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Cupertino, CA – It’s round 2 for Intero Real Estate Services’ Intero Prestigio virtual magazine and this one features even more luxury properties than the last. Still a combination of the innovative, tech savvy power of the Silicon Valley based Real Estate Company and their division specializing in high-end real estate; it looks as if the program has exploded overnight.
The magazine offers enhanced and global promotion for Intero’s most exclusive homes and estates. Designed with ease of circulation in mind, it can instantly be shared through social media websites and email. As if reading a handheld magazine, online viewers can browse through gorgeous pictures and find the property information of the unique homes featured. The virtual magazine aims not only to raise awareness of properties offered in the Prestigio collection, but also to exhibit their finest qualities––and the magazine is only one aspect of the Prestigio marketing program.
Renowned real estate entrepreneur Alain Pinel, senior vice president and managing officer of Intero, is the primary mastermind who pioneered and launched Intero Prestigio as part of his goal of expanding Intero’s luxury brand. From local print advertising to international display, properties in the Prestigio collection have an elevated level of exposure to help them sell quickly and efficiently. On the release of the first virtual magazine issue, Alain excitedly stated, “It is wonderful to see how Intero’s luxury brand has taken off. The release of this magazine shows Intero is established in the global high-end market, and attests to Intero Prestigio’s growth.”
About Intero Prestigio
A luxury division of Intero Real Estate Services, Inc. Intero Prestigio provides an elevated level of service through its elite selection of marketing tools set up to expose homes and estates to relevant markets locally, nationally and globally. Intero Prestigio hosts a quarterly virtual magazine featuring its current luxury listings. Find the current issue at www.InteroPrestigio.com
About the Intero® Brand
Founded in 2002, Intero Real Estate Services, Inc. has quickly become one of the premier real estate brands in the U.S. In 2004, Intero Franchise Services Inc. began franchising and currently is operating in many of the western states. In 2009, Intero International Franchise Services, LLC embarked on developing territories in Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and the Americas. The companies are private and headquartered in California’s Silicon Valley
Colleen Olson and Allison Rybarczyk of Arizona Best Real Estate in Scottsdale, AZ are active members of a cycling group called No Woman Left Behind (NWLB ). Every Sunday the group meets for recreational ride of approximately 30-50 miles. There are 3 different levels of cycling experience in the group, so women of any level are invited and are assured that they won't be dropped or left behind on a ride. The group also trains together to participate in many triathlons and cycling races.
Check out this YouTube video to see some of the costumes riders donned on the most recent Sunday's Halloween ride.
Santa Barbara boasts some of the most stunning mountain and ocean vistas in the world, a wealth of historic architecture throughout town (we recommend the Red Tile Walking Tour), a premier selection of beaches and resorts, and of course plenty of gorgeous luxury real estate properties. In addition to all this, owners of Santa Barbara homes enjoy a wonderful selection of local events year-round. With Halloween approaching in less than a week, Sterling Properties in Santa Barbara is excited to share our favorite ways to celebrate this haunted holiday with you!
This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, visit the Santa Barbara Zoo for the 2012 Boo at the Zoo festivities. Hailed as one of the most beautiful zoos in the world, the Santa Barbara Zoo is home to more than 400 animals from 160 species. Each year during the Halloween season, the Santa Barbara Zoo transforms into a trick or treater’s paradise. This year’s theme, “Land of Adventure”, promises khaki-clad explorers and adventurers in addition to the usual cast of pirates, faeries, mermaids, and other volunteers who help make Boo at the Zoo a truly special experience. With over 20 treat stations throughout the zoo featuring sustainable goodies, a Trick or Treat Trail, Boo Choo Choo train rides, Creepy Crawly encounters, Spooky Storytelling, Goblin Games, Costume Parades each night, and no worrying about traffic, Boo at the Zoo is a fantastic choice for celebrating a safe Halloween and remains one of the most popular Halloween events in the area.
Santa Barbara enjoys a rich Spanish and Mexican history, and as such our local Halloween season festivities include celebrations of Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. On Sunday, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art will be hosting a Día de los Muertos Free Family Day, to share the Mexican tradition of remembering and honoring the dead. Attendees can look forward to a colorful celebration featuring music, dance performances, bilingual storytelling, displays of altars created by local school and community groups, and opportunities to make your own art. Historic Casa De La Guerra will also be hosting a Día de los Muertos Craft Day on Sunday, where visitors can participate in making traditional holiday crafts such as skeleton masks, sugar skulls, tissue paper marigolds, and prints while enjoying pan de muerto (a sweet bread) and Mexican hot chocolate.
Sterling Properties in Santa Barbara wishes you a safe and spooky Halloween!
“What’s the square footage?” These words strike fear into the hearts of co-op agents for a number of reasons. First and foremost, no one really knows. Most co-ops were built before square footages were consistently calculated (or calculated at all.) Appraisers rarely agree, and frequently diverge by as much as 15% of the total area. And buyers, increasingly interested in a way to quantify their purchase, look to us for this information.
In the old days (before the mid-90s) agents threw around square footage numbers, usually inflated, with some abandon. Then came a lawsuit which ended all that: a buyer, eager to get out of a contract he had signed, claimed that the seller’s agent had misrepresented the square footage. Appraisers were duly sent in and determined that indeed the apartment was smaller than the agent had represented on her marketing materials. It was an expensive mistake for the agent and the agency, and we all learned from it. The Residential Division of The Real Estate Board of New York made a decision that square footages would NOT be required on co-op transmissions, and most of us stopped doing it. The risks were too great.
So how is the problem solved today? In the condominium and new development worlds, it’s uncomplicated. The “Schedule A” in the prospectus every buyer receives has square footage information for each apartment, and we agents simply quote those numbers. Ironically, the numbers are usually based on outside measurements and overstate the usable square footage by some considerable percentage. My agents and I sometimes joke that the numbers seem to be based on measuring the property from the middle of the street! Nonetheless, those numbers are what they are, so for anything for which there is an available Schedule A (mostly buildings either built from the ground up or completely rehabilitated within the last 25 years) we simply pull the square footage numbers from those documents and feel we are on safe ground.
The challenge is in co-ops, especially those in the prewar buildings which line the major avenues of the Upper East and Upper West Sides. And my sense is that each agency, and to some degree each agent, manage this issue in their own way. Very few of us market our co-op listings with a square footage included; the risk is simply too high. Many colleagues simply say “Co-ops are not sold that way” and leave it at that. For me and my agents, when the stakes are high enough, I will sit down with a scale ruler and try to measure off the floor plan to arrive at a square footage number. I make certain assumptions: most bathrooms are four feet across, most closets are three feet deep. I leave 6 inches for walls when measuring several rooms together. Hallways can be as narrow as three feet or as wide as five feet.
Most importantly, when we come up with a number, we disclaim like crazy. My numbers are usually low compared to those used by others, which makes me feel more comfortable. And I advise my agents, when they are doing a comparables analysis for pricing purposes, to say something like what I say: the one thing I can tell you about my numbers is that they are wrong. However, for the purposes of estimating value for this unit relative to similar units, I am making the same assumptions, and therefore the same mistakes. So while the ACTUAL umber I am coming up with for the square footage of any unit is almost certainly incorrect, its size RELATIVE to others to which I am comparing it is pretty close. In other words, if my calculations indicate that Apartment A, which sold recently at 200 Central Park West, is 3000 square feet, and Apartment B in the same building, which you are considering buying, is 3300 square feet, then all you need to know is that if you are paying about 10% more for B than was paid for A, you are OK.
Buyers and sellers are frequently baffled as to why agents are so noncommittal or uncomfortable about square footage questions. Now you know.
You can read more on www.warburgrealty.com/blog
Beverly Hills, CA - John Galich of Rodeo Realty Sunset Strip holds a stunning listing designed by one of Los Angeles most iconic and renowned architects. This home was built by an iconic one-time apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, John Lautner, who has designed more than 200 buildings throughout the country. His residential projects have become some of the most sought after homes in the country. This particular home was titled as one of LA’s most iconic and innovative architectural designs. Built in 1948, for composer Foster Carling, this home stands as one of John Lautners’ earliest and most significant works. Situated on a hillside above Mulholland, the property has views of downtown and across the city and valley. The home has innovative features that are still exciting today, including a pool that flows from the exterior into the living room, separated by a retracting wall of glass. Controls move both the glass wall and an entire living room section and built-in sofa, allowing it to swing out into the yard and face the downtown skyline. The incredible hexagonal living space is free of internal columns and formed by external steel beams. This was Lautner's first of many collaborations with yacht builder, John De La Vaux and signature details include old-growth redwood planking, raised fireplace, polished concrete floors, built-in furniture and detailed woodwork throughout. For more information, please contact listing agent John Galich at 310.461. 0468.
Aspen, Colorado. Coldwell Banker Mason Morse is pleased to announce that Brian Hazen, Previews International Specialist, has been selected as the exclusive marketing agent for the 67-acre Jigsaw Ranch in Aspen, Colorado... asking price is $47,500,000. The Jigsaw Ranch is owned by George I. and Mark Rosenthal whose holdings include Raleigh Studios, L.A.’s Sunset Marquis Hotel and Mailibu-based wine label Rosenthal Estates.
The Jigsaw Ranch is comprised of two separate parcels in the Castle Creek Valley, a stunning mountain contemporary residence on a 44-acre view estate listed at $33,500,000 and an idyllic creekfront residence on 23 acres listed at $19,950,000. This unique estate has not changed hands in 37 years. The Jigsaw Ranch is irreplaceable and represents a rare opportunity in today’s market.
Upper Jigsaw Ranch, or the main residence, is perched on a hillside among the aspen and pine, and was designed by world-renowned Charles Cunniffe Architects. This majestic retreat captures the pristine beauty of the Castle Creek Valley, nestled on 44 acres surrounded by manicured grounds and soothing waterfalls, with views toward Castle Creek. The expansive residence includes six bedroom suites, 6 baths, 4 powder rooms, a sophisticated wet bar and wine room, home theater, office, exercise room and other features too numerous to list. This includes a separate and private one bedroom, one bath gatehouse.
With dramatic irreplaceable creekfront location, the original River House truly embraces the outdoors and creekfront views. Accessed by a walking bridge over Castle Creek, this unique home was completely remodeled and renovated in the late 1990’s and features four bedrooms and 4.5 baths. Nearby, the Guest House includes 2 bedrooms plus loft, and 2 baths. A rustic and charming 1 bedroom, 1 bath Log Cabin is located on a private driveway. Soaring evergreens, landscaped grounds, peaceful pond with soothing waterfall and ‘island’ further highlight this rare and private creekfront estate.
“The setting so close to Aspen is absolutely breathtaking,” said Hazen. “Each property represents a unique find…one that cannot be replicated today’s Aspen marketplace. Access to the creekfront residence is over Castle Creek from a rustic walking bridge and highlights towering evergreens with beautiful landscaped grounds. While the stately and elegantly designed main house enjoys dramatic views over the entire Castle Creek valley, and Aspen Highlands ski runs. It’s an incredibly rare property”.
To learn more, contact Brian Hazen, Previews International Property Specialist with Coldwell Banker Mason Morse at 970.379.1270, email him at email@example.com or visit masonmorse.com.
The Coldwell Banker Previews International® program has been a world leader in the marketing of luxury homes since 1933. The exclusive group of certified Coldwell Banker Previews Property Specialists make up more than eight percent of the Coldwell Banker sales professionals worldwide and participated in more than 13,500 transaction sides of homes priced $1 million or more in 2011. On average, Previews handles $70.1 million in luxury homes sales every day.
Coldwell Banker Mason Morse is an established leader in real estate in the Roaring Fork Valley. Established in 1961 with over 60 sales professionals, Coldwell Banker Mason Morse has been bringing buyers and sellers together for over fifty years. Coldwell Banker Mason Morse is a member of Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate and is the exclusive Regent in Aspen and Snowmass to LuxuryRealEstate.com. Coldwell Banker Mason Morse has four offices from Aspen to Glenwood Springs.
of change XXXVIX
Our Catalonia has changed since the last newsletter. A great movement arising out of the people themselves, and not from politics, has stirred our small country. The wish to become a State has turned on their heads the plans and strategies of all the political parties without exception. It strikes me as a great triumph of democracy. Doubtless we are all filled with doubts, even fears, but I am equally sure that we have to look ahead and advance along the path we have taken. The generations coming along behind us expect it and need it. A good client of ours said: “the step taken on 11 September is as important for us as man’s first step on the moon, there’s no going back.”
And while the country moves forward, we try to live with a day-to-day situation in which there are ever more problems. Among owners’ associations in blocks of flats, for example, of which we have administered a great number over many years now:
- We have never encountered a higher percentage of unpaid bills.
- Many associations have already spent their reserve fund, others have only been undertaking the minimum in maintenance work, and others again have been doing without services.
- We have a great many cases of payment enforcement proceedings under way for owners’ association debts. This has to be done even though we don’t know where it will lead us, apart from preserving the general interests of the associations, for the fact is that many association members cannot pay.
But as always we would like to be positive, and there is good news too:
- We have leased two industrial premises
- In Barcelona, sales of second-hand homes have reactivated.
- We will be going to Barcelona Meeting Point, where you can find us at the Professional Trade Fair from 17 to 19 October. We will also have a representation from 17 to 21 October at the General Public Fair, at the stands of the main banking entities we work with (Solvia, Catalunya Caixa and Caixa Penedès).
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In last Friday’s Wall Street Journal, an article appeared describing the high correlation between Machiavellian behavior and success in the real estate business. According to the author, “brokers who score high in Machiavellian personality tests sell more real estate than their kinder, gentler colleagues.” While this finding certainly plays into the stereotype of the predatory agent swooping in to manipulate unsuspecting customers (two other industries specifically mentioned for similar correlation were stockbroker and car salesman), the reality is different. Here’s what I have learned over almost 30 years of hiring agents and observing who succeeds and who doesn’t.
There actually ARE personality types which are likely to succeed in real estate. At Warburg, we administer a quick personality test to every agent whom we are considering hiring. It is called a DISC test, and although it takes only 7 minutes to complete online, it is remarkably accurate. We correlate the findings of the test with the profiles of our top agents to determine the results most likely to lead to agent success. The four letters in the acronym stand for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance. In general the most successful agents have high Dominance and high Influence scores. They are influencers: outgoing, charming, friendly. But they are also dominant – they know how to close. They are capable of saying, “You need to step up to the plate” when they see that their customer is about to lose a significant opportunity. They elicit warmth and respect but they are not timid. They are powerful, knowledgeable professionals who can be both strong and opinionated. This is a typical CEO profile.
Another successful combination is the high Influence, high Steadiness personality type. These agents more typically win through persistence. Once again, they are friendly and engaging, and they are usually great relationship builders. They are also steady and thorough. They do their homework, and they know how to counter one argument with another. Unlike high Dominance personalities, they are not impatient. But don’t cross them! They will give you a lot of rope, but once you have run out of rope, they are DONE with you.
The personality types less likely to be successful are Steadiness and Compliance combos, or anyone with a high C rating. Compliance is not a trait usually associated with independent contractors, who almost by definition have an iconoclastic streak, and, unlike many high Compliance people, are not timid. The best agents push the envelope and think outside the box. They suggest the property you weren’t looking for, in the neighborhood you didn’t consider, and demonstrate to you why it actually is the right choice. And they provide such attentive service and make you feel so good about what you picked that you send all your friends, neighbors, and children to them for all their real estate needs going forward.
Machiavelli’s Prince was not in a referral business. We are. Successful agents, no matter how Dominant they may be, always deploy their skills in the client’s best interests. They are relationship builders. THAT, and not a scorched earth perspective, creates long term value in our business.
You can read more on www.warburgrealty.com/blog.
October is typically a time for big, bright orange pumpkins. But here in Santa Barbara, all eyes are on our favorite little yellow citrus fruits as we welcome the California Lemon Festival 2012! This fun festival (October 13th and 14th at Girsh Park in Goleta, CA), brings together the greater Santa Barbara community to celebrate the big impact a little fruit has had on the area’s history.
Santa Barbara’s lemon history dates back to the late 1800s, when the Stow family planted the first commercial lemon orchard in California at Rancho La Patera after discovering that the mild weather in the verdant Goleta Valley, adjacent to Santa Barbara, was ideal for growing lemons. Through the mid 20th century, Goleta lemons enjoyed fame and were in high demand. The hillsides of the Goleta Valley are still dotted with gorgeous lemon orchards to this very day, and homeowners in the area enjoy the fresh citrus fruits, the year-round views of the orchards against the mountains, and of course the value these orchards add to their Santa Barbara homes.
Featuring lemon cotton candy, lemon bars, lemon pies, lemonade, lemon ale, and many, many additional lemon-inspired goodies, the 21st annual California Lemon Festival certainly won’t leave a sour taste in your mouth. Local bands, dancers, and performers will offer entertainment all weekend. In addition, there will also be a pie eating contest, a car show, demonstrations by local emergency response teams at “Safety Street”, and a wide selection of other games and activities (for a full schedule, click here). The California Lemon Festival in Goleta always serves to bring the Santa Barbara community together, providing a venue for local organizations and attendees to celebrate delicious and historically important Goleta lemons.
Between great events like the California Lemon Festival and the natural beauty of the historic lemon orchards, it’s easy to see why Santa Barbara real estate and luxury homes are so highly desired among home seekers. If you’re ready to find your Santa Barbara dream home, contact Sterling Properties. We look forward to sharing our expertise in Santa Barbara real estate with you!
I read an interesting opinion piece about compromise in this Sunday’s Times. Tip O’Neill’s son, Thomas, wrote about his father’s working relationship with Ronald Reagan; how the two men, who disagreed about practically everything, learned to work together for the good of the country. This successful collaborative effort was based on compromise. In addition to being a serious indictment of TODAY’s governmental process, the piece made me think about the real estate business. Buyers and sellers so often get in their own way, shooting themselves in the foot by their inability or unwillingness to reach for common ground. As agents, we see this at every step in the process.
1. Pricing All too often, a seller has a price already fixed in his or her head. This price may be based on other asking prices for similar properties (never a reliable gauge, since selling prices are often so different) or it simply may be based on what the seller would like to believe the property is worth. We often hear, “Oh, I was told I could get ten million for it.” Brokers all tend to have the same internal response to that statement: by whom? A dinner guest? An inexperienced agent trolling for the listing? No suggested asking price is meaningful unless it is presented with comparables which justify it. As an opening salvo in the negotiating process, a distorted asking price is highly counterproductive. Even in this tight environment, many fine properties linger on the market month after month. It is always about price. Buyers will rarely return to a property once they have decided against it. There is interesting psychology at work here: when buyers see a property which could be right but is priced wrong, they often convince themselves of its deficiencies so as not to feel disappointed. Then, when the price comes down to the appropriate level, it is too late. They have already talked themselves out of it.
2. The opening offer Here we see the buyer equivalent of the excessive asking price: the aggressively low offer. Sellers (and their agents, who should know better) can be offended and put off by a really low offer. Frequently they refuse to counter. This offer can also prejudice the seller against the buyer in further negotiations. Very low offers are worse than a waste of time. They create a setback to the negotiating process, reducing the likelihood of a positive outcome.
3. The line in the sand Agents experience this snafu with deal after deal. The negotiation proceeds, either smoothly or otherwise, to a point at which the parties are less than 1% apart. And neither side will budge. Each tends to become self-righteous about how they have given up more than the other side. Sellers feel that they have dropped too far from their asking price, while buyers fear they have offered more than the market indicates the property is worth. And there the deal sits. Each participant has drawn a line in the sand; neither is willing to cross over.
In each of these situations, the participants hang on aggressively to the fantasy of being right. Other forces are at fault: the buyer, the seller, the broker, the environment. This is only human. We all do it. But only in letting go of our need to feel right can we once again see the goal – a fair transaction for all. We must compromise to arrive at the best outcome. The details drop away once we attain the desired conclusion. Did I pay a half percent too much? Did I sell for a half percent too little? Six months later, no one remembers. But in the moment, we tend to compromise our own ability to get what we want as ego, or a sense of the rightness of our position, blind us to the need for give and take. When we hang on too hard to our own positions, everyone loses.
You can read more on www.warburgrealty.com/blog.
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