Blog contributions are provided exclusively from Luxury Real Estate members throughout the world.
Olympic Gold Medalist Mary Whipple will be the keynote speaker at our 7th Annual Spring Retreat in Las Vegas , April 26th-29th.
Her Keynote Address at the Spring Retreat will cater to our industry and the network, and will be based on the following topics.
- Turning your weaknesses into strengths. Success doesn’t happen overnight. You will be inspired to attack your weaknesses and fight your way to the top.
- Teamwork is necessary to achieve Olympic glory and business success. You will recognize your place on your team and the importance of your teammates.
- How does a business relate to the Olympics? The fierce competition, whole body effort, the power of a team, and how the little things make the difference, rowing and success in any aspect of life share the same foundation. You will turn your work experience, into an inspired quest for gold.
By Robert Lockard
After taking more than 400 fabulous photos at the 6th Annual Luxury Real Estate Spring Retreat in April, Ilya Moshenskiy, the Principal Photographer of Ilya Estate Photography, is showing off his versatile talents in another field. On the left is a recent photo he took at Salty’s Seafood Restaurant in Seattle. The dessert is called the Ooey Gooey Ice Cream Sandwich.
It’s quite amazing that, in addition to his talents as a real-estate photographer, Ilya is also able to take world-class photos of gourmet food. To take advantage of Ilya’s expert services, contact him at ilya at ilyaestate.com.
Robert Lockard is the Public Relations & Media Specialist with LuxuryRealEstate.com. I am Robert. I create all of LuxuryRealEstate.com’s newsletters, write the editorials in LuxuryRealEstate.com Magazine and much more. You can see all of Ilya’s photos of the 6th Annual Spring Retreat here.
By Jean-Yves Piton
Today’s real estate marketplace is most definitely more technology-driven worldwide. This fact became even more evident during the Technology Roundtable held at the 6th Annual Luxury Real Estate Spring Retreat in San Diego. Top brokers in the luxury real estate industry are now seeking for more tools to become more productive and effective vis-à-vis their top competitors.
Here is an example: You never stepped into the agency today. You have already received many text messages from prospective buyers you need to follow up with this morning. Your property buyers located your ads on LuxuryRealEstate.com. They were able to view both photos and virtual tours of the properties they saw and liked. They also connected with you a few times via LiveChat on your PDA.
You have already called your clients back and all of your appointments are scheduled on your PDA phone. You are bringing along with you both your laptop and a data card to ensure you are able to share all the needed electronic documents, in case you need them. You have completed numerous successful property visits today. You are calling your 1-800 line to check any voicemails left at the office by any possible home buyers. Luckily, your Bluetooth headset allows you to do so while driving your car to another property.
You beat traffic since you are guided by your GPS. Before your client arrives, you have plenty of time to check the latest industry news on the LuxuryRealEstate.com Webzine, read blog entries on the LuxuryRealEstate.com Blog and educate consumers about market news on your blog. Time to see if you have received any signed contracts via your efax in your email inbox. While at it, you might as well update your customer database regarding today’s activities and before you forget.
Does this sound familiar?
Clearly, in order to gain a competitive edge and increase sales, it is critical to embrace new technologies in the new real-estate era.
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. Indeed, technology is bringing us new capabilities and expectations. We need to react quicker, think faster and be ready to meet clients’ changing needs. This is a time of incredible challenges and opportunities. The picture above is from www.dougbelshaw.com/tag/meetings.
By Meghan Barry
After our 6th Annual Luxury Real Estate Spring Retreat, Marie Montchal, Senior Vice President of Relocation and Ancillary Services at Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty was kind enough to send us this fantastic brass whale. According to Daniel Gale legend, this whale is one of the few remaining whales cast to market the “Daniel Gale Whale” – we are lucky to have it!
Daniel Gale has always done an incredible job of marketing their company. Their marketing materials are impeccable (and, coincidentally, they were the recipient of the Best Overall Marketing Package award at our Fall Conference in 2007). Does your company have what it takes to receive an award this fall? Nominate here!
Meghan Barry is the Executive Vice President of LuxuryRealEstate.com. She works closely with CEO/Publisher John Brian Losh to organize a variety of Luxury Real Estate programs, events and services. The 13th Annual Luxury Real Estate Fall Conference in Philadelphia is definitely going to be a great event. From October 11-14, 2008, LuxuryRealEstate.com brokers and agents will gain valuable insights and build their referral networks. You can read a news release about the award nominations here.
By Joey Pauley
As many of you know, I was on the Technology Panel at the 6th Annual Luxury Real Estate Spring Retreat. One of the websites we talked about was the social-networking site LinkedIn of which I and many of our colleagues are members of. Here is my profile: www.linkedin.com/in/joeypauley.
I have to say it looks like a lot of people were listening because I have had a plethora of members contacting me via Linked In since the conference. We have even started a group for Members of Who’s Who of Luxury Real Estate so you can chat with fellow members of LinkedIn and LuxuryRealEstate.com. This is an excellent way to pose questions for the entire group to respond to.
LinkedIn has many useful features. I use LinkedIn to keep in contact with all of my previous colleagues, business partners and so on. I also find it useful to find people that I would like to be connected with. There is also a way to check up on industry news.
For brokers and agents, it would be advantageous to get recommendations from their clients. Once you receive a recommendation, everyone in the recommender’s network is notified of the superior work you provide. The people in your network are reminded of the high-quality work you provided to them previously. This keeps you in the mind of potential clients.
This is just one helpful social-networking hint. Who out there uses LinkedIn or another social networking service to their advantage?
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 reminds me of Brian Langhorst’s March 10, 2008 blog entry entitled “Are you LinkedIn?” I also highly recommend joining our Luxury Real Estate group on LinkedIn because it’s a great way to easily connect with other top professionals in the high-end industry. Happy networking!
By Robert Lockard
On Saturday, April 25, 2008, my younger brother and I decided to make a rare visit to our local movie theater to watch a film we both felt a great desire to see. That movie was “Expelled,” a documentary starring and co-written by the great actor and economist Ben Stein. In addition to starring in this movie, Mr. Stein actually had some incredible insights that he shared on the current luxury real estate market at the 6th Annual Luxury Real Estate Spring Retreat in San Diego two weeks ago. He is an incredibly brilliant man in a variety of fields.
I really enjoyed this movie. It brings up so many interesting points that I’ve often considered. It basically encourages us to keep an open mind and not close our hearts to true concepts, even if they present new challenges. I highly recommend this film to everyone who would like a balanced perspective on life.
One key idea I took away from this film has to do with something said at the Spring Retreat, which Staci Colville quoted in her April 24, 2008 blog entry. Patricia Hoferkamp, President and CEO of Burgdorff, Realtors ERA, led a breakout session entitled “A Culture of Service." During this session, she said, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”
How interesting. Selfishness is not as effective as we might think when it comes to being successful. Caring for those who are weaker than us is quite preferable to our consciences than taking advantage of them.
I find it ironic that we live in a society bombarded with the idea of “survival of the fittest” being the rule, and yet we go to great lengths to help our weak and lift up the downtrodden.
For example, yesterday morning I was on the bus going to work and at one stop, a woman in a wheelchair was waiting at the front of a long line of people waiting to get on the bus. I don’t think that she was the first to arrive, but no one cried foul when she went straight to the front of the line.
The bus driver lowered a lift so that the woman could roll onto it and then be lifted into the bus. The process took more than a minute. Then the bus driver, who was elderly, slowly rolled up five seats so that they would not be available for regular bus riders to use in order to make room for a single wheelchair. The bus driver took a few minutes to properly strap the woman in. She had trouble with the seatbelt and I was sitting nearby so I was able to get it loose for her and help a little.
While all of this was taking place, the people outside the bus patiently waited in the cold morning air, waiting to enter the warm bus and get to their destinations.
None of this was selfish. The scene was filled with inconvenience for dozens of people to offer this bit of kindness and convenience to one person. Despite the seeming injustice of this all, there is actually nothing unjust about it. There is something profoundly right about it.
Robert Lockard is the Public Relations & Media Specialist with LuxuryRealEstate.com. I am Robert. I create all of LuxuryRealEstate.com’s newsletters, write the editorials in LuxuryRealEstate.com Magazine and much more. Yesterday was my birthday and I started writing this blog then. I love kindness. I hope that we will all have soft hearts and be able to accept truth. Be sure to check out Ben Stein’s movie “Expelled”! The photo above is copyright of Ilya's Photography.
By Staci Colville
I received the following two reviews from Diane Dopson and Nancy Hardie of Diane Dopson Properties. These two members joined us from Austin, Texas. Here is what they had to say about the 6th Annual Spring Retreat:
Nancy: “It was a wonderful experience to network with top agents all over the U.S. Everyone was very interested in sharing ideas and marketing ideas and opportunities to refer clients when they are moving to a different city. The weather was ‘California Perfect’ and the hotel was a 5-Star, without a doubt.”
Diane: This conference was one of the best ever, with lots of upbeat, positive comments, great topics and discussions and lots of valuable information. The hotel was one of the most beautiful I have ever stayed in!
I had the pleasure of meeting these two spectacular ladies in person and I must say what a treat it was! They have some beautiful listings on their website www.dianedopson.com. The picture above is of one of their beautiful listings.
Thanks, Diane and Nancy, for joining us!
Staci Colville is an Account Manager with LuxuryRealEstate.com. She helps members take advantage of the various services of LuxuryRealEstate.com. I’d also like to thank these wonderful members for their kind comments. It’s so wonderful to hear such positive feedback about our event. Be sure to sign up for our next exciting networking opportunity, the 13th Annual Luxury Real Estate Fall Conference in October.
By Michael Edlund
“The view is out of this world.”
I overheard this comment at an open house during our recent Luxury Real Estate Spring Retreat in San Diego. We visited an amazing property on top of a hill with vast spectacular views over a beautiful landscape. Spectacular, but still of this world. No matter how crazy, ridiculous and out of touch with reality it seems today, there might actually be a day when we buy and sell property elsewhere in the solar system.
There were a few articles published recently that made me think of this. First of all, I read about Virgin Galactic currently building Spaceport America with the support of the state of New Mexico. It’s a huge-scale initiative by the Virgin Group’s eclectic founder Sir Richard Branson, aiming to bring commercial space travel to the general American public no later than 2012. It is now decided that Virgin will build Spaceport Sweden as the gateway for European space travelers.
It’s not a matter of if but when wealthy individuals can add space travel to their wish list of spectacular experience and adventure travel. And it seems to be happening sooner than many might imagine.
With space travel, I would say that there will inevitably be a whole new service ecosystem created around this new branch of the travel industry. I would guess that one of them will be accommodation. That brings attention to The Lunar Republic Society, which sells acre-sized lots on the moon through its shop Lunar Registry.
Buying land on the moon sounds like a joke to us. Nobody owns the moon. Well, the natives of America told the European settlers back in the day that it was a joke to them to claim that man can own land at all. Manhattan was sold for $24 because nobody could imagine that land had any tangible value.
Yes, I see the difficulty for this organization to claim the right to sell moon property. But being the “Earth’s leading lunar real estate agency,” the tens of thousands of individuals that have purchased lunar lots though them are backing them in their claim. Regardless of which organization that officially wins the right to sell moon property, they will be in a very good position to do so.
Just for laughs, I did buy an acre lot in The Sea of Tranquility a while back. I never thought, of course, that there would be even a remote possibility for me to see it in my lifetime. But hey, who knows? I’m wishing Sir Richard Branson all the best of luck with his ideas – ideas that are truly out of this world. Talk about opening up a new market...
Michael Edlund is the Director of Technology with LuxuryRealEstate.com. He is in charge of all of LuxuryRealEstate.com’s Web projects, including Web site creation, software updates and implementation, and much more. Lunar luxury? That's loony. Pardon my pun. It’s funny because I recently watched “The Right Stuff,” the great 1983 movie about the original Mercury 7 astronauts who paved the way for the Apollo missions and other space exploration. It’s funny to look at their primitive ideas of space travel, but maybe in 50 years we’ll look back with similar feelings about our current steps reaching for the moon and other worlds. I think I’d prefer to buy some property on Europa or Io.
By Brian Langhorst
Willis Allen Real Estate, the Regent member of LuxuryRealEstate.com in San Diego, La Jolla, Rancho Santa Fe, and Del Mar rolled out the red carpet for the attendees of the 6th Annual Spring Retreat. Our host company picked up about 70 LuxuryRealEstate.com members from the Grand Del Mar Resort in luxury motor coaches and took us to two notable listings in nearby Rancho Santa Fe.
The first listing 5959 Ladys Secret is a perfect estate for entertaining and enjoying the beautiful San Diego weather! We were greeted with Strawberries and Champagne at the first listing, which is in the exclusive area of Del Rayo Estates. This $13.7 million listing featured beautiful views of the ocean, Del Mar and Fairbanks Country Club, and the Del Mar Race Track.
The 2.8-acre estate includes well-manicured gardens, lighted tennis courts, an infinity-edge pool, spa and outdoor entertaining areas. The 2008 renovation of this great listing is evidenced in the details throughout. This was a perfect way to begin our evening. Listed by Willis Allen agent Terry Holladay (www.TerryHolladay.com).
The next stop was within the covenant of Rancho Santa Fe. Sian Welch of Willis Allen enlightened our bus with lots of history and facts of this quaint and intimate community. The covenant of Rancho Santa Fe has very strict architectural guidelines to maintain the history and feel of the specific area of town.
The second and final listing of our tour was Extravagance in the Village at $8.9 million being represented by Willis Allen agent Linda Sansone (www.LindaSansone.com). This listing was once again a big hit among all who attended our cocktail reception/property tour! In perfect style, this 2.85-acre estate blends pleasant living spaces with perfectly designed outdoor areas for gatherings and spending time with family and friends. It is a true find considering the size of the lot and close walking distance to the town of Rancho Santa Fe!
Our property tour was a wonderful introduction into the market of Rancho Santa Fe and the variety of opportunities on the market. Thank you very much to Bud Clark and Peyton Cabano from Willis Allen for putting together such a well-thought-out tour!
There are amazing properties available throughout. I would encourage all interested buyers to speak with any of our qualified members in the San Diego area to see the great investment opportunities for yourself!
Brian Langhorst is LuxuryRealEstate.com’s Membership Manager. He meets members’ unique needs through the dynamic services LuxuryRealEstate.com provides. There are many opportunities in California and other markets that are seeing price declines. Take advantage of these unique offers while they’re still hot.
By Joey Pauley
Like everyone who attended the 6th Annual Luxury Real Estate Spring Retreat, I am still buzzing about from the conference last week. Buzzing, inspired, catching up – the whole gamut of after-conference thoughts.
Willis Allen Real Estate gave us a property tour in which I had the privilege to discuss the homes with Patricia Choi. Pat had some wonderful insights into the potential buyers of these homes. I felt as if I was talking to the Horatio Caine (CSI: Miami) of Luxury Real Estate. She could gain key insights into the buyers for these homes the instant she walked in the door. There is no wonder she is the Queen of Real Estate in Oahu.
Special thanks to Derek Overbey, Scott Lawrence, and David Abernathy for their help in Technology Roundtable Discussion. The only thing that would have made me happier was if Steve Eckhardt of Cornerstone Properties & Investments, Inc. was able to make it. Not only do I consider Steve a friend, but I think his voice would have resonated with the other brokers in the office.
There were other members who were notably missing. You know who you are. You better not miss Philadelphia (my home town) or I will take it as a personal insult.
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. “In West Philadelphia, born and raised…” The fact that Joey is from Philadelphia reminded me of Will Smith singing the theme song of his TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” Anyway, this Spring Retreat was a great opportunity to learn from these amazing technology experts and many others. Don’t miss the 13th Annual Fall Conference!
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