xPlode 2013 | Newport Beach | Technology for Real Estate

Don’t miss this power-packed, one day conference on real estate marketing & technology featuring 12 top speakers from all over the US.

Top sponsors include Realtor.com, Homes.com, Market Leader, Cartavi, Exit Realty, Alos Research, Broadview Mortgage and many others.

Here is the link to the conference  http://xplodethis.com/newport/

 

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Top 99 Realtors on Twitter | Does Your Agent Tweet?

By Raj Qsar via Websitebox-Team

Selling Real Estate 140 Characters at a time.
A look at the national list of the top 99 Realtors who are utilizing Twitter to gain regional & national influence in this social world of ours.  Information is based on the amount of followers, quality of tweets, clout and influence.

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Why video, why now?

Sunday Feb 10th, 2013
By Raj Qsar, Principal | Owner of Premier Orange County Real Estate
@rajqsar

Wikipedia gives us a history of the word emotion as it dates back to 1579, when it was adapted from the French word emouvoir, which means “to stir up.”  This truly puts a capsule around why we have made video a primary marketing footprint for our clients as we transition into 2013.  We are looking to “stir-up” those deep emotions of buyers looking for residential real estate in Orange County, Ca.

We want to showcase the emotion of what its like to live in this particular home, in this particular neighborhood, in this particular city within the curtains of Orange County, Ca.  We start by spending time with our sellers and asking them what they truly love the most about their home, neighborhood & city and what they will miss the most.  This allows us to begin storyboarding our video (we think of videos as mini-movies) around those particular aspects that they love so much and can include hot spots like restaurants, schools, parks, farmers markets or even the weather!

One of our favorite videos was “the pool party” video in a great little town in North Orange County called Brea.  What we showcase here is the true lifestyle of this community and what a buyer and to-be homeowner could expect from living in this family friendly neighborhood.  Video Link Here. One HUGE Vision, Two days of shooting, 1 night shoot, 3 luxury cars, 2 Cinematographers, lots of equipment, 12 “actors,” a ton of edits in post production truly brought to life the unique qualities of this FAB city!

Regardless of price point, the emotional aspect of video can really play a part in a home buyers quest of going from searching for a home to finding a home.  Another fabulous video we produced was for a lower priced Luxury Low Rise Condo in the City of Garden Grove in Orange County called Chapman Commons represented by our very own Jeremy Lehman (who made a cameo appearance in the video with his new puppy Max as well).  Video Link Here.   Listed for $319,000 this property sold for $22,000 more than an identical unit right next door and also closed for $48,000 over the appraised value.   How’s that for stirring up emotions!

Got a chopper?  Ray Fernandez sure does!  How else do we capture the lifestyle of La Habra Heights just on the Orange County & LA border?   This hillside community was built with Rural in mind.  Each property is typically set on at least 1 acre of land, which gives residents & homeowner’s privacy and luxury.  There are no sidewalks or street lights but plenty of wildlife and trails throughout this great city where you can enjoy the great outdoors.  Watch Video Here.  One of the best ways to really capture La Habra Heights and this property is from up above!

Video marketing truly starts with a vision.  What’s your vision for this home, in this neighborhood, in this city?  What do you know about this home, this neighborhood & this city that you want to share.  What makes your city so great?  Once the vision is set then it needs to be put it into motion.  C.S. Lewis says, “There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

Real Estate & Video marketing is nothing new in our industry and just like anything we do to market properties it first begins with an idea.  That idea needs to be captured, created and published for the road ahead.

 

Top 20 Real Estate Videos of 2012 via WellcomeMat

So truly honored that our Goodbye 2012 | Hello 2013 highlight video was named a Top 20 Real Estate Video by WellcomeMat for 2012. If you LOVE Video have a look at some of these truly amazing stories from some amazing companies.  Corcoran Group in New York, Inman News, CORE Real Estate NYC, Facebook, Zillow, Redfin, Richard Silver, Napa View Real Estate, Prudential Steamboat Realty, The New Wave Group, KW, Sage Real Estate, Halstead property, Georgetown Real Estate, Las Vegas Real Estate, Dave Dugdale, ReMax and Jessica Riffle Edwards.
Congrats to all!

Raj Qsar | 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders | Inman News | 2013

So truly honored & humbled to be able to share this recognition with this exceptional group of individuals.

Being named as Real Estate Industry’s 100 Most Influential Leaders truly has me speechless!

 

Inman News today releases the Inman 100 report, an annual list of the Most Influential Real Estate Leaders that recognizes those who embody leadership, ingenuity, strength, conviction, power, persistence, perseverance and progress — their voices and actions can move the industry toward change.

They include the industry’s brain trust, power brokers and deal-makers, and those outside the industry who impact the business of buying and selling homes.

Inman News accepted and reviewed hundreds of reader nominations via an open, online nominations process. An Inman News in-house review and selection process considered reader-selected nominees and also suggested additional individuals worthy of consideration.

See The Top 100:  http://www.inman.com/inman100

View Raj’s Recognition:  http://www.inman.com/inman100/2013/raj-qsar

 

Why Better Technology Means Better Service

By Jeremy Lehman

The Boutique Real Estate Group

 

When you think of real estate, the last thing that comes to your mind is probably technology. Technology has come a long way in the past few years, but unfortunately, the real estate industry tends to lag behind the curve. Sometimes decades behind; have you seen our MLS?

Today, our team employs an industry leading approach to improving response time, customer service, client convenience, and business management using mobile technology and cloud based applications. We work closely with vendors to help tweak their products or even create new ones that can help our team and clients enjoy a painless process of signing documents, accessing property information, communication, scheduling activities, sharing documents, and more. Our team is on the cutting edge of using technology in real estate. Every member of our team is equipped with an iPhone, iPad, Laptop, and mobile internet connection, allowing us to work from anywhere at any time.

Our listings receive a best in class marketing campaign with HDR photography, HD video, HD V-Tours, professional graphics & design, staging & interior design individual property websites, and even floor plans; creating maximum exposure and ultimately a maximum price. We use social media, blogs, and the most visited real estate websites to promote our listings, open houses, and interact with potential buyers. We’ve also created online groups of the top agents throughout Southern California to share listings with the agents that actually do business. Our use of video has received national accolades & recognition, but better yet, gives potential buyers the #1 thing they’re looking for. Listings with videos tend to sell for more money and faster than listings without. Our open house events are almost always packed with potential buyers and curious neighbors. To take advantage of the opportunity, we use an iPad application to track the visitors, follow up with property information, and notify them of any future price changes. We’ve also been able to assemble a big list of interested buyers for the neighborhoods we service.

Our clients can expect a quick response, the convenience of signing contracts via your mobile phone/tablet or computer (some transactions require “wet” signatures), maximum exposure for your property resulting in a maximum price, regular updates and communication and  market updates. We know technology does not replace service, skills, and knowledge, we just use to better serve you. Our agents are all proven industry experts as well.

Orange County Sheriff Ready To Patrol Yorba Linda

Story via The OC Register, Salvador Hernandez

Photo Courtesy via The OC Register, Ken Steinhardt

YORBA LINDA – Officers in dark-blue uniforms will be replaced by deputies in green at the stroke of midnight Friday night, as the Orange County Sheriff’s Department takes over policing services for the city that had been patrolled by Brea police for 42 years.

Brea police officers were set to patrol Yorba Linda streets until May 3, but an end of the cities’ contract was rushed to January after Brea officials found themselves struggling to provide enough officers to patrol both cities.

Black and whites with the Yorba Linda emblem on their doors have already been cruising through the city this week, mainly to check radio and signal connections in patrol vehicles before the Sheriff’s Department takes over services Saturday, said Capt. Steve Doan.

“We’ve got to make sure this process happens seamlessly,” Doan said.

The Yorba Linda City Council decided to end its contract with Brea in April, opting instead to enter a five-year contract with the Sheriff’s Department.

Since then, Yorba Linda officials rejected two last-minute offers to re-sign with the Brea Police Department. In its last offer, Brea offered to provide policing services to the city at a cost of $9.3 million annually, effectively underbidding the Sheriff Department’s offer by about $600,000.

Brea’s offer beat its initial bid of $10.7 million back in April. Brea’s eleventh-hour proposal included an offer to pay for whatever costs Yorba Linda might incur by terminating its contract with the Sheriff’s Department, but the offer was rejected by a 3-2 city council vote.

Ready to go

Doan, who heads the Sheriff’s Department’s North County operations, said deputies and administrators have been working this week on the final details, including switching phone systems in Yorba Linda so 911 calls will be received by sheriff’s dispatchers, not Brea police. On Thursday, sheriff’s officials were still moving furniture and office supplies to 20994 Yorba Linda Blvd., where deputies will be based.

“We’re basically getting everything ready to go,” he said. The building is set to be expanded, but Doan said deputies will be able to make due with the space in the meantime.

Sheriff’s officials have already hired 19 patrol officers, one sergeant and one investigator from Brea police that will be assigned to Yorba Linda – a promise made by the Sheriff’s Department to ensure deputies patrolling the area were familiar with the city. Brea police have since lost another six officers to other agencies, making it more difficult for the department to patrol both cities and prompting a rush to hand off responsibilities.

On Saturday, seven patrol units will be cruising Yorba Linda, a community with 64,000 residents in a 20-square-mile area.

Though the city has been hit with a rash of home burglaries in the last month, Yorba Linda has a relatively low crime rate.

For its transition into Yorba Linda, the Sheriff’s Department plans to purchase 13 patrol cars and nine additional unmarked cars. Another three motorcycles, 24 mobile radios and 31 handheld radios are also set to be purchased, according to the department’s proposal.

Patrolling the city

Twenty deputies will be assigned to patrol within city boundaries, and another six will be allotted to patrol unincorporated pockets within the city limits, Doan said. The cost of those six deputies will be split between Yorba Linda and the county.

While Sheriff’s Department and Yorba Linda officials have agreed to a “per diem” cost for adopting their contract five months earlier than expected, the terms of terminating police services between Yorba Linda and Brea have yet to be hashed out, said Mark Aalders, assistant city manager for Yorba Linda.

Among the terms that have yet to be agreed on is the final payment to Brea and the unfunded pension liability of Brea officers that were assigned to Yorba Linda, Aalders said.

According to an analysis of police service proposals made by Ralph Andersen & Associates for Yorba Linda last year, Yorba Linda has an ongoing expense for worker compensation cases of about $260,000. According to the analysis, “There is no language in the current Brea contract which would obligate Yorba Linda to any future pension liability.”

It wasn’t immediately clear what terms the cities may agree to in order to end the contract early.

“Those details will be hammered out in the course of time,” Aalders said.

 

Mortgage Debt Relief Act Extended for Another Year

Struggling homeowners who are considering a short sale or modification will be eligible for tax relief in 2013.

The “fiscal cliff bill” passed by Congress on January 1 included a provision to exclude borrowers from paying taxes on debt forgiven through a short sale, foreclosure, or loan modification.

Known as Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007, the act was scheduled to expire December 31, 2012, but received an extension for another year.

Industry experts and political leaders from all sides expressed support for the act’s extension.

In November, 41 state attorneys general wrote a letter urging U.S. House and Senate leaders to extend the act, arguing the act’s expiration would take away from the effectiveness of the national mortgage servicing settlement.

Through the settlement, state and federal officials reached an agreement with five of the largest servicers over “foreclosure abuses.” The settlement requires the servicers to provide $20 billion in consumer relief to struggling homeowners.

As of September 30, a report from settlement monitor Joseph Smith found servicers provided 21,833 borrowers with $2.55 billion in relief through first lien principal reduction modifications, which averages to about $116,929 in debt forgiveness for each borrower.

If the act did not receive an extension, borrowers who received relief in the form of forgiven debt would be liable to pay taxes on the debt.

The Center for Responsible Lending and the Financial Services Roundtable also wrote letters asking Congress to extend the act.

 

5 Real Estate Trends to Look For in 2013

Posted By The KCM Crew On December 27, 2012, www.kcmblog.com

 

Predicting trends during volatile economic times in American is no easy task. However, we are going to give it our best shot. We strongly believe these are the five real estate items we should keep an eye on in 2013:

Demand for Housing Will Continue to Surge

The housing market has turned the corner and there is no reason to believe that buyer demand will not maintain momentum throughout 2013. Household formations shot up to boom-time levels in 2012 and are projected to increase at even a faster rate over the next twelve months. A lack of inventory will be more of a challenge to sales increases than will a lack of demand.

Generations X and Y Will Prove They Believe in Homeownership

Contrary to what many have hypothesized over the last few years, young adults (18-35 year olds) are just as committed to homeownership as previous generations. Recent studies have shown:

  • 43% already own a home
  • 72% see homeownership as part of their personal American Dream
  • 93% of those currently renting plan to buy a home

This, along with the increase in household formations mentioned above, makes us believe that 2013 will be the year that many of these young adults will jump into homeownership.

Prices Will Continue to Increase

Pricing of any item is determined by supply and demand. Demand for housing will remain strong throughout 2013. At the same time, the supply of homes ready for is shrinking in many parts of the country. Outside of a few states that still have challenges with large inventories of distressed properties (NY, NJ, CT, IL for example), prices will appreciate nicely.

Even in the areas that are still dealing with high percentages of foreclosures and short sales, prices will not tumble dramatically. The increase in demand will absorb much of this inventory. In these areas, prices will either flatten or perhaps soften to a small degree.

Move-Up Sellers Will Return in Great Numbers

Perhaps what many will find as the biggest surprise of 2013 will be the return of the ‘move-up’ seller. Over the last several years negative equity has prevented many of these sellers from moving up to the house of their dreams. However, with prices recovering, more and more of these sellers will realize that now may be their greatest opportunity to make the move to a lifestyle they always wanted.

With home prices expected to increase and more stringent mortgage qualifications (QR and QRM) scheduled to be announced this year, we believe that the first half of the year will bring many of these sellers/buyers to the market.

The Consumer Will Demand That Their Agent Be an Expert

Real Estate professionals who have invested the money, time and energy to truly understand what is happening and why it is happening will separate themselves from their competition and do very well this year.

Those who take that next step of learning how to simply and effectively communicate the market to their clients will be seen as experts. These industry leaders will dominate their markets.

Storyboarding Social With A Real Estate Twist

So the art of social starts with a twist! How do you sell real estate without talking about real estate? How do you create connections socially and bring them to where it really matters for the in-real-life meeting? How do you make real estate sexy? Where is the eye candy to get those eyeballs glued to what you are sharing? How do you curate content on multiple social channels yet make it engaging?

We believe it starts with a story! What is this home going to look like on a social storyboard across multiple channels? What is it like to live in this home, in this neighborhood, in this community? Well, we think the story starts on Facebook, with a whole lot of Pinterest and Instagram and some fabulous YouTube mixed in!

Here is a little Facebook, as we showcase the golf course community of Vista Del Verde inYorba Linda, Calif. This home at 4036HoosierLawn.com has all the aspects of a luxury home in a luxury neighborhood as is featured on our timeline cover on Facebook.

But you need to create visual appeal via eye candy as well! So we take stellar photos that are pre- and post-processed for color correction and digital enhancements (we actually physically touch each and every photo to ensure it is the perfect balance of “eye” plus “candy”).

Also, our description matters! In the gentle, rolling hills of Yorba Linda is Vista Del Verde, a luxurious master-planned golf course community … (you had me at hello!)

So what is this neighborhood like? What does this community have to offer a new family that purchases a home here? Got golf? Will play! Did someone say video? (This is the fabulous YouTube part!) Oh yeah, now you’re talking! Notice the post below! Just sent this listing to a client! Boom! Watch video here!

So how about Pinterest and Instagram? How does that fit into the storyboard of social real estate? We try to capture the true essence of Orange County, Calif., on our Pinterest page because we know that people want eye candy! Beautiful people, fast cars, fabulous food, drop-dead-gorgeous real estate, and a client-focused team that will provide white-glove service to our clients whether they are buying or selling real estate in Orange County.

Instagram is truly one of our favorite channels right now, as it presents a more intimate atmosphere for getting to know people. It is the day-in and day-out photos that can bring that street-level story to the home or lifestyle you are showcasing.

The photo below is one of the only unobstructed 270-degree-view lots in a luxury neighborhood called Kerrigan Ranch in Yorba Linda. The story is laid out nicely on video and photos as we stroll through this amazing neighborhood truly giving your connections a real-life perspective on this home and this neighborhood.

Our team truly believes that relationships are created in that person-to-person, in-real-life moment when that individual decides she is going to look at you as her trusted adviser. It may initially start on social, but you are going to have to earn her trust and respect in real life. Once you do that, then it’s time for the story of that home, in that neighborhood, in that city. Enjoy!