corona del mar

THE BOUTIQUE REAL ESTATE GROUP JOINS LEVERAGE GLOBAL PARTNERS

THE BOUTIQUE REAL ESTATE GROUP JOINS LEVERAGE GLOBAL PARTNERS, THE FASTEST GROWING NETWORK OF INDEPENDENT LUXURY REAL ESTATE BROKERAGES IN THE WORLD

The Boutique Real Estate Group Becomes Exclusive Leverage Global Partner for Newport Beach, CA.

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For Immediate Release

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Beverly Hills, CA. – 10/31/2014 – F. Ron Smith, President of Leverage Global Partners, recently welcomed The Boutique Real Estate Group as the Network’s exclusive member in Newport Beach, CA.  A unique alignment of the most prestigious independent real estate brokerage firms around the world, Leverage Global Partners offers its members the opportunity to better serve their clients’ relocation and real estate portfolio needs by establishing each member firm as key players in the international real estate arena.

“We personally vet each real estate brokerage before offering them membership, so we are certain that The Boutique Real Estate Group is an innovative and forward-thinking market leader, offering exceptional service to their clients and to the communities of Newport Beach,” said Smith. “We are thrilled to welcome them to Leverage Global Partners.”

“This partnership is seen as a win-win for both our agents at The Boutique and our clients on an international level.  Leverage gives The Boutique the unique opportunity to connect with some of the most respected brokerages worldwide and to make that important connection to a trusted & well respected colleague anywhere in the world.” Says, Raj Qsar, Founder of The Boutique Real Estate Group. “Its been an amazing year for us at The Boutique as we continue to grow and empower our agents and our clients with the most innovative techniques in our industry.  The relationship with Leverage and our recent acquisition of FPRE has positioned us well moving into 2015 and beyond.”

As a member of Leverage, The Boutique Real Estate Group will be promoted as the Network’s exclusive representative for the Newport Beach area, facilitating a framework in which the company can expand and compete with larger franchise networks. Through Leverage’s “Just Ask” referral program, The Boutique Real Estate Group associates are offered personal introductions and provided access to top firms around the world, ensuring them incomparable networking ability in the worldwide luxury real estate market.

In addition to offering exceptional service and connectivity, Leverage differentiates itself from existing international luxury real estate associations by increasing the online and social media presence of their members, and providing marketing tools designed to help a member expand their individual business.

Leverage promotes the presidents of member firms and extends media access for their members’ properties through a robust public relations outreach and digital platform.

Leverage Global Partners is rapidly expanding its membership base and currently has members in numerous dynamic communities around the world, including Paris, Los Angeles, New York, London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Vancouver, Tokyo, and Bangkok.

The Boutique Real Estate Group

 

About Leverage Global Partners

Leverage Global Partners aligns the most prestigious independent luxury real estate brokerage firms from around the world – only one exclusive member per community – creating a unique global network of professionals that serve the relocation and real-estate portfolio needs of their clients, nationally and internationally. Founded by the visionaries of a leading independent luxury real estate firm in Beverly Hills with over US $4 billion of collective sales expertise, Leverage Global Partners offers its member cutting-edge marketing resources in social media, public relations and communication. In addition, Leverage promotes unique real estate developments around the globe. www.LeverageRE.com

About The Boutique Real Estate Group

The Boutique Real Estate Group is a boutique real estate brokerage founded in Orange County, CA, that focuses on brilliant design, beautiful marketing & 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: 2014 Inman News Innovator Award nominee for “Most Innovative Real Estate Agent,” 2014 “Next Generation Real Estate Brokerage”, 2013 and 2014 “Top 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders in The USA”, and 2013 “Top 20 Real Estate Videos in the USA.”

The Boutique Media Contact:
Raj Qsar
949-612-2535
Raj@TheBoutiqueRE.com 
 
Leverage Media Contact:
Jenny Mueller
310-500-3657
Jenny.Mueller@LeverageRE.com

TBREG LogoLeverage Logo

Soft Opening | Corona del Mar | The Boutique Real Estate Group

 

The Boutique Real Estate Group

 

Simply an amazing night with our Boutique Family. A soft opening to our new headquarters in Corona Del Mar. What started of as a whim many years ago has truly changed all our lives forever. Thank you. We are truly speechless.  www.TheBoutiqueRE.com

A Day in the Life of Raj Qsar | www.Realtor.com

By: 

 Raj Qsar is the principal owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group, an independent real estate brokerage that integrates mobile technology, brilliant design & creative storyboarding into their real estate transactions. His Southern California offices specialize in luxury homes and has expanded into the coastal region of Newport Beach. In his words, here is a peek into a day in his life.
raj qsar

Walk us through a typical day in your life.

My day typically starts at 5 a.m., sometimes a bit earlier. I just get up out of bed. No alarm. I grab my phone and head downstairs. I am totally a morning person. I make a protein shake and jump on my laptop and scroll through emails, Twitter, Instagram and then Facebook. I usually check analytics on our website and social channels, and look at ad campaign results.

On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, I am at the Crossfit gym by 6 a.m. After the gym, I am at home helping get the kiddos—Hannah, Emma, and Cooper—get ready for school. Breakfast, clothes, homework review, and they are off to school by 8:30 a.m., and I am off to one of our offices. At 8 p.m. or so, I start shutting down.

Phone / tablet / laptop / desktop of choice?

iPhone 5S, iPad Air, MacBook Pro with Retina Display, iMac 27″ on my desk. We are an Apple company.

Apps you can’t live without?

DocuSign, DocuSign Transaction Room, DropBox, Facebook, Instagram, and recently I have been using Refresh as I am meeting with so many people.

Emails sent per day? Received?

My Google app business account said I received 7,000 emails last month, and I sent out 1,400.

Tell us about your market.

We tend to market homes above $1 million. It was not intentional, but our services are considered luxury and tend to attract those types of buyers and sellers.

Real estate marketing has truly evolved over the last 10 years. We have developed a comprehensive strategy which showcases our client’s home through real-life video—actual movies—amazing photography, 360 HD V-tours, individual property websites for each home, staging and interior design, custom graphics and design, and a social media content strategy that reaches people on a global scale.

We have complete control over our designs, feel and strategy when marketing luxury real estate. When surfing the web for real estate, our listings stand out: they have a unique look and feel, and buyers recognize our listings as being “boutique-ivied”—and we believe every home has a story.

Total number of transactions you worked on last year? Expected this year?

I personally did about 40 transactions last year with an average sales price of about $2 million. I will do about the same this year, but our price point has moved up. Look for our new office in the beach city of Corona Del Mar in Newport Beach as we launch into the coastal Orange County real estate market.

What made you choose a career in real estate?

After watching an agent “sell” our first home, I knew there had to be a better way. I personally held the open houses, I printed the flyers, I wrote the content. That was all pre-social.

It was so massively complicated, and we were so in the dark the whole way through. I had an “Ah, ha!” moment back in 2008 as technology and social media found real estate. We knew there had to be a better way of not only marketing real estate but also of managing the mountain of paperwork and people involved in a real estate transaction.

So in a sense, our team has digitized the real estate experience. You will never find our clients running to a fax machine and most likely never even pick up a pen to sign anything. We are a paperless office, completely mobile and can run an entire real estate transaction from our iPads and phones. Our technology does not require our clients to be tech savvy—it only requires our agents to understand the benefits of technology and to implement that technology with our clients.

What’s the biggest challenge the real estate industry faces today?

One of the biggest challenges in real estate today is that everyone seems to be swimming in the same pool. There is no original creative. Nobody wants to tell a story. There is an old quote, “Those who tell the stories rule the world.”  What I love is when I meet someone, and they just instantly pick up with a story. We believe this type of mindset is so needed in our industry.

What advice would you give to new agents?

The advice I would give to a new agent entering into the world of real estate would be to join an amazing team. And I do not just mean a busy team, but an amazing, highly-respected team where you can learn, experience and absorb everything and anything that is real estate. That includes not only all the “beautiful and shiny” things that real estate offers, but also all the challenges that real estate brings each and everyday: from contracts, lender guidelines and appraisals to staging, photography, pre- and post-processing of photos, editing video, print campaigns and the entire social media and web content strategy.

Who inspires you the most?

Jesus Christ because he changed my heart.

Link to original article.

Previous “A Day In The Life” articles:

Sarah Schnell Jones

Carol Wolfe

Tiffany Kjellander

Geeky Girl Laurie Davis 

Sam DeBord

Bill Lublin

 

Top 10 Orange County Beaches | The Boutique Real Estate Group

Written by Melissa Sims

I spend probably half of my year at the beach.  No joke.  We are a family of surfers, scuba divers, spear gun hunters and stand-up paddlers.  Squeezing the amazing beaches of Orange County into a ‘top 10’ is no easy task.  With over 40 named beaches (and I’m sure numerous unnamed), trying to pick the best is like trying to compare wine to beer.  You just can’t…each beach here in the OC has something unique and breathtaking about it. So let’s start south and head our way up.

1.  San Onofre State Beach (my personal favorite)

Located in the southernmost coastal part of Orange County, San Onofre state beach is an old-school surfer mecca.  You will not find any food stands or bike rentals here – this is strictly for the dedicated beach goer, as you have to be in line for parking no later than 6:00am on the weekend in order to find a spot.  They let a limited number of cars in, so if you show up late, you can count on waiting for someone to leave before you get your spot.  Why such a draw?  Well, for starters, you park DIRECTLY in front of the sand.  No sidewalks, no hauling your cart-o-crap.  Just open up the trunk and set up shop. Everyone that comes here respects the beach, and usually respects you (as long as you aren’t THAT guy).  The surfing at San Onofre, affectionately called ‘Old Man’s,’ is smooth, somewhat consistent and perfect for longboarders and beginners (on a small day).  You won’t find a lot of young groms here ripping arials.  It’s an awesome vibe and a clean beach – the San Onofre Surfing Club takes impeccable care of this beach, with hand-built showers and garden walks. Cost to park = $15 (or buy a state park annual pass for $195, good at any state beach).

2.  Doheny State Beach

Located in Dana Point, just south of the harbor, Doheny is notorious for it’s unhealthy water report.  It has gotten cleaner in past years, but still ranks among the ‘bad’ in Orange County.  So why is this beach on our list?  Doheny is the ultimate beach trip – with an awesome snack shack, volleyball courts, barbeques, camping, grassy lawn and promenade with rentals.  Doheny used to have one of the best breaks in Southern California, but once the jetty was built, the shape of the wave changed and it is now known as one of the best beginner spots in Orange County.  In addition, the city of Dana Point puts on some spectacular events at Doheny, including Doheny Days, the Blues Festival and the annual Outrigger Canoe Races.  Even if you don’t get in the water, Doheny is definitely worth a visit.

3.  Salt Creek

Buzzing up the coast, just north of Doheny in Laguna Niguel, is a gem called Salt Creek.  Not the easiest to get to from your car…you have to hike down a very steep hill to get to the beach, so pack lightly.  The trek is worth it – trust me.  With beautiful cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and a view of the Ritz-Carlton high above, you’ll feel like you’ve found a private paradise – except for the crowds.  It can get quite busy here, so head out early.  There is a snack shack and restrooms here, so you really just need the essentials.  Salt Creek is a popular spot for surfers and skim-boarders, and not always the best for swimming.  There is also a grassy park above the beach, for those that just want the view. Metered parking.

4.  Treasure Island, Laguna Beach

Arguably one of the MOST beautiful beaches in Southern California, Treasure Island Beach is located below the famous Montage Resort in Laguna Beach.  Meander along spectacular paths, peppered with California native plants and views of the posh resort.  Take the stairs down to the beach and you will understand why this beach is so special.  Not only is this beach spectacular in its own right, it is also known for it’s protected tidepools.  The Montage Resort offers docents to educate the public on busy weekends and holidays, during low tide.  Metered parking, very limited.

Treasure Island

5.  Crescent Bay, Laguna Beach

I like to pretend this is my little secret, I’ve just let everyone in on it!  Crescent Bay is a beach found in a residential area of Laguna Beach.  It is not easy to park, nor easy to walk to…but locals love this spot for it’s sheer beauty.  Surrounded by cliffs, with mega-mansions to gawk at, this crescent-shaped beach is absolutely stunning.  No sound of trains or traffic…just crashing waves and seagulls and pelicans.  You will spot the occasional dolphin or sea lion, but mostly just sparkling waters and easy-going people.  Beware – the waves can get quite powerful.  Limited metered street parking.

Crescent Beach Laguna

6.  Crystal Cove State Park, Newport Beach

Personally, I’m a state park kind of gal.  I love feeling like I am getting away from the crowds and enjoying the beauty of nature.  If you like that too, you’ll love Crystal Cove.  Surprisingly, this is right off of Coast Highway – but has a huge preserve between the water and the highway, so you’ll never hear any traffic noise.  The park is quite expansive, with 3.2 miles of coastline, offering mountain biking, scuba/skin diving, horseback riding, swimming and surfing.  There is also a campground across the street and primitive camping at Moro Ridge.  In addition, Crystal Cove is home to the famous Beachcomber Café and the Crystal Cove Beach Cottages, available for rent through ReserveAmerica.com. The history of Crystal Cove dates back to the early 1900s, as a favorite spot of the Irvine family and shooting spot for many classic movies.  This is definitely one of Orange County’s best treasures!

Crystal Cove State Beach

7.  Corona Del Mar

‘Big Corona’

A favorite spot for families, Corona del Mar is located just south of the Newport Bay jetty, off of Ocean Blvd. and Breakers Drive.  A huge parking lot and spectacular views bring lots of crowds, but this spot never feels touristy.  This is a great beach for kids because the waves are much calmer than other local spots because of the jetty.  But you’ve been warned – LOTS of kids.  If you aren’t in the mood for that, go to elsewhere.  Parking is $15, and even though this is a state beach, it is run by the City of Newport Beach – so you can’t use the annual parking pass here.

‘Little Corona’

Little Corona is just south of Big Corona, off of Poppy Street.  This is one of the only beaches where you don’t have to walk down stairs to get to the sand.  It is a path entry, making wheeling your equipment down very easy.  It has a public restroom and showers, and is a local favorite for diving and children.  It is flanked on both sides with rocky reefs, so waves are not an issue here.  Snorkeling is another favorite activity here.  Street parking only.

8.  The Wedge, Newport Beach

If you want to see some of the biggest, most mind-boggling waves, go to the Wedge.  On a big day, the surf can reach 30 feet…yes, that’s right.  30 feet!  Not known for swimming, this is mainly for bodyboarding and body surfing, and if the sets are optimal, surfing.  In the winter, this is a major spot for watching some serious talent.  During summer months, from May-October, boards of any type are not allowed so that others can enjoy the water.  Not only good for water-watching, the beach itself is great, and offers amazing sunset views.

9.  Newport Beach

Newport Beach is so spread out that it is hard to feel crowded in once you are on the sand.  With great restaurants and bars close by, you’ll never get bored here.  Rent a beach cruiser in town and experience Newport like the locals do.  All thirteen of Newport’s beaches have been ranked superbly high in cleanliness.  Just beware of major holidays, it can turn into a crowded party scene.  If you want to be closer to the ‘scene’, head over towards 24th street.  If you want to stay away from the crowds, head north, closer to 38th street or Superior.  Parking is a nightmare, and you’ll likely circle for some time trying to find a street spot.  But this is definitely not a beach you want to miss experiencing.  Quintessential Orange County.

Newport Beach

10.  Huntington City Beach

Infamous, or just famous?  With recent press, Huntington Beach is getting a bad rap.  90% of the time, this beach is just like every other beach.  But during major holidays and events, it has been known recently to have a rough crowd.  Located just off Main Street and PCH, Huntington is one of the most recognized beaches in America.  Regardless of some of the recent events here, people still visit in droves to experience Surf City at its finest.  You have the best of everything here – surf, sand, good food and great people watching.  Not only can you walk the pier, you can hop across the highway to some of the hottest party spots in town.  Visit in early August and watch the US Open of Surfing.  This year, promoters are banning alcohol sales and will not have live music – in an effort to bring the focus back to the sport of surfing, and away from partying.  I say, ignore the bad press and give Huntington Beach a chance.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Honorable mention:

Main Beach, Laguna

50% surfing, 50% people watching.  Main beach is located in the busiest part of Laguna, right in the heart of downtown.  There are volleyball and basketball courts right off the highway, and a boardwalk that snakes down the beach.  There are tons of easily accessible restaurants right across the street, so don’t be surprised to see people walking barefoot through downtown in nothing but a bathing suit.  This is probably the most crowded beach in Orange County…sometimes it is hard to see any sand because the beach is so full.  This beach is great for families, as there is a large play area for kids.  Regardless of the crowds, still one of the best beaches in OC.  Park on a side street and you’ll be fine.

So, where will you be heading?

Connect with Melissa Sims at http://TheBoutiqueRE.com/Melissa-Sims or Melissa.Sims@TheBoutiqueRE.com

July Events at Pavilion Park | The Boutique Real Estate Group

COOKING DEMO | Ode to the BurgerUnleash your inner chef. The theme of this month’s cooking class will be Ode to the Burger. Perfect for cooks of all levels. July 5 10:30am-12:00pm
YOGA IN THE PARK | Self NavigationYoga and meditation that will focus on self navigation. Perfect for beginner and intermediate yogis. July 12 9:00-10:15am
FRIDAY NIGHT HAPPENINGS | Honky Tonk NightCountry music is about storytelling. Join us for a night of music in the great southern tradition, by the Freightshakers. Plus a convoy of food trucks, including GD Bro Burger, Bear Flag Fish Co., the Viking Truck, and Drive Me Cookie. And pottery demonstrations. July 18 6:00-9:00pm
YOGA IN THE PARK | Strength and SoftnessYoga and meditation that will focus on strength and softness. Perfect for beginner and intermediate yogis. July 19 9:00-10:15am
GARDEN WORKSHOP | Surviving the Summer HeatThe heat of summer can take a toll on gardens and gardeners. Discussion to include irrigation techniques, how to operate irrigation timers, water conservation, runoff friendly hardscape, and the benefits of mulching. July 19 10:30-11:30am
YOGA IN THE PARK | Creating SpaceYoga and meditation that will focus on creating space. Perfect for beginner and intermediate yogis. July 26 9:00-10:15am
Please register in advance for Cooking Demos, Garden Workshops and Yoga Classes.

Kelly Enciso | The Boutique Real Estate Group | www.TheBoutiqueRE.com

Kelly Enciso, Realtor

 

Introducing Kelly Enciso. Watch her video here: http://bit.ly/1nE1mJu

Connect with Kelly today at http://TheBoutiqueRE.com/Kelly-Enciso

Kelly Enciso believes that home ownership is essential to a thriving, growing community. She understands that purchasing a home is a massive decision, and she is thrilled to be able to step in and help individuals and families find not just a house, but a place they are truly able to call home. Kelly has a background in both architectural and fashion design. She began her career by working on the design team for large multi-family residential luxury homes. With this keen sense of design, she is able to see the potential in any property. Kelly has a strong ethical standard, and has the ability to connect with clients and listen closely to their needs.
Kelly is a native of Orange County, and enjoys the different dynamics of this diverse place we call home. When not working, you can find Kelly enjoying time with her husband and daughter, or diving into a book or magazine at a local coffee shop.

The Digital Age of Real Estate | Raj Qsar | The Boutique Real Estate Group

Episode 44: Raj Qsar: How to digitize & “Boutique-ify” your Real Estate business.

What does it take to be a Real Estate Rockstar? Join us as Raj shares his realtor mindset and a glance at his journey to becoming a “boutique-ified” Real Estate Rockstar.

Leadership, passion, strategy, and execution are the keys to success according to Raj Qsar. Raj has started The Boutique Real Estate Group in Orange County, California. It is his vision that effective marketing of residential Real Estate be, by nature, complex. Each listing they receive is assigned a best-in-class sales & marketing campaign, and it then receives industry-leading marketing, advertising, social media, interior design, and graphics/design. Each of these pieces come together to create a customized marketing plan for each client and each property. When you partner best-in-class sales & marketing with a digital Real Estate experience, you have one of the most sophisticated, strategic companies in the Real Estate industry. Join us to learn how Raj Qsar and The Boutique Real Estate Group are turning heads everywhere they go!

Raj Qsar |HibanDigital | Real Estate Rockstar

 

Real Estate AH-HA Moment

  • When Raj first entered the world of Real Estate he tried to do it all. From the fancy camera, to video, to social media, and even staging, Raj was a one-person show. He realized that in order to scale his business he needed to hire others that were experts in their field. His first hire was a graphic designer, Listen in to hear what happened next.

The Boutique Real Estate Group

  • “We are a tech start-up who happens to be passionate about people, and we happen to sell homes” Check our their website to see for yourself just how cutting-edge they are: http://www.theboutiquere.com

In this Episode, We Also Talk About:

  • How to become publicly recognized.
  • How to start a business.
  • Change the way you market a home.
  • How to find that “one shot” of a home.
  • How to learn and then tell the story of the home.
  • How to specialize in Pinterest.
  • How to take your business digital.
  • How to market a home for social media outlets.
  • Plus so much more!

Thank Raj on Twitter

If you enjoyed this interview and would like to show Raj some love for coming on the show, you can do so easily by clicking on the link below!

Click here to tweet-thank Raj

 

Thanks for Rocking Out

Thank you for tuning in to Pat Hiban Interviews Real Estate Rockstars, we appreciate you!

To get more Rockstar content sent directly to your device as it becomes available, subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher!

Reviews on iTunes are extremely helpful and  appreciated! We read each and every one of them, please feel free to leave your email so that we can personally reach out and say thanks!

Have any questions? Tweet meFacebook me, or call 410.750.6746, and ask Pat anything. Then head on over to Bare Naked Agent for his answers, and advice.

Thanks, and keep rockin!

Laguna Beach | The Boutique Real Estate Group | Chris Kwon

Laguna Beach Lifeguard Tower

Laguna Beach is like no other place in Orange County. Take a moment and soak this in. The landscape, culture, people and the colors (ohhh the colors), makes it even hard to compare even to it’s neighboring cities. Even the scent of the ocean is different. The people of Laguna Beach know what I’m talking about, so this may be a odd concept to picture if you’ve never been here before.

But for those of you that live here and had to narrow down the best thing that this city has to offer, what would it be? Would it be the effect that the cool crisp air has across your skin as you open up the door for the first time in the morning? Or what about the grains of sand in between you toes as you walk along the beach? Maybe it’s the sound of the splashing waves as they hit the shore?

For me Laguna Beach is like a botanical garden. So alive, surrounded by diversity as every element changes so subtly. A collection of organic specimens that thrive and flow freely like a poem in harmony. Nothing ever stays the same but nothing really ever changes either.

So have I done it? Have I lost you in translation? Good, because this is the essence that makes Laguna Beach so unique and abstract. Everything that this city has to offer culminates to understanding this concept. But to understand this, you have to come and experience it for yourself. Your path might be different but you will all end up in the same place. You will understand that magnificence is a word that falls short in describing this city and all that it has to offer.

For a private home tour of Laguna Beach please contact Chris Kwon at Chris.Kwon@TheBoutiqueRE.com

Laguna Beach, Ca

Family Easter Activities in Orange County| The Boutique Real Estate Group | Erica Boisvert

easter

Photo Credit: holidays.co.uk

Easter Egg Hunt at the Fullerton YMCA– April 12 from 11am to 2pm at Fullerton YMCA *FREE* More info at: http://bit,ly+/1lrkImB

2014 Egg-Stravaganza at Disneyland- April 10-April 20 (Park Hours.) Search for special hidden “eggs” themed to Disney characters at Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure Park. Have fun exploring the parks hunting for “eggs” that portray Disney Characters! Record your discoveries by placing the corresponding sticker on the specialty themed Egg-Stravaganza map to represent that location. Maps and stickers can be purchased for $4.95, at select merchandise locations. More info at: http://bit.ly/QIGOH2

Easter Egg-Stravaganza at Irvine Park- March 29-April 19 (schedules times.) Held in the Locomotive Loop just behind the train station. You can hunt for eggs, meet the Easter Bunny and enjoy all of the other amenities of Irvine Park. (Bike rentals, wheel boats, etc.) More info (and coupons!) at : http://bit.ly//1pVRhsS

Easter Bunny Activities at South Coast Plaza- March 28-April 19. Ride the carousel, makes crafts and take pictures with the Easter Bunny! More info at: http://bit.ly.1gqUxqO

Easter Egg Hunt at Laguna Hills Community Center- April 12 from 10am-11am. Join Mr. Bunny and friends for some springtime adventure like crafts, an egg hunt, and pictures. More infor at http://bit.ly/1fOUF3Z

Easter Egg Hunt and Family Fun Day in Huntington Beach- April 19 from 9am-2pm. Bring the whole family for live music, games, vendors, photos with the Easter Bunny, face painting, and the popular Easter Hunt. More info at: http://bit.ly/1k3SdOk

Celebrate Easter at Newport Dunes’ Waterfront Resort- April 19 and April 20 (check scheduled times.) A twenty-two year tradition of sand, Easter egg hunting and the Easter Bunny! More info at: http://bit.ly/1h8oiCK

SpEGGtacular Easter in Yorba Linda- April 12 at 9am. 5th Annual Royal Riders Pony Club SpEGGtacular Charity Event. All proceeds will be donated to The Shauna Ann Stuewe Foundation. Ponies, puppies, Easter egg hunt AND Charity? Winner!! More info at: http://bit.ly/PqC7jT

easter3Photo Credit: lovethispic.com

 

Are you prepared for the big one?

Are you prepared for the big one?

By:  Melissa Sims | The Boutique Real Estate Group | @MelissaSimsOC

I am not a California native. I came to California in 1986 for my father’s career. We moved to Arcadia in the middle of one of the hottest summers on record. Coming from Wisconsin, we were not prepared for the heat. Nor, would I learn, were we prepared for earthquakes. I still remember very vividly where I was when the 1987 5.9 Whittier Narrows earthquake hit. I was getting ready for school… out of nowhere, dishes were flying out of cabinets and the floor was seemingly gone beneath my feet. My mother grabbed my sister and I and we all ran outside. I wish I could find words to appropriately explain what I saw…the earth was flipping, side-to-side. Earthquake, you say, mom? What’s that? I was only 7 at the time, and coming from the other side of the country, we never spoke of such things. Tornados? All the time. Needless to say, we were ill prepared – no extra water or canned food on hand, no extra clothing, batteries, blankets…nada. It was a very serious quake, with several deaths and many homes destroyed.

Fast forward 7 years, we are living near Northridge, CA. We must have had a knack to follow where the next big earthquake would be. My mother and I were living alone in a condo, on top of a subterranean parking garage. I was awoken at 4:31 am by being physically thrown out of my bed onto the floor. I looked up and saw a huge free-standing mirror about to crash over me…instinct told me to roll under my bed while the mirror shattered where I had just lain. The intense noise, not just the shaking, is what was so terrifying about this quake – I screamed the entire time, as did my mother, neither of us hearing anything from the other. As we got our bearings and cautiously went downstairs, we had no idea what had happened. How big was that? Is there power anywhere (not here, obviously)? As we scrambled in the dark, I am still thankful that my mom had just recently decided it was time for an ‘earthquake kit.’ We had water, food, blankets, a flashlight, radio and extra batteries. We sat in our doorway for probably close to 3 hours, listening to the battery-powered radio in the dark, trying to find out how bad the quake was, getting tossed over and over with aftershocks. We stayed in the house for over a week with no power or clean water, until the fire department finally made its way to us. To let us know that we couldn’t stay. While the Northridge quake was a 6.7, the ground acceleration of that quake was one of the highest ever recorded in an urban area, making it feel more like a quake in the 7.5 range.

Looking back on both quakes, I am so thankful that we were more prepared for the second quake. Nothing can prepare you, really, for the disorienting feeling of having the earth beneath you come to life, and rock your senses silly. After this most recent La Habra quake, we are reminded yet again that we live in ‘earthquake country’ and most of us are embarrassingly unprepared for the aftermath of a good shake.

seismograph

Here are some tips for an effective earthquake kit. Some things to remember: you may not have access to water, electricity or emergency services for a few days, if not more.

1. Water. The single most important item you’ll need. Another option: steri pen. Will sterilize water from any source. You’ll need at least one gallon per day per person in your house.

2. Food – canned food (don’t forget an opener), boxed food that has a long shelf life. Pastas, canned tuna, canned vegetables, etcetera. Camping food is another good option.

3. Camp stove and fuel, along with utensils.

4. Whistle, in case of need for rescuers.

5. Extra set of clothing & shoes.

6. Emergency cash, in small denominations

7. Tool kit (to turn off gas/water)

8. Copies of your vital documents.

9. Tarp, plastic bags – in case of rain. Or, if preferred, a tent.

10. Toiletries.

11. Toys – if you have kids

12. Lanterns, flashlights & batteries.

13. Portable radio – don’t think your cell phone will work. You need the good ol’ fashioned antenna radio.

14. Solar panel for charging any items that might still work.

15. Portable power generator. There are solar versions out there as well. Most generators run on gas, and if there is a main break at your local station, no-can-do. There are other personal preference items you can bring, of course, but try to make your kit as accessible as possible. It should be in a waterproof container, easily accessed OUTSIDE. Do not keep it in your garage – you’ll probably not be able to access it if the damage is severe.

Nothing, like I said, will prepare you for the moment a large earthquake hits. The fear and adrenaline are intense and the disorientation is dumbfounding. But, your preparedness for the moments right after a quake can make the comforts of home enough to get you through mother nature’s moody behavior.

To connect with Melissa Sims please email her at Melissa.Sims@TheBoutiqueRE.com