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Raj Qsar: How The Boutique Real Estate Group Are Leading The Way With Video

via Josh Cobb of Stepps

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Raj Qsar, principal and owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group, joins Real Estate Pros to discuss How The Boutique Real Estate Group Are Leading The Way With Video. Raj shares his journey in real estate and what it’s like selling high-end luxury homes in some of the world’s most stunning locations.

Show Notes

From amazing photography, video and film production, 360-degree HD v-tours, interior design and staging, custom graphics and design, complete social media engagement and search engine optimisation, The Boutique Real Estate Group do marketing the way it should be done.

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With more than 18 years of sales, marketing and leadership experience, Raj Qsar has achieved this outstanding level of production as a result of his unsurpassed commitment for providing superior representation to his clients.

Most recently, Raj was nominated for an Innovator Award for Most Innovative Real Estate Agent in 2014 by Inman News. He was also named Top 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders For 2013 By Inman News, and The Boutique Real Estate Group was recently selected as The 2014 Next Generation Real Estate Brokerage by Better Homes & Garden Real Estate & 1000 Watt Consulting. Their 2013 video called #goodbyehello was named Top 20 Real Estate Videos in the USA.

As a national and international speaker, Raj travels the world educating real estate professionals on the value of technology and social media. As a highly sought after speaker, Raj has taken the stage at some of the most prestigious real estate conferences across the country and he continues to make his mark in today’s ever-changing real estate market.

Join us in this episode of Real Estate Pros as Raj takes us on a journey inside The Boutique Real Estate Group and their commitment to best-in-class marketing and sales.

Fast Five

Who has been an inspiration to you throughout your career?
“Jesus Christ, my personal lord and saviour.”

What are your favourite things in the world to do when you’re not at the office?
“That’s an easy one. I’m a dad with three beautiful kids and a wife, so getting off the grid and spending time with my family without my phone in my hand.”

What is your favourite business book?
The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive – By Patrick Lencioni.”

What is your favourite technology resource you use daily to help you run a better business?
“I literally couldn’t live without my iPhone.”

What is ‘one thing’ that prevents people in real estate from achieving success and what would your advice be to overcome it?
“Don’t try to do everything yourself. Find people who are strong where you’re weak, team up with partnered professionals and just focus on being consistent at your one strategy.”

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Download This Episode:

Download Audio | http://stepps.podbean.com
iTunes | https://itunes.apple.com/au/
Stitcher | http://www.stitcher.com/

Help Us Spread the Word!

If you enjoyed this episode of the Real Estate Pros podcast, please head over to iTunes, leave us a review and subscribe. If you have any feedback for us on how we can improve we would love to hear from you because this show is all about helping you, the real estate pro. Please email us at info@stepps.com.au.

About Josh Cobb

Josh is a digital marketing strategist and the founder of Stepps: A digital marketing company focused on real estate. He works one-on-one with people in the business of real estate to help them better compete for brand awareness, improve the growth and retention of their clients and help them understand and profit from social media and content marketing.

Josh also hosts the weekly Real Estate Pros podcast where he interviews today’s most inspiring and successful real estate pros and industry experts from around Australia and across the world.

 

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Create real estate recruiting mail that won’t get tossed

It’s about making a personal connection with marketing made for 2015

via Inman Select
Contributor – Aaron Woodman

What is the deal with recruiting today? We are all talking about changing our industry, yet what we do to attract talent is concerning.

Many of you followed my return to real estate in a series I wrote. After passing my test, I received a lot of mail — 65 pieces and counting — from brokerage companies. These included everything from CDs with information to generic postcards without even a stamp.

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I understand there is a list that brokerages can subscribe to that sends them new licensee information. I know the name of the real estate brokerage game is growth, so they are trying to do anything they can to get in front of potential clients (new agents). The question is, do they want butts in seats or do they want incredible, passionate and educated agents?

Let’s take a look at what I received — a lot of generic form letters using my full name (no one uses my middle name unless I am in trouble, which is why my mom wrote “Trouble” down on the birth certificate). I saw a lot about the brand and what the brand offers, but not much about the local affiliate or the people running it. One company spent $4.50 on postage alone, and nothing inside the packet they sent was worth saving; add in the print cost and the cost to create, and you’re looking at tens of thousands of dollars per brokerage. Are people responding to these?

A study by Epsilon showed that 77 percent of consumers sort through their physical mail as soon as they get it. Even better data from the U.S. Postal Service showed that 98 percent of people check their mail daily. Clearly, mail is not dead, and as a millennial I love getting mail because it does not buzz, ding or require an immediate response.

I gave the mail to someone who wasn’t in real estate and asked them to give me an opinion. The response: “It all looks the same to me … it is just junk mail.” This mail does not showcase you or your expertise. The mail all looks the same; I can’t differentiate the difference between the brands. Nothing stands out. And “blah” really isn’t the image you want to promote.”

There has to be a better way. Here are my suggestions:

Problem 1: I saw not one personal note; there was no personal connection, and no one did any research on me. This is the age of Google. It isn’t about ego, it is about research. Millennials want you to see what they have accomplished.

Solution: Get the list — don’t mass-mail form letters with it, though. Research the names. Send a personal message to each recipient and talk about how your company can help a budding career. Can’t find them online? There is your lead-in — “Let us make you prominent online.”

Problem 2: None of the pieces appealed to a millennial; few had websites; few had business cards — and they were cheap cards. The ones that sent me CDs just baffled me. I have a new Macbook, and there is no disc drive to play a CD — so now what?

Solution: Update your marketing. No one wants to be with a brokerage stuck in 2005. Think Apple packaging or Mercedes Benz, and make it easy for me to research you and find more information online. I want to know the person sending it to me as well as the company. Don’t send me a CD I can’t play; send me to a landing page where I navigate around. Send me a mail piece and follow up via the Internet whenever possible — on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or email if you can. Tell me what you can do for me … and I don’t care if your brand is No. 1 in training — what are you going to do for me at the local level? An online classroom does not count.

Problem 3: The recruiters and managers who are sending materials need to update their own online profiles. For many of them, I could not find more than a half-completed LinkedIn profile. That doesn’t help build my trust. Agents need testimonials; why don’t the people hiring agents?

Solution: Place as much value on personal brand, digital footprint and expertise on our recruiters and managers as you do on agents. Get an updated headshot, biography and recommendations. Be a magnetic ambassador of your brand so people come to you, and if I get a letter from you, I want to meet you.

Problem 4: No more butts in seats.

Solution: Research potential candidates to find out who you are hiring and bring the best into your brokerage, brand and the industry. When you reach out personally, you attract a higher caliber of person. Set the standard of what you are looking for through your first contact.

Let’s get this recruiting marketing past the garbage chute and into the hands of fabulous talent.

Aaron Woodman is the Los Angeles operations manager for The Boutique Real Estate Group and has more than a decade of real estate sales experience as both an agent and a managing broker/owner. Follow him on Twitter.

Email Aaron Woodman.

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5 Insanely Creative Ways People Have Used to Sell Houses

via Mashable

The Boutique Real Estate Group has been Highlight by Mashable in the article 5 Insanely Creative Ways People Have Used to Sell Houses.

In the future, selling houses might be less about realtors and more about video creators. While traditional open houses and “for sale” signs aren’t going away any time soon, in years to come it could be a viral video that gets a buyer to sign on the dotted line.

Straightforward video tours have been around for some years, but we’ve gone beyond that and taken a look at five fabulously creative ways people have used video to sell property around the world, from music videos to high-tech drones via 3D fly-throughs.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9YD5gP_lnc

Plain video house tours are all well and good, but what if instead of a dry, room-by-room tour around a property, you used the video to tell a story and sell a lifestyle?

The Boutique Real Estate Group is very good at this, producing a series of glossy ads for houses that engage you with a simple plot device, making them much more interesting than the average tour.

In this example, seeing the kids run through the beautiful rooms as they find a suitable cubbyhole for a game of hide-and-seek is just a genius way to show the home’s family-friendly, attractive living spaces.

The Boutique Real Estate Group

 

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Happy Valentines Day // The Boutique Real Estate Group // Yorba Linda

Dear Yorba Linda Family & Friends.

Happy Valentines Day!

Please visit us this Saturday February 14th from 9-11am at Beverly’s Best in YORBA LINDA.

Beverly’s Best Yorba Linda

4975 Yorba Linda Blvd

Yorba Linda, Ca 92887

MUST BRING POSTCARD YOU RECEIVED IN THE MAIL.

Valentines Day Yorba Linda
Valentines Day Yorba Linda
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California Dreaming: Spectacular Southern California Dream Homes

via Leverage Global Partners

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From Hollywood Hills urban glamour to ocean views, desert landscapes and quiet lakeside retreats, Southern California real estate offers something for every taste.  Take a look at some of the latest luxurious properties from our Leverage Partners in Southern California:

Enchanting Tuscan Villa

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Take in magnificent mountain and city views from an exceptionally detailed Italian villa situated on nearly 10 acres in Thousand Oaks.

Magnificent English Tudor Estate

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Elegantly built with the finest materials, enjoy all the luxuries of a resort lifestyle in this custom estate in Long Beach.

Stunning Indian Canyons Home

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Embrace the Southern California desert lifestyle in this superb Palm Springs residence, offering warmth, style, and impeccable views.

Hollywood Hills Architectural

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Relax on the large balcony overlooking sweeping city views from a one-of-a-kind celebrity architectural masterpiece in the Hollywood Hills.

Ocean Masterpiece

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Situated in the highly desired community of Connemara by the Sea, this exclusive estate has fabulous 180 degree ocean views.

Luxurious Montecito Estate

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Entertain your guests poolside at this stunning Montecito estate, featuring a sprawling outdoor terrace with plenty of space for lounging.

Exquisite Home with Waterfall Views

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Offering the best in casual living or grand entertaining, this La Quinta home was carefully designed with creative detailing for a tranquil ambiance.

Sunset Cliffs View Home

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Capture breathtaking panoramic ocean views from every room in this exquisite San Diego home, perfectly integrating indoor and outdoor living.

Amazing Cottage by the Lake

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Head to Lake Arrowhead and stay in this adorably vibrant home, completely remodeled with modern conveniences but still grasping its old charm.

Extraordinary Contemporary Design

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An extraordinary one-of-a-kind property on 160 acres, this Oak Glen contemporary home provides privacy and seclusion with unobstructed views of the valley below.

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How REALTORS® Can Raise Their Bar with Digital Tools

via DocuSign
Contributed by Raj Qsar, Owner and Principal at The Boutique Real Estate Group
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Now that the days of paper trenches are (nearly) long gone and you’re swimming in digital options galore, how do you know what works and what might not equal the ROI you had in mind?

Your schedule probably redefines busy, so why sleuth around for the answers? Just come to me for the digital dirt and I’ll set you up with the wisdom and guide you to the tools that actually ramp your business Cloud-bound (i.e. skyrocketing success in all matters ROI and keeping your clients and employees delighted).

For my team at The Boutique Real Estate Group, we’re OCD about providing world-class experiences for our clients; It’s our marching theme for Real Estate Connect NYC. We’re in the business of writing our client’s story. When they look at a property, they imagine and dream and wonder. When you set up your Real Estate business with the right tools, you’re able to kick off their story with a happy prologue.

Excited to get started? Wonderful! We’ve vetted the digital market for ideas that struck magic and tools that did wonders for our client base.

Check out the top five mantras and tools that help us set the bar sky high for client experiences:

 

Always Keep It Mobile and Tablet Friendly: Give us location independence and freedom to create, share & sign on the fly.  We are all traveling 100 mph in a 55 mph world so this is essential to any business.  If it’s not mobile it does not exist.

 

Apps Give you “Crystal Ball Powers”  – Gmail apps integrated into your Chrome Browser give you Crystal Ball Powers that allow you to tailor messages, track responses and “big brother” inbound emails so you can work some magic with your clients.

 

The C in CRM Stands for (Client) Conversion: CRM integrations for your website (SMS notifications & auto-email responders) let you respond & convert clients quickly and track progress seamlessly.

 

Real Estate Apps –> MLS Touch + RPR Mobile + Property Radar App – Seriously – the entire Real Estate world in the palm of your hands. You are truly a real estate guru…

 

Invest in a Company Intranet – Creating specific channels to streamline communications to specific topics (Technology, Social Media, Contracts, Staging, Creative Design, CRM, Competition). And it has to be mobile.

 

We’re the pioneers behind Real Estate digital disruption.  Now that I’ve shared my secrets, I pass the mobile phone (i.e. baton) to you to socialize your words of wisdom and tools of choice. Every winning tidbit leads to a massive win-win: inspired agents and brokers who’re empowered to make dreams come true.

 

Please share away in the comments below.

Get to know my team at The Boutique Real Estate Group:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ixonU1R9X8

 

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Innovative Marketing: Raj Qsar Sells a Story, Not Just a Home

On January 1, 2013, Raj Qsar launched his great experiment: a brokerage that eschews more traditional real estate methods in favor of a new and creative marketing approach. The Boutique Real Estate Group began its journey on that first day of 2013 with three agents, a creative director, a social media manager and an office manager — and it’s taking southern California real estate to a new level. The experiment worked.

Raj Qsar is the principal and owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group and a 10-year veteran of real estate sales and marketing. Raj shared his vision of the Boutique with me, and it’s a compelling story of the birth and growth of a real estate brokerage that tends to do things a little bit differently. It’s a story of success that provides insight into a free-thinking yet savvy group of professionals who, in Raj’s own words, have formed “a technology company that is super-passionate about creative design. And oh, by the way, sells real estate as well.”

I wanted to tell a story

Ask the people who know Raj and The Boutique to describe what sets them apart, and you are likely to hear “video.”

That seemed a good place to start my discussion with Raj, so I simply asked, “why video?”

Instead of the expected responses — “Video is the future!” or “Real estate is visual, it lends itself to video” — what I heard was, “I wanted to tell the homeowner’s story. A story not just about the home, but about the neighborhood and why they loved living there.”

Raj found a wedding videographer who took a narrative approach to his work: Instead of taking the standard pictures of bride, groom and wedding party, the videographer was telling the story of the couple. Believing that this style could translate to real estate, Raj contacted him and said, “I want you to tell a story. A story about a house.”

“What do you mean, a story about a house?”

This was in 2009, before video was a buzzword, before video was cool. Real estate “video” at that time typically consisted of a fancy slideshow: still images pieced together using zoom effects, with pleasant music playing in the background.

“That’s not video, that’s pictures stitched together to appear video-like. It’s fake video,” Raj told me.

Raj was at a listing presentation for an expired property. It had languished on the market for nine months with only five showings and no offers. Raj pitched the idea of a “real life” video to the sellers, one that would focus on why the sellers had lived in and loved this home for so many years. It would highlight not only the home, but also weave the community and local businesses into its story line. They loved the idea.

Raj walked away with the listing and a promise to create a new kind of video.

There was one problem: he had no idea how to do that. Passionate about creative design, Raj knew where to find the right people to pull this off. They storyboarded some ideas, professionally staged the home, took amazing photos, shot true video footage of the home and neighborhood, created an online marketing campaign, translated that campaign into multiple languages and set off to sell the property.

That was just the beginning.

“We are so OCD about every fine detail that we re-shot and re-edited the video several times, even going through multiple soundtracks and music choices before we went live.”

With the video complete, Raj delivered it to his sellers and asked them to share it with friends, family and neighbors. The home was in a small, tight-knit, gated neighborhood, and the owners shared the video with their Bunko group — which included about 70 of the neighborhood’s 100 homeowners.

Raj is proud of the fact that they took that listing and got an over-list price offer in two weeks.

But he’s prouder of the fact that the video was so well received that over the next three years, they listed 13 homes in that subdivision, setting price records almost every time.

The owners loved the video. They shared it with other homeowners who loved it. It was high quality, it was memorable, and it made the phone ring when people were looking to sell.

In case you think this reception of a property video was just dumb luck, there are other similar stories. A condo association played a video produced by Jeremy Lehman, The Boutique’s CTO, at their board meeting because it highlighted the neighborhood so well. A couple of the board members were considering selling their homes. Who do you think they called? The Boutique group has now listed 15 of those condos.

The video brokerage

Raj considers video a catapult to get in front of sellers. While a video may not sell a home directly, the quality and effort Raj’s brokerage puts into video sets them apart from the masses. It identifies them. They are now locally (and I would argue, nationally) thought of as “the video brokerage.”

As time marched on, Raj took video production in-house. He bought the equipment and brought in experts, lowering the production cost and allowing them to shoot videos on about half of their listings. If there is a story to tell, they will tell it in multiple formats, across multiple platforms, including video.

But Raj stresses that it’s not just video. When The Boutique takes a listing it usually spends about three weeks getting it ready before submitting it to the MLS.

At this point in the conversation, I stopped Raj and said, “Three weeks? Who takes three weeks to get a home in the MLS?”

“We do,” said Raj. They storyboard the property and neighborhood, professionally stage the home, hire select professional photographers, process and edit those photos, shoot and edit video, create a 90-day content calendar that maps out how the listing will be promoted on various social and listing syndication sites and discuss how will they share the home’s story. Then, and only then, is the property ready for the MLS and their marketing push.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTNQnHEEzFY

The first hire

Ask most fledgling brokers or team leaders about their first hire and they will probably say they brought in a transaction coordinator, buyer’s agent or office manager. In fact, every person I’ve talked to who built their own team or brokerage started by hiring one of those people.

Until I talked to Raj, that is: His first hire was a creative director.

Their graphic designer on staff — on staff, not contracted out — is degreed. “It’s not like we are using the broker’s assistant’s cousin who just graduated from junior college to do our design work,” said Raj.

That attitude defines Raj and The Boutique. He wants the best, and only the best, for his brokerage, his agents and his clients.

This tenet is reflected in part by their technology standards: The Boutique is Apple-based, and all agents must be on Apple products. No agents design their own marketing material; it all goes through the in-house creative designer, and everything goes through the videographer. They have three preferred listing photographers, and those are the only three that agents can use. Before even going into the home, however, it is staged by their in-house stager. Why so much quality control? Raj said, “We make our agents do these things because we know they work, and they give our clients and agents the best chance of success.”

On lead generation

Pretty pictures are nice, but ultimately you need leads. I asked Raj about his strategies for lead generation and listing syndication.

Raj said they are on all of the major platforms: Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and Homes.com. “By far and away we’ve seen the most benefit from Zillow. The quality of leads and amount of leads that come in from Zillow is superior to the rest. Our rep makes a big difference too. He’s a partner with us.”

One of the first things The Boutique does when they get a new agent is have them sign up for the “pro” level on all the major search sites. This ensures agent buy-in and facilitates lead management and consistency.

“Speed of response to Internet leads is critical,” Raj informs us. “We used to route leads to agents on a round-robin basis. As we got more sophisticated, and realized that if you don’t reply to a lead in two minutes that you’ve lost it, we brought in an in-house lead incubator whose job is to qualify and curate contacts.” The Boutique generated 3,600 inbound leads in 2014 though portal advertising and in-house lead generation efforts. Staffing a lead incubator position has freed up Raj’s agents and shifted them from receiving brokerage leads to receiving appointments.

There is no Plan B

Talk to Raj for two minutes about real estate and you will see that he is a very passionate man with a strong focus on creative design. This comes through not only in his listings, but in his philosophy on running a brokerage.

“It’s all about the consumer and their experience. We are hired to sell a property, but a property isn’t just bricks and mortar and walls. Every home has a story and if we tell that story well, we can create an emotional response — and when a buyer is emotionally involved in the story, they are more likely to purchase.”

How does that vision scale? Can it scale? What are Raj’s future plans for The Boutique Real Estate Group?

“I’d like to open another five offices in southern California in the next five years,” Raj told me.

“What about expanding outside of SoCal?” I asked.

“I get those calls about once a month. Some big-box brokerage or franchise will approach me about expanding. We love what we do. We hustle, we sell a home and we reinvest than back into the business. We add to our knowledge and technology. I have no Plan B. This is what we love, this is what we do.”

Video marketing in action

The Boutique Real Estate Group is known as “the video brokerage,” so we’d be remiss if we didn’t include some sample videos.

“It’s not all about the price point,” Raj tells us. “Yes, we are focusing on the luxury market by providing luxury services to our agents and clients. These services are what truly set us apart. We respect where our industry has been but we are pushing the envelope and going in a whole new direction — and we are just getting started.”

Visit The Boutique’s YouTube Channel to see how they market their listings — and their brokerage.

Here is a recent listing video that exemplifies The Boutique’s philosophy of storytelling.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7HP5UXWuPc

 

And here is a video for a magnificent luxury estate in Hawaii. The Boutique Real Estate Group was brought on as a co-lister for this property due to their skill and expertise in social media, video and creative design.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIOFTy5rsy0[/embed]
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33 People Who Are Changing the Real Estate Industry

via Inman Select

No points for tweeting, schmoozing or defending the status quo

In 1982, the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) was introduced which in effect, launched the Internet. Nothing has done more to transform culture, the economy and real estate in the last three decades. In honor of the 33rd anniversary, we are recognizing 33 people who are changing or will change the real estate industry in 2015 and beyond. No points for tweeting, schmoozing or maintaining the status quo; this list includes only those who are poised to change the industry and are taking actions to do so.

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Read Article Here: http://bit.ly/Inman33
Twitter List Here: http://bit.ly/Inman33twitter
Download PDF Here: http://bit.ly/Inman33pdf

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Resolutions to Make (and Keep) in Your Long Beach Home

Let Pamela and Ric with The Boutique Real Estate Group help you buy or sell a Long Beach home. Keep your resolutions in 2015 and explore Long Beach.

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New Years Day is the time to make resolutions. Our good intentions have mostly petered out by February. Make this the year you keep your resolutions by taking a different approach. You live in a beautiful Long Beach home, but how often do you explore your city? Let this be the year you find some of the quirky shops and fun eateries the city is known for. Get acquainted with the arts scene. Or maybe this is the year you’re really going to make your home a sanctuary. We have a few suggestions to get you going.

Attending the 2nd Saturday Art Walk in Downtown Long Beach can help you start to know your city better. The East Village Art District is full of galleries, shops, and restaurants. For the Art Walk, they all stay open later than usual. There are many local artists exhibiting their work. You may find the perfect piece for your Long Beach home.

Head down to 4th Street, also known as Retro Row, for incredible vintage finds. Several shops specialize in vintage furniture. Deja Vu focuses on Mid-century Modern and Danish Modern. They will also help you design a home bar with custom upholstery. Inrestrospect was named Best Vintage Store in the OC Weekly’s Best of 2014 issue. Check out the collection of clothing, LPs, furniture, and decorations. Your house should reflect you. Unusual vintage items set your house apart and really make it your space.

New Years resolutions usually include something about losing weight or exercising more. Instead of going to the gym, how about visiting the El Dorado Nature Center. Studies are showing how important it is for people to be in nature. Stress levels decrease and a feeling of well being increases. The El Dorado Nature Center is a lovely place to go for a walk or a jog. There are also classes that focus on gardening with native California plants, yoga, birdwatching, and more. Become a Friend of El Dorado Nature Center to support its work and for access to fascinating members-only events.

We hope this gives you a good start for a 2015 that will be fulfilling and fun!

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Erica Boisvert: ‘There is no algorithm for nuance’

via Inman Select

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Erica dishes on the economy and maintaining agent value in 2015

Are you optimistic about 2015?

An approaching year always carries a certain sense of hope and excitement, and I’m especially looking forward to seeing how work and new relationships from this year progress and grow in 2015.

The economy?

Yes; the economy has slowly, but progressively, gotten better, and the U.S. is working toward once again being a balanced and stable contributor to the global economy. Watching the unemployment rate get lower, seeing mortgage interest rates hover below 4 percent and knowing that the Federal Reserve is cautious about raising rates, which have effectively been around zero since 2008, leaves me feeling confident that slow and steady will win the race. Things are not as secure as we really need them to be, but we appear to be on the right path toward stabilization, which does leave me feeling optimistic about 2015. Also, with a presidential election on the horizon, it’s safe to say that things will continue to progress slowly and the Fed will proceed with caution.

The housing market?

The housing market has been fairly volatile in the recent past, but in late 2013 and into 2014 it feels as though things are getting back on track. Even with a little lull from the fall extending into winter the market is better now than it was a few years ago and appears to continue to get better.

Your success?

I’m very excited for a successful year … working with The Boutique Real Estate Group allows me the amazing opportunity to work with, and learn from, industry leaders. Whether it’s Jeremy Lehman introducing us to the latest technological advancements, Raj Qsar stretching our company’s reach globally and teaching us about out-of-the-box market preparation for our client’s homes, or Aaron Woodman reminding us to build and nurture relationships, they all lend to our “boutique” culture of approaching real estate differently and effectively — and, as a result, thriving.

What are you worried about?

My worries tend to be more personal; will I connect with the right people?

How much do you fret about global events?

The global economy is such a force to be reckoned with and has so many constantly changing facets that it can be overwhelming … I don’t know that I worry about global events as much as I try to maintain a working knowledge of what’s occurring. Am I worried that the European and Japanese markets are set to tank? Yes. But I’m hopeful that the right people, who are much smarter than I am, are already addressing the potential problems. So, I tend to concentrate more on what I can do to affect positive change — I can make sure my clients are realistic and setting the listing price of their homes in a way that makes sense in their local market while still achieving their personal goals, and in the instance of buyers, I can work diligently to find them a home that is responsibly set within their budget while still allowing for future growth in their real estate portfolio.

Will mortgage rates go up or down next year?

It seems that “stability” is the name of the game … rates will move, they will respond to the climate set on Wall Street, but will there be drastic changes in either direction? Probably not. It seems that the Fed is set to keep rates low going into 2015 while we concentrate on maintaining the strength our economy has gained up to this point. 2016 going into 2017? Now, that’s a different ball game.

Will home prices appreciate next year?

As long as we stay the course, homes will most likely see a gain in 2015 … some homeowners have seen gains already this year.

Will agents be more productive next year? Why or why not?

Agent productivity is such a subjective thing — agents who are producing now will continue to do well; agents who are learning and implementing strong strategies now will do well next year. Personally, I plan on being massively productive, and my goal is to triple my numbers from this year.

Will the portals play a bigger role next year?

It will be interesting to see how Zillow’s acquisition of Trulia will play out in February; the industry impact could be dulled as the company experiences growing pains, and it’s possible that newer strategies will be implemented later in the year leaving the largest changes to occur in 2016. However, the portals will always play a large role — potential buyers and sellers are interested in the ease of use of these products that seem to offer tons of information freely at your fingertips.

What will be the biggest source of real estate leads next year?

This is still a word-of-mouth market; the biggest source of leads will always be current clients.

Are you making plans to expand, contract or maintain your business next year?

Our company is growing at an amazing pace, and it’s quite a ride! It is my intention to grow with The Boutique and triple last year’s business.

What is the biggest challenge for the industry in the coming year?

Maintaining agent value is a main concern for me. It is easy for consumers to get caught up in the portals, to jump online and do some quick research and feel like they have good working knowledge of the local area. But it falls to our shoulders to show our clients that, actually, quick and easy is not the order of the day; websites like Zillow, Trulia, realtor.com, etc., cannot give an all-encompassing value estimate. There is no algorithm for nuance; there is no way to measure the subjective nature of home selling or the emotion involved on the consumer level. It is up to us to ensure that clients are aware of our value by sharing our comprehensive market knowledge, anticipating their needs and exceeding their expectations in every transaction — and by offering them the personal touch that these websites cannot give.

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2015 - All Rights Reserved | BRE# 01933510

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© The Boutique Real Estate Group, 2015 - All Rights Reserved | BRE# 01933510