Blog contributions are provided exclusively from Luxury Real Estate members throughout the world.
It wasn’t that long ago that mobiles were for phone calls and computers were the means through which you did your accounts, sent emails and accessed a website. The latest generation of mobile phones has taken the hand-held device into new territory, effectively blurring the lines of division between computer and ‘cell phone’. Improved capacity, memory, speed, screen quality and wireless reach means you can now access virtually every function and facility that was once the preserve of a computer. This includes emails, work documents, photo albums, computer games and the Internet, but also an absolutely huge and rapidly growing number of programmes specially designed with hand-held devices in mind. Generally known as apps, they are revolutionising the software industry in their own right, and taking the digital revolution in a new direction. There are apps for anything from World Cup results and match analyses to financial trackers, automatic translators and booking services. In fact, there are thousands of applications to choose from. Some might work better than others, but it is fair to say we’re at the beginning of yet another chapter in the digitalisation of the world. Just twenty years ago few people had a home computer or a mobile phone. Since then we have acquired both, then added a small, portable laptop and now finally taken the miniaturisation to a new level with pocket-sized Smartphones: Blackberrys, iPhones, Android OS devices, etc.
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Because of Jim Walberg’s focus on a global internet marketing strategy, we are serving Buyers from all over the world. The latest Buyer called from Greece last month.
We have a very focused internet marketing strategy for our San Francisco Bay Area and Caribbean real estate services. In addition, our participation as members of the exclusive Who’s Who In Luxury Real Estate allows us to have all of the properties we represent on LuxuryRealEstate.com - the worlds most viewed website for luxury real estate throughout the world. That one website receives between three to four million hits a month!
So, here is the rest of the story regarding the latest home that we sold in Blackhawk Country Club. You may recall I was in Paris last January speaking at the Luxury Real Estate’s international conference. Just before we left for Europe we received a phone call and immediately picked it up. It was from a man calling from Greece who had found us on the internet and he was looking for a single story home. We happened to have a single story listing in Blackhawk Country Club. ( The key to any of the inquiries from our internet listings is an immediate response. Most of the time we answer the call immediately when it comes in. )
Our new client calling from Greece let us know he wanted to purchase a home for his parents who lived in the East Bay, because he wanted them closer to his younger brother’s family who lived in San Ramon. At first we thought it was some type of a joke. But, as the subsequent conversations continued, he told us he was flying out on a Friday and wanted to complete the purchase by Sunday night. He did exactly as he said. We met him at the home, he previewed it, and he asked us to write up a purchase contract for it. Within just a few hours the transaction had been accepted by our Seller. It just closed escrow several weeks ago.
The added fun to this story is our Buyer was making this purchase without his parents knowing about it. Since it closed escrow, we arranged for new hardwood floors; travertine; bathrooms; window coverings, and interior painting. The Buyer even had ordered very item a home would need and had it shipped to the home; silverware, appliances, linens, towel, outdoor furniture, light fixtures, etc. Everything was prepared for a turn key move in by his parents.
He just flew in from Greece a few days ago in order to prepare the home for a “Welcome Home” party for his parents. He told his parents that he wanted them to join him at a friend’s home in Blackhawk to celebrate the birthday of their grandson. They still didn’t know the home was for them. They arrived, thinking that it was the home of their son’s friend and they brought presents for their grandson. After taking them on a tour of the spectacular home, and having some appetizers and wine, the son broke the news to them that the home was actually a gift to them. They were speechless, and there were lots of tears, and non-stop comments such as, “You should not have ever done such a thing for us.”
This was one of those magical moments that happen from time to time while we are serving the needs of our customers. And, it would have never happened if we didn’t have a laser focused global internet marketing program. Plus, always getting back to the people who contact as fast as possible. Contact me if you ever have questions or need assistance. Until next time…more good news to follow regarding how we are coming out of these challenging economic times…
By Michael Marquette
From his blog: Should I Buy a Franchise or Go It Alone?
How much is a brand worth when deciding whether to join a franchise? Throughout Australia there are plenty of agencies willing to sell their letterhead and designs to almost anyone willing to pay the money to get it. Real estate names like LJ Hooker, Ray White, Richardson & Wrench, Laing+Simmons, First National, Hocking Stuart and now McGrath are all competing with many others to get the agent-come-entrepreneur’s buck.
To secure the franchise there are a number of requirements – an office in a prominent position is usually one of them. This, in itself, is cause for alarm in a world where the Internet is a part of life and online searches are an everyday thing. Most of us use Google some or most of the time as an Internet search engine, yet how many of us have been to the Google office? Where is their office?
The answer is probably not one person reading this blog has visited a Google office, yet the Google brand is massive worldwide and is a shining light indicating how business will be run, won and lost in years to come.
As you might be able to tell by now, I am not a fan of outdated business models with high fixed costs that hinder innovation. Real estate is becoming more and more an online industry where agents and brokers visit clients or meet at properties – not the real estate office of old. It’s estimated that spending on newspaper property advertising will decrease by around 18 percent this year and the trend is expected to continue.
Our world is changing quickly and it is essential to look forward to how the world might look in five years time before committing to a franchise that might not allow you to best keep pace with the changes necessary to be successful – one of them is to keep fixed costs low!
Michael Marquette is the co-Founder and Director of Marquette Turner Luxury Homes, a member of Luxury Real Estate in East Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Founded on Australia Day 2007 by Marquette and Simon Turner, Marquette Turner is a property consultancy company covering the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria. Marquette has a background in medicine and a large retail and wholesale business. Michael makes some excellent points about the current market. We definitely need to be flexible as luxury markets change. The photo above is from www.flickr.com/photos/danielbroche/2258988806 and it is the copyright of danielbroche.
By Michael Edlund
The Luxury Lounge is an exciting project we’ve been busy working on over here at Luxury Real Estate.
The Luxury Lounge is a gated social-networking community for professionals within the LuxuryRealEstate.com affiliate network to make connections with quality peers all over the world. Initially, you will be able to search and connect to people, send private messages and write public comments to others, write and comment on blog posts and discuss topics in forums.
We’ve also implemented online purchasing of Luxury Real Estate conference tickets and the Luxury Lounge will over time grow in to a hub for everything related to Luxury Real Estate. From managing your listings and exposure on LuxuryRealEstate.com to tracking your leads and much more. Rain or shine, noon or midnight. In the lounge, luxury professionals can utilize the full power of their Luxury Real Estate affiliation at the time and convenience of their choosing.
We have already started sending out invitations to a limited number of members, but will expand their reach over the coming weeks to the whole LuxuryRealEstate.com network. When you see an email with the subject “Invitation to Luxury Real Estate’s VIP Lounge” you know what it is all about. It is about embracing and empowering your interaction with the global Luxury Real Estate network.
Thank you for your participation!
Michael Edlund is the Director of Technology with LuxuryRealEstate.com. He is in charge of all of LuxuryRealEstate.com’s Web projects, including website creation, software updates and implementation, and much more. Big changes are afoot here at Luxury Real Estate. The Luxury Real Estate Blog is gaining in popularity on Google, Yahoo and MSN searches, and now the Luxury Lounge is gaining momentum! With the rise of social-networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Naymz, many people are starting to see the possibilities opened up through them. This is a great chance to build relationships in creative ways online. Happy networking!
By Robert Lockard
Thanks in large part to all of the wonderful contributors within the global Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate network, the Luxury Real Estate Blog is making a tremendous ascent in its ranking on major search engines, including Google, Yahoo and MSN.
www.LuxuryRealEstate.com is the most-viewed luxury real estate Web site in the world and it comes up first on most searches for luxury properties, luxury homes and luxury real estate. But the Luxury Real Estate Blog is fairly new and we’re building it up to the heights of our main Web site. We owe much of our success to Jim Walberg, John Brian Losh and many other bloggers who consistently contribute their fun work
Like my personal written works, I take pride in the writing found on the Luxury Real Estate Blog. As this blog’s editor, I feel particularly responsible for its quality and success. So it pleases me to no end to add so much great content almost daily and to find more comments from our fantastic readers. I also like seeing our blog climb in popularity with a number of search terms.
I’ve thought a lot about how best to organize the information on the Luxury Real Estate Blog’s ranking in the big three search engines. I’ve finally decided to simply put the same search terms in each row for easy comparison purposes and to roughly put them in order, from highest to lowest, in terms of their placement on search engines.
The following search terms and rankings were recorded on the morning of Thursday, July 31, 2008, and they’ll surely change in the coming days and weeks. At least this will give us a good reference for future searches so we can see how they improve, hopefully.
Luxury blog 16
Luxury blog 18
Real estate blog 399
Real estate blog 135
Robert Lockard is the Public Relations & Media Specialist with LuxuryRealEstate.com. I am Robert. I create all of Luxury Real Estate’s newsletters, write the editorials in LuxuryRealEstate.com Magazine and much more. Feel free to share your ideas and blog entries for inclusion on the LuxuryRealEstate.com Blog. The photo of the Blue Angels above is from www.flickr.com/photos/l1v32r1d3bmx/2506752403 and it is the copyright of Pablo Cocito Photography.
By Brian Langhorst
LuxuryRealEstate.com is the most-viewed and most-visited luxury real estate website in the world. For this reason we opt not to capture the visitors of our website right away to search properties around the world.
We realize many of our visitors are of very high net worth and have very limited time, thus the idea of creating restrictions does not make sense. On the other hand, I see many websites who capture their visitor traffic right away.
I personally prefer not being captured right away on websites and opt to view websites where the capture of data does not occur until later.
What are your thoughts?
Brian Langhorst is LuxuryRealEstate.com’s Membership Manager. He meets members’ unique needs through the dynamic services LuxuryRealEstate.com provides. This is an interesting topic because the Internet is all about letting customers remain anonymous until they want to identify themselves to take advantage of offers and other things online. Is it better to ask people for information sooner or later? It’s hard to tell. I smell a great discussion brewing…
By Robert Lockard
I hope this doesn’t sound too prideful, but I really like what I write. And I do a lot of writing as the Public Relations & Media Specialist for LuxuryRealEstate.com.
While my blogs on ActiveRain and the LuxuryRealEstate.com Blog are sometimes quickly written and they don’t have the benefit of as much outside editing as I usually receive for my other work, I think they give you a taste of my writing skill and style.
My mind is constantly working before, during and after the writing process. I think about what is interesting about the story I am currently writing about. I ponder why my target readers would bother to read what I’ve written. I try to decide which points are most important and how best to convey them. I only have a limited amount of time to create my news releases, newsletters, magazine articles and other works, so I need to make quick decisions.
For the Week in Review newsletter I create each week, I receive a lot of news releases from members of the LuxuryRealEstate.com network. I am very grateful for that fact because it helps me keep our newsletters filled with great material. Many of the stories I receive are really interesting while others are about new employees, anniversaries and other topics that don’t seem too interesting at first. However, once I go through a news story, I can usually find something remarkable in it and I usually rewrite the headline so it’s much more eye-catching.
With these thoughts in mind, I’d like to talk about my recent experience writing a news release on a seemingly average topic: a Ewing & Clark, Inc. broker celebrating her 20th anniversary. I don’t mean that the broker, Jane Powers, is average; I’m just saying that I’ve read many stories similar to hers. As I approached this story I tried to remember that this is an important moment for her, and she has many great stories to tell after 20 successful years in the Seattle luxury market.
So I sat down to write about her story. Many times when I write I have a sudden inspiration that I know did not come from me. This time was no different. I suddenly had a thought that I should look up remarkable events that occurred in July 1988, when Powers started with her company. As it turned out, I discovered that a little movie called “Die Hard” debuted in theaters the same day that Powers began working at Ewing & Clark.
I was ecstatic by the creative opportunities opened up by this coincidence.
I am a big movie buff and I couldn’t pass up this chance to add some really unique flavor to Powers’ story. So that’s exactly what I did. You can see the final product here. I wrote the first and second-to-last paragraphs first and then worked on the rest of it. I had a blast writing this story.
I got butterflies of nervous excitement when I showed it to Powers herself for approval. Luckily, she liked my take on her story and I got to distribute it through my usual PR sources.
I believe any story can be interesting to read. I could have written Powers’ news release in a really boring, run-of-the-mill way, but I found that little something special that turned it into a great story. I hope that you can find the greatness in your stories and, as long as you’re a LuxuryRealEstate.com member, I’d love to post them in the Week in Review!
Robert Lockard is the Public Relations & Media Specialist with LuxuryRealEstate.com. I am Robert. I create all of Luxury Real Estate’s newsletters, write the editorials in LuxuryRealEstate.com Magazine and much more. By the way, John Brian Losh is the Chairman/CEO of Ewing & Clark, which is a member of the Luxury Real Estate Board of Regents. The copy of the “Die Hard” movie poster is from www.flickr.com/photos/nickslidepics/442646618 and it is the copyright of Nick Slide.
By Jean-Yves Piton
I recently came across some remarkable facts about blogging. Did you know that, as of 2008, 70 million weblogs exist, about 120,000 new blogs are started each day or 1.4 new blogs are created every second, according to a report by David Sifry, founder and CEO of technorati.
Impressive, isn’t it? And blogging keeps on growing universally!
As a business professional, do yourself a favor: embrace this change rapidly.
Thanks to a recent analysis of the online behaviors of over 2 million worldwide candidates performed by comScore, Six Apart and Gawker Media, we discovered that bloggers are “significantly more likely to live in wealthier households, be younger and connect to the Web on high-speed connections. Blog readers also visit nearly twice as many Web pages as the Internet average, and they are more likely to shop online.”
Clearly, this fact alone should help you appreciate the importance of reaching out to this ever-growing target audience in order to grow your business.
Equally important, do not underestimate the power of this innovative tool as part of your online marketing strategy worldwide. Search-engine marketing is predominantly gaining ground vis-à-vis other forms of online marketing. As you blog, your blog entries will consistently appear in search engines like Google and Yahoo, resulting in higher search-engine rankings to be seen by virtually anyone around the world.
Needless to say, blogging is much cheaper than owning and maintaining a complete website, and represents the most inexpensive method to date to advertise your company's brand name and products on the Internet.
Jean-Yves Piton is the Global Services Membership Manager for LuxuryRealEstate.com. He assists Bente Madtsen, the Director of Global Services, in expanding the LuxuryRealEstate.com brand into even more countries around the world. Blogs are amazing tools for gaining traffic, and their usefulness is probably just going to grow as bloggers refine their craft. Be mindful of some possible legal issues involved in blogging, but other than that, happy blogging! The photo of the blog apartment building is from www.flickr.com/photos/poagao/96805244 and it is the copyright of Poagao.
By Joey Pauley
We are pleased to announce LuxuryRealEstate.com has negotiated a monumental deal with LuxuryLifestyle.com that we are able to offer to you. The price is only $750 a year for an Enhanced Company Profile and 10 Enhanced Properties on LuxuryLifestyle.com. At Luxury Lifestyle’s normal rate, this would cost $10,500.
This offer is exclusively for members of Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate.
Are your home sellers asking, “What are you doing to advertise my home?”
Are you looking for somewhere, in addition to LuxuryRealEstate.com, to advertise your exclusive properties online?
Do you want to advertise outside the real estate market?
Are you looking to supplement your link-building – an important aspect to Search Engine Optimization?
We have already seen positive results for existing members who have placed properties on LuxuryLifestyle.com for Search Engine Optimization. What are you waiting for?
Email me at jpauley at luxuryrealestate.com or call me at 206.838.2865 to receive over 90% off this great service.
LuxuryLifestyle.com is the largest, most comprehensive, and most exclusive direct-access register of luxury companies, products, and services anywhere on the Internet. They are highly selective of the products and services featured on their website. So selective, in fact, that they are only offering this deal to Luxury Real Estate members – the best luxury brokers in the world.
As a Technical Account Manager with LuxuryRealEstate.com, Joey Pauley helps members with their Web and technology needs. He does a phenomenal job in all of his projects, as you can see by visiting the many websites he has helped design. This is a great opportunity that might have slipped by if you hadn’t checked the LuxuryRealEstate.com Blog. Aren’t you glad you did? Thanks for the great opportunity, Joey!
By Joey Pauley
Today, did you notice that your coworker got a haircut?
Did you notice the fresh scratch on the side of your car? I didn’t do it.
Did you notice the country search has Bahamas as an option in the country dropdown on the Luxury Property Search Page on LuxuryRealEstate.com? Many of our Caribbean members have brought to our attention the confusion in the Caribbean section of the site so we made a few changes to make our website more usable for the potential buyers of our members’ most luxurious homes.
Enjoy, and keep your feedback coming.
As a Technical Account Manager with LuxuryRealEstate.com, Joey Pauley helps members with their Web and technology needs. He does a phenomenal job in all of his projects, as you can see by visiting the many websites he has helped design. Feedback like this is very helpful. We are always looking for ways to better serve our members. We sent out a survey about our conferences a little while ago and we’ve incorporated the suggestions we received into our plans for the 13th Annual Luxury Real Estate Fall Conference in Philadelphia. We hope to see you there! The photo above is from www.flickr.com/photos/christophemallet/131222816 and it is the copyright of christophe mallet.
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