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Love the winter holidays but hate harsh winters? Owners of Santa Barbara real estate enjoy the best of both worlds! One of the great things about Santa Barbara is that we are south-facing, meaning we experience a year round, mild, Mediterranean climate very similar to the south coast of France, or the Amalfi coast of Italy. Owners of Santa Barbara homes are familiar with the benefits of our ideal climate and this is one of the many reasons we live here. While we may not experience the traditional charm of a snow-sprinkled landscape, we do take advantage of the opportunity to attend outdoor events year-round, such as the Downtown Holiday Parade this Friday, November 30th at 6:30pm along historic State Street in downtown Santa Barbara.
The Santa Barbara Downtown Holiday Parade is a time honored tradition in our city by the sea, held the week after Thanksgiving each year since the 1950s. It is Santa Barbara’s only night-time street parade, allowing the dazzling displays to light up the night. This year marks the 60th year of the Santa Barbara Downtown Holiday Parade, and as such this year’s theme is “A Diamond Holiday.” With more than 50,000 Santa Barbara residents and guests expected to be in attendance, there will be no shortage of holiday cheer! The parade will include marching bands, holiday themed floats, giant balloons, an array of local performance groups, and much more. In addition, Olympic Gold Medalist Kami Craig will serve as Grand Marshal for the 2012 Santa Barbara Downtown Holiday Parade.
As we string the palm trees with lights and build sand castles for Santa Claus, there’s no question that we at Sterling Properties and Estates in Santa Barbara are already enjoying the holiday spirit! Contact us at Sterling Properties and Estates today to learn more about Santa Barbara, our climate, our neighborhoods, the current Santa Barbara real estate market and inventory, and how we can help you find your Santa Barbara dream home!
Courtesy of LuxuryRealEstate
Properties listed by Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate members will be featured in ALEM Magazine, a Turkish lifestyle publication. The Bay Area Team and Rimontgó were selected to feature properties that they list in the Dekorasyon (home décor and lifestyle) section. Please view the articles here: http://luxre.com/u/s
Christie’s International Real Estate and Premier Estate Properties announce our sponsorship as the Official Real Estate Partners of Art Miami and Art Wynwood.
Contemporary art continues to achieve record sale prices, driven by discerning buyers from around the world who are intent on acquiring signature pieces for their private collections. The audience for contemporary art is highly qualified to purchase luxury assets beyond fine art, including important real estate.
Premier Estate Properties’ affiliation with Christie’s, the world’s leading art business, and Christi's International Real Estate, the world’s leading luxury real estate network, underscores this connection. Our sponsorship of these two global events builds on the synergy.
Art Miami, the largest contemporary art event in the United States takes place December 4th through 9th (2012). Premier Estate Properties’ sponsorship extends to Art Miami’s sister event, CONTEXT Art Miami, and emerging cutting-edge contemporary art event that will be connected to the Art Miami Pavilion and drawing thousands of collectors wanting to discover the next great artist.
Art Wynwood will take place in February from the 14th through the 18th (2013) which is also the same weekend as the Miami International Boat Show. Premier Estate Properties is co-sponsoring these contemporary art events because this category of art continues to set records, attracting the wealthy buyers of the world willing to pay record prices to acquire signature pieces. It also underscores the link between art and real estate which is the signature differentiator of our network.
For more information on Art Miami, please visit www.art-miami.com.
For more information on Art Wynwood, please visit www.art-wynwood.com.
Last Monday night I taught a negotiating class to a group of senior agents at The Real Estate Board of New York with a banker friend with decades of negotiating experience. What we have both learned over the years is that negotiating is a complicated and intricate dance best performed by cool heads who are able to remain non-adversarial. Emotion, unless judiciously and sparingly deployed, tends to be the enemy of successful outcomes over time. Keeping the conversation rational is one of the most significant reasons principals are drawn to agents. As I say to my agents at Warburg, the buyers and sellers are capable of being emotional all by themselves. If that is how YOU are going to behave, what value are you adding? This is the purchase or sale of their home; they’re ALREADY emotional.
And here are a few other ideas we discussed during the session:
- Most agents imagine that negotiating takes place between a buyer and a seller to arrive at a deal. While of course this is true, it is merely the LAST in a series of negotiations which have taken place to bring the parties to that place. Every step of the way involves negotiations: they begin with the first meeting between agent and seller. What will the commission be? What will the price be?
- Frequently the most complicated negotiations are those between the members of a couple. Agents are always trying to figure out who the “decision maker“ is. In my experience it is usually more complicated than that. Both members of a couple are usually involved, although often one is the spokesperson. Complications arise when the members of the couple want different things. In those situations the agent requires a full complement of psychological as well as business skills to reconcile the factions.
- It is crucial to know when to speak and when to remain silent. It’s remarkable what you can learn if you do not talk too much. As a culture we tend to be uncomfortable with silence: we like to fill it. A skilled negotiator always uses this fact to leave silences hanging, waiting for the other side to fill them, sometimes with unexpectedly useful information.
- Time management can determine the success or failure of any negotiation. Especially in the last stages, when the parties are close but unable to bridge a final gap, a breather can open the way to a solution. I urge my agents to walk away for a day when the need to win overcomes the desire to be reasonable. It is remarkable what a breather can do in restoring everyone’s focus on the actual goal – consummating the deal so the buyer gets the property and the seller gets paid.
Every skilled professional has his or her store of wisdom about what makes negotiations flow to a successful conclusion. The process is endlessly fascinating to me; each deal is distinct and in negotiating each I learn so much about myself, my clients, the people on the other side, and the ever refracting face of human nature.
You can read more on www.warburgrealty.com/blog.
Mallorca is the largest of Spain's Balaeric Islands, blessed with on average 300 days of sunshine a year, it attracts an international mix of people who live, work and play here. It provides a stable political environment with reputable lawyers, banks and currency exchange specialists who speak most European languages. It has a very reliable legal system, property rights and a long history of increasing property prices and values. There is little risk of overdevelopment of the island in construction terms, because of protected "green zones" and limited land and infrastructure to support mass development. It takes on average just two hours to fly to the capital city Palma from most major European cities and Palma airport is a modern facility which includes a private jet terminal. There arAe 262 beaches to discover and enjoy and with over 20 superb courses, the island is a golfer's paradise. A year round cultural calendar with specific opera and ballet seasons and summer music festivals of different genres, attract international performers. Surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea the island is a fabulous place to enjoy all water sports particularly yachting with its well equipped marinas. Palma is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, with well maintained and sympathetically restored historic buildings preserving the city's rich architectural heritage. Popular with the Spanish Royal Family who reside here each August, Mallorca is the perfect choice for a holiday or permanent home.
About Michael Perkins Finest Properties
The team at Michael Perkins Finest Properties understands all aspects of buying, selling or renting property on the beautiful island of Mallorca.
We have particularly strong links with English buyers due to our exclusive association with a select boutique Estate Agent dealing with clients in the Mayfair, Belgravia, Knightsbridge and Kensington & Chelsea areas of Central London.
We have also developed contacts in the specialist fields of Banking and the Spanish Legal System to ensure every aspect of your purchase or sale is dealt with smoothly.
Our membership of LuxuryRealEstate.com ensures that our high value properties are promoted to a world wide market at no additional cost to the seller.
In Property Management we work with an experienced team of professional tradespeople with the skills to maintain your property to the highest standards.
Our team has many years experience in business and understand the need to provide a personal, discrete service to discerning clients, both buyers and sellers. We believe that building and maintaining a close relationship with our clients is the key to success.
This year there will be 39 hungry attendees at our house for Thanksgiving. As we move furniture around and I roll endless pie crusts, I am inspired by the holiday, as every year, to ruminate on what I feel grateful for. As I noted in this blog last year, part of our holiday tradition (and one that will clearly take a while this year) is that we go around the tables and each person takes a moment to give thanks for whatever is good in his or her own life. So in that mode I want to share my professional gratitude list for 2012 here:
- I remain profoundly grateful for the continued recovery and vibrancy of the New York real estate market. Relatively low inventory, remarkable absorption rates for newly constructed or converted apartments, and buyers with a renewed sense of purpose about purchasing in the city have driven 2012 to be a banner year for our industry.
- I am grateful that the election is over. Now we can all get on with the rest of our lives and the President and Congress can, with any luck, get on with the business of trying to steer the ship of state through the parlous waters which surround it.
- I am proud and gratified by the way so many New Yorkers responded to the epic and in many cases disastrous proportions of Hurricane Sandy. In my offices alone we collected thousands of dollars worth of supplies for distribution, and many agents and staff members traveled to the hardest hit areas to help out. From all over the city and the Northeast, aid and helping hands have poured in, eager to do whatever they could to alleviate the suffering of the many people who lost their homes, their possessions, heat, power, access…creating a wave of refugees within our own municipal borders.
- Equally impressive is the way our industry has risen to the occasion: owners of all sizes and types of buildings have made vacant apartments available to those whose homes are no longer habitable. I am always proud to be a New Yorker, but I am particularly so when our reputation for standoffishness and indifference to the plight of others is put to the test and disproved. New Yorkers are, in my experience, both friendly and generous – quod erat demonstrandum ("which had to be demonstrated").
- I am grateful that developers are once again as active as they can be in Manhattan. With so little inventory, and with the anticipated tax changes already impacting sellers’ decisions about whether listing their homes makes financial sense, we need all the new construction we can get. Newly constructed properties all over the city, from Walker Tower on West 18th Street to the two new condos on East 79th, are selling briskly, with buyers lined up to enjoy high quality new construction in top locations, some of which, like the Macklowe conversion at 737 Park, are in locations heretofore available only to co-op purchasers.
The country and our city face considerable economic challenges in the near term. Nonetheless, it has been an exciting and successful year in the residential real estate business. I am grateful that the homes we sell continue to represent a stable investment and, for many, a reliable hedge against untoward events as we move towards the new year.
You can read more on www.warburgrealty.com/blog
When people think of Santa Barbara, the scenes that often come to mind first are of architecture with gleaming white stucco structures topped by our famous red rile roofs, luxury homes in exclusive neighborhoods such as Monetcito and Hope Ranch, an endless array of boutique shops, decadent dining options, world class wineries, resplendent resorts, meticulously maintained golf courses, and our spectacular waterfront. Santa Barbra excels in all of these areas, making it a treasured hotspot for luxury lifestylers and celebrities as well as an excellent destination for anyone interested in arts and culture. However, some of the most exciting and inspiring aspects of Santa Barbara’s arts scene are found not in polished, pristine galleries or grand theatres, but in Santa Barbara’s legendary Funk Zone.
Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone is located just off historic State Street, extending to Garden Street to the east and bounded top and bottom by Monetcito Street and Cabrillo Boulevard. In these last few blocks, downtown Santa Barbara ends and the beach begins. Don’t be fooled by the name – Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone is a flourishing center for the arts community, drawing a quite impressive selection of local artists and businesses working together to revive this special area of town. In the Funk Zone, visitors can find everything from painted murals stretching along entire facades of buildings, to surf shops, art galleries, restaurants, and more in a charming and quirky mixture of new, old, marine, residential, and industrial style buildings. In addition, many of the participating wineries of Santa Barbara’s Urban Wine Trail are located in the Funk Zone.
Santa Barbara has a vibrant community-driven arts scene, one not limited to the confines of museums, galleries and theatres. Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone serves as a refreshing break from the ordinary, and a journey into this eccentric little amalgamation of shops, homes, studios, and more is a great way to spend a day in Santa Barbara. If you would like to know more about Santa Barbara or are searching for your dream home in the Santa Barbara area, Sterling Properties is glad to be of service to you - contact us today!
I have spent the last three days at the National Association of Realtors conference in Orlando, Florida. Although I am no fan of Orlando, which seems to me like a place without a place, the conference was, as it always is, a fascinating experience in a number of ways. The amount of new technology on display is dazzling, and not just for real estate professionals. Online document management and e-signature applications will be altering the way business is transacted in the legal community and the venture capital and hedge fund worlds as well as in real estate deals of every stripe. It makes me realize, yet again, what a backwater our ultra sophisticated home town remains for the real estate professional and his clients. The rest of the country has sprinted ahead of us in listings search and client interaction software, while we in Manhattan have remained in a minimally competitive environment which has stifled competition and innovation. At last this is about to change, as the RLS, our local version of an MLS, will launch before year's end, opening our city to the enormous grab bag of applications which have been enjoyed by the rest of the country for years.
In addition to the technology, there were some great facts, both general and specific, and a few nuggets of real wisdom imparted by the speakers at the many sessions the Warburg team attended. Here are four of my favorite facts gleaned from the presentations:
- nationwide, the average age of realtors is 55. Nationwide, the average age of buyers is 31. Do these age groups speak the same language?
- the average mobile user looks at her device over 300 times per day!
- in the past year, the frequency with which e-mail was opened on a mobile device increased by 34%,while the frequency of desktop openings decreased by almost 10%
- 28% of the average worker's day is spent reading and responding to e-mail. (I would argue that the percentage is probably higher for real estate professionals. But for everyone, the amount of time we spend manipulating our mobile devices when we should be interacting or speaking with others, especially with the person sitting directly across from us at a restaurant table, is appalling. We have all reverted to the 18 month old stage of parallel play!)
And finally, my favorite bit of wisdom, expressed by real estate coach David Knox in his training for real estate managers: remember that people ASK for advice but what they actually WANT is feedback. Too many sales managers, when asked for advice by the agents who report to them, actually give it! This is a poor idea for two reasons: first, advice almost always inspires a defensive reaction (especially in men). Almost no one actually likes being told what to do. Second, it doesn't breed self-reliance to TELL someone what to do. Feedback, on the other hand, consists mainly of questions rather than statements. "What do you think a good solution would be?" "How might she react if you suggest that?" I find, when I remember to practice the art of giving feedback, that the person sitting across from me almost always already knows what they should do. My role is to reinforce and refine this response.
Although in theory I know that feedback is the way to go, it always helps to be reminded. Giving advice makes ME feel good, because I feel I have solved the problem. But this ego gratification pales in comparison to the benefit, for both me and my team, of giving feedback. Feedback builds confidence and competence in the people around me. As a spouse, as a parent, as an instructor, and as a business owner, this lesson is my most important take away from the week-end in Orlando.
You can read more on www.warburgrealty.com/blog
Living in idyllic Santa Barbara, nestled between soaring mountains and the sparkling Pacific Ocean, enjoying the selection of some of the finest luxury real estate opportunities in the world, it’s easy to feel as if you’ve been completely whisked away from the rest of the world. However, with Veterans Day approaching, it is important to remember and honor those who fought so bravely for the many freedoms that we enjoy today.
Santa Barbara is honoring Veterans in a number of ways over this weekend. Bright and early Saturday morning, the Santa Barbara International Marathon begins. This great event will honor veterans throughout the course of the race, with a Color Guard fly-over of WWII war planes at the beginning of both the full and half marathon, authentic WWII Jeeps escorting the runners, and a “Veterans Mile.” The “Veterans Mile” will occur along the entire final mile of the race, which will be lined with veterans, active duty personnel, and supporting members of the community proudly holding American flags and the campaign flags of all the wars and conflicts of the 20th century alongside a display of military vehicles. After the race, a concert will be held with performances by the Westmont College Orchestra and local high school choruses. Selections of music will range from our National Anthem to music identified with the different wars. Later in the evening, the 17th Annual Military Ball will be held at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort along the waterfront, one of Santa Barbara’s premiere resorts.
On Sunday morning, attend a special Veterans Day ceremony at the historic El Presidio de Santa Barbara, which will include a wreath ceremony, the playing of taps, and a cannon and musket firing. Following this ceremony at 12:30pm, the Veterans Day Parade will begin its journey along State Street, just a moment’s stroll from El Presidio. This spectacular parade will begin in the air with a fly-over of both vintage and modern aircraft. On the ground, the Santa Barbara Veterans Day parade will include hundreds of participants from all sections of the armed forces and many historic vehicles.
Sterling Properties & Estates thanks all those who have served our country and we wish you a very happy Veterans Day!
I spent Sunday afternoon at a wedding in West Orange, New Jersey, from which I had a wonderful broad panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline. It looked particularly resplendent glowing in the late afternoon sun, and I was overwhelmed by its beauty, which seems particularly poignant and fragile after the events of the past week. Was it really possible that, beneath the surface of this soaring hymn to modernity, the discordant notes of hunger, cold, lack of access to care, homelessness and vulnerability to crime continued to sound so widely in the wake of the disaster of Sandy? And what are we, as citizens of this unique metropolis which is so much a part of our lives and our souls, to do to protect it and its residents from a future likely to include more such occurrences?
Moving backwards doesn't seem realistic. We can't depopulate Williamsburg, or Dumbo, or the Lower East Side, or Tribeca, or the Financial District; nor should we. These neighborhoods have been active parts of our city for hundreds of years. And in every case, the residents have developed the sort of passionate neighborhood attachment which will make them rally to revive their homes and the surrounding areas, working extra hard to bring the environs back to their pre-flood vitality. So how do we most appropriately respond? I see a couple of possibilities:
First, we have to make sure that all our neighbors are OK, which they are emphatically not at the moment. This is a moment when we should all be reaching out to help the residents of Breezy Point, or Staten Island, or the Rockaways. I am partial to the Mayor’s Fund, which can be accessed at http://www.nyc.gov/html/fund/html/home/home.shtml as a venue for donations, but many of the churches and temples around the city have been very active as well. We all need to do our part, with donations, volunteer time, or both.
Second, we all need to look to a level of disaster preparedness which we have not heretofore envisioned. Generators should become standard for residential buildings lying in the flood zones, and they cannot be located in the basement! Elderly residents of high rises need security plans which do not leave them without light, water, and communication for extended periods of time. The most vulnerable neighborhoods need evacuation strategies AND security plans which prevent them from descending, within days, to the sort of war zone where residents feel they need firearms to protect their possessions! And the list goes on.
Finally, the largest and most complicated issue is how to mitigate the disastrous effects of these events going forward. And there are any number of ideas about that – sea walls, oyster beds, tidal marshes – no one really knows what will be most effective and clearly a more study is necessary before any conclusions are drawn. But two things do seem clear: as the climate changes and waters both rise and warm, larger, more unpredictable events are almost certain to be part of our evolving weather picture. And we need to do something about it. The financial impact and personal devastation caused by these storms is such that there can be no real argument against a broad, multi-faceted plan of action to minimize the chaos they cause. We cannot afford to forget and wait for things to go back to normal. Normal is changing, and we, and the city we love, need to change with it.
You can read more on www.warburgrealty.com/blog
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