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.
The home at 22570 Hidden Hills Road in Yorba Linda sold on Nov. 1 for $6.1 million, coming in under its $7.5 million list price in May. The sale represented the highest ever in the city. Nestled onto a private, 3.1-acre ridgetop lot, the estate features views that stretch to the ocean on the horizon. The 8,320-square-foot, contemporary-style home, formerly owned by the executive chef of Yardhouse Restaurants, Carlito Jocson, includes a restaurant caliber kitchen with Viking appliances, a large Subzero refrigerator and an adjacent 1,200- bottle, temperature-controlled wine storage room. Outdoors, there’s another full-service kitchen featuring an ample bar-seating area and wood-fired pizza oven. There are five bedrooms and six baths, as well as a 13-person theater and a billiards room, and a whole-home Crestron system. The grounds include a basketball court, full outdoor bath, and space for a helipad. The home was designed by DKY Architects’ David Streshinsky. Raj Qsar and Christina Boladian of The Boutique Real Estate Group represented the seller, and Edward Englehart of First Team Real Estate worked on behalf of the buyer.
In a world of extreme competition, traditional home tours are becoming obsolete. Real estate agents are now using movies to sell mansions.
It’s not easy to sell houses. In a market spoilt for choice, selling mansions becomes even more tougher. So real estate agents are finding new ways to lure customers and one of them happens to be making movies to sell mansions. A woman in a red dress twirls with a mysterious man through light-filled hallways. There is light music that surges in a romantically-lit courtyard, which overlooks a twinkling city. A mischievous coda plays, and then the credits roll. You could mistake it for a scene from a romantic blockbuster. Not really, as this eight-minute mini movie is a real estate advertisement—uploaded on Vimeo—for an $8.5-million, 1.5-acre compound in Encino, Los Angeles. The days of good old brochures with high-resolution pictures are over. So is successfully marketing a mansion using shots from an iPhone or even expensive videos shot by drone. In the days of ever-evolving technology and infrastructure, real estate agents need to do a little more hard work to pitch the perfect sale bid.
So luxury listings are now experimenting with full-on property movies—films featuring actors, story arcs, scores and tinseltown-caliber cinematography. The money is spent on movies to be recovered through million-dollar sales. In another movie for a mansion, gorgeous women dressed in bikinis, sipping fine wine, are sitting by the poolside. The short movie made by realtors to sell a $32-million Hollywood Hills mansion cost its makers a whopping $40,000. Real estate agents Rayni Williams and Branden Williams were one of the first ones who came up with such an over-the-top marketing idea to sell a mansion in 2015.
The storyline of the movie pays attention to showcase all the finer details of the mansion. The man of the house is out of town and his wife texts her friends to come over and party. So the director of photography used five different cameras and three drones to capture the home’s splendour. The eight-bedroom estate boasts breathtaking views, a theatre and a gym. The husband and wife realtor team also made a $100,000-mini movie to sell a $70-million property the same year.
People are short of time and so the classic, old-school walking tour of the house is becoming more and more obsolete. So here come movies for a generation that is short on attention, but is addicted to smartphones. A movie makes people feel attached to a story, and they want to stick around and see what’s happening. Making a movie doesn’t come cheap though. Typically, the filmmaking cost is covered by either the listing agents, sellers or both. Movie-style real estate videos can cost anywhere from $5,000 to upwards of $30,000. Real estate agent Ben Bacal, an early innovator of high-gloss property films, worked with married clients Ori and Nafisa Ayonmike to craft a $20,000-film to market their home in Hollywood.
The Ayonmikes star in a fictional narrative that begins with Ori skulking through the sleek, contemporary rooms of his 5,500-square-foot, five-bedroom estate. In the next 11 minutes, Ori tells Nafisa that he wants a divorce. A passionate fight ensues, Ori gets kicked out and Nafisa chucks her massive diamond ring into the pool. Amid all the high drama, the camera-person captures the home’s 20-foot ceilings, high-tech security system, marble fireplaces and the tony Hollywood Hills neighbourhood.
The video of the property, listed at $3.65 million, has generated nearly 61,000 views since being posted on YouTube last year. As movies are doled out so are online video platforms, which have become a key component in property sales. Some 36% of home buyers used YouTube, Vimeo or another video-hosting website in their search last year, despite only 8% of real estate agents using films in their marketing strategies, as per the National Association of Realtors in the USA.
Bacal posted another movie trailer-listing video last year for a Bel-Air property, in which two children develop Ferris Bueller fevers and spend the day playing hooky. The pair splash in their infinity pool, shoot golf balls over the Los Angeles skyline from their lawn, try on outfits in their generous closets and have a puppy delivered by drone. The 14,230-square-foot spread sold in December for $39 million.
Not all of the properties are extravagant or overwrought. One narrative video, for a four-bedroom home in Brea that sold in October, focused on family. The movie trailer for the 3,008-square-foot property, posted on YouTube three months earlier by the Boutique Real Estate Group, features little girls at a sleepover, romping through various bedrooms and having a late-night living room dance party to Taylor Swift songs. Some properties take naturally to the camera.
Consider the 20,500-square-foot Opus spec estate in Beverly Hills. The $100-million listing—which includes seven bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, two swimming pools, art by Damien Hirst and Andy Warhol, and a champagne vault with 170 bottles of Cristal—was featured last spring in a video inspired by David Lynch and Eyes Wide Shut. Producer Alexander Ali of the Society Group worked with Hilton & Hyland selling agent Drew Fenton and developer Nile Niami—who co-produced Steven Seagal’s 1998 film The Patriot—on the Opus film. Opus has now received inquiries from China, Russia, Brazil and India.
Oh say can you see…all the fireworks of OC! Independence Day, the day we look forward to all summer long is finally upon us. The day for BBQ’s, friends + family, parades and those mesmerizing lights that fill the night sky, also known as fireworks! While pretty much every major city in Orange County has some sort of firework display, (not including your neighbor’s snap-crackle-pop array going on outside throughout the evening), I’m here to break down my top 5 picks for this year’s professional pyrotechnic shows throughout Orange County!
Costa Mesa: BYOP (bring your own picnic), chairs and blankets to enjoy a pyrotechnic show at the OC Fair and Event center, located right off the 55 freeway at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. The fireworks start at 9 PM, but get there early and enjoy live music, activities, food and vendors starting at 4PM. Free parking until 5PM — after 5, parking is $8. For more information visit costamesaca.gov
Dana Point: Beach views + Fireworks. Could you ask for anything more? Grab your lawn chairs and head to the beach for a firework show with synchronized music. Not kidding…tune into 88.5 FM at 9PM and heighten your senses with this incredible show over Doheny State Beach. A free shuttle will run from 8AM-11PM, picking up and dropping off at Dana Hills High School and Dana Point Harbor. If you decide to make it an all day event, make sure to pack your sunscreen!
Fullerton: Since 1990, Fullerton has hosted it’s annual ‘Annual 4th of July Fireworks Festival’ at Fullerton Union High School. While the show is usually hosted at the stadiums football field, this year the event will take place on the softball field. From 5-9:30, enjoy live music, food, drinks, and games. Best to get there early though; the event usually brings in around 7,000 people!
Lake Forest: If you plan on being in Lake Forest this Independence Day, make sure to get a good night’s sleep before, because this city hosts events throughout the entire day. The community will host it’s 26th annual 4th of July Parade, with this years theme “Let Freedom Ring,” from 10AM to noon. The parade will run along Serrano Road, Lake Forest Drive, Toledo Way and Ridge Route Drive.
The Lake Forest ll Homeowner’s Association also has an event beginning at 10AM at the Sun and Sail Club, featuring live music, food, beverages, and basketball and volleyball tournaments. The fireworks show starts at 9PM. Wristbands are on sale for $12 before July 4, and $15 on the day of the event. More information at http://lf2recreation.org/
Tustin: Visit Tustin High School Football field, located at 1171 El Camino Real for free entertainment starting at 6PM. You can pack your own snacks and drinks, or purchase from the school’s booster club. Also, Operation Warm Wishes – a non profit organization dedicated to helping and serving the homeless, troubled youths, struggling families, Veterans and senior citizens in need throughout Orange County, CA and the world will be on site, so be sure to donate some non perishable food items!
Wherever you choose to spend your holiday, we hope that you have a perfect day celebrating and honoring the freedoms that we have here in the beautiful USA! Enjoy your time with the people who mean most to you — Have fun! Eat that extra helping of potato salad! And most importantly, be safe.
From us here at The Boutique to you, Happy Independence Day!
The Inman Influencers List salutes industry professionals who shape, change and influence the industry. They bring a mix of credentials, viewpoints and backgrounds from all walks of the real estate business. Some are creative, intuitive and gifted. Some have power, reach and charisma. And some are controversial, rabble-rousers and disrupters.
All of our influencers contribute to change in one way or another.
The list is both young and hardened, made up of connectors, power brokers, high earners, CEOs, hackers, troublemakers and startup founders. It’s a list of entrepreneurs, big and small; the old-school and the new; controversial and quiet plodders.
“They are not cut from the same cloth, they do not speak the same language and they do not always necessarily share the same values. But they influence the industry by their work, through their followers and by expressing their opinions,” said Inman publisher Brad Inman.
In selecting this year’s Inman influencers, we considered recommendations from Inman readers, editorial staff and outside suggestions. Yes, thousands of real estate professionals make a difference in the real estate industry every day, but these are some we believe stood out this year.
Get out of the office and make personal connections that generate leads.
Starbucks and other places like it are great locations to generate leads.
Be consistent and focus on creating relationships that build credibility and lead to sales down the line.
Always bring marketing materials and discreetly advertise yourself with branded accessories, such as a laptop cover.
Starbucks isn’t only the place to pick up your daily triple nonfat latte with a drizzle of caramel and extra foam on the side — it’s also a great place to find leads.
James Michaelin recounts how he got two leads in one morning at Starbucks thanks to good listening and quick action.
“I overheard a business meeting that someone was starting a business and they brought up needing to find a Realtor for a location,” he wrote. “Well, [the] keyword Realtor was said so of course I introduced myself, gave my card to both of them and they [wanted] to get together soon.”
Twenty minutes later, James got another lead from a man who overheard his conversation with the two businessmen.
As it turns out, Michaelin isn’t the only agent who uses Starbucks as a lead-generating tool. There’s been a lot of chatter online over the past two months about the power of Starbucks and other places like it, such as Panera Bread or even Dunkin’ Donuts.
Here’s some of the advice agents gave on how to make Starbucks work for you:
1. Mark it on your weekly schedule
Raj Qsar goes to Starbucks three times a week to do local real estate research and work on handwritten thank-you notes. Because of his consistency, customers expect Qsar to be there and look forward to asking him questions.
2. Make your presence known
Agents aren’t the only people who use Starbucks as a second office. Most of the people are there are to get work done and rarely look up from their phone, tablet or laptop.
So how do you let people know a Realtor is in the room? JT Takacs suggests telling the cashier to write “Realtor (insert name)” on your cup, so when the barista calls your name, everyone will know your profession.
3. Discreetly advertise yourself with branded accessories
Order a customized laptop cover that has your name, logo, website URL and a great call-to-action. Amanda Miller Hudson says: “I have the Realtor ‘R’ logo in sticker form over the apple on my MacBook Pro. It works! I picked up a seller lead last November at Panera.”
4. Focus on making personal connections before generating leads
What agents love about Starbucks is the chance to get from behind the tech wall and make real-time, face-to-face connections. Don’t stop in with the expectation that you’ll walk out with a handful of deals each day, because as many will attest, there will be days and weeks when you won’t.
But you will build the relationships and familiarity crucial to establishing your brand and long-term success.
5. Offer on-the-spot advice
When Zillow evangelist Jay Thompson goes to Starbucks, he brings a sign that says: “Have a real estate question? Fire away!” And he buys a cup of coffee for those who are brave enough to take the offer.
6. Bring marketing materials
This seems like a given, but some may feel apprehensive about bringing their regular marketing materials with them into Starbucks. David Fresquez suggests having a set of “ready-made buyer or seller folders that includes information about you, your latest accomplishments along with some social proof.”
Keep these folders in your briefcase, backpack or bag and give them to your potential lead once your conversation is done.
7. Small sacrifices can hook a big fish
At Luxury Connect in October, Josh Altman shared a story about how he was able to snare a sale at Starbucks. He frequents one Los Angeles store in particular and had purchased his coffee when he saw a well-known celebrity join the line.
So Altman threw out his just-procured drink and stepped in line behind the celeb, struck up a conversation and discovered he was looking for a home. He offered the star $1,000 to come with him to a place he thought would fit the bill — certain it was perfect. And it was. Being willing to throw out the coffee and offer money to show sincerity generated a happy ending to the story, a $12 million sale.
Do you have any extra advice for getting leads at Starbucks? What are some other places you like to hang out? Share them in the comments below.
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!
>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
In our latest #SindeoSitDown, Owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group and video guru, Raj Qsar, sat down with us to talk about how and why realtors everywhere should be leveraging video to grow their business.
So…what did we learn? For starters, if you’re not already using video to market your listings you should be! Listings that use video receive 4x as many leads as those without. Video has become the #1 ROI for money spent and returned for Raj and his team, as is the case for most realtors doing video successfully.
What kinds of things can you add to video to make them exciting and “sticky”?
Add a human element – Create videos that are about more than just the property. Feature pets, give the house a story, include actors that “live” in the home, find ways to make it feel real so viewers can relate.
Include the community – B-roll footage is key. Buyers aren’t just moving into a house, they’re moving into a community. So, show it to them! Shots of local businesses, parks, beaches, and amenities go a long way. Plus, this content is evergreen, meaning you can use it again and again.
Make it cool – There are so many hi-tech additions you can incorporate to put your video above the rest. Use hyperlapse, add filters, film aerial shots with a drone!
Did you know 85 percent of sellers want to work with an agent who uses video? And homes listed with video get 4x the inquiries of homes listed without it! Marketing your property with video has quickly become the largest and most effective way to reach your clients.
So what does this mean for you? If you’re not already leveraging video, you should be!
In this #SindeoSitDown, Founder/Owner and marketing extraordinaire, Raj Qsar, will explain how to think about listing videos a bit differently ad how to drive traffic to your listings.
Join us for this 15 minute #sindeositdown on Wednesday December 2nd at 10am.
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!