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?


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

To our family, friends, clients, and colleagues.

A Message from Raj Qsar.
First of all, we want to send our support & love during these uncertain times. The global COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most difficult scenarios we’ve had to face as a company, industry, and community. When I started The Boutique, my dream was to develop a culture where everyone is considered family. My intention in doing so was to create something better, not only for our agents, staff, and clients but for our industry as a whole. This dream remains our companies driving force as we move forward each & every day.
To our most valued clients, please know that during this time, we will continue to serve you with support, knowledge, and care. Now more than ever, The Boutique family will come together to communicate and collaborate, as we work safely on your behalf.
Our agents will remain available, providing online and video conversations, live streaming property tours and sharing updates on all our social media channels. We work in a completely digital office and can manage all documents online. We will pick up food for you, grab groceries for you, drop off medicine for you or just simply call you to check-in. We will continue to monitor the guidelines set forth by our local, state and national governments, as well as our real estate industry associations.
We are here to help & support you in every way possible and are committed to providing you with the utmost service and guidance moving forward.
On behalf of The Boutique family, we send our love, prayers and best wishes for the health of you and your loved ones. We will get through this, together and come back stronger than ever.
Raj Qsar, CEO / Owner
The Boutique Real Estate Group

The Bridgford House
401 Cannon Ln, Fullerton, Ca 92831

COVID-19 Response

Dear clients, family, and friends,

During this time, we want you to know that we’re here to help…

💕 Our hearts go out to our families with children with schools shut down, our parents, grand-parents & great grand-parents, our seniors in assisted living, our neighbors at the hospitals, our local businesses struggling and anyone impacted by this pandemic.

🍊 TBREG was born here in The OC in 2013 and many of our agents were born and raised here as well. We are fortunate to know people who may be able to help you out for a trip to the grocery store, watching children or just someone to speak with to get the facts.

😊 You’ll be surprised how many good people are here locally who are happy to help you. They WANT TO HELP! Its time for our community to rally for good.

📲 Call or email us if you need anything. We can be reached at 888-917-8267 or info@TheBoutiqueRE.com. We can see if we are able to assist in some way or know someone who can help. To see how our business and team are operating for the time being, please visit our Instagram or Facebook page.

These are crazy, unprecedented times. Together, we will get through it.

Please stay safe and healthy.


The Boutique Real Estate Group 🏡

Lic 01933510

Helpful Links:

CDC – Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

WHO – World Health Organization

NIH – National Institutes of Health

‘Sanitizer and power of attorney’: How luxury is bracing for the virus

In the most extreme example, some clients with private jets have begun asking about buying homes on islands and in other isolated areas that they can flee to in case of disaster

As some uber-wealthy homeowners stock up on hand sanitizer and hire cleaners for every showing, others are giving family members power of attorney to ensure a sale in case of quarantine.

The impacts of the coronavirus, the novel respiratory disease that began in China but has spread into an international pandemic with over 140,000 cases around the world confirmed, are just starting to reverberate across the real estate sector. Brokerages have had to close for deep cleaning after some of their agents became exposed to the virus while people in some of the hardest-hit parts of the country are isolating themselves voluntarily and holding off on all buying for the time being.

According to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, 11 percent of agents surveyed earlier this month saw less buyer traffic while 7 percent reported lower seller traffic thus far.Luxury real estate, which is generally considered to include homes worth between $5 million and $30 million, follows different rules. In 2018, high-end homes sat on the market for an average of 506 days compared to only 80 for an median-priced home. That said, this segment of the industry has not been immune to the fear and financial impact surrounding the novel disease.

Senada Adzem

Senada Adzem, a Douglas Elliman broker working with homes worth as much as $30 million in Boca Raton and other parts of South Florida, said some of her wealthy clients are especially hesitant to hold showings and require much more detail about who is coming into their home.

“We had to convince the seller to allow us to show and register every person who was coming in,” Adzem, whose eight-agent branch has cancelled all open houses until the outbreak stabilizes, told Inman. “After we were done, they had a cleaning team come in and wipe everything down.”

As a result, Adzem’s team has had to screen whom they show houses to not just by the standard ability to afford the property but also by travel history and whether they are showing any visible signs of illness, such as coughing or a fever. Adzem, who fled the war in Bosnia during the 1990s, said that crises like these cause people of all financial and social classes to panic.

She has been striving not only to reassure her clients but work around their fears. In the most extreme example, some clients with private jets have begun asking her about buying homes on islands and in other isolated areas that they can flee to in case of disaster.

“When people are in a panic mode, they think differently and make a different set of decisions,” she said. “As agents, we have to take it seriously and not just pretend it’s not going to impact our business.”

Raj Qsar

Still, the outbreak is not impacting all parts of the country equally. Raj Qsar, the CEO of the Boutique Real Estate Group in Orange County, California, said members of his team have held 20 open houses last weekend and have seen them packed with people each time. They have another 15 open houses scheduled for this weekend and do not expect a lot of changes in traffic due to the coronavirus.

This could be due to Orange County being a particularly hot market. In the area, median sales prices rose by 7.2 percent year-over-year in December while sales inventory is down 36 percent. According to Qsar, many people are so desperate to invest and tap into the market that a national pandemic hasn’t slowed them down — particularly when the stock market is responding to the cancellation of flights and adjustments to the typical workday.

“If people have funds in a 401K and those funds go down, those funds may not be there anymore,” Qsar said. “This is a 30-year opportunity for a three-month incident.”

The California Association of Realtors expects the virus to have some impact on the luxury market as people hold off on buying second homes and investment properties in the face of uncertainty. Qsar has seen both buyers and sellers who are in the escrow process and need to travel transfer power of attorney to a family member or other trusted person. Rather than the fear of contracting the virus, some fear a quarantine, not having access to WiFi and allowing a sale to fall through their fingers

“They may put their masks on, they may bring hand-sanitizer with them but they’re still going to walk into that open house,” Qsar said, adding that he does not expect serious buyers to be deterred by the coronavirus.

McKenzie Ryan

New York City real estate has been particularly responsive to market effects from the virus — the state has seen more than 200 cases of coronavirus and, subsequently, 13 percent of open houses had no traffic at all last weekend. According to CNBC, average open house attendance fell 27 percent in the last week alone —  from an average of 5.6 people to 4.1 peopleper event.

McKenzie Ryan, a Compass agent working on high-end properties in Manhattan, said that the New York real estate market is particularly affected by daily headlines. And while that’s having real-world effects, some wealthy buyers are also capitalizing on the situation. She’s seen billionaire clients who normally spend a large portion of their time traveling get landlocked in New York and, as a result, use the extra time to arrange private showings.

“I think people are going to stay focused on their long-term goals and take precautions to keep themselves safe in the interim,” she said.

BY VERONIKA BONDARENKO via https://www.inman.com/2020/03/13/sanitizer-and-power-of-attorney-how-luxury-is-bracing-for-the-virus/ || March 13, 2020

TikTok for real estate: How to harness this next-gen social media app

Real estate agents are using TikTok to take their business to the next level. Here’s how creating content on this popular video-sharing app can help you build your brand and generate leads

TikTok for real estate: How to harness this next-gen social media app

Image by Harry CunninghamBY BERNICE ROSSMarch 04, 2020

Would you be willing to spend a few minutes a day to obtain over 100,000 page views for your new listing video? Better yet, what if it cost you nothing? This is what TikTok can do for your business provided you’re willing to jump in and play. 

Agents are finally realizing that if they want to remain competitive in 2020, video is a must. The challenge is that producing video requires time, separate uploading to the various social media sites, plus identifying a way to attract page views. 

Next-gen social networking: ‘social entertainment’

Emarketer explains that TikTok is a part of a new type of “social entertainment” where users can watch and create short videos. They can also create profiles and interact publicly with a network of contacts, as they do on other social media sites. 

It’s this social entertainment element that differentiates TikTok from other social media channels and has led to the app being installed nearly 1.6 billion times

An article from Inside Hook explains why this is happening: 

“The platform is currently the best way to reach young people, as they’re the age group using the app more than any other (60 percent of its users are ages 16 to 24). If you’re looking to get a message across to the largest (about 1.5 billion) and, arguably, most influential group of consumers, a short 15-second TikTok video is, at the moment, the fastest way to do that.” 

7 reasons TikTok matters for your business

When you first visit TikTok, you’ll probably wonder how a site that features Gen-Z users dancing to trendy music — like the viral “Renegade” dance challenge — could be relevant for real estate. Here are seven reasons TikTok should matter to your real estate business. 

1. It hits the sweet spot for millennial buyers and sellers

In terms of TikTok’s users, 26 percent are between the ages of 25 and 44, the sweet spot for today’s millennial buyers and sellers. The average user spends 52 minutes a day on the platform and opens the app eight times throughout the day.  


2. It generates insane amounts of free organic traffic 

Gary Vaynerchuk argues that TikTok and LinkedIn are the two places that give you amazing organic reach that don’t happen on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. He likens it to buying real estate in Manhattan in 1898, long before it became incredibly valuable. Vaynerchuk recommends posting a minimum of four videos per day. 

To illustrate this point, Alisa Glutz, a Scottsdale mortgage broker and author of Color My Credit, decided to “go play in the sandbox” over at TikTok because her two daughters and their friends were all avid users. Her experience illustrates how powerful this app can be for real estate. 

In less than 60 days, she generated over 4 million page views, 455,000 likes and 77,000 followers. Today, at the 90-day market mark, she has generated over 8.4 million page views. 

TikTok has also generated leads for her mortgage business, in addition to becoming a referral source for her clients who need the services of a real estate agent. What’s more, she sold 800 copies of her book in only one week. Before TikTok, it had taken her three years to sell that many books

3. It’s about the moms

Glutz was surprised by how many adults are embracing TikTok. What’s fascinating is that the teens who have seen Glutz’s “Color My Credit” videos are going to their moms and saying, “Mom, I don’t understand what she’s saying, but I think you should watch this.”

In other words, what teenagers see on TikTok has the potential to influence their parents’ approach to the listing or buying process. 

4. It provides genuinely helpful information

Glutz uses text boxes to provide her message. “How to Create a Great Credit Score” has garnered 845,600 views: 


Learn the rules. Master the game. ##verymuchadequate ##foryoupage ##2020colormycredit ##creditcards ##creditempowerment

♬ original sound – smokinhottballz

“Don’t Make Your Credit Wobble” provides great advice to buyers who have a property under contract. It’s garnered close-to 69,500 views.


If you are under contract to buy a house, don’t mess it up by doing one of these things. ##foryoupage##mortgage

♬ Wobble – Radio Version – V.I.C.

A different approach is to explain a topic without the music. “How to Handle Late Payment to Get It Removed” has received about 674,100 page views. (Note that Glutz has two additional videos in this series. The total length of the three videos is only 45 seconds): 


So you want to clean up uour credit and need to know what to say to try and fix bad accounts? ##foryoupage ##fyp ##credit ##debt

♬ original sound – colormycredit

5. It’s a syndication hub for other social media platforms

According to Raj Qsar, the CEO and founder of The Boutique Real Estate Group, TikTok allows you to syndicate your TikTok videos to other social media sites with a single click. You can also cut and paste your link to IGTV (Instagram TV) and YouTube.

6. It’s a great tool for brand building

When Qsar first began using TikTok, he was receiving about 200-800 views per post

Once Qsar figured out that TikTok did not have to be so formal and that you could use trending dances and popular music, his view count climbed into the thousands. Here’s an example of how TikTok provides exposure for his brand. 


Office meeting vibes 💃🏼 ##CozyLittleChristmas ##everwonder ##fyp ##foryou ##foryoupage ##tbreg

♬ Lip Gloss – Lil Mama

7. It can be used as a lead generator 

Jeff Pfitzer heads up a USA Mortgage team in St. Louis and has been training the real estate agents he serves to use TikTok. Pfitzer explains that your goal is to reach the local micro-community that would be interested in buying or selling where you do business.  

Both Pfitzer and Qsar agree that your TikTok videos work as tease for your listings. Once viewers see your TikTok video, they can then “swipe up” to your Instagram, Facebook and YouTube pages, where you can share longer videos. Since your buyers and sellers are on these sites, this is where the lead conversion actually occurs.  

Because of its global reach, TikTok can also be a powerful resource for generating international real estate leads as well. 

Real estate’s most successful TikTok user

Aaron Grushow, a 23-year-old Compass agent, has probably garnered more page views than any other real estate professional on TikTok. His posts typically receive at least 50,000-100,000 views. His goal is to establish his brand and generate leads. 

Grushow shoots 15-second videos highlighting lavish multimillion dollar estates in Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and Malibu. The following video has garnered 1.7 million views:


Stunning Malibu beach house! ##malibu ##beach ##ocean ##view ##luxury ##goals ##amazing ##golden ##fyp

♬ Devil Eyes – Hippie Sabotage

4 critical takeaways based on Grushow’s success on TikTok 

  • Make your videos stand out by focusing on what is unusual, funny or in this case, ultra-luxurious. 
  • Tagging is critical. Your hashtags determine where your videos appear on TikTok. For the video above, his tags were: #malibu #beach #ocean #view #luxury #goals #amazing #golden #fyp (for your page).
  • Like Glutz, Grushow has also had great success creating videos where he personally delivered a commentary. This video has received 5.5 million views and 1.7 million likes.

MOST EXPENSIVE HOME EVER! ##mansion ##house ##home ##design ##modern ##expensive ##money ##rich ##luxury ##realestate ##goals ##losangeles ##pool ##city ##fyp ##dream

♬ original sound – aarongrushowhomes
  • Grushow’s videos illustrate how amazingly powerful coupling unusual content and the right music can be. The following video is set to the theme for Jaws — something that Gen X-ers and Boomers would recognize, but many younger people wouldn’t know. It generated 4.2 million views. 

Some high quality ##fishcontent ! More like ##sharkcontent 🦈! ##mansion ##house ##design ##modern ##shark ##fishtank ##fish ##water ##fyp

♬ Jaws Theme – Jaws

Is this the most viewed real estate video ever? 

When Grushow created a second video on the same subject and paired it with a trending TikTok song, the page views jumped to a whopping 48.5 million with 6.5 million likes! 


Ever see a shark aquarium in a house?! ##shark ##fish ##fishtank ##aquarium ##house ##mansion ##luxury ##amazing ##beautiful ##fyp

♬ Can We Kiss Forever? – Kina

Will TikTok become the next big social media site for real estate?

“Social entertainment” is probably here to stay. The question is: Will TikTok emerge as the dominant player over today’s social media sites or will it go the way of Snapchat? 

No matter what, jumping on TikTok now can give you a significant edge over your competitors. If you need help figuring out how to use it, find a teenager to help you — renegade anyone? 

Original Post by:


Bernice Ross, President and CEO of BrokerageUP and RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles. Learn about her broker/manager training programs designed for women, by women, at BrokerageUp.com and her new agent sales training at RealEstateCoach.com/newagent.

Top 9 Things to do for New Year’s 2019 in The OC with kids

By: Raj Qsar

1. “Noon” Year’s Eve

Local children’s museums KidspaceThe Children’s Museum at La Habra, and Pretend City all celebrate with balloon drops, live music, sparkling cider, and a countdown to 2020 at 12:00 noon instead of 12 midnight. It’s the best of both worlds for little ones: a New Year’s Eve bash and an early bedtime…for everyone… LOLOL.

Make your own noise at Pretend City

2. Family Festival

Shoreline Village in Long Beach offers a free, early evening, family-friendly celebration featuring all manner of entertainment for kids. The ball drops and the fireworks fly at 9pm, timed to coincide with the east coast, and sensible bedtime. Make even more of a Long Beach day of it by adding a stop at Queen Mary Christmas in the afternoon (open 12n-6pm on New Year’s Eve).

3. Knott’s New Year’s Eve

Is it Knott New Year’s Eve already? Apparently it is—and happily, the Knott’s New Year’s Eve party definitely is a party, with family entertainment everywhere you look, all day and way into the night. We had some friends do this last year and had a ball; and by the time it started getting really crowded, the kids were ready to call it a year anyway.

Knotts Berry Farm New Years Eve

4. Arcade Night

Dave & Busters invites the whole family to play video games and count down to 2020 at the Irvine location. Bubbly drinks for parents and soda for kids are all-you-can-drink at the open bar, and food is included in the ticket price, too. 

5. Jousting

How about some good old-fashioned fighting? No, really, old-fashioned—as in knights in full armor jousting and clashing broadswords. Medieval Times Dinner Theater has a family-friendly New Year’s Eve bash planned (with the emphasis on bash). Could be kinda fun?

6. Disneyland

If you want the closest you can get to that Times Square crowd energy, the Happiest Place on Earth is also one of the most popular places on Earth. Disneyland fireworks are grander (and happen twice) on New Year’s Eve, and the party is all around, as you ring in the new year with every Disney character your kids normally dream of at this time of night.

7. Winter Fest

Orange County has another family-friendly, large-scale celebration option if the theme parks are not your thing. The holiday festival at the OC Fair & Event Center rings in the new year at 6pm for the early-to-bed set, then stays open late to do it all again at midnight, with snow, fireworks, a parade, and a ball drop.

8. First Night Fullerton

This family-friendly, alcohol-free event will be celebrating its 28th year from 7pm to midnight. The free event features live musical performances, food vendors, games, activities, and a fireworks show at midnight.

9. Torchlight Parade (Not in The OC)

And now for something totally different: Two of Orange County’s nearby ski resorts have an annual tradition of a Torchlight Parade, in which hundreds of skiers head down the mountain after dark in a row bearing torches. It costs nothing to watch the spectacle at either Mountain High or Snow Summit, or to participate in the accompanying festivities. Of course, once you’re there, why not go skiing? Especially if you have a 5th grader who can ski for free?

Torchlight Parade

California’s 50 Safest Cities of 2019

SafeWise is happy to release our fifth annual Safest Cities report. Here are the 50 Safest Cities in California for 2019. See if your city made the list.

California saw some big challenges in 2018—and one of our safest cities, Thousand Oaks, went through two major events. This community faced a mass shooting and a devastating wildfire. But it was able to limit both violent and property crime to below state and national averages in 2017, making it our 28th safest California city.

Overall 86% of this year’s safest cities are on the list for the second consecutive year. And Northern California gained one more city this year, to claim 40% of the state’s safest cities—plus the number one city, Danville, is from the north. But Southern California continues to dominate, with 30 of its cities making the list.

The five safest cities in California in 2019 are Danville, Irvine, Rancho Santa Margarita, Yorba Linda, and Murrieta.

Take a look at the full list to find out how your city ranks, and whether it’s one of the Golden State’s safest places to live.

California's Safest Cities

Interesting Findings

  • Every city on the list had fewer than two violent crimes per 1,000 people, and 26% saw fewer than one.
  • California’s violent crime rate is slightly higher (4.51) than the national rate of 4.49.
  • At 26.08, the state beats the national property crime rate of 27.11.
  • 92% of cities had lower property crime rates than both state and national averages.
  • Despite lower property crime rates, Californians ranked property crime as their biggest safety concern on our State of Safety survey, with 64% ranking it number one—that’s five points above the national average.
  • 21% of respondents cited personal experience with property crime in the past year, and 16% reported experiencing a violent crime.

California’s Earthquake Fear Factor

Earthquakes were the number two environmental concern of Californians on our State of Safety report60% named quakes their biggest natural disaster fear, coming in behind air quality with 72%.

pie chart showing percentage of cities in northern and southern california

The 50 Safest Cities in California

#1 Danvil

Population45,088 Median Income$152,798 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)0.35 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)7.83

Danville, California

#2 Irvine

Population: 276,115 Median Income: $95,573 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 0.61 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):13.16

Irvine, California

#3 Rancho Santa Margarita

Population: 49,144 Median Income: $106,939 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 0.65 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 6.67

Rancho Santa Margarita, California

#4 Yorba Linda

Population: 68,889 Median Income:$123,962 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000):0.65 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):10.36

Yucaipa, California

Population68,889Median Income$123,962Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)0.65Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)10.36

#5 Murrieta

Population113,016 Median Income$80,373 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)0.71 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)14.00

Murrieta, California

Population113,016Median Income$80,373Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)0.71Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)14.00

#6 San Ramon

Population76,325 Median Income$142,718 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)0.73 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)12.76

San Ramon, California

#7 Rancho Palos Verdes

Population 42,563 Median Income$124,552 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000) 0.78 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)10.48

Rancho Palos Verdes, California

#8 Folsom

Population78,155 Median Income$106,718 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)0.82 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)15.73

Folsom, California

#9 Laguna Niguel

Population65,700Median Income$99,206Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)0.82Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)8.72

Laguna Niguel, California

#10 Aliso Viejo

Population51,984Median Income$106,353Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)0.85Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)7.58

Aliso Viejo, California

#11 Chino Hills

Population79,480Median Income$102,746Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)0.88Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)17.14

Chino Hills, California

#12 Eastvale

Population62,422Median Income$110,685Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)0.88Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)21.13

Eastvale, California

#13 Lincoln

Population47,741Median Income$78,647Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)0.92Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)12.67

Lincoln, California

#14 Diamond Bar

Population56,996Median Income$94,531Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)1.00Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)18.30

Diamond Bar, California

#15 Temecula

Population115,220Median Income$87,115Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)1.02Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)22.69

Temecula, California

#16 Rocklin

Population63,735Median Income$91,995Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000)1.04Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)17.81

Rocklin, California

#17 Mission Viejo

Population: 96,928 Median Income: $107,988 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.04 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000)1: 0.00

Mission Viejo, California

#18 Poway

Population: 50,438 Median Income: $102,338 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000) : 1.15 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000) :11.42

Poway, California

#19 Pleasanton

Population: 84,440 Median Income : $138,269 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.17 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):19.67

Pleasanton, California

#20 Sunnyvale

Population: 154,919 Median Income: $118,314 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000) 1.17 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):17.31

Sunnyvale, California

#21 Fountain Valley

Population: 56,704Median Income: $86,602 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.20 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 27.88

Fountain Valley, California

#22 Foster City

Population: 34,808 Median Income: $136,383 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.24 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 10.03

Foster City, California

#23 Oakley

Population: 41,509 Median Income: $89,392 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.25 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000) : 11.78

Oakley, California

#24 Cupertino

Population: 60,970 Median Income: $153,449 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.26 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):15.91

Cupertino, California

#25 Moorpark

Population: 36,813 Median Income: $102,145 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.30 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):9.02

Moorpark, California

#26Central Marin

Population: 35,060 Median Income:$104,703 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.31 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 25.44

Central Marin, California

#27 Corona

Population: 169,164 Median Income: $73,594 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.32 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):19.49

Corona, California

#28 Thousand Oaks

Population: 129,240 Median Income:$103,793 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.33 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 13.05

Thousand Oaks, California

#29 Palo Alto

Population: 67,441Median Income: $147,537 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.33 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 26.44

Palo Alto, California

#30 Glendale

Population: 202,381Median Income: $58,657 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.35 Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):15.41

Glendale, California

#31 Menifee

Population: 90,403Median Income: $60,808 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.36Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 21.81

Menifee, California

#32 Dublin

Population: 62,235Median Income:$138,007 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.37Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 19.20

Dublin, California

#33 Davis

Population: 68,540Median Income: $63,071Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.37Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 23.62

Davis, California

#34 Yucaipa

Population: 53,614Median Income: $58,166Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.38Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 17.29

Yucaipa, California

#35 San Clemente

Population: 65,596Median Income: $101,843Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.39Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 12.38

San Clemente, California

#36 Martinez

Population: 38,619Median Income: $98,102Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.40Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):16.03

Martinez, California

#37 Cypress

Population: 49,064Median Income: $90,345 Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000: )1.41Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 14.80

Cypress, California

#38 Newport Beach

Population: 86,910Median Income: $119,379Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.43Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 24.43

Newport Beach, California

#39 Milpitas

Population: 79,503Median Income: $110,752Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.43Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):24.88

Milpitas, California

#40 Simi Valley

Population: 126,635Median Income: $93,516Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.45Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):14.40

Simi Valley, California

#41 Temple City

Population: 36,500Median Income: $69,853Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.48Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):15.12

Temple City, California

#42 Walnut Creek

Population: 69,953Median Income: $86,845Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.50Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):32.94

Walnut Creek, California

#43 Wildomar

Population: 36,683Median Income: $67,510Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.53Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):18.62

Wildomar, California

#44 Orange

Population: 141,130Median Income: $83,500Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.54Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):18.31

Orange, California

#45 Menlo Park

Population: 34,195Median Income: $132,928Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.55Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):19.18

Menlo Park, California

#46 Lake Forest

Population: 84,224Median Income: $93,963Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.58Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):8.99

Lake Forest, California

#47 Camarillo

Population: 67,714Median Income: $92,780Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.58Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):16.04

Camarillo, California

#48 Morgan Hill

Population: 45,277Median Income: $107,161Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.59Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):15.95

Morgan Hill, California

#49 La Quinta

Population: 41,528Median Income: $76,131Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 1.61Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):28.82

La Quinta, California

#50 Novato

Population:   56,698Median Income:   $89,812Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000):   1.62Property Crime Rate (per 1,000):16.35

Novato, California

How We Determined the Safest Cities

Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.

Beyond Safest Cities: What Are the Biggest Safety Concerns in Your State?

Crime statistics are one thing, but do they line up with what people are really worried about when it comes to safety? To find out, SafeWise conducted a nationwide survey. See what the biggest safety concern is in your state—and learn more about what your neighbors are nervous about—in our State of Safety report.

If you would like to contact a SafeWise Safest Cities Analyst, please email info@safewise.com.

How to Make a Safe Home Anywhere

Wherever you live, feeling safe in your home can bring greater peace of mind and happiness. Whether your city made our list or not, we recommend adding extra security to your home with monitored security services.

To learn more about the home security options available to you, check out SafeWise’s picks for  Best Home Security Systems.

Didn’t Find Your City in the Top 50?

See how the remaining cities ranked in the list below.

Click here to view original article via Safewise

Real Estate Appraisal: Definition, Cost & How It Works

A real estate appraisal is a report by a certified inspector that determines the value of a property based on its features and condition. Buyers compare this value to the home price to ensure there is not a large discrepancy. Appraisals are also required by lending institutions to secure loans for the purchase of property.

How a Real Estate Appraisal Works

A home appraisal is an independent report about what a property is worth and how much the buyer should pay for it. To secure an appraisal as part of the homebuying process, the buyer or the mortgage lender researches appraisal companies, determines the best fit based on price and reviews, and hires a company. Once a seller accepts an offer letter, the buyer schedules a visit from a real estate appraiser to determine the value of the home.

To find a qualified appraiser, a buyer typically works either with the lender or with their real estate agent to determine best options. These are reviewed and vetted based on price and testimonials from prior clients. Then the appraiser is selected and conducts a full home appraisal after the seller accepts the buyer’s offer.

During the on-site appraisal of the property, the home appraiser looks for any damage and potentially costly repairs. He or she will also consider sales prices of comparably sized homes in the area to help determine the amount that the house should sell for in the current market. After considering these factors, the appraiser determines a home value that the lending institution uses as the basis for its final loan amount. This also serves to validate the initial buyer offer.

The report of the appraiser reinforces that the house is a sound investment for the buyer and the lending company. If the property is valued significantly lower than the initial offer, however, then the buyer can renegotiate the offer price.

Real Estate Appraisal Costs

A residential real estate appraisal costs between $300 and $400, depending on the area and the company. The cost for a real estate appraisal is determined by the size of your home, the location of your property, and the company you pick to do the inspection.

Elements of a Real Estate Appraisal

A real estate appraisal is comprised of four main parts, including the property description, market information, best use, and property valuation. Collectively, these four pieces are used by the lender to determine the home loan amount.

These are the four main sections of a real estate appraisal:

  • Property description: This is the section where the appraiser details the basic information about the property―sometimes with pictures―like the number of rooms, square footage, attached land size, and other features unique to the property.
  • Market information: This area of the report focuses on the neighborhood, trends in real estate in this location, how the market is developing, and what other houses with similar features are selling for in the area.
  • Best/highest use: The best use section talks about how the property can be used to ensure the property retains its value. For a home, the continued occupation by owners is the most likely recommendation because this is the use type that yielded the current property value.
  • Property valuation: The property valuation section of the real estate appraisal uses one of the property values approaches below to determine a likely sale amount if the buyer defaulted on his or her loan and the property needed to be resold.

Many people confuse a real estate appraisal with other types of home inspections, like termite or sewage inspections. A residential real estate property appraisal, however, only involves examining the property for foundational or structural damage or anything that might negatively affect an investment due to costly repairs. Determining an accurate valuation is the priority for a real estate appraiser because it is the basis for the bank’s approved loan amount.

3 Ways Appraisals Determine Property Values

Property valuation, which is part of a real estate appraisal, is calculated using one of three different approaches: a sales comparison, cost, or income approach. These give both the lender and buyer an idea of the property value. The approach used by an appraiser is dependent on the type and use of a property.

Here are the three property value approaches used in a real estate appraisals:

  • Sales: This type of real estate appraisal is used for most single-family dwellings. This method determines property value based on what other properties in the area/neighborhood with the same features sold for in the last year.
  • Cost: The cost approach is commonly used for properties not sold on the open market like schools or hospitals. This judges the cost of rebuilding a property with similar features in the present economy.
  • Income: The income method is used for properties that generate income for the buyer or represent an investment, such as apartment buildings, rental houses, and commercial spaces. This type of real estate appraisal takes into account how much can be charged to tenants and lessees in the current market.

By using one of these methods for a real estate appraisal, the final valuation report reflects the value of the property and―or does not support―the price of the property set by the seller. The approach is decided upon by the inspector and is dependent on the type of property.

7 Pro Tips for a Successful Residential Real Estate Appraisal

It can be difficult to understand the role of the appraiser in the real estate sales process and how an appraiser protects the buyer during the homebuying process. With this in mind, we asked seven top real estate appraisers and agents to share their best tips for a successful residential real estate appraisal.

Here are the top seven pro tips for making the most of your real estate appraisal:

1. Ask the Right People for Referrals

Rachel Massey, USPAP Instructor & Certified Residential Appraiser, Massey & Associates

The first place a potential buyer should look―if they are hiring outside of the loan process―is to ask the following people for names [of appraisers]: real estate agents, attorneys who handle real estate transactions, building inspectors, and other appraisers. Typically, what will happen is that one name will keep resurfacing as someone who really knows their profession and can appropriately handle the buyer’s questions.

2. Know What the Appraiser Is Seeking

Jennifer Harder, Founder & CEO, Jennifer Harder Mortgage Brokers

Appraisers will check the external factors of your home such as the site, quality of construction, integrity of roof and foundation, issues with gutters and siding, parking, and the neighborhood. Inside, they are most concerned with square footage and functionality of the layout. For a complete list, you can ask for a copy of the 1040 URAR form that appraisers use.

3. Review Comps With Your Agent

Mike Giamou, Co-founder, Medallion Capital Group & Licensed Mortgage Agent

One of the main things an appraiser will look at to value your property is recent sales of comparable properties in the area. Make sure you review the relevant comparables with your real estate agent so that you aren’t caught off-guard by a lower-than-expected appraisal.

4. Trust the Appraiser

Gynell Vestal, Certified Residential Appraiser & Founder, Consumer Home Value

An appraisal is a safeguard, so the buyer doesn’t overpay for a property. Of all the people involved in the homebuying transaction, the appraiser is the only party that is unbiased. They do not have a stake in the game. The appraisal requirement is in place to protect all involved parties by providing an unbiased, independent opinion of value to ensure the property provides adequate collateral for a loan.

5. Prepare to Negotiate Sales Price Based on Appraisals

Ralph DiBugnara, President, Home Qualified

A property inspection and appraisal report will both need to be completed. The inspection tells you if there are any repairs needed, and the appraisal will give the definitive value. Depending on what they say, you may have some room to negotiate the price.

6. Find a Local Appraiser

Julie Upton, Realtor, Compass San Francisco Bay Area

The most important factor in an accurate appraisal is having someone with local knowledge that knows the nuances of the neighborhood, any pending zoning changes, and local market conditions. An appraiser who lives outside of your county or city is more likely to provide an appraisal that misses the mark. You can ask who is doing the appraisal and ask where she/she is from. If they’re not local, ask for another appraiser.

7. Let Your Real Estate Agent Help You

Terry Jamnik, Vice President of Business Development, VA Home Loan Centers

In the case of a low appraisal, your agent can either assist in disputing the appraisal or negotiate with the seller on your behalf to see if the selling price can be lowered. Lowering the purchase price may cause an issue with your lender, but there are a number of options available in the case of a low appraisal. A good real estate agent will consider all of these options and guide you through the process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who pays for and picks the real estate appraisal company?

The buyer pays for the real estate appraisal as a part of the closing costs. If you are using a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured lender like a bank or credit union, then they will pick the appraisal company. If you are not using lending sources for a mortgage, then you can pick your own appraisal company.

Does the seller see the real estate appraisal?

The seller does not get a copy of the real estate appraisal unless you give it to them. In cases where you want to negotiate the price after the appraisal, you might need to supply the seller with a copy of the report to justify your request to lower your offer.

What should you do if your real estate appraisal is inaccurate?

If the real estate appraisal contains inaccuracies like the wrong house area comps or features, then you can report these issues to the appraiser. Your real estate agent can help you review the report and figure out where the problems are if you get an unexpected result.

Can your agent do your real estate appraisal?

Some real estate agents can do appraisals because they are trained and certified for a home inspection. A real estate agent representing the buyer or the seller should not do a home appraisal for your property, however. A home appraisal should be completed by an impartial third party with no ties to either the buyer or the seller.

How do I find a real estate appraiser?

You can ask your agent or a real estate lawyer for a reference for an appraiser. If you would rather research appraisers yourself, then you can use the Appraisal Institute’s advanced search to find an appraiser in your area.

Bottom Line: Residential Real Estate Appraisals

A residential real estate appraisal is a report from an independent, trained inspector hired to determine the value of a property based on home or sales values in the area, damage to the property, and overall property condition. A home appraisal costs between $300 and $400 and is paid for by the homebuyer. A home appraisal makes sure that the seller’s asking price is in line with the value of the home so that a buyer does not overpay.

An appraisal— alongside real estate contacts and sales documentation—can be full of hard-to-understand legal terms and concepts. Rocket Lawyer can look over home appraisals, offer letters, and contracts for a fraction of the price of a lawyer to help you fully understand every part of the homebuying process. Find out more about Rocket Lawyer’s services today.

Link to original article: https://fitsmallbusiness.com/real-estate-appraisal/


Marketing is all about story telling – Stories stir emotions in us, create connections, and motivate us to act. In real estate marketing, we must learn to listen to our clients, hear them, understand them, and push THEIR story out into the market place. We are telling their story, not ours. The practice of using “beautiful design to evoke emotion” is what helped launch Raj Qsar and The Boutique Real Estate Group into a massive success. Raj felt so strongly about the need for unique design work in his company that his first hire was a graphic designer. Today, Raj is expanding his company, developing his high end branding, continuing his extensive and wildly famous listing videos, and traveling the world speaking for Inman. Tune into this special episode to learn how important it is to market with intent, and to not only listen to what others are doing, but WATCH what they are doing.

Links mentioned in this episode:

#56: Sustaining High Performance – Alyssa Hellman

Summer Winds Listing Video – The Boutique RE Group 

On this episode, you’ll learn more on:

  • You can’t be the chief of “everything” officer – you need help
  • The benefits of being open to change and being and early adapter
  • When you have no money, you have no choice. You HAVE to hustle
  • Take the tools of others and make them your own to conquer your sphere
  • Why you need to care about what the people you care about, care about
Catch Raj Qsar & Kyle Malnati

10 Creative Real Estate Ads We Loved in 2018

Honored to have been recognized by Kitcast!blog as one of the 10 creative real estate ads they loved in 2018!

Check out our honorable mention and some other favorites below!


Real estate has always been a market with great advertising opportunities – companies often get highly creative to win over hearts and wallets of the customers. As the end product is very visual, marketers have a set of unlimited possibilities to present their properties in the best way possible. 2018 has seen some of the coolest and most original campaigns in the real estate world, here are our 10 favorite real estate ads.


The Boutique Real Estate Group listings

Listings are at the core of the real estate advertising. Sometimes, though, the quantity doesn’t equal quality. This Orange County-based real estate firm crafts visually spectacular videos and shows the right way of doing listing videos doing real estate ads that work. Their shorts are filled with gorgeous scenery, flawless camera work, great storytelling, and crazy rhythm.

Douglas Elliman – Show and Tell

Inspired by the “Questions” YouTube series of Vogue, Show and Tell follows the same concept but very cleverly applies it to the real estate industry. If Vogue follows celebrities around asking questions about themselves, Douglas Elliman uses the format to showcase their agents and properties in a visual, non-intrusive and lively manner. A brilliant idea and an amazing execution that works as both real estate Facebook ads and a YouTube video.

Corcoran – Be Home campaign

One of the most vivid players on US real estate market Corcoran chose a simple message behind their latest campaign. It is centered around the phrase “Be home” which radiates good vibes and makes you feel the coziness instantly. There are several videos that follow this concept showing the clearest and the most uncomplicated ways of broadcasting the warm notion of “homely feeling” to the viewers. Definitely a campaign to learn from.

Sotheby’s International Realty – LIVE series

Sometimes you have to give the client all the talking to convey and amplify your brand’s message. That’s exactly what Sotheby’s International Realty did in their LIVE YouTube series. The real estate powerhouse produced a set of shorts featuring real people and real houses. We believe in the power of honest marketing and this campaign hits all the right notes being one of the most truly catchy real estate ads.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – #Goodtoask campaign

Storytelling is essential for a successful marketing campaign. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices mastered the craft of making a trustworthy story in their ads, a story that resonates and touches the hearts and minds of the viewers. For their latest #goodtoask campaign they opted for an interesting format: a client answers the questions from a real estate agent. Combine that with a dramatic narrative and a great soundtrack and you have one of the most emotionally powerful and best real estate ads of 2018.


Tim Smith Group – Teach Me How To Duffy

How many real estate firms that became a part of pop culture you know? Well, here’s one that made a sensation on YouTube in October 2018. “Teach me how to Duffy” video by Tim Smith Group from Orange County, California is a perfect example of how you can use trends to showcase your company, your culture and ultimately become a cultural happening in your own right. The video features Mr. Swag and Smoove da General of Cali Swag District that hailed the original “Teach Me How To Dougie” back in 2010 as well as a trio of influencers that add a modern flair to a hit. Did we mention that Tim Smith himself makes a cameo rapping about the property? Pure YouTube gold.