Blog contributions are provided exclusively from Luxury Real Estate members throughout the world.
By Robert Lockard
In the winter 2009 issue of LuxuryRealEstate.com Magazine (this link will start working in December 2008 when the magazine is published) I wrote an article entitled “Seeing Green: Living eco-friendly without sacrificing luxury.” In that article I mentioned a number of links and resources awaiting readers online. As promised, here they are! Check out the following Web sites for valuable information on what you can do today to start enjoying the benefits of “green” homes. In addition, I included links to the personal blogs/sites of the five Luxury Real Estate members and Eco-Brokers who I interviewed for this article. They were very helpful in the writing process and I’m sure you’ll find them to be extremely helpful in the home buying and selling process:
“Green” Organizations and Resources
www.buildinggreen.com: An independent publishing company focused on “green” building materials and methods.
www.builditgreen.org: A nonprofit dedicated to promoting “green” building in California by providing education, professional directories and more.
www.builtgreen.net: The Built Green™ logo signifies a property meets rigorous “green” standards. Based in Western Washington.
www.earthcrafthouse.com: Founded in 1999, EarthCraft House™ certifies new homes in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Virginia as “green” based upon high standards.
www.greenhomeguide.org: Sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council, this site offers a variety of resources for “greening” your home.
www.lowimpactliving.com: A tool for setting realistic goals based on your budget, location and other factors.
www.nahb.org: Formed in 1942, the National Association of Home Builders provides in-depth data on housing trends, including “green” homes.
www.southeastgreen.com: A user-friendly directory of businesses offering “green” products and services in the Southeast United States.
www.usgbc.org: Official site of the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit composed of leaders from every sector of the building industry, which provides LEED™ standards for homes, businesses and more.
Blogs/Personal “Green” Sites:
www.cottenalston.com (Cotten Alston’s personal site)
www.roseannblacher.com (Roseann Blacher’s personal site)
http://maringreenrealestate.blogspot.com (Jonathan Marks’ blog, the only “green” blog in Marin County)
www.thebuckheadblog.com (Carson Matthews’ blog)
http://welcomehomegreen.typepad.com (Hannah Tai’s blog)
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 Brian Langhorst
Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate, a worldwide membership organization, publishes LuxuryRealEstate.com Magazine as an additional advertising opportunity for our invitation-only membership. This industry-leading magazine can be seen in over 40 countries around the world as well as in luxury service providers, storefronts, spas and boutiques throughout the United States. Our next issue will be for winter of 2009.
I highly recommend advertising in this dynamic marketing piece as an effective way to reach high-net-worth investors and buyers through both online and print advertising. We continue to see print advertising driving Web traffic!
The reservation deadline to advertise is: September 26th.
Materials are due by: October 1st.
Please contact me with any questions on how you can reach our high-net-worth audience through membership: BLanghorst (at) LuxuryRealEstate.com
Brian Langhorst is LuxuryRealEstate.com’s Membership Manager. He meets members’ unique needs through the dynamic services LuxuryRealEstate.com provides. As the author of the “green” homes editorial and the City Spotlight on Nassau, Bahamas in the winter 2009 issue of LuxuryRealEstate.com Magazine, I can vouch for the quality of this publication. We publish the magazine in print and online to reach a broad audience. Don’t miss out!
By Benjamin Pradel
From his blog: R. CHAYLA rejoint le réseau Luxury Real Estate (n°1 mondial)
Déjà membres depuis janvier 2008 du réseau Châteaux & Co., regroupant des agences immobilières indépendantes spécialisées dans les transactions de charme et de prestige en France, nous franchissons un nouveau cap en rejoignant le réseau international LuxuryRealEstate.com.
LuxuryRealEstate.com, n°1 mondial, est un réseau indépendant regroupant 2120 agences immobilières dans le monde dont 7 agences pour la France. Notre agence obtient donc l'exclusivité régionale de Luxury Real Estate.
Outre une fréquentation record du site internet à plus de 62 000 000 de visiteurs / mois, le site www.luxuryrealestate.com est classé n°1 mondial pour les recherches en immobilier de luxe (source: alexa.com). Il est également qualifié en tant que le "meilleur du Web" par le magazine Forbes et le quotidien international Wall Street Journal depuis les sept dernières années.
Notre agence fait donc partie maintenant du plus important réseau d'immobilier de luxe, ce qui devrait nous permettre de renforcer notre image et notre position auprès d'une clientèle à fort pouvoir d'achat.
Don’t speak French? Click here for an English version of this blog entry. It's funny to see what the translator does to the parts already in English. 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. It’s great to get so much global news and flavor in the Luxury Real Estate Blog. Whether you’re looking for information on luxury homes or luxury markets, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for on www.LuxuryRealEstate.com.
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
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 Brian Langhorst
I have heard many times over that print is dead, but this is false information! Whoever is saying this does not know the audience for luxury homes and their habits. Yes, people look to the Internet for information and, according to a National Association of REALTORS® survey, over 80% of home seekers are starting their search online for real estate.
The main question we should think about is how do they know where to look for real estate online? The answer is print!
I had a very interesting conversation yesterday with Victor Lund, co-Founder of the WAV Group. He said that the typical consumer segment of the luxury property market still looks through newspapers, magazines, and other print media for news and information. Customers need guidance and print provides this guidance to learn more about real-estate opportunities on the Internet. With a proper call to action this high-net-worth audience will be driven to your website through your print advertising campaign.
I look forward to your replies. Let me know how we can help you create targeted print ads to drive more traffic to your website.
Brian Langhorst is LuxuryRealEstate.com’s Membership Manager. He meets members’ unique needs through the dynamic services LuxuryRealEstate.com provides. Victor Lund was so kind and helpful when he came to the Luxury Real Estate headquarters here in Seattle. He had a lot to share about our Web site, which is the most-viewed luxury real estate site in the world, and many other topics like the one Brian just discussed. It’s always nice to meet nice geniuses and well-grounded visionaries. The photo above is from www.flickr.com/photos/joebeone/2528716096 and it is the copyright of joebeone.
Courtney Jackson is the Print Director for LuxuryRealEstate.com. She works closely with The Wall Street Journal, Unique Homes and a variety of other publications to help luxury brokers gain domestic and international exposure for their properties. Print and online advertising go great together. They both have certain weaknesses and strengths that can be overcome by using both in moderation. Keep taking advantage of this great offer through LuxuryRealEstate.com!
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