September 2017

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

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

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

By: Sarah Tilton, Wall Street Journal

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link to WSJ Article.

Link to Property Website.

5 Free Things to do in Orange County this week, Sept. 24-30

Why sit home because you don’t want to spend any money? Here are five free things you can do this week.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 24

Enjoy a concert at the Newport Beach Public Library’s Fall series of Sunday Musicales with a free 3 p.m. performance by Four Hands One Piano, a piano duo of Lucy Nargizyan and Marina Grozdanovi, in the Central Library Friends Room, 1000 Avocado Avenue, Newport Beach. Learn more:949-717-3800 , ext 2 or newportbeachlibrary.org.

THURSDAY, SEPT. 28

Take in the Wacky Magic Show at the Yorba Linda Public Library, 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. in the community room. Presented by David Skale. Location: 18181 Imperial Hwy. Yorba Linda. Learn more: Ylpl.net.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 29

See “Beauty and the Beast” (the live-action 2017 version) at Seal Beach Movies in the Park. Movies start at sunset, at Eisenhower Park next to the pier. Bring your chair and blanket. Learn more: moviesintheparksb.com

SATURDAY, SEPT. 30

Take a free nature walk with a bird talk, led by naturalist docents at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. Thousands of birds make Bolsa Chica their home year-round and also when they’re on migration. The walk takes place the last Saturday of each month at 9 a.m. Meet at the south parking lot, across PCH from the entrance to Bolsa Chica State Beach. Get there early and carpool because the parking lot is small. Learn more: amigosdebolsachica.org

Walk with a Naturalist 9-10:30 p.m. Join naturalists at O’Neill Regional Park and learn about the animals and natural world of Trabuco Canyon. This is a light-to-moderate walk on mostly paved roads. The walk is free, parking is $5. Contact:949-923-2260 . Location: O’Neill Regional Park. 30892 Trabuco Canyon Road, Trabuco Canyon. Learn more: ocparks.com/parks/oneill

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Top 30 Real Estate Brokerages On Social Media

via Property Spark

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

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

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

Here’s how the Real Estate Brokerages are selected:

Initial Research on Real Estate Brokerages

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

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

Inclusions and Ranking (Objective Data)

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

Followers:
• Facebook Page Likes
• Instagram Followers
• Twitter Followers

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

Inclusions and Ranking (Subjective Data)

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

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

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

#10: The Boutique Real Estate Group

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

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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

The Real Estate Unlist: People, places and things I’m thankful for

 

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An inspired ode to the industry by Brad Inman September 6th, 2017.

A new grandchild and the tragic events unfolding in Houston have me feeling overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude.

Meanwhile I have been re-reading novels by Eve Babitz, one of my favorite writers who in the 1960s and ’70s wrote about the cultural milieu of Los Angeles and touched on the topics of social unrest, wildfires and earthquakes. An entertaining and poetic acknowledgments section precedes her classic 1974 novel Eve’s Hollywood.

Babitz’s lyrical structure and this collision of thoughts and events inspired me to write about a few of my favorite things (and characters) gracing our wacky industry.

Let’s call this my 2017 Acknowledgements Unlist.

To Mary & Peter homebuyer

But also to the bank that made them a loan and to the escrow company that recorded their sale

And to the agent and the search portal that helped them find a house

And to Richard Smith and the American flag pin on his lapel

And to the single-family house

And to Glenn Kelman and Robert Reffkin for spilling a tray of Big Gulp sodas all over the industry

And to role models Marsha RandEbby Halliday and Helen Hanna Caseywhen the ceiling was fierce

And to the mighty — Bill FoleyAdi TatarkoPat StoneHoward LorberRich BartonWarren BuffettLloyd Frink and Rupert Murdoch

And to the Toto toilet

And to Opendoor’s Eric Wu for the wit to use a sledgehammer

And to a life-in-full Dave Liniger with his pony-sized dog Max and ankle pistol

And to central air conditioning and to Wi-Fi

And to be Sherry Chris

And to FEMA and to flood insurance

And to the reassuring voices of Duane LeGate and Jim Walberg

And to industry writers Teresa Boardman and Sam DeBord

And to real estate’s Oprah Katie Lance

And to the front porch and the gas range

And to Hale Bob and vice versa

And to tussling with NAR

And to America’s first housing leaders Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt

And to Gary Keller and the entire state of Texas

And to raucous debates about the fate of the MLS, the plight of brokers, instant offers, commission compression, FSBOs and disintermediation

And to the 30-year mortgage

And to great expectations for Elizabeth Mendenhall

And to the condominium

And to the zillions of pillows that became Zillow

And to the final episode of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing

And to grinning at Andrew Flachner

And to the townhouse and the wading pool

And to the startup boosters Constance FreedmanBrendan WallaceAaron Block and Mark Birschbach

And to prophet Hank Miller, whose jeremiad against the industry put a fire under our readers

And to a 1000watt when you need it

And to bunkbeds

And to warrior priest Jay Thompson, the man with a strong heart despite sword blows to the chest

And to everyone named Victor & Sparkles

And to housing activists everywhere

And to the moment Mark McLaughlin put the Cobra GT500 into drive

And to the 4th and 5th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution

And to the inheritors Ben KinneyKymber Lovett-MenkitiSue AdlerThad WongEddie BerenbaumVanessa BergmarkShaun OsherChris LimMauricio UmanskyMark SpainMark ChoeyKendyl Young, Peter LorimerLaurie Weston Davis, Tiffany KjellanderPam LiebmanRaj Qsar, and Matt Beall

And to all of the disrupters, the new business models, the tinkerers and the entrepreneurs

And to the Pinecrest Diner, the Big Four, the Lambs Club, the French Roast, the KGB Bar, the Redwoods, the Box and the Beverly Hills Hotel

And to the reformers Team DivaRob HahnDebra TrappenTommy SowersSunny LakeBill WendellSara SutachanAnne JonesBrian CopelandMarguerite GiguereRyan BokrosCaroline Pinal and Carl Carter

And to Section 8 housing and the mortgage interest deduction

And to missing Peter Flint

And to tiny homes

And to the definition of loyalty Laura Monroe

And to notorious wing (wo)men Nyda Jones-Church (to Steve Games), Greg Schwartz (to Spencer Rascoff), Lisa Fettner (to Scott Olsen), Joan Dailey (to Avi Gupta) and Paul Boomsma (to Pam O’Connor)

And to those whose first name is enough — BillySethSamiVijaYaz, BlairErrol, Peter and Celeste

And to the turnaround crackerjack Amy Bohutinsky who should be running Uber

And to those who didn’t turn a big fortune into a small one Lennox ScottStephen BairdHoby Hanna and Obi Jacobi

And to the 1950s

And to the unsung: Stephanie AntonDeidre WoollardCary SylvesterMike RyanRyan GormanLeslie Appleton-YoungKatelyn CastellanoAmy GorceDiane RamirezSusan Yannaccone and Art Carter

And to housing the homeless

And to the everyday Realtor who saved lives in Harvey’s wake

And to Oakland, WEHO, Sausalito, UES, WPB, Palm Springs, 9th St., Carlinville and all of Illinois and most of Australia

And to Steve MurrayJeff LobbKen Jenny and a few other consultants

And to the garden apartment

And to Dottie and Dolly, if I have another daughter it will be a tough choice

And to the flacks we hate to hate Amanda WoolleyAudie Chamberlain, Kevin Hawkins and Sara Wiskerchen

And to Ryan O’Hara who keeps smiling through it all

And to Nest thermostats and Google Home

And to battle-scarred disruptor Joshua Hunt, who does not go down easily

And to your inner Ferry-self and to Tim & Julie’s clever rants

And to running water, light switches, warm floors and Mr. Coffee

And to Alex Lange for swimming with the salmon

And to the kidney-shaped swimming pool with a diving board

And to industry muckraker Greg Robertson

And to Joe SchuttNicole BeauchampSarita Lahoti Dua, Bob Watson, and Sean Carpenter for being everywhere for all of us

And to immigrants and their families

And to the software musketeers Jed CarlsonGrier AllenMorgan Carey and Matt Barba

And to the loud and the proud Leigh Brown

And to the steady hands Ron Peltier, Chris Heller, Joel Singer, Marilyn Wilson,David Charron, Suzanne Mueller, Rick Sharga, Billy Jack Carter, Charlie Young and John Aaroe

And to the Weber Grill and Bar Keepers Friend Cleanser & Polish

And to the thinkers Bill LublinJeff TurnerBernice RossLeslie Ebersole and J. Philip Faranda

And to sidewalks, bike lanes and street lights

And to trusting Lela Richardson and Joe Rand

And to missing Alex Perriello already

And to an industry that always puts up a good fight and feeds on community generosity when its neighbors are most in need

And to you Nate Ellis, who I know would approve

And to my last list…maybe.

 

Link to original article.