Instagram Tips for 2018

Written by Raj Qsar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





Connect with Raj here:

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

Watch the Pros Work Through Roadblocks for the Inman Audience

By Inman

Feb 27



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

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

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

Listen in to hear the answers to these and more.

Watch more sessions from ICNY 18 here.

Top 5 ICNY 2018 Takeaways

via Raj Qsar / The Boutique Real Estate Group

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


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

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

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)

The Best Fireworks In Orange County

By:  Brogyn Gage / The Boutique Real Estate Group

Oh say can you see…all the fireworks of OC! Independence Day, the day we look forward to all summer long is finally upon us. The day for BBQ’s, friends + family, parades and those mesmerizing lights that fill the night sky, also known as fireworks! While pretty much every major city in Orange County has some sort of firework display, (not including your neighbor’s snap-crackle-pop array going on outside throughout the evening), I’m here to break down my top 5 picks for this year’s professional pyrotechnic shows throughout Orange County!

Costa Mesa: BYOP (bring your own picnic), chairs and blankets to enjoy a pyrotechnic show at the OC Fair and Event center, located right off the 55 freeway at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. The fireworks start at 9 PM, but get there early and enjoy live music, activities, food and vendors starting at 4PM. Free parking until 5PM — after 5, parking is $8. For more information visit

Dana Point: Beach views + Fireworks. Could you ask for anything more? Grab your lawn chairs and head to the beach for a firework show with synchronized music. Not kidding…tune into 88.5 FM at 9PM and heighten your senses with this incredible show over Doheny State Beach. A free shuttle will run from 8AM-11PM, picking up and dropping off at Dana Hills High School and Dana Point Harbor. If you decide to make it an all day event, make sure to pack your sunscreen!

Fullerton: Since 1990, Fullerton has hosted it’s annual ‘Annual 4th of July Fireworks Festival’ at Fullerton Union High School. While the show is usually hosted at the stadiums football field, this year the event will take place on the softball field. From 5-9:30, enjoy live music, food, drinks, and games. Best to get there early though; the event usually brings in around 7,000 people!

Lake Forest: If you plan on being in Lake Forest this Independence Day, make sure to get a good night’s sleep before, because this city hosts events throughout the entire day. The community will host it’s 26th annual 4th of July Parade, with this years theme “Let Freedom Ring,” from 10AM to noon. The parade will run along Serrano Road, Lake Forest Drive, Toledo Way and Ridge Route Drive.

The Lake Forest ll Homeowner’s Association also has an event beginning at 10AM at the Sun and Sail Club, featuring live music, food, beverages, and basketball and volleyball tournaments. The fireworks show starts at 9PM. Wristbands are on sale for $12 before July 4, and $15 on the day of the event. More information at

Tustin: Visit Tustin High School Football field, located at 1171 El Camino Real for free entertainment starting at 6PM. You can pack your own snacks and drinks, or purchase from the school’s booster club. Also, Operation Warm Wishes – a non profit organization dedicated to helping and serving the homeless, troubled youths, struggling families, Veterans and senior citizens in need throughout Orange County, CA and the world will be on site, so be sure to donate some non perishable food items!

Wherever you choose to spend your holiday, we hope that you have a perfect day celebrating and honoring the freedoms that we have here in the beautiful USA!  Enjoy your time with the people who mean most to you — Have fun! Eat that extra helping of potato salad!  And most importantly, be safe. 
From us here at The Boutique to you, Happy Independence Day!



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

via tres online



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.

The 145 Most Influential People In Real Estate


Via Inman News

The Inman Influencers List salutes industry professionals who shape, change and influence the industry. They bring a mix of credentials, viewpoints and backgrounds from all walks of the real estate business. Some are creative, intuitive and gifted. Some have power, reach and charisma. And some are controversial, rabble-rousers and disrupters.

All of our influencers contribute to change in one way or another.

The list is both young and hardened, made up of connectors, power brokers, high earners, CEOs, hackers, troublemakers and startup founders. It’s a list of entrepreneurs, big and small; the old-school and the new; controversial and quiet plodders.

“They are not cut from the same cloth, they do not speak the same language and they do not always necessarily share the same values. But they influence the industry by their work, through their followers and by expressing their opinions,” said Inman publisher Brad Inman.

In selecting this year’s Inman influencers, we considered recommendations from Inman readers, editorial staff and outside suggestions. Yes, thousands of real estate professionals make a difference in the real estate industry every day, but these are some we believe stood out this year.

Read The Full List Here

Raj Qsar // 2017 Inman News Real Estate Influencer


Solution Leverages Data-Driven Insights, Collaborative Tools To Identify Best Homes for Each Client

Corona del Mar, California – May 5, 2016 – The Boutique Real Estate Group, Inc. (, a luxury residential real estate brokerage focused on brilliant design, beautiful marketing and luxury services, has extended its tech-forward business advantage with RealScout, a powerful solution that empowers brokers and agents to generate more offers in less time.

The Boutique Founder Raj Qsar said the addition of RealScout to the firm’s already extensive technology portfolio has empowered agents to generate more business and build stronger relationships through a variety of innovative features that foster collaboration and client engagement.


“RealScout takes the guesswork out of the real estate experience by providing critical, timely market intelligence that uncovers the best opportunities for each customer,” he said. “It offers uniquely targeted, data-driven insights and other tools that help our agents and clients work together in identifying the best homes based on lifestyle and feature preferences.”

Tech-enabled collaboration and marketing are at the core of The Boutique’s value proposition. Founded in 2013 and with agents serving Orange, Los Angeles and Riverside counties, the brokerage has mastered virtually every element of the luxury real estate buying and selling listing experience, with in-house creative design services, professional staging, architectural photography, cinematography and film production, world class social media, internet optimization, cloud-based transaction management, and global listing syndication. The firm was a finalist for the 2014 Inman News Innovator Award for “Most Innovative Real Estate Agent” and the 2015 Innovator Award for “Most Innovative Technology.” Furthermore, Qsar was named to the prestigious SP200 recognizing the “200 Most Powerful People in Residential Real Estate for 2016.”

RealScout is an agent and broker-branded web and mobile platform that has facilitated billions of dollars in residential real estate sales by empowering agents and their clients to find the right homes through the use of highly detailed information extending well beyond MLS data. In addition, unlike conventional, third-party Web portals – which often disengage consumers from their agents – RealScout facilitates collaborative search within a broker and agent-branded environment.


“We were introduced to RealScout through a group demonstration and our agents were so enthusiastic about its capabilities that we decided to jump onboard almost immediately,” Qsar said. “It allows you to have an ongoing conversation with your client through the platform, and it is exceptionally easy to use for all parties.”

“Many real estate technology companies have tried to replace the role of the real estate agent, but RealScout is built around the exact opposite philosophy,” said RealScout Founder and CEO Andrew Flachner. “Everything we do at RealScout is based on the belief that agents’ local neighborhood knowledge and residential real estate transaction expertise, augmented with the right technology, provide clients the best advantage when making the most important financial decision of their lives. Raj and his team immediately understood the value RealScout could bring to their organization, and it is rewarding to see The Boutique build upon its success through our solution’s innovative features which help their agents generate more offers in less time.”

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About The Boutique Real Estate Group

The Boutique Real Estate Group ( is a boutique real estate brokerage founded in Orange County, California, that focuses on brilliant design, beautiful marketing and luxury services. The Boutique has created a culture that spurs collaboration, technology and social media with a unique marketing approach. This design and tech-forward approach has earned The Boutique Real Estate Group accolades and awards worldwide: 2016 SP 200 “Most Powerful People in Residential Real Estate,” 2015 Inman News Innovator Award Finalist nominee for “Most Innovative Real Estate Agent,” 2015 “Top 33 People Changing The Real Estate Industry,” 2014 “Next Generation Real Estate Brokerage,” 2013 and 2014 “Top 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders in the USA,” and 2014 “Real Estate Video of The Year.”

About RealScout

RealScout ( is the brokerage and agent-branded home search platform that empowers agents and their clients to find the right home faster. RealScout supports the competitive needs of brokerages and agents by helping them work in concert with their clients throughout their property hunt. Home buyers receive exclusive personalized property matches based on their specific lifestyle and feature preferences. Agents have visibility into buyer activities to best meet evolving client preferences, boosting client loyalty and facilitating informed, data-driven decisions that generate more offers in less time.

Video listing of the day: European-inspired estate

Located on an ultra-private two-acre lot in Southern California

via Inman News

The estates dotting the hilltops in Europe provided the stimulus for this custom-built residence nestled into the hillside of this Southern California guard-gated community known as The Country in Diamond Bar. 3015 Steeplechase Lane is a thoughtful compilation of horizontal building forms, brick elements and detailed accents that remind you of a quaint European village.

For more information on the property, click here.

This video listing was contributed by Raj Qsar and Christina Boladian of The Boutique Real Estate Group.




How to turn Starbucks into a lead goldmine

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 6.56.59 AM

Get out of the office and make personal connections that generate leads.

  • Starbucks and other places like it are great locations to generate leads.
  • Be consistent and focus on creating relationships that build credibility and lead to sales down the line.
  • Always bring marketing materials and discreetly advertise yourself with branded accessories, such as a laptop cover.

Starbucks isn’t only the place to pick up your daily triple nonfat latte with a drizzle of caramel and extra foam on the side — it’s also a great place to find leads.

In Lab Coat Agents, James Michaelin recounts how he got two leads in one morning at Starbucks thanks to good listening and quick action.

“I overheard a business meeting that someone was starting a business and they brought up needing to find a Realtor for a location,” he wrote. “Well, [the] keyword Realtor was said so of course I introduced myself, gave my card to both of them and they [wanted] to get together soon.”

Twenty minutes later, James got another lead from a man who overheard his conversation with the two businessmen.

As it turns out, Michaelin isn’t the only agent who uses Starbucks as a lead-generating tool. There’s been a lot of chatter online over the past two months about the power of Starbucks and other places like it, such as Panera Bread or even Dunkin’ Donuts.

Here’s some of the advice agents gave on how to make Starbucks work for you:

1. Mark it on your weekly schedule

Raj Qsar goes to Starbucks three times a week to do local real estate research and work on handwritten thank-you notes. Because of his consistency, customers expect Qsar to be there and look forward to asking him questions.

2. Make your presence known

Agents aren’t the only people who use Starbucks as a second office. Most of the people are there are to get work done and rarely look up from their phone, tablet or laptop.

So how do you let people know a Realtor is in the room? JT Takacs suggests telling the cashier to write “Realtor (insert name)” on your cup, so when the barista calls your name, everyone will know your profession.

3. Discreetly advertise yourself with branded accessories 

Order a customized laptop cover that has your name, logo, website URL and a great call-to-action. Amanda Miller Hudson says: “I have the Realtor ‘R’ logo in sticker form over the apple on my MacBook Pro. It works! I picked up a seller lead last November at Panera.”

4. Focus on making personal connections before generating leads

What agents love about Starbucks is the chance to get from behind the tech wall and make real-time, face-to-face connections. Don’t stop in with the expectation that you’ll walk out with a handful of deals each day, because as many will attest, there will be days and weeks when you won’t.

But you will build the relationships and familiarity crucial to establishing your brand and long-term success.

5. Offer on-the-spot advice

When Zillow evangelist Jay Thompson goes to Starbucks, he brings a sign that says: “Have a real estate question? Fire away!” And he buys a cup of coffee for those who are brave enough to take the offer.

6. Bring marketing materials

This seems like a given, but some may feel apprehensive about bringing their regular marketing materials with them into Starbucks. David Fresquez suggests having a set of “ready-made buyer or seller folders that includes information about you, your latest accomplishments along with some social proof.”

Keep these folders in your briefcase, backpack or bag and give them to your potential lead once your conversation is done.

Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 7.02.29 AM

7. Small sacrifices can hook a big fish

At Luxury Connect in October, Josh Altman shared a story about how he was able to snare a sale at Starbucks. He frequents one Los Angeles store in particular and had purchased his coffee when he saw a well-known celebrity join the line.

So Altman threw out his just-procured drink and stepped in line behind the celeb, struck up a conversation and discovered he was looking for a home. He offered the star $1,000 to come with him to a place he thought would fit the bill — certain it was perfect. And it was. Being willing to throw out the coffee and offer money to show sincerity generated a happy ending to the story, a $12 million sale.

Do you have any extra advice for getting leads at Starbucks? What are some other places you like to hang out? Share them in the comments below.

Via Marian McPherson and Inman News

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