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6 Health and Wellness Trends in High-End Real Estate

Aug 21, 2019 by

The luxury lifestyle isn’t just about looking great anymore. It’s about feeling great, too. Of course, the world’s affluent still want jaw-dropping properties with inspiring views, but they’re also looking for more substance. In today’s fast-paced world, they also want homes that can challenge them physically, calm them mentally and keep them centered.

As a result, wellness-related amenities have exploded in recent years. In fact, according to a report from ONE Sotheby’s International, properties with wellness-focused amenities sell for anywhere between 10 percent to 25 percent more than traditional luxury properties. In the luxury world, that can mean a significant sum of cash.

But what exactly are these amenities that today’s luxe buyers are looking for? The following are just some of the health and wellness features today’s top-tier buyers have on top of their wish lists.

  1. Meditation Rooms
    Meditation rooms—quiet, peaceful spots dedicated to self-reflection—are quickly becoming a hot commodity for the world’s elite. Tech-driven virtual mediation spaces are even hotter. These use a combination of virtual reality technology and tranquil design to enhance the owner’s meditative practices.
  1. Saunas and Massage Rooms
    Dedicated places to unwind and relax are also high on the list for top-tier buyers. They want saunas that can remove all the toxins of the day, private massage rooms where their on-call masseuse can get to work, and in-home spa stations, where they can enjoy a facial, get a Botox treatment or have their hair done without ever leaving the comfort of their own home.
  1. On-Site Organic Meals
    Access to fast, healthy and sustainably-sourced meals is important to the world’s elite, and many luxury developers are finding ways to cater to this need. From bringing in five-star restaurants to deliver door-side organic meals to on-site nutritionists to rooftop vegetable gardens, luxe real estate is offering buyers their pick of healthy at-home dining options.
  1. Yoga and Pilates Studios
    Those dedicated to the art of yoga or Pilates often seek out properties with in-house studios—places they can hone their craft or enjoy one-on-one sessions with their trainer. In high-rise buildings or condos, these might even take the shape of outdoor yoga decks or private rooftop studios.
  1. Tranquility Gardens
    These gatherings of greenery bring peace to the busy lives of affluent clients. Typically situated on high-rise rooftops in gritty, concrete-filled urban centers, they’re a haven of natural foliage to the affluent city dwellers who call these spots home. Some developers are even taking this trend to the next level and offering full on-site private parks.
  1. Oxygen Chamber Pods and Cryotherapy Booths
    One of the perks of affluence is getting to enjoy the latest technologies and products before they become publicly widespread. In the wellness world, you can count cryotherapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy among these. Many of today’s top-tier clients are looking to bring these new and evolving approaches into their homes to improve their health and increase their longevity. They’re especially popular with athletes, runners and fitness enthusiasts, as these high-tech amenities are known to increase blood flow and improve energy.

What Do Your Buyers Want?
Knowing what the buyers are currently looking for in your local market—whether that is health and wellness or the latest interior decor trend—is critically important in today’s market, which is predominantly controlled by the purchaser. It can help you understand the value of your property and determine whether or not adjustments, renovations or changes need to be made in order to achieve your desired goals, or more importantly help you stand out from your competition!

Want to learn more about what today’s luxe buyers and sellers are looking for? Consider working with one of our members, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialists, who offer a deep understanding of this niche market.

Diane Hartley is the president of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, a premier independent authority in training and designation for real estate agents working in the upper-tier residential market. Hartley brings her passion for luxury marketing and more than 20 years of experience growing and leading businesses to her role as president of the Institute.   

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The Missing Ingredient to Assure Your Team’s Success in Real Estate

Aug 12, 2019 by

The larger your lead database, the more successful your business will be. We have seen a direct correlation between real estate growth and the size of a lead database. Seems like a no-brainer, right? More leads equals opportunity. In fact, we’ve discovered that teams investing in lead generation efforts experience a compounding growth effect. Over eight years, they typically see growth in production volume by 4x.

So how do you tackle it all and keep up with that treasure trove of a database?

The Time Conundrum
What goes into managing a database?

Say you’ve got 1,000 leads. Maybe 25 percent of those are “nurture” leads you’re reaching out to. You have your eye on a handful of leads that are six months out from being ready to buy. Maybe 25 new leads this week registered on your site, and they’re ready to talk!

On top of that, you have past clients to follow up with, cold leads to circle back with…oh, not to mention the day-to-day of running your business.

Historically, people have turned to technology to make that work easier. But there’s an emerging factor that could be the key to assuring success in real estate: lead support services for agents.

Getting Off the Hamster Wheel
We’ve already highlighted how your lead database impacts your potential for production volume. But now imagine all those leads. An agent has to make the initial engagement. Oftentimes, they have to nurture them for up to a year! They have to constantly engage and re-engage with them. And when they become an active “client,” they have to provide exceptional service.

Don’t have time to nurture leads ’round the clock? Click here to learn about Success Assurance, from BoomTown. 

But, you didn’t get into real estate to chase every new lead, right? To be glued to your phone, at-the-ready to respond at a moment’s notice? No—you got into real estate to make connections, have conversations, solve problems. You got into real estate to sell real estate! But, as we all know, it’s critical that someone chases those leads and that new leads are responded to immediately.

So if you want to squeeze every cent out of your growing database, you have two choices:

  1. Be in 100 places at once.
  2. Invest in the right support.

The Missing Ingredient
Technology can assist with those tasks, but a supporting service, like RealContact for example, would enable agents to focus on the biggest dollar-productive activities: handling clients. This extra “support” takes care of the lead engagement. It manages the lead-nurturing. And when coupled with technology, it accelerates lead conversion.

So when you get a lead at 2:00 a.m. and you’re sound asleep, there’s someone ready to reach out immediately.

Let’s face it: The real estate hustle is real. The more you grind, the more successful you’ll be. But it’s 2019. There’s a way to capitalize without burning out. The way to assure success in real estate is by investing in the right support services that will allow you the time to focus on dollar-productive tasks—to get off the hamster wheel and get back to selling real estate!

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Real Estate Technology at a Crossroads

Aug 11, 2019 by

Real estate is at a crossroads on which core trade practices will be redefined forever. The industry’s technology is no longer focused on one-off activities like forms, scanners and email. It’s focused instead on building success into a larger ecosystem that comprises intelligent systems, streamlined workflows, machine learning, social media and consumer apps. Technology is moving so fast in this direction that real estate professionals essentially have two choices: embrace technology or stay behind.

What’s behind this technological shift? My thought is that the industry has recognized that an overabundance of specialized products is making things more difficult than they ought to be. After all, who wants to use multiple solutions that have their own logins and interfaces? Who wants to enter the same data and documentation several times? Who wants to contact three or four different companies for training and support?

Technology is moving away from this segmentation because it keeps real estate professionals from doing that which matters most: succeeding through quick action, accuracy and customer satisfaction. To brokerage staff, succeeding means simple workflows that reduce their risk of errors and enhance the accuracy of their work. To agents, succeeding means finding leads, closing them and providing superior client satisfaction along the way. And to the brokerage, succeeding means enabling agents and staff to do all of the above while ensuring clients get the real estate experience they came for.

Shifting to a larger ecosystem not only ensures that these users achieve personal success, but also allows them to share it with one another. This is what drove Lone Wolf’s acquisitions of Instanet Solutions and zipLogix, and informs our solutions and services to this day. We want to help real estate professionals—all of them—be better at what they do best.

Our real estate brokerage technology platform, for example, is quickly becoming a one-stop shop for the entire real estate transaction. It includes everything from forms, transaction management and back-office to an increasing number of integration points for upstream CRM and downstream activities for title, mortgage and other services. This platform is changing transaction management as we know it, and what once was a segmented, time-consuming process will become an integrated, seamless one. As an ecosystem, it enables REALTORS®, brokerage staff and management to collaborate in real-time and act on meaningful activities with speed and precision.

But integrations are only one facet of a larger ecosystem. The UX—which refers to the customer’s user experience while using the product, as well as the support, training and professional services they receive from the technology provider—and a REALTOR® focus are equally critical components.

A bad UX means that the product will fall short of helping the user and impair their productivity, while inadequate support, training and professional services will prevent the user from getting the most value out of their solution. If a REALTOR® doesn’t know how to use the technology, if it fails to meet their needs, or is simply not secure, then adoption is a pipe dream—and segmentation will remain.

In our progress toward ecosystems and complete technological solutions, it’s imperative to protect the interests of REALTORS® and preserve their pivotal role in the real estate transaction. At Lone Wolf, we form strong relationships with Associations of REALTORS®—national, state or local—as well as MLSs because we know that establishing trust in the technology is essential for its adoption. Trust, both in the solution and the solution’s provider, is perhaps the most significant factor if REALTORS® and the industry at large are to ride the fast-moving technological wave.

Mourad Zerroug is VP of Engineering at Lone Wolf Technologies. For more information, please visit www.lwolf.com.

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7 Tips to Help You Choose a Great Real Estate Agent

Aug 9, 2019 by

Before choosing a real estate agent, take these characteristics into consideration…

Track Record

Your agent should have a proven record that meets your needs. 

Digital Presence

Agents must show their online strategy for reaching targeted buyers so that sellers gets results.

Network

A successful agent is plugged into the market on local and global levels.

Communication and Service

Agents should save time, demonstrate integrity and respect your privacy while providing personalized service. 

Staging and Design

Whether hosting an event to attract buyers or staging for photography, an agent’s job is to beautify your home.

Market Insight

Your agent needs to have a pulse on the local market and keep you informed of all activity.

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Women in Real Estate: Leadership Restructuring at Title Alliance Creates Majority Female C-Suite

Jul 24, 2019 by

Women are taking on leadership positions at a steadier pace than ever before, according to the Pew Research Center. The statistics point to growth across several segments—state government, Fortune 500 companies and universities—but where does that leave the real estate industry?

Majority female leadership in real estate is becoming more commonplace, as exemplified by a recent leadership restructuring at Title Alliance, a family of full-service title insurance and escrow agencies. Over the last few months, Lindsay Smith, Sharon Lontoc and Maria Deligiorgis have assumed their respective positions as chief strategy officer, chief human resources officer, and general counsel and compliance officer, rounding out a majority female C-Suite that already included Lillian ReDavid in the position of chief financial officer.

“The passion and energy from the C-Suite is integral to Title Alliance’s expansive growth,” said Jim Campbell, CEO, in a statement. “It’s inspiring to see women from different career paths pushing Title Alliance forward with strategic mindsets and unique approaches.”

Here, Lontoc, Deligiorgis and Smith tell RISMedia why advancing women within the industry is so important, and how other real estate professionals can find success in leadership roles.

Sharon Lontoc

Sharon Lontoc

Chief Human Resources Officer

A graduate of Christopher Newport University and Old Dominion University, Lontoc has held positions including vice president of Employee Relations and director of Human Resources for a top financial services firm. As chief human resources officer at Title Aliance, Lontoc is responsible for developing and executing the human resource strategy and innovative operating models in support of the overall business plan and strategic direction of Title Alliance, with a focus on succession planning, talent management and training and development.

Maria Deligiorgis

 

 Maria Deligiorgis

General Counsel and Compliance Officer

A graduate of American University Washington School of Law and the University of Iowa, Deligiorgis has spent her entire career in the real estate and title insurance industries working with small and large companies. Deligiorgis focuses on overseeing the business and legal practices of Title Alliance and all its entities, in all operations and in all states. Deligiorgis also supervises and directs underwriting, compliance reports and best practices, along with overseeing SOC 1 and SOC 2 reporting and other compliance endeavors.

Lindsay Smith

Lindsay Smith

Chief Strategy Officer

A graduate of LaSalle University, Smith joined Title Alliance in 2005 and has held multiple roles throughout her tenure with the company, ranging from project manager to director of Sales and Marketing. As chief strategy officer, Smith is responsible for assisting Title Alliance’s CEO, Campbell, in developing, communicating and executing both corporate and JV strategic initiatives as the company continues to move forward with a significant growth trajectory.

Can you talk about the gender gap in leadership roles and how it may be bridged?

Sharon Lontoc: One of my jobs as CHRO is to promote work and learning environments that encourage and support diversity. Merit is the foundation of hires and promotions, but it’s also important to provide the tools and opportunities to support everyone’s career goals and aspirations within our company as well as the industry. Not only can my work in the company and industry support other women in the field, but hopefully serve as a source of inspiration and empowerment.

Maria Deligiorgis: Top executive women can continue to send a strong message that diversity and inclusion are a strategic priority for their company and for the industry. A public presence for women leaders and members of the C-Suite exemplifies a corporate and industry mindset and position of an organization’s commitment to promoting cultural change. To help eliminate continued underrepresentation of women in the C-Suite, implementation of diversity and inclusion initiatives will be a start, but the imagination of top executive women in our industry will also be needed to engage in open, in-depth conversations and stories about experiences and challenges with key men.

My leadership experience is intentional in setting clear expectations enterprise-wide of all managers, mentors and sponsors, and our company is committed to providing the tools to support women effectively. Leadership by top women executives is also a transfer of belief—to inspire all women professionals.

Lindsay Smith: Truthfully, I never looked at it that way. In our company, over 90 percent of our employees are female, so there wasn’t a gender battle to be fought. To that point, I always believed that regardless of gender, the very best person for the job should have it to bring the most value to the organization. I think as a leader you need to focus of having integrity in everything that you do; representing the company’s brand and values; and on uplifting, motivating and encouraging in a positive way those around you.

What is your strategy for continued business growth and what motivates you?

SL: I am very fortunate to be surrounded by incredibly smart, strategic and dynamic colleagues at Title Alliance. They are empowering and encouraging, as well as supportive of each other’s pursuits. Each of them set the bar so high, it shows me that we can have it all.

MD: Certainly, profit and loss accountability and results are motivating, as is skill development. Every handful of years, we speak about the transformation of our industry, and as a strategist and visionary, I want to help toward the development of the next generation of industry professionals—both women and men.

LS: Personally, my “why” is and has always been to make a difference. In our business, we are fortunate enough to be able to form partnerships in states across the country with real estate agents. Through those partnerships, we provide the agents with opportunities to compliantly grow their horizontal income stream through equity. We are able to impact employees in these areas by providing them with a different way of doing business and to give them a platform to expand their worlds—personally and professionally—holding true to our mission. Lastly, as an ESOP company, the strategies set forth and growth achieved impacts every single employee in our family of companies through the ESOP Growth. Continuing to push for excellence and opportunity, for myself and those around me, allows for fulfillment of my “why” at a very high level.

What would you say to other females looking to advance to a leadership position in real estate?

SL: As much as it might sound like a cliché, I think the main thing is to reinforce that there is nothing out of reach. Women and girls can be anything, and we are not limited by our gender. Explore any opportunity, including those in real estate or title, and find what truly interests and inspires you.

MD: While it is aspirational to believe that meritocracy is the determiner of criteria for leadership roles, there are multiple paths to top executive leadership positions, and women could focus their efforts on roles that lead to those paths. Reach out to women leaders and start a conversation.

LS: Be certain that you work for a company that demonstrates the willingness to empower and to grow their employees. Consistently hold yourself (and others) to high standards. Focus on how you can make a difference to impact others. Stay out of drama and don’t ever tear people down. Finally, the best leaders are anything but self-serving. When you demonstrate how what you bring to the table impacts the company, the employees and the clients in a positive way consistently through measurable success and track records, you will have the greatest level of personal and professional satisfaction. And when you’re satisfied in your job, amazing things happen.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com.

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