THE ART OF SELECTING A GREAT LUXURY REAL ESTATE AGENT

How can luxury home buyers and sellers find the best real estate agent to serve them?Your time, privacy, and residence is incredibly valuable. Yet, overall the process of buying or selling a home or condo remains one of the most time consuming and inefficient processes. So how can luxury real estate buyers and sellers secure a professional agent that will ensure a smooth and profitable transaction that best delivers on their needs and tastes?

The Basics Finding ‘a’ real estate agent isn’t that difficult. Many agents work extremely hard. There are thousands of them scaling the walls of Facebook, approaching the wealthy at golf course club houses, and putting their faces on signs. But how do you choose a great one for your transaction?

  • Check the internet
  • Ask for referrals
  • Look for those specializing in your type of transaction
  • Interview them

Cut through the sales hype. Ask about their values, approach to business, and see if they take the time to really inquire about what is most important to you. 

Seek out a Realtor who is respected and liked in the industry. Look for an agent with the right balance of hustle and experience. Make sure you know who you will actually be working with. Some big name agents have large teams. It is no good choosing one of these faces from a billboard if you’ll be relegated to working with the newbie in the office.

VIP TIP: Make sure you position yourself as a great client too. Have a well-defined list of wants and needs. Show that you are prepared, qualified, and are serious about taking action.

For Luxury Real Estate BuyersIt is critical to find an agent who appreciates your taste in property. If you’ll be buying from a distance, or flying in for an inspection trip from NYC, LA, Hong Kong, or Monaco your agent must have carefully curated a shortlist to view. If they are floundering from the beginning it isn’t likely to get any better later.

For Luxury Real Estate SellersBe prepared to go through presentation materials heralding all the ways your luxury home will be marketed. There are certainly agents and real estate brokerages which do more than others, and have higher quality marketing teams, tools, and materials than others. Make sure the materials address your specific neighborhood and include detailed comparables for your specific property. Even for the most spectacular homes on the planet it takes hard work, dedication, expertise, and connections to bring about a successful and expedient sale.

So if the agent’s network is what moves big listings, how do luxury home sellers ensure that the agent of their choice possesses the connections to find the right buyer? 

Look for a strong history of sales in your price range and area as well as strong, long-standing involvement in the local community. Furthermore, you’ll want an agent with global reach so ask your agent about their partnerships with agents and companies in other markets. For example, as an agent I make it a point to speak at numerous real estate events every year to connect with potential buyers. In addition I’m part of an elite real estate website collaboration that connects me with the top realtors in all the luxury real estate markets where my future buyers could be coming from.

Savvy homeowners also know that the sale is only one part of the agent’s job. Agents play a significant role in screening potential buyers, and keeping your personal belongings and information safe during the process. Does your agent have a system for that?

For Luxury Real Estate RentersPerhaps you are not ready to buy yet, or just need a luxury rental while on a special project for a year. Your time, privacy, and a low stress level may be just as important for you now as when buying a $10M pad of your own. Unfortunately not all high-end real estate agents want to work with rentals, or at least won’t provide an equal level of service and dedication to renters. Find one that will appreciate your business for what it is, and put in just as much effort.

For Luxury Real Estate InvestorsMany highly qualified individuals, fund managers, and even celebrities are increasingly embracing real estate as an investment. Some are engaging in very active real estate investment and upscale home flipping. However, not many Realtors are excited about working with real estate investors, especially in the luxury market. Others are simply not up to date on trends, tools, and strategies investors are using today. Specifically look for an investor friendly agent who is happy to facilitate the types of transactions you are seeking, and can even bring extra value to the table as an advisor.

Expert Advice Provided by Jade MillsWith over $4 Billion in career real estate sales, Jade Mills is the leading real estate agent for the coveted areas of Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Hollywood, and Malibu. Jade consistently works with A-list celebrities, tech founders, and business leaders. Jade is world-renowned for her incredible sales record, international success, and her integrity and professionalism. To work with Jade, please call at +1 (310) 285-7508 or visit her website at www.jademillsestates.com for more information.

A COMPARISON OF THE MOST LUXURIOUS REAL ESTATE MARKETS IN LOS ANGELES

Eternal sunshine, beautiful beaches, luxurious living, and endless culture… Just a few of the reasons why people love Los Angeles and never want to leave. Spanning over an area of over 4,000 square miles and home to just over 10 million people, Los Angeles county is a very diverse area offering a huge variety of opportunities for real estate investment. Best known for its smaller, most coveted communities on the West Side, including Beverly Hills, Bel-Air, and Malibu, certain pockets offer up some of the most luxurious real estate not only in the area but in the country. We’ve broken down each of these neighborhoods to help you determine which is the best fit for your next investment.

Bel Air

Tucked away along the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains and removed from the hustle and bustle of the city, Bel-Air is definitely one of the most private and exclusive neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Bel-Air is most widely known for its breathtaking homes on some of the city’s largest lots, spacious enough for a pool, a guesthouse, and even tennis courts in addition to a spectacularly grand main house. Many Bel-Air homes include breathtaking views of the Los Angeles basin, making residents feel as if they are still engaged with the beauty of the city while maintaining their privacy. 

Home to many high profile individuals and families, Bel-Air is appealing to many buyers for the privacy it can offer residents. Most homes are gated, surrounded by tall hedges and lush greenery, and feature what seem like mile-long driveways, making this area the ideal neighborhood for those looking for a luxurious, private getaway they can come home to every night. With this high level of privacy comes slight isolation from nightlife and other parts of the city. While the homes are certainly luxurious, the area is lacking in the extravagant dining, shopping, and entertainment options available in other parts of the city. 

However, with the size of the properties in this area and all of the possible amenities the space permits, your home can serve as your own country club, restaurant, and entertainment space. It is clear that many feel it worth the compromise, as the demand for Bel-Air homes greatly outweighs the supply.  The prestige and grandeur of this area has buyers from all over looking to purchase real estate in Bel-Air. Right now, the estimated median listing price of homes in Bel-Air is $3.3 million. 

Beverly Hills

Embodying the epitome of glitz and glamour and home to some of the most extravagant homes in the country, Beverly Hills is often what pops into many minds when they think of the Los Angeles Area. While Rodeo Drive, the Beverly Hills Hotel and the city’s “90210” zip code are quintessential icons of the city, this area is more than just a tourist attraction. Beverly Hills has come to be an almost universal symbol for wealth and elegance, a place where people go to see and be seen. In addition to some of the country’s best shopping, dining, and entertainment, some of the world’s most luxurious and coveted real estate can be found here.

In today’s market, the median listing price of a home in Beverly Hills sits at $3.9 million. Having had boomed in the 1920s and being constantly developed ever since, the Beverly Hills real estate market offers diversity in style and magnitude, whether you’re looking for your Hamptons home replica, a modern architectural property, or a gated private estate. Along beautiful palm tree-lined streets, buyers will find a variety of homes from astonishingly expensive palatial chateaus to more modest, traditional, and less grandiose properties. 

Much of the city is made up of small pristine manors that sit back from the street on impeccably maintained landscaping, making Beverly Hills one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in the world. Certain sections (just off Santa Monica Boulevard, for example) are scattered with more affordable apartment buildings, condos, and smaller homes, making it possible for younger residents and upper-middle class families to live in the area. Residents may sometimes find their streets crowded by tour buses or visiting tourists looking to experience just a taste of the Beverly Hills lifestyle. 

While still home to an opulent lifestyle and some of the most exceptionally beautiful and luxurious estates, many of the high-profile individuals that this area used to be famous for housing have decided to relocate to more private, lower profile areas in the hills such as Bel Air, Brentwood, Calabasas and even Malibu. Even though the area has become more accessible to more than just Hollywood’s elite, Beverly Hills maintains its position as one of the world’s most famed and extravagant places to live. 

Malibu

When many people think of Southern California living, they think of the beach and the natural beauty of the magnificent mountains that border the iconic surf. Malibu is the manifestation of this vision and more, providing 27 miles of spectacular coastline along the Pacific Ocean, making it one of the most exclusive beachfront destinations for the luxury home buyer. Even though Malibu is a popular destination for tourists and local beach goers, beaches available to the public are separate from those connected to residential lots. The coastline that is Malibu homeowners’ front yard is accessible only by private entrance, providing buyers with not only their own personal beaches but also with an unobstructed view to the edge of the earth. To many alone, this is the ultimate luxury.

Even though many buyers look to this area for prime ocean side homes, real estate in Malibu is not limited to beachfront property. Many Malibu homes can be found nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains, overlooking the stunningly beautiful Pacific Ocean and providing residents who prefer to be higher up above the water with larger lots and impeccable views. Many of these homes with more property feature pools that seem to blend seamlessly into the horizon, beautiful gardens, access to hiking trails, and plenty of space for outdoor entertaining. 

While these natural amenities are luxurious in themselves, Malibu also boasts some of the best restaurants in the city where you’ll encounter some of the most memorable dining experiences from the food, to the views, to the ambiance and stars you may spot simply enjoying their evening. Nobu, Moonshadows, Duke’s and Geoffrey’s are some of the fanciest spots to dine and are all Malibu staples that are well known and loved by locals and visitors alike. 

While you can’t go wrong with buying your next home in any of these areas, they all certainly offer the buyer something different. Each neighborhood is unique, located in a different part of the Los Angeles area, and comes along with its own set of amenities. It is therefore difficult to argue that one is more luxurious or desirable than another as the appeal ultimately lies in the eye of the beholder, or the buyer in this case. Whether you are looking for the beach, a larger lot, ultimate privacy, or access to nightlife, you’ll find it in one of these areas. 

So you simply have you ask yourself, which area lines up best with your list of must-haves?

For more information about luxury real estate in Los Angeles, please visit www.jademillsestates.com or contact Jade Mills directly at [email protected] or by phone at (310) 285-7508.

Top 25 Smart Real Estate Marketing Blogs

Digital media has forever changed the world of real estate for the better. No longer are buyers and agents limited to the listings within a single agency; information can be shared between agents instantaneously and updated with stunning photos based on real time changes. Simultaneously, more and more real estate agents are becoming content producers, sharing marketing information via blogs and creating tutorials that outline ways for buyers to increase their chances of finding and financing their dream home. The commercial real estate and investment niches get plenty of attention in addition to the traditional residential market, with blogs dedicated specifically to small business owners ready to expand their companies and investors looking for a steady stream of income.

Criteria Used to Rate the Top 25 Real Estate Blogs

So what makes a blog stand out among the rest? The following 25 real estate marketing blogs have been selected based on a number of factors including quality content such as well written articles, instructions, advice, and/or entertaining information; free tools, resources and multimedia additions such as videos are also valuable. Simultaneously, the content must be focused on the reader rather than attempting to push a product (while all blogs are likely to promote one product or another, the question is one of balance, product usefulness and relevancy); additionally, all blog topics must consistently relate to one aspect of real estate or another . An attractive layout and easy to navigate design are also critical to any good blog, as readers must be able to quickly find material specifically related to their questions with the help of search bars and neatly organized categories of information.

Top 25 Real Estate Blog Picks

With our quality standards clearly outlined, here are the top 25 real estate blogs for both residential and commercial real estate marketing:

  1. Zillow Blog – With everything from home improvement and staging tips to a variety of tools and calculators to educate anyone from the first time home buyer to someone seeking a commercial real estate investment, there is simply no shortage of information here.
  2. Huffington Post Real Estate Blog – Great information for anyone seeking an overall feel for the pulse of the real estate market throughout the nation.
  3. The Bigger Pockets Blog – Geared specifically at real estate investing and increasing your overall financial success and portfolio.
  4. Realtor News Blog – Another great source of information on anything related to real estate, including great tips for your home and how to get the most return on your investment.
  5. Landlordology – A site focused on the needs of property managers and landlords that’s filled with resources such as lists of state laws and regulations, on and offline tools and more.
  6. FlippingJunkie – For those who have a passion or interest in flipping houses as a source of financial freedom, this site is loaded with resources.
  7. Mobile Home Investing – Since 2007, this site has been dedicated to helping others make wise choices regarding investments with new and/or used mobile homes.
  8. Cash Flow Diary – Learn how to get started investing in the real estate market with professional tips and tools as well as inspirational stories.
  9. 1000WattBlog – Posts here are geared towards the technological side of real estate marketing, with great tips on how to optimize your digital marketing strategies.
  10. Tech Savvy Agent – Any agent who wants to stay on the technological cutting edge to meet the needs of real estate buyers nearly instantaneously will enjoy studying the information on this site.
  11. The Ubertor Blog – Worldwide real estate information and links to additional websites are easily accessible here and serve as an excellent resource for anyone looking to invest in real estate outside of the United States.
  12. RISMedia – From ideas that will help you find peace in the stressful sea of real estate decision making to the latest news regarding all aspects of the real estate market in both residential and commercial arenas, you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied on RIS Media.
  13. ForSaleByOwner Blog – Dedicated homeowners and buyers can still buy and sell homes at an excellent price without an agent, particularly if they follow the advice provided in the interesting blog posts offered through this site.
  14. Geek Estate Blog – As you may have guessed from the name, this blog is focused on the digital side of real estate marketing and can really help get your site tweaked for more traffic.
  15. Lighter Side of Real Estate Blog – We all need some comic relief from time to time; if real estate comedy really strikes your funny bone, this is the perfect site for you.
  16. Eye on Housing – Economics and housing policies are discussed with professionals from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Get ready to digest some seriously hard data at this site!
  17. Home Inspection Digest – Contrary to popular belief, a home inspector may not find all the nitty gritty details you’d like them to find before you decide to buy a house. Learn to be your own inspector with these tips to increase your success as a house flipper.
  18. Movoto Blog – From information on newer methods of construction to tips and links on how to prepare and save for your new home, Movoto can help more people achieve the dream of home ownership.
  19. Matrix Blog – Created by a group of real estate appraisers and consultants, this blog is full of hot tips to keep more cash in your pocket as well as some real estate related posts you may find just plain interesting.
  20. Home Loan Artist – Created by a local real estate agent in Murrieta, CA, these tips and tools can be utilized by people all over the country.
  21. Colorado Springs Real Estate Blog – This locally focused blog site is perfect for those looking for a home in the Colorado Springs area but still has plenty to offer in the way of resources for others throughout the nation.
  22. HouseHunt Network Blog – Real Estate professionals who want to sharpen their skills and provide top notch service to all of their clients will enjoy expanding their awareness at this well organized site.
  23. Clara Lending – Find out everything you need to know about how to save for (or eliminate the need of!) a down payment for your home in the state of California and beyond.
  24. Warner Robbins Real Estate Blog – This Georgia based real estate agent serves as the perfect example of how professional most real estate agents strive to become. Study and learn from the best at this site!
  25. Madison Real Estate Guys – Rounding out the top 25 list of real estate blogs is this great site dedicated to sharing the latest news on current real estate programs as well as general information within the entire industry. You’ll find lots of great tools here too!

A Low Cost But High Return Real Estate Marketing Plan for New Agents

Real estate marketing has changed quite a bit in the last few years. The Internet, blogging, and social networking have all had dramatic effects on how real estate professionals market themselves and their brokerages.

This series of articles will take the new agent, or the experienced agent who wants to improve their real estate marketing, through the steps to set up a killer Internet presence that will grow their business over time, and at a low cost compared to traditional print and media marketing.​​​

01 Your Web Presence – Some Truths and Myths

Inexpensive but Effective Internet Marketing for Real Estate
iStockPhoto

The successful real estate professional of the future will be someone who has embraced the Internet and it’s power in reaching a vast audience. They will understand the importance of a web presence that positions them as the real estate expert in their area.

It’s easy to find a great deal of advice from “gurus” about what you need for a website, how to get it up and running, and what type of content will draw visitors and increase search engine results. Just be aware that a great deal of this advice is geared toward selling you something.

I’m going to give you step-by-step instructions here that will cost you very little money, yet bring you a great deal of business in the future. Check out these truths and myths to start.

02 Using WordPress for Your Website

Realty Blogging Book
Realty Blogging

First, a blog is a website, so don’t continue to think of them differently. There are differences in how they store and display content, but you can make a blog-based site look like the websites you’re used to, but it will be easier for you to maintain yourself, saving a huge amount of money.

Blogs also do better with the search engines, so you’ll be accomplishing multiple Internet marketing goals by using a blog for your site. And, there is no better platformthan the absolutely free WordPress blogging software . Learn how to make it work here.​​

03 The Basics of Setting Up Your WordPress Site

Real estate blogger and community
iStockPhoto

With some basic instruction, you can be up and running with a WordPress blog site in short order. This article series will get you started, and it will point you to help at WordPress.org to get all the help you need from their help files and a community of users numbering in the hundreds of thousands.​

04 Republishing Your Blog Posts In An Automated e-Newsletter

Real Estate e-Newsletter to Stay in Touch
iStockPhoto

Once you’re blogging, you have some great current content on your site. But, how do you get more people to read it? And, with so few using news readers for RSS feeds, how do you get it out to them? Learn in this article/review how to set up an automated e-newsletter that is delivered on your schedule to email subscribers. It will look good, and do away with the need for drip email to stay in touch.

05 Online Social Networking for Real Estate

Networking
iStockPhoto

Learn here about the most popular online networking sites, and the differences between them. They all have some value and, depending on your business niche and goals, you may want to concentrate more of your time on those you believe will work best for you.

06 More on Using Facebook and LinkedIn for Real Estate Marketing

Social Media Sites
IStockPhoto

These two are major networks for gaining business. Facebook is personal, friends, and social, while LinkedIn is business oriented. They both can help to grow your business. With the right strategies and tools, you can automatically feed your blog posts to these networks as well. This re-publishing of what you’re posting in your blog is another way to amplify your web presence without doing more work.

07 Using Twitter for Micro Blogging Real Estate Alerts

Twitter Bird on Microphone
iStockPhoto

Twitter is now the fastest growing online network, with a 1287% growth in the year leading up to its third birthday in March 2009. Learn how to use this free service to send out alerts with real estate news, trends and statistics.

08 Using the Twitter Two-fer Strategy for Content

Statistics graph
iStockPhoto

Sending out price and real estate statisticsalerts is a great micro-blogging approach on Twitter. But, let’s learn how to use those alerts again, automatically, and have them show up on your blog as a regularly updated alerts page.

TAX DEDUCTIONS AND HOMEOWNERSHIP

At the end of 2017, the United States underwent the largest tax law overhaul in more than 30 years. The new law, called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), is effective from 2018 – 2025 and makes several changes to oft-used tax deductions. If you own a home or are in the process of buying or selling, here are the key points you need to know.

ITEMIZE OR STANDARD DEDUCTION?

One of the biggest changes is in the area of standard deductions and itemizations. The TCJA has suspended the personal exemption and has doubled the standard deduction to:

  • $24,000 for married couples filing jointly.
  • $18,000 for heads of households.
  • $12,000 for individuals.

Tightened itemization requirements for home-related write-offs like mortgage interest, property taxes, and state and local taxes, coupled with the increased standard deduction, will likely curtail the number of people who will itemize in the coming years. 

HOME BUYERS

Mortgage interest

Individuals who purchase a home can only deduct interest on mortgages up to $750,000 ($375,000 for married filing separate). For mortgages taken out before Dec. 15, 2017, the limit for deducting related interest is $1 million ($500,000 for married taxpayers filing separately).

Home equity loan interest

The interest deduction on home equity loans was eliminated for borrowings for the purpose of debt repayment, tuition, big purchases, and the like. Now the interest deduction only applies if the funds are entirely used to buy, build, or substantially improve your personal home.

State and local taxes (SALT)

Where it was once unlimited and you could deduct the full amount of state and local taxes you paid, the SALT deduction is now capped at $10,000 ($5,000 for married taxpayers filing separately). This limit includes property, income, and sales tax.

IRA withdrawals

First-time home buyers have the option to pull out up to $10,000 from their IRA or Roth IRA to fund their house down payment without having to pay the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty. Regular income tax still applies on the withdrawal.

SELLERS

Capital gains on the sale of a home

TCJA left the capital gains provision unchanged. This is not a deduction, but rather an exclusion from taxable income. And it’s substantial. If you’re single, you can exclude up to $250,000 of gains. If you’re married, that number doubles to $500,000. This exclusion applies if the below criteria are met:

  • The home was used as your main residence for at least two years in the five-year period before you sell it.
  • You haven’t used the exclusion in the last 24 months.

Moving expenses

This deduction has been suspended and is now only applicable to active duty military.

Costs associated with selling your home

Provided you’ve lived in the home you’re selling for at least two of the last five years and it’s your primary residence, the following expenses will increase the cost basis in your property.

  • Real estate agent commissions
  • Legal and escrow fees
  • Home improvements (not repairs)
  • Advertising and staging costs

Although we’ve outlined the highlights of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, there is still a lot to know.

For additional information:

Want To Start a Real Estate Blog? Here’s How

Why should you start a real estate blog?

Many real estate agents are so focused on obtaining actively searching leads, they neglect the tons of people in the early stages who hop online to research the answers to their questions.

It’s not news that home buyers no longer need an agent’s assistance to find listings and open houses. However, they do need your help with market research, local area knowledge, and advice on mortgage and interest rates.

Maintaining a real estate blog that attracts and educates home buyers and sellers in your area will build your reputation and credibility, providing you with a chance at closer engagement with potential leads.

Basic First Steps

First things first.

Do you already have a website for your business? If so, you can simply add your blog as a new page on your domain. Take Cassina Group’s blog for example. It’s a clickable option on the navigation bar at the top of their website.

If you don’t have a website or want your own blog to be independent of your brokerage’s shared website, you can easily set one up on one of the many hosting services out there, like WordPress, Typepad, Blogger, etc. If you don’t want your url to include your hosting service’s name(such as .wordpress.com or .blogger.com), you can purchase a unique registered domain name. For example, your blog can be AllAboutAustin.com.

Create a Content Schedule

Just as with starting a business, you’ve got to develop a strategy before jumping into action. Create a content schedule for your real estate blog that plans out your posts for each week, month, or quarter.

The key to maintaining a real estate blog is consistency. If you’re not posting content regularly, people will notice that you latest post was from months or even years ago and your readership will drop off. We suggesting posting 2-3 per week.

How to Schedule Your Blog Posts

Video Thumbnail

You can schedule posts based on holidays, upcoming events, and current events. It’s also good to have “evergreen” content. This is content that’s relevant and applicable all year round, so long as you update it periodically. An example would be a topic like “The First Time Homebuyer’s Guide to the Real Estate Process.”

What Do I Write About?

So now that you’re ready to start scheduling and strategizing your blog posts…what do you actually write about? Your blog should be a go-to source for relevant, local content. Figuring out what subjects appeal to your audience requires a little research.

Firstly, who is your audience? And it’s not just “people buying or selling homes in my area.” You could have first time home buyers to people looking for second or third houses. Millennials to older families. People looking for something simple to luxury homes. The list goes on.

Most market areas will span several different audience demographics, so your topics and marketing method for your blog should not be one size fits all. Pay attention to what questions your clients are asking. What do people search during their initial online research?

Doing this will give you great insight into the best subject for your blog that will attract the most readers. Answer questions and address concerns that your prospective clients may have long before they ever meet with a real estate agent.

Blog Topic Ideas

  • A guide to the home buying process
  • Home value projections in your area
  • Mortgage rates and lending strategies
  • How changes at the FHA affect interest rates
  • What’s happening in the area that may affect value (construction, new business developments, etc)
  • Pros and cons of living in certain areas
  • Up and coming development areas
  • Home design and staging tips (there’s a reason why Fixer Upper is so popular!)

A Few Tips on Writing

Sometimes the biggest hurdle to writing blog posts is just getting started. In the words of Nike, just do it. You want your post to be easy to read, and have a catchy headline that piques interest and makes people want to click. You are, in a way, “selling” yourself (and your experience and expertise), but keep it subtle. Keep in mind that blog posts are not blatant ads.

Our Best Tip to Get Started Writing

Video Thumbnail

Add Images

Adding images to blog posts is akin to staging a home before a showing. A blog post with images is 94% more likely to be read over those that only contain text. People are naturally drawn to pretty visuals.

This is partly the reason BoomTown’s consumer websites attract and convert leads so well. Our clients have noticed that clients and visitors prefer searching on their easy-to-use websites with large photos over other real estate searches with tiny graphics.

website cta

Promote Your Blog

Your blog isn’t going to promote itself (no matter how great the content is).

Share and promote your posts through social media. You can pay to boost or promote your posts to certain audiences on your Facebook business page, as well as sharing across all your personal accounts.

You can also send a newsletter to your contact list with a weekly round-up of a couple of your latest blog posts. Another idea is to add a link to your blog to your email signature for easy access.


How To Write A Real Estate Blog People Want To Read

Pgxuioshr0wcsnyanzbz

Real Estate Blogging – Making Your Mark

If you do not have an online presence in today’s real estate market, you are not going to be as successful as you could be. As a real estate agent, having a blog is a big part of creating an online presence. But not all blogs are created equal. Some are much more successful than others. So, what’s the secret? How do you create a real estate blog people actually want to read?

People talk all the time about having quality content but what does that actually mean? In a recent article we talked about some tips for successful real estate blogging. Some general guidelines were discussed on how to provide information people want to read that can also drive business.

Below you’ll find some additional guidelines that will be helpful in starting your journey to creating a successful real estate article.

11 Tips to Write the Best Real Estate Blog Post 

1. Provide solutions to problems your readers have.

When someone searches for something on the web, usually that person is looking for answers to questions or solutions to problems – particularly when it comes to real estate. How do I handle multiple offers on my home? Should I sell my own home? What renovations will get me the most money? What neighborhoods have the best schools? These are real life questions that people will put into their favorite search engine for answers.

The biggest goal of your blog will be to answer the questions and solve the problems of potential readers. The more useful your content, the more likely you are to have visitors and to get referrals from your site.

2. Write for the web.

A blog is substantially different from your college essays. Text is broken up into easily scanned blocks, with titles and formatting that guides the reader. Writing is more informal. You have less time to grab the reader, so titles are very important, as is formatting. Don’t save the best for last – or at least make sure you have interesting material up top to keep people reading.

People like to call an unattractive blog post a “wall of words”. This is because there is no semblance of any structure to the writing. A good real estate blog article should be broken down into ideas with a specific headings. Under each headingyou should share your wisdom in a clear and concise fashion broken down in short concise paragraphs. Here are some great tips on creating a nice layout.

3. Add some pictures.

Having awesome graphics is one of the most important aspects of having a successful real estate blog. Your graphics can quickly propel you into being remembered by a significant amount of people. In fact, it is usually the graphics that will cause someone to want to share your article on their social media channels.

While you can find stock photos that you can use for free – which will work in a bind – ideally you should take some pictures on your own, or at least use unique pictures that really add to your content. A nice diagram, infographic or photo of a concept is great for your readers, summarizing information in a way words can’t. There are some great sites that you can purchase photos online.

Once you get your feet wet, you can take your graphics to the next level by using a service like Canva which allows you to make incredible designs. Social media sites, like Pinterest offer an incredible opportunity for real estate agents to expose their work. Use our tips and you’ll be a rock star in no time!

4. Focus on your areas of expertise.

While choosing broad topics is a great way to flesh out your blog and attract a wide range of readers, chances are the most valuable help you can provide centers on a more niche area. If you have spent 10 years working with home buyers in NE Spokane, WA, you have a unique perspective that not many other real estate bloggers have.

The more you can translate your knowledge into real estate blog material, the more attractive you will be to readers who need specific, accurate information on the subject you are covering.

5. Write for real estate agents and for clients.

It can be tempting to focus your content on buyers and sellers, which is certainly worth doing and is enough to fill out a blog all on its own. However, you are missing out on another audience – a surprisingly large audience – that you could tap into if you have something to say and the courage to say it.

Sure, it may be intimidating to write for your peers, but they are looking for good info too. If you believe you have some insight into issues your fellow Realtors face, take the plunge and blog about it. If other Realtors like what you have to say, they will probably feel comfortable referring clients to you.

For example, one of the most discussed topics among real estate agents is Zillow. They are in fact the bane of many real estate agents because of their “Zestimates of value.” Many home owners take these online estimates as gospel which puts agents in a position of constantly having to explain why they are not. Many buyers and sellers want to know are Zillow estimates reliable or not.

This is the kind of topic that can kill two birds with one stone. You are helping consumers, while also helping out your fellow agents on how to educate why Zillow estimates are far from accurate.

6. Blog regularly.

There is an ongoing argument about which is better – blogging frequently, like daily or almost daily, or blogging less frequently but focusing on more in-depth material. Bloggers have been successful with both strategies, so it is really up to you and how you want to do things. Frankly, I like creating in-depth content myself.

But whether you blog once a week or every day, you do need to maintain some consistency to keep readers around. The more erratic your schedule, the bigger risk readers will forget about your blog or become frustrated and go somewhere else. Keep them in the know by having a solid real estate social media strategy. While creating fantastic content is crucial, so is promoting it.

7. Go for evergreen content.

The higher quality blogs you can create, the more likely that readers will appreciate what you are doing and come to rely on you for good content. Content that will be useful both now and a year from now is referred to as “evergreen”.

Such content can take more work to create, but it is worth doing if you plan on blogging over an extended period of time. It only takes one really great evergreen blog and some luck to have it shared for years to come, which means ongoing traffic to your blog.

8. Write topical content too.

While evergreen content is the backbone of most good blogs, you also need to blog about current issues that may not be relevant a month or a year from now. The market is always changing, and your readers will probably expect you to discuss what is going on now. Who knows what the market is doing in an area better than a Realtor who works in that area?

Showing off you local expertise is always a smart move. Community pages are one of the better ways of letting people know you are the local real estate expert.

9. Encourage conversation.

When you are looking for clients, you want to have some interaction with the visitors to your blog. By allowing comments and encouraging your readers to discuss topics or give you feedback, you can develop relationships that may lead to work in the real world. There is a risk of undesirable comments, but you can always delete anything you do not want sticking around on your blog.

10. Build relationships with other Real Estate bloggers.

One of the best ways to have a successful blog post is to have a tribe of followers ready to promote it for you! Creating meaningful relationships with other real estate bloggers can be the cornerstone of having a well known blog.

Reciprocation by sharing on social media channels and linking back in relevant content can go a long way in creating a name for yourself online. Remember your peers are looking for the same thing you are – RECOGNITION. By taking the “you rub my back and I’ll rub yours” really works when it comes to blogging.

One of the best ways of saying thank you to your supporters is by running a monthly real estate round-up whereby you share content that was created by those who are often supporting your work. Round-ups are a great way to show off the talents of multiple real estate bloggers all in one post.

Here is an example of a recent real estate round up from Massachusetts Real Estate News. Notice how nine different real estate articles were featured. No doubt quite a few happy bloggers who were thrilled to see their name in the spotlight.

11. Keep working on it.

As the saying goes Rome was not created in a day. Your blog may not be that great at the beginning. But if you keep at it, eventually you will have a blog you can be proud of, one that benefits readers and leads to more business.

Real estate blogging is a long term investment in your time. If you think that you are going to write a couple of articles and you’ll have business pouring in your dead wrong! Most successful real estate bloggers don’t really start to see any meaningful business until they have been doing it for a few years.

If you put in the time and effort business will come – good luck!

25 Best Real Estate Blog Ideas & Examples for 2018

Generating timely, informative, and engaging real estate blog ideas is one of the most cost effective ways to generate leads online. To get an inside perspective for the best real estate blog post ideas of 2018, we talked to 25 professionals to see what their most successful ideas have been that have stood the test of time.

Here are the top 25 real estate blog ideas and examples, according to the pros.


Kristie K. Forsman real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

1. Target the Largest Share of Home Buyers—Millennials

Kristie K. Forsman, Director of Digital Marketing & PR, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
Example Blog Post: “Ready to Buy a Home? Consider these 5 Things First”

“According to Zillow, nine out of ten millennial home buyers use the internet to educate themselves about the home buying process, and 60 percent read online reviews before choosing an agent. So, as a local professional, it’s critical that you’re creating and distributing reliable content. That’s the key to growing your millennial clientele.”

Consider topics like beginners guides to home buying. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) research department, as of 2018, millennials are the largest share of home buyers at 36 percent, with 65 percent of those also being first-time home buyers. Consider posting teasers and links to your blog content on Instagram, where 59 percent of millennials are active users. See our specialty guide to Instagram for realtors to learn more about Instagram and how to use it to capture millennials.


Pat Chadwick real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

2. Share Local Activities for Kids to Entice Young Parents

Pat Chadwick, Freelance Writer, Chadwickcontent.com
Example Blog Post: “Seven Simple Summer Activities for Kids in Jackson Hole”

“Many homebuyers are young parents considering a move to a new area. A blog post on the best local activities for their children can place you in front of these buyers as they research the region’s ‘kid-friendliness,’ and it will help position you as a connected expert in the community.”


zillow real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

3. Include Interesting Data or Trends

Example Blog Post: “Homes “Earn” Minimum Wage or More in Almost Half the Nation’s Largest Cities”

Zillow has over 160 million users a month and an incredible amount of information that is interesting, surprising, and incredibly shareable. When you find statistics like the article above, incorporate it into your blog and share it on social media. Can you imagine your home “earning” a minimum wage? That’s a very cool fact that might inspire some locals to take the plunge into home ownership, and position you as the expert on top of the trends.

While blog posts admittedly take time to rank on Google, be sure to use Zillow’s Premier Agent to start getting leads immediately.


Malcolm Lawson real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

4. Discuss Local Regulations That Might Affect Buyers or Sellers

Malcolm Lawson, Maryland Realtor
Example Blog Post: “4 Facts About Maryland Waterfront Homes You Need to Know Before Buying!”

“These types of state-specific regulations are the type of subject matter that large national real estate blogs featured on Zillow and Homes.com simply don’t have the resources or knowledge to write about. This leaves the door wide open for local Real Estate Agents to capitalize on these state-specific or even county-specific keywords as well as build credibility with their clients.”

Real estate blog ideas that center around local regulations establish you as a local expert and a source of reliable information in the community. Real estate posts on topics like local building code changes, livestock or pet restrictions, or parking rules can often inspire people to return to your blog—particularly when some of these issues become heavily contested in the community.


JD Esajian real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

5. Share Fix-and-Flip Advice

JD Esajian, Real Estate Investor
Example Blog Post: “Hidden Rehab Fees You Need to Look Out For”

Real estate investing is hot right now, so consider it for your arsenal of great real estate blog ideas next time you’re stuck on what to write about. With the advent of HGTV fix-and-flip shows, everyone seems to at least have an interest in what it takes to clean house with a nice profit.

While not everyone is cut out for it, real estate investing, especially flipping houses, requires professional advice and a savvy realtor. While we offer a complete guide to flipping houses, consider including fix-and-flip advice in your real estate blog posts as well to draw an entirely new type of clientele and some great leads.


Cody Sperber real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

6. Switch It Up! Post on Other Platforms to Drive Traffic

Cody Sperber, Real Estate Investor
Example Blog Post: “The ‘Nuts and Bolts’ of Real Estate Investing”

While you’re developing your own real estate blog audience, why not tap into an audience that already exists and steer them in your direction? Sperber’s recent post on LinkedIn gives great information and directs the reader to his blog for more.

Posting great real estate blog ideas on other platforms is a smart, savvy idea that helps to develop an audience and draw them into your area of expertise.


Ron Rothenberg real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

7. Give Insight on How Breaking News Relates to Your Market

Ron Rothenberg, Lafayette, CA Realtor
Example Blog Post: “What Brexit Might Mean for Lafayette Real Estate”

Whenever a big news story breaks, people inevitably ask one question. How will this affect me and my family? Using big news stories about how interest rate hikes, crime rates, elections, or other news affects your local market can be extremely helpful ideas for your real estate blog.

Feel free to also pitch your perspective and post to the local paper! You never know when you’ll get picked up, and it’s a great opportunity to demonstrate your expertise. Here are some tips to get local media coverage that might take your blog post even further.


Jordan Scheltgen real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

8. Give Insider Tips on the Best Local Hot Spots

Jordan Scheltgen, Managing Partner, Cave Social
Example Blog Post: “15 Restaurants in Tampa You Need to Try This Weekend”

“Realize you’re not selling the home, you’re selling the experiences the person is going to have in that home…like their kid growing up, the new neighbors, the surrounding community, etc. One easy way to do this is to piggyback on another company’s following. Specifically, I would write a blog post on the best places to eat in my county, because big surprise—people who eat also buy homes.”

After writing the blog post like the one above, Scheltgen recommends that you contact every company you mention. He finds that about 50 percent of the companies then share your article on their social channel, giving you more exposure!

If you’d like more tips on how to get your real estate blog posts noticed, we have an in-depth guide on how to get your blog posts ranked on Google.


Seth Lejeune real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

9. Home Staging Tips That Are Both Informative and Interesting

Seth Lejeune, Pennsylvania Realtor
Example Blog Post: “Trends to Get Rid Of”

“Posts about home staging have two qualities that most blog posts should have: informative and interesting. This post is “informative” in that it gives useful knowledge that could literally save sellers thousands of dollars, since appearance and impressions are important in real estate. It also taps the ‘interesting’ side the same way that Pinterest and HGTV do, piquing the interests of homeowners and those who are interested in interior design. It’s a true win-win topic for real estate bloggers.”


Anita Clark real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

10. Offer Expert Guidance on Home Renovations

Anita Clark, Warners Robin Real Estate
Example Blog Post: “How to Create a Renovation Budget”

If there’s one thing homeowners always need expert guidance on, it’s how to plan and execute home renovations to positively affect the value of their home. Providing data or your expert opinion on what your buyers are looking for can be invaluable information for them.

Home renovations, and even staging articles, can really capture an audience that yearns for professional direction and information. For example, our article on Home Staging in 10 Steps gives practical advice that anyone could use to improve their home’s appearance and get top dollar for the sale.


Stephanie Sharp real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

11. Share the History of Your Neighborhood

Stephanie Sharp, Marketing/PR Manager, Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty
Example Blog Post: “Explore Historic Neighborhoods in Asheville”

“One strategy that we employee in blog posting is to think about a market sector that we are strong in and that people may search for on the internet, then create content around these phrases. For example, as a boutique real estate firm in the hot market of Asheville, North Carolina, we find through long tail keyword research that “historic homes in Asheville” is a topic that is both popular to our potential clients and a specialization of ours.”

Sharp explained that writing about historic neighborhoods allows the firm to both provide valuable information to interested readers and has additional value when they can connect that post to specific listings in their local historic neighborhoods. Smart!


Gavin Grant real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

12. Target a Specific Interest

Gavin Grant, San Diego Realtor
Example Blog Post: “The Right Way to Assess Land Before Buying and Building on It.”

Let’s face it. Every Realtor in town has a post (or ten) about how to buy or sell a house. Instead of trying to stand out as a needle in a needle stack, why not target something more specific? San Diego Realtor Gavin Grant has excellent and very informative posts about buying vacant parcels of land on his blog.


Grace Keister real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

13. Post Regularly on Mortgage Rates or Other Changing Items

Grace Keister, Web Content and Social Media Marketer, First Team Real Estate
Example Blog Post: “Weekly Mortgage Watch – April 8, 2018”

Getting leads to visit your site is good, but getting them to come back again and again is amazing. One great way to keep them coming back is to provide weekly roundup posts containing useful information like mortgage updates, recent sales, or other market metrics.

These weekly posts can be good for a number of potential clients, such as home buyers, investors, or even those thinking about relocating. Repeat readers who see you as an authority are a win-win.


Rebecca Williamson real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

14. Post Customized Relocation Guides

Rebecca Williamson, Austin Realtor
Example Blog Post: “Step-by-Step Guide to Relocating to Austin”

For most people, uprooting their families and moving to a brand new place is an exciting, but stressful experience. Like any big life change, online research—and lots of it—is usually their first step. Make your resource something they happen to stumble upon in their search.

If you are looking for real estate blog ideas, posts on common relocation issues in your area or advice on relocating to your area are a surefire crowd-pleaser for people thinking about becoming a member of your community. Give useful advice, and potential clients will see you as a resource.


Marty Snyder real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

15. Answer Common Real Estate Questions

Marty Snyder, Ohio Realtor
Example Blog Post: “Buying New Homes vs Old Homes”

Most people on the market for a home have wondered why some prefer old homes and others prefer newer homes. Usually clients fall on one side or the other in this argument, but might be curious to know why others might have a different preference.

When you engage home buyers on common curiosities they have, you have the opportunity to sell. Snyder takes the opportunity in the blog post above to talk about the benefits of the types of homes in his market as well as to link to them from his post.

Homeowners and home buyers today have a number of interests from HGTV and other real estate shows. For example, our article on How to Make Money Flipping Houses often attracts readers who have watched those shows and want the nuts and bolts of how to make it happen.


Andrew Fortune real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

16. Create Useful Checklists

Andrew Fortune, Colorado Realtor
Example Blog Post: “How to Prepare for a Home Inspection When Selling Your House”

Since selling a home on your own can be overwhelming, seller’s checklists are a great real estate blog idea to target FSBOs. Checklists are also great because unlike a long-winded article, your readers get something they can actually download and use (with your name on it, of course).

When looking at real estate blog ideas, seller checklists are just the tip of the content iceberg. You can do buyer checklists, moving checklists, listing your home checklists, home renovation checklists, or even checklists on choosing the right realtor. Offer them something they can use and carry around, with your logo and information prominently displayed. We even offer a rental inspection walk-through checklist! Give value to your readers.


Steve Crossland real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

17. Speak to Your Readers Directly

Steve Crossland, Austin Realtor
Example Blog Post: “Your Austin Real Estate and Wealth Building”

A lot of realtors get so caught up in their “value add” or “evergreen content” that they forget that real estate is an ever changing and evolving asset. Homeowners want to stay informed and new residents want to know what’s happening with their biggest asset. Having content that speaks to them keeps them connected to you for future services.


Max Fitzgerald real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

18. Make Your Neighborhood Look Good

Max Fitzgerald, Manhattan Pacific Realty
Example Blog Post: South Bay Record Breaking Home Sale…Not Where You Think!

Writing about hot or hard to find properties in your local market will always get you clicks. If you can provide readers with valuable information or market predictions on those listings, then you’ll get even more.

Fitzgerald explains, “In today’s digital age of marketing, one of the most effective strategies that we’ve deployed to date for lead generation and client engagement has been our real estate blog. Our blog is centric towards the few cities where our agents conduct the most business, and is primarily used as an educational tool for prospective buyers and sellers.”


Teresa Boardman real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

19. Unleash Your Inner Real Estate Nerd

Teresa Boardman, St Paul Realtor
Example Blog Post: “Home Sales and Prices by St. Paul Neighborhood”

While “how to buy a house” guides are a dime a dozen, some leads will be looking for the deep dive. If you have the market expertise, what better way to show it off than to write about it on your blog?

In this post from April 2018, Boardman certainly takes a deep dive into specifics and gives potential buyers and sellers the information they’re looking for. A homeowner might be more inclined to sell if they see the numbers behind it, and a homebuyer might feel like it’s just the right time to buy. In the world of real estate blog ideas, as in much of life, being a nerd pays off.


Kerry Ann Sullivan real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

20. Highlight Local Charities

Kerry Ann Sullivan, Los Angeles Realtor
Example Blog Post: “The 4th Annual Culver City Healthy Family 5K Run/Walk This Weekend”

There’s more to your life than selling real estate, and you want to show that you’re not only wonderful at your job but that you care about the community you are a part of. This blog post highlights the local events happening in the community, and if you look through the blog, you’ll find plenty of other events spanning back years.

Amplifying a social good in your community is always a good way of generating real estate blog post ideas. Talk about local charities you’ve volunteered for or local charities whose mission you support and might need a shout-out. The only caveat is to keep the focus on the charity, not on how great you are for volunteering.


Ryan Fitzgerald real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

21. Post “Worst of” Lists Instead of “Best of” Lists

Ryan Fitzgerald, North Carolina Realtor
Example Blog Post: 5 WORST Home Renovations

This real estate blog idea strategy stands the test of time. After researching for more than a few minutes, chances are your readers are going to see a million and one “best of” lists. Ten Best Curb Appeal Ideas, 5 Best Restaurants in Dayton, Ohio, etc. To help stand out and maybe satisfy someone’s morbid curiosity, try making a “worst of” list.


Austin Fernald real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

22. Post Local Market Studies

Austin Fernald, Founder, REALVALS
Example Blog Post: “The Elliman Report Quarterly Survey of Co-Op and Condo Sales”

Interested in Q1 sales in Manhattan in 2018? The report above will show you it. For savvy homeowners and potential customers, market studies can be a great tool.

“Market studies are a great way to show potential customers that the market is healthy, prices are increasing (hopefully), and that it is a great time to buy/sell. They can also show that the agent is a credible source of real estate knowledge in the area and if done consistently, can lead to more business. It makes the homeowners think that these agents are the ones to turn to when it’s time to sell because they know their stuff and are helping out by contributing their knowledge to them.”


Phil Hoover real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

23. Give Advice on How to Find and Vet Agents

Phil Hoover, Idaho Real Estate Broker
Example Blog Post: Questions to Ask Before Listing Your Eagle Idaho Home

Homeowners may not know how to see past the pitches and choose a great agent. That makes posts about vetting listing agents extremely useful for homeowners. In giving out advice on what to look for, it showcases your own abilities and builds trust. Positioning yourself as reputable, knowledgeable, and honest creates reputation without having to yell it from the rooftops.


Jason Clark

24. Create interactive visual content to attract more customers

Jason Clark, Joomag
Example Blog Post: How to Win More Customers and Close More Real Estate Deals

In today’s digital age, it’s really important to enrich your blog post with visuals or interactive elements that would provide additional context to the message you want to deliver. Visuals, when done correctly, will enhance your brand and leave your reader with a lasting impression.


Kristin Baum real estate blog ideas - tips from the pros

25. Post About Your Hobbies and How They Tie in to Real Estate

Kristin Baum, Ohio Realtor
Example Blog Post: “Be a Playmaker”

THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO THE NEW LUXURY REAL ESTATE MARKET

This summer we’re looking at the state of the luxury agent & broker in today’s increasingly complex real estate market. In October, we’ll gather in Beverly Hills at Luxury Connect to share best practices, network, and create blueprint for the luxury agent/broker of tomorrow. Don’t miss it.

Working with luxury homebuyer and seller clients can be a little like finding the Holy Grail — if you do it right. Agents who establish a productive relationship with their luxury clients can often look forward to assisting on multiple purchases and sales over the years.

But what about the new generation of luxury buyers hitting the market? What do they want that is different from the high-earners and spenders of years past?

After speaking with a number of agents specializing in the modern luxury market, and reviewing data on this growing segment, including our own targeted survey, Inman can say that while no two luxury homebuyers are like, the current crop of luxury buyers and sellers fall into several distinct categories, each with their own specific wants and needs.

Read on to learn more about this market segment and how to best position your business to appeal and succeed with the new luxury clientele.

WHO IS TODAY’S LUXURY BUYER?

In our targeted survey, respondents said Generation X, those in the 38 to 53 age group, were the most active buyers this year while the most active sellers were baby boomers, aged 54 to 72.

Most buyers were married couples and or families with some multigenerational groups in the mix, the majority of households earning an annual median income of between $500,000 and $1 million, thanks to building their own businesses, being in upper management or doing well in the tech world.

And because they are doing well, a third are cash buyers in today’s market.

Of course the characteristics and demographics of the main players in luxury real estate depend on which market you are in.

In Boston, for instance, there is strong interest from Middle Eastern families wanting homes for student children, Asian investors looking for strong second-tier cities, and well-heeled babyboomer Bostonians looking to downsize from large suburban homes in exchange for comfortable and modern apartments in the city center.

Downtown Boston

Downtown Boston. Credit: Photo by Qusai Akoud on Unsplash

U.S property firms with an international presence are doing extensive research on who the new luxury buyer is for 2018.  Luxury Portfolio International, the luxury arm of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, in a study published this year with YouGov, “The Rise of the New Aristocracy 2018” noted that in 2017, the U.S. added 745,000 affluent households to the number of families earning over $250,000.

Luxury Portfolio describes the New Aristocracy as well off young people aged between 25 to 40 who are increasingly expected to power the U.S. real estate markets in the coming years, partly due to inheritance and to their own success. They are usually married, have young children and have inherited or expect to do so in the next few years.

Sotheby’s International Realty is meanwhile closely monitoring an emerging affluent consumer base of mainly millennials ready to buy in the next three years which it identified and discussed in last years’ Global Affluence report.

These buyers are at the right stage in life for this type of purchase, wanting a home that fits a particular lifestyle and are doing well in their careers, the report found.

Looking at active luxury buyers for 2018, Christie’s International Real Estate (CIRE) has identified a number of new homebuyer groups in a recent study, “Luxury Defined,” starting with “Xennials”, older millennial buyers, born largely in the U.S between 1977 and 1985, many of whom work in finance and tech and are looking for second homes.

The company’s research also labeled what it terms “Nomad” millennials, aged 22 to 37. Members of this group are working in startups, tech and creative fields and “reinventing second-tier urban locales,” according to CIRE. They are “digital nomads” working remotely from their chosen locations buying entry-level luxury homes (though they may be doing so with family support and financial assistance).

Then there are the baby boomers “embracing a new lifestyle,” as they near or enter retirement. They have excellent spending power thanks to the rising value of their large homes and their success with equity markets over the years.  At this stage of their lives, they are looking to live closer to the center of town.

WHAT PROPERTIES DO THEY WANT?

Given that the most active luxury homebuyers right now are Generation X, it may not come as a surprise that the demand in the luxury sector is more for modern and contemporary homes.

Almost unanimously, respondents in Inman’s survey said that luxury buyers wanted detached single-family homes.

The most desired architectural design was contemporary, though some still wanted colonial.

The most popular interior style was for contemporary and modern though a sizable 27 percent still wanted traditional interiors.

Respondents told us their luxury buyers tended to want a larger new primary home with their next house, for it to be over 3,000 sq. ft.

Interesting, the majority of our survey respondents (nearly 50 percent) indicated that they preferred to be in the suburbs. Over 20 percent of buyers wanted scenic waterfront property, while just over 15 percent liked an urban location.

For extras they appreciated homes with pools (34.55 percent) and indoor movie theaters (23.64 percent).

Over a third (35.09 percent) wanted a smart home. The most popular smart home feature was a security system (53.57 percent).

Sotheby International Realty’s latest report on “Global Affluence: The Emerging Luxury Consumer” found that buyers liked a real range of styles and locations including waterfront, metropolitan and historic homes. Also: sustainable and eco-friendly homes.

Luxury Portfolio’s research found that its New Aristocracy cohort were looking for an urban home, but this didn’t mean they were going small. A number of buyers wanted a multi-generational home that could accommodate more than a single family, so over half were looking for homes of 7,500 sq. ft. or larger, and four-plus bedrooms and three-plus bathrooms.

Their tastes were wide ranging, an almost equal amount liking Victorian, modern, loft style, Turdor, and brick Georgian, according to Luxury Portfolio.

They also liked to be close to restaurants and dining, have outdoor space and entertaining areas, as well as specialty rooms for entertainment, hobbies, and a dedicated home office. Truly, the new luxury buyer wants to “have it all.” Except maybe the size of previous, “Old Money” luxury estates.

“Luxury is not always bigger, ” said a CIRE affiliated agent in Atlanta, Georgia, Jenni Bonura, quoted in the CIRE white paper, Luxury Defined.  “Today’s mid-tier luxury buyers prioritize privacy and security, preferring tech-enabled homes that require minimal upkeep. A sprawling estate is not needed but a mansion with a smaller footprint…is highly attractive.”

Tastes differ widely depending on the nationality of the buyer, said Amanda Jordan of Sotheby’s International Realty in New York City.

Jordan said she regularly deals with international buyers from the Middle East, Asia and Russia, as well as domestic buyers from major U.S. cities, including, of course, New York.

“It’s best you get to know each of these groups because they each want quite different real estate,” advised Jordan.

In her NYC market, international luxury buyers like new development properties with many amenities. They often prefer properties associated with a marquee brand such as Four Seasons or The Plaza, Jordan said.

Domestic buyers are more interested in a location, its cachet and the unique qualities of a property. The hometown New Yorker’s focus, meanwhile is more on the opportunity for appreciation — they want confirmation that the value of the property is or will soon be higher. They like co-op properties, ideally around Central Park.

Amanda Jordan SIR Listing

Listing photos for newly build, $27.9M townhouse at 34 East 62nd St., New York, NY Credit: Sotheby’s International Realty

For his luxury buyers in Boston, Brian Dougherty, managing partner at Robert Paul Properties, a Luxury Portfolio International member, also sees a variety of needs.

He notes that the high spec Millennium Tower which was recently completed in Boston, sold 30 percent to internationals and a big segment to empty nesters who were relocating from the Boston suburbs. Chinese buyers only want brand new construction, while local buyers are happy to buy a 100-year-old brownstone, he said.

Quality will always draw luxury buyers and a story around the home, said Sotheby’s International Realty chief marketing officer, Kevin Thompson.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia bought Jackie Onassis’s childhood home from Steve Case, the co-founder of AOL, for $43 million in May, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty representing the seller.

“With this home you are buying a piece of history,” said Thompson. “Each time that home has sold, it has set a record for the highest sales price in the D.C. region.”

As younger age groups enter the luxury market, their presence is broadening the range of what might be considered a luxury home.

CIRE’s Xennial buyers, for instance, are looking for second homes which they see giving them unique lifestyle experiences, favoring well designed new construction in places such as Lake Tahoe and Jackson Hole, and, comfortable with the shared economy, they would happily rent these homes out on Airbnb, Vacasa, or Guest-to-Guest.

On the other hand, “Nomad” millennials are seeking a hip, urban lifestyle in second-tier cities and entrepreneurial hubs, including the growing metropolises of Austin, Charlotte, and Asheville. These buyers are concerned about walkability scores and good personal services nearby. Open floor plans, high-tech and fully automated home environments are also important to this group.

CIRE’s baby boomers are also competing with their younger buyer groups in urban luxury locations, but their priorities are slightly different. These boomer buyers are looking for luxury condos and town houses in urban neighborhoods or “close in” suburbs, spacious enough to accommodate visits from adult family and guests.

HOW CAN AGENTS RETAIN LUXURY CLIENTS?

As any established luxury agent will tell you, winning and retaining clients in the luxury sector as an agent is all about long term relationships, it is not a transactional business.  And who you know can really help.

Douglas Elliman agent, Frances Katzen, advises agents not to be afraid to use their lofty contacts.

“Endorsements are never to be underestimated,” Katzen said. “If it’s a VIP, I have [Douglas Elliman Chairman] Howard Lorber reach out on my behalf as an endorsement for me.”

Meanwhile when approaching the seller of a property that didn’t sell, Katzen goes in very prepared and gives them the good, bad and the ugly on their property.

“These people don’t have time for theatrics. They have had the wedding, been married to the first broker and are privy to the game. I like being the 2nd wife.”

Luxury clients love nothing better than getting an early on a deal and an agent’s contacts can really help with this.

Brian Dougherty, managing partner at Robert Paul Properties, said: “Our value add to a buyer client is to help identify off-market opportunities where they can approach the purchasing process in a more civilized and thoughtful manner with less competition.”

Brokerages can also offer extra services which can be enormously helpful to their busy luxury clients.

Church St, Charleston. Credit: Hudson Phillips Properties.

Hudson Phillips Properties in Charleston has a division, Hudson Phillips Restoration and Design Services, which advises clients on how best to preserve the historical integrity of their property while modernizing the home with expertise.

“We’ve each bought, sold and renovated many luxury properties so we can speak with credibility and offer intimate advice as trusted friends and advisors to our luxury clients,” said broker-in-charge, Leslie Turner.

For some agents, your market can evolve and become more attractive to luxury buyers as is happening in Florida due to tax changes.

Luxury Portfolio International, drawing from a number of sources including Luxury Portfoliorealtor.comthe National Association of Realtors (NAR) and Redfin, notes that prices in Florida are rising at their fastest pace in five years and that luxury property prices are the highest in a decade rising 25 percent from a year earlier.

Michael Moulton, broker associate with Michael Saunders & Co, a member of the indie broker network LeadingRE has had clients buy multiple properties on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Moulton told Inman the new tax code has been a boon for his state.

“Based on the new tax code, those who are either retired or can make Florida their primary residence while still working, are leaving their previous high-state-income-tax locations and reviewing how to base themselves in Florida where we have no state income tax,” Moulton said.

Daniel de la Vega, president of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty in South Florida is enjoying seeing Miami gain in stature.

“It has the beaches and the weather that everyone loves, but as of late we are also developing a thriving culture,” de la Vega said of the Magic City. “We are attracting the best chefs and architects from around the world which has really placed us on the map.”

South Beach, Miami, Fl. Credit: Nichlas Andersen/Unsplash

The Seattle market is another which has become more of a mecca for luxury buyers. Agents who know the best parts of the Emerald City are benefiting from this.

Dan Gottesman, luxury real estate advisor at Engel & Völkers Seattle, is seeing an influx of younger domestic and international players who are attracted to the city thanks to the presence of Amazon, Starbucks, Microsoft, Google and other tech giants and startups.

Gottesman said his intimate knowledge of the market is helping him attract luxury clients. “My business partner and I both grew up in Seattle and know almost all segments of the market better than our competitors, and we think our hands-on approach gives our clients what they want in a luxury agent.”

He points out why a luxury client is a good bet for any agent.

“They are savvy and sophisticated and usually can make a decision quickly about what they want.”

For new agents, wanting to get into luxury, how do you get into it in the beginning? There are no short cuts, said Charleston broker-in-charge at Leslie Turner.

“You can’t buy your way in. In my experience, hard work and providing excellent services to all clients, regardless of the price of the home they are buying, builds an agent’s reputation for professionalism and reliability.”

Meet the Real Estate Tech Founder: Natalia Karayaneva from Propy

In our latest real estate tech entrepreneur interview, we’re speaking withNatalia Karayaneva from Propy.

Who are you and what do you do?

I studied software engineering and soon after that I got involved in real estate and started building and selling properties. For 12 years, I was part of the international real estate world, which included founding my own development company. All this time, I was interacting with foreign buyers who were having the same problems when buying property abroad; that’s how the idea of Propy was born. At the beginning of 2016, blockchain technology made it possible for me and my team to firmly believe that the real estate industry will never be the same again.

What problem does your product/service solve?

Using revolutionary blockchain technology, Propy is aiming to change not only the way we buy and sell real estate but also how we record it. The current process is not secure and lacks transparency. In the U.S. alone, there is $1billion in annual loss due to a title and wire fraud. Propy facilitates paperwork and records deeds via blockchain so the process cannot be hacked. Everything happens online which lets you buy property easily and remotely – as it is common now for people to live, work in, and travel to other cities and countries. You don’t have to leave home to complete the entire transaction which is great news for global citizens, international business persons and, of course, millennials. Millennials dislike visiting banks and dealing with paper and bureaucracy. Thus automation of the real estate purchase process can increase home buying rates amongst future generations.

What are you most excited about right now?

After we successfully completed the first ever real estate transaction on the Ethereum blockchain and released our adaptive transaction tool that allows us to process deals worldwide, I’m now looking forward to announcе several new pilot programs with governments that are interested in adopting our Blockchain Registry and onboard the most progressive brokerages (three of them will be revealed soon) to use our Transaction Management Platform in their offices.

What’s next for you?

After entering the Asian, European and US markets with our transaction platform this year, we have serious interest from both real estate corporations and governments to integrate our technology.

We’re also focusing on our promotional campaigns that aim to inform agents about the advantages of Propy and showing them how to use the platform for their deals.

2019 is set to be the year of change, evolution, and innovation. Stay tuned for the official launch date of our full roadmap for this year.

What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?

All my life I’ve been supported by talented people and therefore I am passionate about helping the younger part of  society that doesn’t have the same opportunities or access to basic needs such as education. I am also passionate about the sustainable and green urban environment and support the measures governments do to reduce CO2 emissions.