Raising the Real Estate Bar with Raj Qsar

via PLACESTER

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Years ago, real estate agents were the gatekeepers. If you as a consumer wanted to know what was on the market, you had to go through an agent. But those gates are gone. Real estate consumers now have access to all the property data they could ever want. Today, you need to give them something unique, something they can’t Google—and Raj Qsar has a few ideas about how to do it.

Raj is truly on the cutting edge of the real estate business. In 2015, Inman News named him one of the 33 People Who Are Changing The Real Estate Industry. As principal of The Boutique Real Estate Group in Orange County, California, Raj has led the charge to create content and experiences that provide value for real estate consumers far beyond the MLS.

“I wanted to do something that was different,” Raj explained. So, in 2009, Raj worked with a local filmmaker to produce an emotional short film about one of his listings. “Not only did we sell a price record on that home, we got like every listing for the next three years in that neighborhood.” Today, The Boutique Real Estate Group continues to produce high-quality videos that offer prospective buyers a beautiful, intimate look at their clients’ listings.

Whether it’s through video or some other avenue, Raj says, today’s agents need to focus on adding more value for their clients. “Give them something they don’t know,” Raj told us. “‘Hey, did you know that this neighborhood on the 4th of July actually shut down the streets? There’s a live band, a taco cart, and the local fire department comes up and does a parade with all the kids?’ [That’s] the stuff that…provides value to these people who wanna spend a couple million bucks on a home.”

Of course, it’s not just the agent’s responsibility to add value: brokers also need to step up and provide for their agents. “They need to create value within the brokerage to be able to push it to their agents, so the agents can push it to their clients, and give [them] the opportunity for success,” Raj explained. That value consists not just of modern tools and great design, but also intensive, one-on-one training in how to use these resources effectively.

“Most of the agents [we hire] are at these big brokerages with 500, 600, 800 agents,” Raj told us. “They feel like a fish. They feel like they have a number. They come here and they’re like, ‘I can’t believe how much one-on-one time I got. I can’t believe that you sat down for three hours and didn’t look at your phone one time.’”

In this interview, Raj explains how video can tell powerful stories around your listings and neighborhoods, and describes how today’s brokers should be investing in each of their agents.

Listen to the Podcast here.

– Matt & Seth

THE BOUTIQUE REAL ESTATE GROUP EXTENDS TECHNOLOGY ADVANTAGE WITH REALSCOUT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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About The Boutique Real Estate Group

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

About RealScout

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

Home of the Week: The Getaway Experience in Laguna Beach

via Los Angeles Times

Crowning a promontory overlooking Laguna Beach, this exotic estate runs the gamut in resort-style comforts. Contemporary interiors dressed in notes of Bali style appeal to a wide palette, with chef’s and catering kitchens, a glassed-in wine cellar and a professional recording studio. Explosive ocean views form the backdrop for a saline swimming pool and a swim-up bar, furthering what some might call a five-star experience.

The details

Location: 1000 Flamingo Road, Laguna Beach, 92651

Asking price: $19.888 million

Year built: 2013

House size: 10,200 square feet, five bedrooms, nine bathrooms

Lot size: 0.98 acres

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The 10,200-square-foot home in Laguna Beach features two kitchens, a professional recording studio and a wine cellar/tasting room. A resort-style swimming pool complete with a swim-up bar and 10-person spa highlights the grounds.

Features: Imported wood and stone finishes; Balinese-inspired details; chef’s and catering kitchens; open-plan living areas; master suite with walk-in closet; glass-enclosed wine cellar and tasting room; professional recording studio; saline swimming pool with swim-up bar and 10-person spa

Agents: Tracy Glass & Kelly Enciso via The Boutique Real Estate Group

Life in Laguna Beach: 1000 Flamingo Road

via Leverage

Soaring over Laguna Beach on its own promontory, this contemporary estate encompasses approximately 10,200 square feet of living space and sits on nearly one acre, leaving room to build a guest home.

Inspired by luxury 5-star island resorts, this truly magnificent home offers an indoor-outdoor open floor plan and unrivaled panoramic ocean and canyon views from virtually every room. The entire home is showcased with custom designer details.

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The Foyer boasts white limestone imported from Paraguay, with a custom sculptural light fixture. A glass enclosed wine room has capacity for 1000 bottles with an anti humidity cooling system. Floor to ceiling automated pocket doors open to the outdoors in both the living and dining area, with walnut wood-beam ceiling detail. The bar area includes multiple TVs, custom retractable windows leading to the outdoor dining area, holds a Perlick 3 spigot beer tap, wine cooler, bar refrigerator, and lighted glass display. The main level guest suite and bath hosts a private entrance and ocean view from bed, along with switchable privacy glass. An oversized island in the kitchen is accompanied by a Wolf Double wall oven, Fischer&Paykel Double Dishwasher drawer, and a built in butcher block. A separate catering kitchen holds a Bosch dishwasher, Capital Range, and Wolf warming drawer; all leading to the service hallway connecting to dining room.

The grand staircase of glass, polished steel and walnut wood leads to the media room with surround sound and built in beverage bar and bar refrigerator. A private foyer opens to the master suite, which includes an In-suite office with wet bar and refrigerator, TV/video projection with automated drop-down screen and automated blinds. The private balcony hosts unobstructed 180 degree ocean views. In addition, all secondary bedrooms have their own private ocean view balcony. For easy access to the upper level, don’t miss the designer glass elevator.

The serene, tropical resort ambiance transitions seamlessly to the outdoors with amenities including a custom saline pool with swim-up bar, 10-person spa, large entertaining cabana, and pool house with shower/steam room, making this the ultimate entertaining compound. The private, gated entry and driveway leads to the 7-car garage with turn around to accommodate 8 additional vehicles.

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The home is ideally located above The Village in Laguna Beach, displaying continually breathtaking views, including glowing city lights after dusk. Art galleries are scattered throughout the tight-knit community, supporting local and international artists alike. The city hosts The Pageant of the Masters and The Festival of Arts annually. It is also home to some of the worlds best hotels, including The Montage Laguna Beach, and is a short distance from The Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel and The St. Regis Monarch Beach. Local beaches, boutiques, and coffee shops create a beautifully unique landscape.

Better to be a seller than buyer: O.C. home prices hit 7 1/2-year high, nearing 2007 housing bubble

via OC Register

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Orange County’s spring homebuying season rocketed into high gear last month, with prices and sales already outdistancing last year’s buying frenzy, figures released Monday show.

The median price of an Orange County home – or the sale price at the midpoint of all transactions – was $625,000 in the year ending in March. That’s up 6.8 percent and within $20,000 of the all-time high reached at the peak of the housing bubble in June 2007, Irvine-based data firm CoreLogic reported.

If prices continue going up at a rate of 4 percent or more, the median will surpass the bubble’s high-water mark by June.

Sales, meanwhile, ticked up to the highest level in a decade for the month of March.

CoreLogic reported 3,181 transactions closed last month. While that’s up just a 0.8 percent from a year ago, it’s still the highest March tally since 2006.

“The market is definitely continuing to improve,” said Huntington Beach Re/Max agent Brian Kamenca. “It’s not cooling off.”

Home prices have risen steadily for four straight years in Orange County and in Southern California as a whole, with the Orange County median climbing $225,000 since March 2012.

First-quarter inventory was at the lowest level in three years, increasing competition among buyers, according to Steve Thomas’ ReportsOnHousing.com.

The bottom line: It’s more fun right now to be a seller than a buyer.

Erin and Owen Campbell have seen the market from both sides, as both sellers and buyers.

The family of eight decided to sell the cramped century-old Craftsman they owned in Orange and move into roomier digs closer to their children’s school in Costa Mesa. Being a seller was far easier than being a buyer, Erin Campbell said.

The Campbells contacted their agent around Martin Luther King Day to say they were “thinking of selling.” A week later, “we already had a full-priced offer.”

Buying was a bit trickier because there were so few homes for sale in the neighborhood where the family was looking.

“The one that we ended up buying, the listing price sounded reasonable, but we didn’t have anything to compare it to,” Erin Campbell said. Both sales closed in March. And selling with just one showing and no open houses made it extremely easy.

“It’s hard to have a tiny house with six kids with a lot of showings,” Erin Campbell said.

Some homesellers may be attempting to exploit their advantage by overreaching in setting their asking prices, said Kamenca, the Huntington Beach broker-associate at Re/Max.

He noted that out of more than 900 recently listed homes, 500 had lowered their prices.

“That tells me a lot of sellers are fishing,” Kamenca said. But, he added, “homes that are priced right are moving quickly.”

CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage noted that the market still remains somewhat constrained.

“Many would-be buyers continue to face hurdles such as waning affordability, moderately tight credit and a relatively tight inventory of homes for sale,” LePage said in a prepared statement.

But, he added, “the new-home market has registered a stronger heartbeat.” New-home sales jumped 26.5 percent in Orange County year-over-year last month and increased 25 percent during the first three months of the year.

Market watcher Steve Thomas reported the number of homes for sale finally reached 2015 levels by the first week of April – too late to affect March numbers. But demand rose accordingly.

The time needed to sell all Orange County listings fell to less than two months in late March, Thomas reported. And for homes priced at $750,000 and below, the listings could all be sold in 37 days at the current buying pace.

“The hot market came back with a vengeance,” Thomas wrote. “Below $750,000 is red hot. … Home values are climbing and it’s a deep seller’s market.”

Larry Roberts, an author and real estate blogger-turned-broker, wrote Monday that low mortgage rates and an improving economy are boosting both home sales and prices. Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to a three-year low.

“As long as mortgage rates remain low, I expect house prices to continue rising and sales will be strong,” Roberts wrote.

In Southern California as a whole, the median home price rose 5.6 percent to $449,000, the region’s highest median in 8½ years, CoreLogic figures show. Home prices in the six-county area are $56,000 below the all-time high of $505,000.

CoreLogic reported 20,370 homes sold in the region, up 1.9 percent from 2015 and the most for a March since 2013.

Prices were up in all six counties, with Riverside posting the region’s biggest price surge: up 8.2 percent to $330,000.

Sales rose everywhere but Los Angeles County, which had a 1.4 percent drop from 2015 levels. The biggest sales gain occurred in San Bernardino County, where transactions jumped 7.7 percent.

Buyer Carie Murphy said many of the properties she was looking at had multiple offers already, and she wanted to steer clear of a bidding war.

She ended up buying a two-story townhome in Anaheim, with a two-car garage in a complex with a pool, spa and tennis courts.

“It was tough to be a buyer, absolutely,” said Murphy, 56, who relocated for work from Joplin, Mo. “The options available were in high demand.”

 

Video listing of the day: European-inspired estate

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

via Inman News

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

For more information on the property, click here.

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

 

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Top 7 Things to do at ICNY 2016

By:  Raj Qsar

This will be my 7th Real Estate Connect hosted by Inman News and it is the one event I look forward to year in & year out.  I remember my first Connect like it was yesterday and it really helped me connect with people & solidify connections I had made online over the years. So for all you first time or repeat attendees here is a simple Top 7 list before you head to #icny for the 20th Anniversary of Real Estate Connect:

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1.  Make a list of the people you want to meet “in real life (IRL).” Connect is an amazing time to solidify some of those online relationships and connect with people who you admire and respect and make that true emotional connection. Some of the connections I have made at Connect have become life long friends on mine! Remember this quote from GaryV, “People are not addicted to social media. People are addicted to people.”  Some of my friends I met at #icsf: @katielance @sethstuff @laurahbrady @vboakland @sarasutachan @nobuhata @chris_smth @avhellman @lauramonroe @mattbeall @lisaarcher @lauriewdavis @jefflobb @jackmiller @valeriegarcia1 @zachshadbot @matthewshadbolt @seancarp @clicknfinance @thejayt @joeschutt

2.  Attend the sessions that are a must attend for you! Look for the sessions that pull you out of your comfort zone and will challenge you on a personal & professional level. See the full schedule here and meet the speakers here. This year Seth Godin will be kicking off the festivities so be sure not to miss him on main stage on Wednesday morning at 9:15am.

3. Have you joined the Inman Coast to Coast Facebook Group? If not join here for all the latest updates & play by plays.

4.  The Party after the Party!  Do I need to say anymore?  We all know the real fun starts after 10pm! So just ask around, jump in an Uber Cab (download app here) and find out where the action is!! Check your email for last minute invites to all the happening VIP parties and events. If you still can not find the party make sure to tweet @clicknfinance or @seancarp (they will steer you in the right direction or lead you to the correct karaoke party).

5. Lobbycon! Yes. Its official! Probably the one place where you meet the CEO’s, Founders, Presidents, movers & shakers all just “hanging out.” Bring your business cards and make sure to say hi. BTW, when is the next time you will be in the same hotel as Dolly Lentz, F. Ron Smith, Mauricio Umansky, Spencer Rascoff and Brad Inman?

6.  Get out into the city! New York is an amazingly gorgeous city with sights, sounds, history and killer food! And since our team at The Boutique Real Estate Group are total foodies check out this list of 100 Best Restaurants in New York City via Zagat. Or if you want to get up in the air check out FlyNYON for a helicopter tour above the city.

7. Connect with some of the local “NYC” agents for a tour of their hip office space or one of their $7m listings!  Some of my favorite local NYC agents include: @NikkiBeauchamp @patricklilly @truegotham

If you made it this far and are headed to ICNY please find me in one of the sessions, lobbycon or at one of the after parties. Would be amazing to connect with you!

@rajqsar

@theboutiquere

Read Post on Inman Website

Ride to Build / Giveback Homes & The Boutique Real Estate Group

SoulCycle Event

 

Ride to Build. Benefiting the Giveback Homes Build in The OC.
Shoes & water provided.
$40 minimum donation.

Donate Here:

Join Giveback Homes, The Boutique Real Estate Group and SoulCycle in Newport Beach as we raise money to build a home for a family in need.

YOU MUST RSVP to Mary@GivebackHomes.com to save a bike.
@givebackhomes
@TheBoutiqueRE
@soulcycle

Sign Up on The Facebook Event Page Today.

37th Annual Corona del Mar Christmas Walk

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A Holiday Festival & Community Tradition

FREE to the public. Join us on Sunday December 06, 2015 11:00AM – 4:00PM at our office.

3653 E. Coast Hwy in Corona del Mar. Corner of PCH & Poinsettia.

Champagne, Hot Chocolate, Donut Bar and Open Air Photo Booth with Mrs. Claus & her Elves!

The Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce is proud to present the community’s most popular event of the year! This is an absolute can’t miss special event filled with holiday festivities for family, friends, residents and visitors looking for a spectacular way to ring in the holiday season. Each year “The Walk” brings together thousands of fun-loving people into the Village of Corona del Mar for live entertainment, food, prizes and games in true holiday spirit!

Festivities include:
>Toys for Tots Drive
>Corona del Mar merchant promotions throughout Corona del Mar’s Business District
>Live Entertainment with over 12 signature bands in strategic locations
>The popular Fireman’s Grill BBQ provided by the
NB Fire Department
>Restaurant tastings and celebration parties.
>Kid’s entertainment including snap shots with Santa Clause, bouncy houses, bungee jumping, holiday characters, a petting zoo and more.
>Unique vendor exhibits in the popular vendor faire at the center stage.
>Beer & Wine Garden located in Bandera’s Lower Parking Lot with Signature band “Pinch Me”
>Famous Opportunity Drawing with over $15,000 worth of prizes.
>Langford Properties Raffle, stop by their booth
>Performances by High School and community organization

Win Great Prizes!

Christmas Walk Opportunity Drawing
Langford Properties Raffle: Enter your name at their booth 11-4PM

Pre-sale tickets Avail / Winner Need not be present:

Each year local merchants donate prizes for the popular Christmas Walk Opportunity Drawing and the odds are spectacular. Purchase tickets to win unique gift items, hotel stays, restaurant dinners, spa packages, gift certificates, services and more than $15,000 worth of prizes. Winner need not be present so get your tickets in advance. Tickets also make great gifts for clients.

Ticket prices = $1 ea.
11 tickets for = $10
25 tickets for = $20

11 reasons to sell your home this Holiday season

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11 Reasons to List During the Holidays

1. People who look for a home during the Holidays are more serious buyers!

2. Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from during the Holidays and less competition means more money for you!

3. Since the supply of listings will dramatically increase in January, there
will be less demand for your particular home! Less demand means less money for you!

4. Houses show better when decorated for the Holidays!

5. Buyers are more emotional during the Holidays, so they are more likely to pay your price!

6. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the Holidays than they do during a working week!

7. Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons!

8. January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs. Since transferees cannot wait until Spring to buy, you must be on the market now to capture that market!

9. You can still be on the market, but you have the option to restrict showings during the six or seven days during the Holidays!

10. You can sell now for more money and we can allow for a delayed closing or extended occupancy until early next year!

11. By selling now, you may have an opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer during the Spring, when many more houses are on the market for less money! This will allow you to sell higher and buy lower!

Connect with us today!

Check out our marketing!