Blog contributions are provided exclusively from Luxury Real Estate members throughout the world.
After a wonderful weekend at the Spring Retreat in South Beach, I took some time to think about all of the amazing networking, topics of conversation and the feedback from all of you, my colleagues.
Clearly, an underlying theme in this weekend's conference and the market in general, is the effect that technology has in today's real estate marketplace. We all heard over and over again "print is dead," "we are done with magazines," you need to integrate social media, "are you active in your blog, how often are you on facebook, are you on Twitter, and of course, the importance of integrating the new gadgets like the IPAD to make ourselves more efficient.
Although nowhere near an expert, nor can I say that I blog every day, or update our facebook page every day, or much less, can I say that we have "figured it all out," we do have exposure and a clear understanding of what these distinct avenues of marketing and technology can provide. HOWEVER, like the best laptop 10 years ago, the challenge with technology is that today's invention is in tomorrow's recycle bin. I remember when Flash technology became popular and no web designers, (with the exception of the few brands in the world that did not need engine placement) would come near it for fear of not being found in the search engines. Not much later, they learned that although the search engines could not spider these presentations, they could be seamlessly integrated to create a better style, presentation and overall brand.
So many are left with the question....how do I proceed. What is the best way for me to get ahead of my competitors?
At the end of the day, none of us have the answer to the best plan in moving forward. Real estate, like the trends that accompany it, is a moving target and we need to be able to adapt to what is happening every day. We all learned in the past 18 months, that our markets can change with the drop off a hat. Creating and staying true to the essence of your brand, and who you and your team are at the core, is the key to success. Adaptation, innovation and implementation will help solve the rest.
In my mind, when the other aspects of the business (like the above list) starts to overwhelm us, we need to get back to the basics of relationships. We are all successful in our own markets based on the relationships that we have formed with our buyers and our sellers. In today's market, there is so much fear, uncertainty and lack of commitment and i feel that it is our true success will come when our clients, both buyers and sellers, feel a trusted guide to maneuver them through the process. Our education, knowledge and experience should allow them to remove the fear of engaging with a broker that so many of them carry.
Good luck to all of you,
2Costa Rica Real Estate
The 'AndareSM' Office, launched in Silicon Valley, enables real estate brokers to sustain profitability while delivering a compelling customer experience
CUPERTINO, SILICON VALLEY, USA – May 4, 2010 -- Intero Real Estate Services (http://www.interorealestate.com), a leading U.S. real estate brokerage that has recently expanded its brand globally, as a franchisor, through Intero Franchise Services, Inc. and Intero International Franchise Services, LLC, has announced that its groundbreaking Andare office model is now available to companies choosing to affiliate with the Intero brand.
The Andare model, first piloted by Intero in Silicon Valley, re-wrote the book on what a real estate office should be: a cost-efficient operation that delivers a memorable experience to agents and consumers alike. Gone are the seldom-used cubicles, replaced with wired pods for agents who drop-in and head out. Gone are the fax machines, file cabinets and copiers, replaced with wireless Internet and Web-based transaction management. The Andare office is an environment built for today and tomorrow, not yesterday.
A multimedia presentation of the Andare office can be viewed online.
'The economics of a real estate brokerage today are different than a few years ago - that's a fact that cannot be ignored' said Gino Blefari, President and CEO of Intero Real Estate Services. 'The real estate office as we have known it needed to change, so we reinvented it completely with Andare.'
Intero has developed a turnkey plan for franchisees around the globe to create their own Andare offices. Research, floor plans, operational and management practices and consulting are available to Intero affiliates that wish to open Andare offices in their markets.
'Andare was a big part of my decision to affiliate with the Intero brand because it gave me something new and exciting to bring to the marketplace and will put me on a profitable track from day one,' said Sandy Miller, the owner of the soon to be built Intero Rancho San Diego, California branch. 'There’s a lot of talk about innovation in real estate right now, but Intero was the only company that delivered substance.
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. The company is private and headquartered in California's Silicon Valley.
By Benjamin Pradel
From his blog: [Technologie] Des agences toujours à la pointe
C'est toujours avec le même souci d'innovation et de conserver une longueur d'avance que Rodolphe a fait équiper les 5 agences d'un système d'écrans plats dans les bureaux.
L'équipe commerciale dispose maintenant d'un outil performant et unique pour la présentation des biens; un diaporama prenant le relais lorsque l'écran n'est pas utilisé.
Parallèlement, des écrans transflectifs ont vu le jour dans les vitrines du Siège Social, le procédé est simple, plus la luminosité extérieure est importante et plus l’écran est lumineux!
Pour ne pas s'arrêter en si bon chemin, les supports d'affiches vitrine ont été remplacé par des modèles innovants avec un rétro éclairage à LED du plus bel effet.
Don’t speak French? Click here for an English version of this blog entry. Benjamin Pradel is an Information and Technology Specialist with R. CHAYLA Immobilier in Carcassonne, France. Founded in 1991, R. CHAYLA has a multilingual team, agencies with cutting-edge technology and exposure on dozens of Web sites. They are known across France, and their international exposure grows daily. Be sure to keep checking back at the Luxury Real Estate Blog for interesting international content like this.
By Michael Edlund
LuxuryRealEstate.com is the #1 place to go to find a multimillion-dollar luxury property on the Internet. But we also allow our members to put the entire Luxury Real Estate collection of tens of thousands of listings on their own website and make them searchable right there, in a way that you control. Instead of potentially losing a valued client to another broker, you gain the referral fee and retain the client’s business.
This is the LRE Global Broker Reciprocity, and it comes in two flavors: generic and custom.
Generic is included with Luxury Real Estate membership, and has a set template that looks the same on every site. Custom reciprocity has an additional fee but is customized to blend in with the design of each website so that it gives a more consistent user experience for customers.
Examples of custom reciprocities:
If you haven’t put the LuxuryRealEstate.com listing search on your website, send an email to reciprocity (at) luxuryrealestate.com to learn more.
Michael Edlund is the Director of Technology with Luxury Real Estate. He is in charge of all of Luxury Real Estate’s Web projects, including website creation, software updates and implementation, and much more. You should definitely take advantage of this great opportunity to give people more reasons to visit your site and to potentially gain more referrals. Check it out! The photo of the bee and the flower is from www.flickr.com/photos/chefranden/199057327 and it is the copyright of chefranden.
By Simon Turner
From his blog: How Google Maps can be used to make solar power decisions for your home
As energy prices continue to climb, the idea of utilizing solar energy is common sense. The process of getting solar panels installed, however, is quite the opposite.
RoofRay, a new Californian business, aims to give homeowners better information to enable them to make more-informed environmental decisions for their luxury home. Using the site’s modeling tools, consumers can estimate how much solar energy a home could capture and how that would affect their monthly bills.
The data provided is based upon historical weather conditions, current power usage charges, the gradient of the property, and the maximum amount of solar paneling the roof can hold. One tool uses Google Maps to let users calculate the size of their roof and build virtual panels. RoofRay then estimates the output potential of the solar panels as well as financial considerations like costs of installation, upkeep and return on investment.
Whilst not yet available in Australia, such a tool would be a welcome addition to our growing eco-conscience and our excessive reliance on fossil fuels. Furthermore, it would be useful for would-be real-estate buyers in making purchase decisions, something that the Marquette Turner team is increasingly finding is a factor in how and where buyers buy.
To find out the latest information available in Australia, a good start is the federal government’s portal www.climatechange.gov.au and Marquette Turner’s Clear the Air site
Simon Turner 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 Turner and Michael Marquette, Marquette Turner is a property consultancy company covering the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria. Born in England, Turner traveled much as a child, finally settling in Australia. He joined the Australian Defence Force Academy and graduated with a degree in Politics and History as an Intelligence Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force. This is a very fascinating topic. Jean-Yves Piton actually wrote a blog entry on “green” luxury real estate a little while ago, too. I just finished writing an article on “green” luxury properties for the winter 2009 issue of LuxuryRealEstate.com Magazine.
By Brian Langhorst
Photosynth is one of the latest projects from Microsoft to come out of their Live Labs group and development business.
This unique program will take photos that you specify from your camera or computer desktop and find the similarities in each photo and create a visual presentation piecing these photos together. It might be hard to see what the big deal is based on this short description, but I encourage you to visit the Photosynth site and you will better understand just how fascinating this new tool is.
I feel this tool will be great for luxury real estate agent and brokerages. How many times have homebuyers or sellers commented that photos do not properly capture a unique or special high-end listing? This new tool from Microsoft could be a great way to create more eye-catching presentations to allow potential buyers to see the luxury property in its true form.
Our team here will be sure to continue to present our members with the most innovative tools and opportunities, such as Photosynth, for their business.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback on this new tool!
Brian Langhorst is LuxuryRealEstate.com’s Membership Manager. He meets members’ unique needs through the dynamic services LuxuryRealEstate.com provides. It seems like there are endless possibilities and new technologies being created all the time. It will be very exciting to keep an eye on this Photosynth program and other innovative Web tools coming out. Thanks for the heads-up, Brian! The photo above is from www.flickr.com/photos/tommybart2000/2688931093 and it is the copyright of Thomas Barthelet.
By Grant Hermes
“Information is a source of learning. But unless it is organized, processed, and available to the right people in a format for decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit.”
~ William Pollard
Nowadays, information spreads and multiplies exponentially throughout the Internet. Who has time to spend hours a day sifting and sorting through endless websites in search of useful and, more importantly, up-to-date news? I know I certainly do not. This is where RSS feeds are a lifesaver for me.
When you see the icon all you have to do is click on it and add it as a bookmark or to a reader of your choice. Try it out by clicking on the “Articles” RSS feed on this blog page (just look for the icon to find it). Now you have a current look at the most-recent posts to the LuxuryRealEstate.com Blog. I personally place all my feeds in my bookmarks toolbar so they’re right in front of me. Another useful RSS feed I use is from RISMedia.com (they have dozens of feeds but I use the Real Estate-specific feed as well as a few others – check them out).
I always saw links for RSS feeds before, but just never clicked on them until this past week. Let me tell you, it is the greatest addition to my Internet browser. In one click, I get a snapshot of a site’s blog posts or articles and, most importantly, if any new ones have been posted. I feel more informed than ever on world news by being able to quickly and effortlessly scan through headlines, and if I want more detailed information it’s just a click away.
Hopefully this will help you narrow down and sort through the overwhelming amount of information out there that’s important to you but which you just don’t have time to sort through.
If you need it…RSS picture is complements of http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/help/HA102200751033.aspx
Grant Hermes is the Staff Accountant for LuxuryRealEstate.com. He assists Controller James Hughes with all of the necessary paperwork and accounting to keep LuxuryRealEstate.com running smoothly. This is the first blog entry I’ve received from Grant, and it’s quite a smashing one. RSS feeds are quite helpful in our information-saturated environment, like the quote at the start of this blog entry notes. It doesn’t help to have a huge library if none of the books are correctly ordered or easily accessible to readers. Thank goodness for RSS feeds, which are kind of like a high-tech Dewey Decimal System. And thanks for the explanation, Grant!
By Robert Lockard
As a follow-up to my last blog entry, I’d like to report on the interview LuxuryRealEstate.com Publisher/CEO John Brian Losh enjoyed on Lakefront Radio on Friday, June 20, 2008. It went very well, and I have to give a lot of credit to hosts Mary Thompson, Chuck Thompson and Lee Kantor for asking great questions and being a lot of fun on air. They sound like they really enjoy their work.
You can listen to the full 38-minute radio show online.
Mr. Losh discussed the recent sale of Donald Trump’s $100 million estate and some other great news items. He also went into great detail about LuxuryRealEstate.com, the most-viewed luxury real estate website in the world, and several aspects of the Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate network, including membership requirements. He specifically focused on Atlanta, naming Harry Norman, Realtors, the Board of Regents member in Atlanta, and Jenny Pruitt & Associates, REALTORS® as two prominent members in the area.
As I mentioned earlier, I was really impressed by Lakefront Radio hosts Mary, Chuck and Lee. They were all so easygoing and patient in their approach at the microphone, something I found very refreshing in talk radio. Some shows sound like the speakers are constantly interrupting each other, but these hosts found a great balance in their style. Great job!
Mr. Losh said that some of the finest luxury locations in the world are in South America and East Europe. He also mentioned that his favorite city in the world is Venice, Italy because it’s so quiet, with no cars or motorbikes to disrupt the peace. His favorite city in the United States (besides his hometown of Seattle, of course) is Carmel, Calif., near Pebble Beach, because it’s “popular, but not too popular” and very relaxing.
All in all, it was a great radio show. I hope you’ll enjoy listening to it if you have the time. Be sure to check it out every Friday because the hosts are dedicated to talking about positive real-estate news that can sometimes fall by the way when large media outlets focus so much on negative news. Truly an admirable endeavor!
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. Be sure to visit the Lakefront Radio website to hear the whole program. It was very nice.
By Robert Lockard
I have some fun news to share about John Brian Losh, Publisher/CEO of LuxuryRealEstate.com and Broker/CEO of Ewing & Clark, Inc., Seattle's oldest real-estate brokerage.
Mr. Losh will appear on Lakefront Radio, an Atlanta radio show on Friday, June 20, 2008. He will discuss the luxury real estate market and high-tech trends with hosts Mary Thompson, Chuck Thompson and Lee Kantor.
The radio show is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Pacific Time. You can listen to the show live by visiting the Lakefront Radio website. That will be great. I’m sure Mr. Losh will have some great insights to share.
In addition to this radio show, Mr. Losh also appeared in the April/May issue of Unique Homes magazine. He was the focus of Ken Weingartner’s “Unique Personalities” section. Nick Antonicello, Director of Sales at Unique Homes, gave Mr. Losh a copy of that magazine issue at the 13th Annual Luxury Real Estate Spring Retreat this past April.
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. This is very exciting stuff. I can’t wait to listen to this radio show tomorrow.
By Michael Edlund
Being in charge of the technology department within Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate, I am often asked about whether we can build some particular kind of real estate-related Web service or not.
Basically, we have enough competent staff to create pretty much anything. We have a strong web team consisting of a dozen top-of-the-line Graphic Designers, Programmers, Account Managers and more. The team covers everything from our award-winning aesthetic Graphic Designers on one side of the spectrum to the Programmers on the other side of the spectrum that used to program mine-detecting robots for the U.S. Defense Department.
Skills within design, style and technology are crucial. However, there is another skill that is equally important to possess when setting out to create tools and websites that support a particular trade. That is a deep understanding not only of technology but also of the trade in question.
That is why I signed up this week for the Rockwell Institute real-estate license training course.
It is very likely that I will never use my real-estate license as a real-estate agent, but I do want to complete the course in order to better understand the daily work and challenges for agents within the LuxuryRealEstate.com network. I hope that this improved knowledge and understanding will lead to even better Luxury Real Estate products and services online.
I will keep you posted on the progress…
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. Michael is absolutely right about the need to not only be an expert at using and creating technology, but also to develop an understanding of the purpose of that technology. I am very impressed by Michael’s ability to seek knowledge that will help him serve luxury real estate agents better in the future. What a great example.
Submit Your Blog
To submit a blog entry for consideration on this web page for FREE, please send your materials to our PR Department: email@example.com