10 Questions with Raj Qsar

With so much panic and uncertainty in the world today, I figured there was no better person to interview for this week’s 10 Questions series than my good friend, Raj Qsar. Raj is the owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group based in Orange County, CA. Not only is Raj one of the leading minds in real estate innovation, but he’s not too proud to share everything he knows with the industry he loves to challenge us all to find new ways of doing things. His marketing is a step above the rest (just check out one of his videos) and when it comes to just about anything – I know Raj not only has everyone’s best interests at heart but delivers with a laugh and a smile. Get to know more about Raj here.

With a new “smart” something coming out almost every day, what products amaze and astound you?

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I am pretty sure you know my answer to this… TikTok. It is not just a dancing app where you are being silly. It truly is addictive. And the skills an individual can learn from mastering the app will carry on for years to come. What you can simply do on TikTok used to take a team of five people to pull off 5 years ago. It also gives you some insight into what is trending and relevant in today’s world.

With a million things happening at any one moment, how do you manage your time?

I am a huge believer in having a schedule and time-blocking chunks of the day. My routine is pretty much the same everyday (for work and my personal life). The details of what I am doing may change, just like a real estate transaction, but the core is the same.

What is something you’re really proud of? Why?

Probably the fact that back in 2008 I decided to take a leap and shoot a video. And not just a video but an actual movie on a listing. This was back before any of us knew how to shoot video on anything. I wanted to be different. I wanted to stand out. I wanted to give our clients the best chance of success on selling their home (which they tried to do several times before they met me). We had no idea of what we were doing or how to cut or edit the video but it was one of the most critical “ah ha” moments in my real estate career.

What’s the best and worst thing about getting older?

Worst – The fact that you are getting older and realizing that you can not control time.
Best – You truly realize who your tribe is over time. The people that stick with you, love you no matter what and want to do time with you. You also realize that life is full of moments with people (not things).  And every moment is what you make of it and is irreplaceable.


How do you relax?
Ever since I was a kid I have loved the ocean. I am not sure why because my parents really do not love the water. I mean my Mom does not know how to swim? But at an early age, they got us all into swim lessons and started taking us to the beach. In Orange County, I love to relax (in the afternoon) on any beach and watch the sunset.

What kind of projects would you like to do more of?
I think there is a huge need in our industry for true camaraderie, especially in leadership. CEO’s helping CEO’s navigate the waters we sail every day. Our industry is so complex and slammed with “what if’s” that it can sometimes be difficult to have a standard way of doing things. So to answer the question, I would love to be able to reach out to more CEO’s and give my time and see where I can assist and have a CEO sounding board where you can throw stuff and see if it sticks.

 What did you want to be when you were a kid?
As you know I went to medical school. So pretty much from college on that’s what I wanted to do, but life does take some interesting turns. I found out by going to medical school it truly was not my calling. It’s a long story on how I eventually landed in real estate but, for now, it is where I belong.

Why do you believe having mentors is so important?
Sometimes I think the world puts people in front of you for a reason. There are some really good people out there and these are the folks you need to cling to. When starting a business there are people who have run your race and finished the course and are willing to share their experience with you. Whether they take on the role of “mentor” or simply “friend” it is these opportunities that make you and your business better. No one business person has all the answers, it is humanly impossible.

What gets you fired up/energized?
It has become a trend that most people in our industry will do the least amount of work possible, put in the least amount of time and try to have the biggest rewards. Our team has become know in Orange County as the cleanup kids (and we are not kids anymore). But basically, when a listing does not sell due to over promises and under delivery, we get the call. This is not a business where your brothers, daughters, next-door neighbors dog sitter who just got licensed should be navigating the sale of someone’s most valuable asset should come into place to save x%. So coming into a listing that has not sold, charging the same amount and delighting our clients is what gets me the most fired up. We recently took a listing that had been listed 5x by 5 of the top brokers in Orange County and we sold it for full price. We truly care and every single listing matters.

Original Post via https://alyssahellman.com/blog/10-questions-with-raj-qsar

Chinese Real Estate Buying Boom Makes Good FENG SHUI A Must For Home Sellers

BY LIZ FLORA via JingDaily

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Photo Courtesy of The Boutique Real Estate Group

While many American real estate brokers would name features such as safe neighborhoods, proximity to top schools, and good sunlight as big factors upping a home’s value, some new elements are becoming equally important: stairs that don’t face the door, a stove that’s not placed below the master bedroom, and a bathroom that’s not in the center of the home. Thanks to growing Chinese demand for property in the United States, houses that align with good feng shui principles are earning big money and have propelled a cottage industry of feng shui-literate agents, developers, and design consultants in the U.S. real estate industry.

The results of a new survey by the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate and AREAA find that the feng shui design philosophy plays a role in home selection for the vast majority Chinese-Americans. A philosophical system that translates to “wind and water” in English, feng shui is focused on harmony with the surrounding environment and has traditionally been used in China to plan the orientation, architecture, and interior design of buildings. Out of 500 Chinese-American survey respondents, a staggering 86 percent say that feng shui will play a role in their future real estate purchasing decisions. A total of 76 percent said that they are familiar with feng shui principles, with over half of those familiar saying that they use it in their daily lives. Out of those surveyed who are homeowners, 81 percent said that feng shui had factored into their purchase.

Feng shui is already having a major effect on luxury home design in America as a result. In Arcadia, California, an upscale suburb of Los Angeles nicknamed the “Chinese Beverly Hills” due to its large Chinese population, developers are buying up older houses devoid of feng shui influences, tearing them down, and constructing new ones following the proper rules governing the flow of qi, or the invisible forces that govern the universe, according to the philosophy. This includes not only floor plan and layout, but the placement of the home itself—developers are most interested in buying lots that are in the middle of the block and facing south, while corner homes are less auspicious.

11 Ivanhoe, Irvine, Ca 92602

Photo Courtesy of The Boutique Real Estate Group

These principles are being employed at luxury developments across America as feng shui experts are called in to guide designers on how to appeal to wealthy Chinese real estate investors flocking to the United States, after they spent $22 billion on U.S. property last year. In Queens, New York, a condominium development called The Grand at View Sky Parc placed entrances in a way that would prevent the flow of negative energies, while strategically placing stones, plants, water, and wood in its rooftop park. Meanwhile, the waterfront Ritz-Carlton Residences in Miami Beach employed Hong Kong feng shui expert Patrick Wong to make sure the design and decor of the building were feng shui-compliant for its properties, which range from $2 million to $40 million.

This big investment in feng shui can lead to some major profits for developers, as a total of 79 percent of survey respondents said they would pay an average of 16 percent more for a home with proper design. Meanwhile, 90 percent of respondents said that they believe implementing feng shui elements will help improve a home’s resale value. Agents with knowledge of feng shui are especially prone to success with Chinese buyers, as 36 percent said they wouldn’t even work with an agent with no knowledge of feng shui.

For home sellers, poor feng shui now comes at a price, since many respondents saw negative elements as “deal breakers.” A home being at the end of a dead-end street is the worst, and would prevent 31 percent of those surveyed from buying it, while 29 percent wouldn’t buy a house with stairs directly facing the front door or with a sloped backyard, and 24 percent couldn’t accept front and back doors aligned with one another.

Feng shui, of course, isn’t the only important selling point for a home marketed to Chinese buyers. In Arcadia, new homes are also being tricked out with wine cellars, marble-lined double-entry halls, multiple master-bedroom suites to accommodate extended family, and separate “wok kitchens.”

 

10 Stunning Real Estate Listing Videos from 2015

Each year, agents and brokers nationwide continue to raise the bar for the quality of real estate videos. Properties are showcased in ever more unique fashions. Homes for sale are better staged and styled to help buyers envision themselves living there. All in all, more effort is put into making these videos visual masterpieces — ones that compel agents’ audiences, earn them new leads, and nurture existing ones. In 2015, this real estate video trend continued, as countless great listing videos were created by industry pros across the country — including the 10 featured below.

Check out each of these stunning real estate listing videos from 2015 and discover what makes them great … and how to emulate them with your own real estate video marketing strategy.

1930 Providence Road, Charlotte, North Carolina — Savvy + Co Real Estate

Knowing your audience: That’s how you win over real estate buyer leads. In the case of this gorgeous residence in Charlotte, the agency representing the listing, Savvy + Co Real Estate, knew the outdoor space would appeal to those who like hosting get-togethers: family BBQs, swanky pool parties, and everything in between. Telling the story of planning such a gathering through the eyes of a would-be owner is a perfect way to exhibit what life could be like for potential buyers. Of course, this narrative is just a part of the promotional angle of the video — showing the owner stroll through the listing also gives viewers a crystal clear view of every facet of the home.

1972 Outpost Circle, Los Angeles, California — The Boutique Real Estate Group

Another real estate video that offers a glimpse of life for the homeowner through an actor comes from one of the best-of-the-best listing video producers, The Boutique Real Estate Group of Orange County, California. The production of this video is stellar: from the background music that spurs our homeowner to sway rhythmically throughout the residence to the overhead drone shots of the Hollywood Hills. While selling a high-end home in L.A. may seem like an easy gig, it still takes a lot to stand out in the luxury market, and BREG does an incredible job at showing off this particular property in a distinct light.

21 Hurlingham Drive, Conyer’s Farm, Greenwich, Connecticut — RUHM Luxury Marketing and Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Greenwich

RUHM Luxury Marketing is no stranger to making lists of the best real estate listing videos — and there’s a clear reason. The company goes above and beyond — spending who knows how much — to craft award-worthy videos that look like those an Oscar-winning director would shoot. For this listing video of the lavish Hurlingham estate in Greenwich, Connecticut, the video marketing agency went the extra mile to showcase not just the home, which looks beyond pristine, but also the expansive property surrounding the house itself, which includes the best nature has to offer and a picturesque farm. There’s also insights from the estate manager and even nearby residents. Admittedly, this is a home that’s aimed at the super-millionaire, but the real estate video still shines brightly and does an astounding job of convincing any viewer the residence would be right for them.

6454 Shinnwood Road, Wilmington, North Carolina

Aside from creating first-rate tips-and-tricks real estate videos to her home buyer and seller audience, Edwards does a wonderful job with her listing videos. From start to finish, you get the complete sense that she has her business in order. We see her chic branding at the very beginning of the clip and immediately know how to find her online when she shares her social media info. Then, we get to hear from her and the dedication she and her team put into learning the ins and outs of her new listing. Finally, we see every detail of the home as Edwards and Co. tour the property. Oh, and the drone footage of the stunning water out back certainly doesn’t hurt.

12958 Northside Road, Monticello, Prince Edward Island, Canada

No matter how amazing your real estate listing video looks, if no one knows how to get in touch with you, it probably won’t help you secure more leads and clients. Michael Poczynek of Prince Edward Islandunderstands this: He wisely incorporates every potential way in which his audience could contact him in the opening seconds of his videos and posts his phone numbers at the bottom of the screen throughout the clip. Add in the fact that he explains everything a prospective home buyer could ever dream of knowing about the Monticello home for sale, the ocean nearby, the surrounding community, and the intricate details of the property’s interior and exterior and you’ve got one extremely well-produced video. It’s little wonder as to why Poczynek has accrued hundreds of thousands of views on his YouTube channel.

4847 Rim Road, Santa Barbara, California

Ideally, your real estate videos will provide clarity regarding your listings, like an oral explanation of the properties’ dimensions and features or text overlays highlighting updates made to the residence. Sometimes, though, all you need to do is let the home for sale and the surrounding area speak for itself, as real estate cinematographer and drone photography specialist Douglas Thron does for this video he shot for a Southern California listing. In just four minutes, Thron was able to exhibit practically every major attribute of the community, including the stunning pier and cliffside area, and the home itself.

3168 Countryside Drive, Brampton, Ontario, Canada — Open House Television and Royal LePage Real Estate Services

Taking essentially the opposite approach from the previous video is the firm Royal LePage, which employed Open House Television to create an intricately detailed listing video that spends just as much time and effort explaining the ins and outs of the property — everything from the dimensions of the marble tiles in the foyer to the pre-finished Oak hardwood floors in the dining room. When it comes to promoting a home for sale, there’s no such thing as providing too much information to prospective buyers, so if you produce a script that’s 2,000 words long, don’t feel the need to shorten it for the sake of brevity. Instead, do what the real estate agency behind this recording does and let no home characteristics go unexplained.

7320 Popp Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana — Wieland Real Estate

If there was an award for “Best Real Estate Listing Video Staging,” this one from Indiana-based Wieland Real Estate would certainly get a nomination. The warm (literally and figuratively) and inviting living room, cozy home office, book-filled bedroom, and bright kitchen are just some of the many astounding rooms we pass through via this expertly crafted digital tour. Add in the elegant ballad strumming in the background and the perfect branding to close out the video (both the cameo from the agency’s head Troy Wieland and the prominent logo and call to action) and you’ve got yourself one phenomenally developed listing promotion.

333 22nd Street, Santa Monica, California — Christophe Choo

Mr. Choo has got this digital real estate marketing thing down pat. After explaining how he drives thousands upon thousands of visitors to his real estate website each month via his organic search engine optimization (SEO) efforts at Inman Connect San Francisco, it became clear he’s one the premier online marketers in the industry. This listing video is just the icing on the cake: Having already mastered written content, Choo and his team headed to the world of video, where they’ve produced awe-inspiring clips like the one above that really make viewers feel like they’re invited guests into this multimillion-dollar Santa Monica manor. As the tour guide, Choo does a remarkable job of suavely describing each of the home’s biggest draws. Should you ever decide to get in front of the camera for your own real estate videos, use Choo as an agent to imitate.

1611 Mokulua Drive, Kailua, Hawaii — 360 Property Videos and Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties

It’s definitely difficult to screw up a real estate video in such a magnificent locale such as Hawaii, but even with the resplendent natural setting and a handsome high-end home to boot, it takes a lot of effort to pull of a video like this one for Honolulu-based agent Tracy Allen’s luxury listing. Those aspiring to live the seaside life with warm weather year-round and easy access to the beach, trails, and mountains are clearly the primary demographic this clip targets. And though this may be a limited audience, the production value of the video likely attracted a hefty number of prospective buyers.
Get help with your real estate video production for your YouTube channel in our detailed Academy post, which explains how to brand your account, the types of real estate videos to create, and much more.

What real estate marketing tools do you use to create listing and other videos? How do you come up with real estate marketing ideas for your videos? Share your ideation and production methods with us below!

Why I went indy. A REAL estate story.

The Boutique Real Estate Group

The beautiful brand and unique core values of The Boutique Real Estate Group have brought the romance back into real estate for me. The brand is not only captivating and effective, but it’s also crisp and classy; it stands out amongst the competition. Coupling this aesthetic with an exceptionally high level of service and an absolute commitment to excellence has allowed me to connect emotionally to all elements of the transaction. This connection is what has brought the passion back into the business. Taking the time to bond with my clients naturally sets the stage for a wonderful story. Everyone has a story to tell (see recent story from Zillow.com); it’s just about putting the extra time and energy into discovering the perfect way to portray it and push it out to the world. And at The Boutique the world does see it.

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The Boutique is unlike any other brokerage I have ever seen or been affiliated with. The entire process and concept is just different. From the moment a client or prospect comes in (web or walk-in), we speak human, not real estate. Once we digitally sign a listing agreement with a Seller or meet with a Buyer the first time, the next steps aren’t “in your face” aggressive, yet the process is still highly effective. It’s about having an emotional connection with the client and truly understanding their future goals, which allows us to better represent and negotiate on their behalf.

The incorporation of technology at The Boutique is truly world class and something brought in from outside the industry.  The digital tools I am now incorporating allow me to be more productive in a fraction of the time. I’m able to operate on a completely virtual platform and support a paperless transaction. I used to print out a copy of everything for the clients, which was overwhelming and extremely wasteful. Now everything is accessible to the clients and everyone else involved in the transaction via the web or mobile. With technology, prospecting effectively has taken on an entirely new meaning. Having a highly efficient Team CRM with the ability to set up immediate responses to incoming leads, set up workflows for current prospects, and then track progress is extremely straightforward and almost effortless.

The exceptionally high touch, luxury service offered by The Boutique is perfect for the Pasadena marketplace and consumers who love this great city. Pasadena has such a rich and diverse history that is exquisitely expressed through the gorgeous architecture found throughout the entire city. People who live here appreciate unique and that’s exactly what The Boutique offers, and then some! The competition is everywhere, mostly consisting of large offices that focus on quantity, not quality. When consumers in Pasadena and surrounding areas see what The Boutique has to offer – amazing photography, video and film production, 360 high definition walk throughs, in-house interior design and staging, in-house custom graphics and design, in-house social media, and dominating search engine marketing & optimization – they will see the way marketing should be done.

This passion for the creative process is portrayed in everything we do.  Just look at what Mashable said about one of recently shot in house videos, “PLAIN VIDEO HOUSE TOURS ARE ALL WELL AND GOOD, BUT WHAT IF INSTEAD OF A DRY, ROOM-BY-ROOM TOUR AROUND A PROPERTY, YOU USED THE video to tell a story and sell a lifestyle? THE BOUTIQUE REAL ESTATE GROUP IS VERY GOOD AT THIS, PRODUCING A SERIES OF GLOSSY ADS FOR HOUSES THAT engage you WITH A SIMPLE PLOT DEVICE, MAKING THEM MUCH more interesting THAN THE AVERAGE TOUR. IN THIS EXAMPLE, SEEING THE KIDS RUN THROUGH THE BEAUTIFUL ROOMS AS THEY FIND A SUITABLE CUBBYHOLE FOR A GAME OF HIDE-AND-SEEK IS JUST A genius way TO SHOW THE HOME’S FAMILY-FRIENDLY, ATTRACTIVE LIVING SPACES.”

The emotional connection, advanced technology, luxury service, and creative offerings are all tied together with amazing support from the entire team at The Boutique. From the Founder//Owner, to the broker, to our concierge team, to the agents who are a part of the team, EVERYONE is constantly connected and here to support each other. The feeling of family and warmth here is exactly the type of work environment I want to be in. I really love knowing that my voice is heard and my concerns are addressed whether it’s a hurdle in a transaction or an opinion on a marketing piece. Real estate is a very personal business and it helps me be more successful having The Boutique in my corner of the ring.