces technology and values change.

3. Mobile first

Any technology that you consider for your brokerage MUST be mobile and tablet friendly.  Agents, brokers and the modern customer need location independence – the freedom to work and sign on the fly.  In the high speed world we live in nothing kills a deal like time.

4. Integrating gives you magic powers

The real secret to the getting the most out of your technology investment is integrations. When data is seamlessly shared from platform to platform, your agents or transactions coordinators don’t need to waste time on tedious data entry. This can improve accuracy and allow your agents to focus on their clients.

5. Pick a partner

In the end, when you select the technology provider – you are selecting a partner that will be with you for a long time.  Make sure to pick a company that shares your values, that will answer the phone when you call and that is working to build the same future for real estate that you are.  Don’t necessarily pick a company just for your needs today, but for your needs in 5, 10, 15 years…

With these rules in mind, I have built a tech-enhanced brokerage that is leading the way into real estate’s digital future and is fully armed to deliver high quality service.  Now that I’ve shared my secrets, please add your own in the comments section below.

Congratulations!  You’ve already taken the first step to properly preparing your brokerage for success in the digital age. Next up: navigating the hundreds of options out there – good luck!

Raj Qsar, Principal and Owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group, was named The Real Estate Influencer of the Year 2017 by Inman News. He has cracked the code for creating a tech-enhanced brokerage and The Boutique was named Most Innovative Brokerage. Find out more about what the Boutique Real Estate Group is doing by connecting with Raj on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.

Link to original article

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.

Giveback Homes Orange County Build Day

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MEDIA ADVISORY

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WHO:      Giveback Homes, The Boutique Real Estate Group, Commerce Mortgage, JJ Mazzo Summit Funding & Pango Escrow Group

WHERE:   4010 W. McFadden Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92704

WHEN:     June 3, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m

Giveback Homes and 25 members from The Boutique Real Estate Group, Commerce Mortgage, JJ Mazzo Summit Funding, Pango Escrow Group and local real estate agents are volunteering their time for a special Saturday build day at the Habitat for Humanity Santa Ana project. This project includes seventeen homes to be built in three phases at various locations in the city. The homes are being designed to be compatible with surrounding neighborhoods and incorporate green features including on-demand hot water, recycled sub-base aggregate concrete. construction waste reduction measures, and storm water infiltration systems to reduce the hydrocarbon run-off and recharge the groundwater aquifer.

Join Giveback Homes and Habitat for Humanity at this event to learn more about these homes and how Giveback Homes is contributing to addressing the need for housing in Southern California and around the globe.

Website:

https://givebackhomes.com, http://TheBoutiqueRE.com

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY:

Photo, interview & video opportunities available

Contacts:

Caroline Pinal // Giveback Homes // 661-992-6793

Raj Qsar // The Boutique Real Estate Group // 714-412-5019

About:

Giveback Homes is a community of real estate professionals who are committed to creating social change by helping build homes for deserving families around the globe. We work together to organize fundraising events, mobilize teams of volunteer homebuilders, and we inspire others to take action for social good.

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. This design & tech-forward approach has earned The Boutique Real Estate Group accolades & awards worldwide.

 

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.

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

via RENTcafé

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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.