Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: Life is What You Make of It

Photo by Petifrere

One of the great poets/songwriters of our time is Paul Simon.  His genius is getting under your skin with words that appear to be non-sequitur (out of context).  But somehow, the meaning comes through and moves you, profoundly. 

This New Year’s Eve, when many are making resolutions, the lyrics of one of his most recent great songs, So Beautiful or So What (April 8, 2011) inspired us. He felt it was his best work 20 years. And, we wanted to share it with you.  We believe deeply that life is truly what you make of it. 

Here is the video of his performance of the song.  See lyrics below.  This is not an official video but you can hear the song on You Tube Here

So Beautiful or So What (Music and Lyrics by Paul Simon)

I'm gonna make a chicken gumbo

Toss some sausage in the pot

I'm gonna flavor it with okra

CAYENNE pepper to make it hot

You know life is what we make of it

So beautiful or so what

I'm gonna tell my kids a bedtime story

A play without a plot

Will it have a happy ending?

Maybe yeah, Maybe not

I tell them life is what you make of it

So beautiful or so what

So beautiful, so beautiful

So what

 

I'm just a raindrop in a bucket

A coin DROPPED in a slot

I am an empty house on Weed Street

Across the road from a vacant lot

You know life is what you make of it

So beautiful or so what

 

Aint it strange the way we're ignorant

How we seek out bad advice

How we jigger it and figure it

Mistaking value for the price

And play a game with time and Love

Like a pair of rolling dice

So beautiful, so beautiful

So what

 

Four men on the balcony

Overlooking the parking lot

Pointing at a figure in the distance

Dr. King has just been shot

And the sirens long melody

Singing savior pass me not

Aint it strange the way we're ignorant

How we seek out bad advice

How we jigger it and figure it

Mistaking value for the price

And play a game with time and love

Like a pair of rolling dice

So beautiful, so beautiful

So what!

Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous 2013,

Cheers, Ron & Alexandra

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/31/2012 at 7:32 AM
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Categories: Luxury Guest Writers | Luxury Real Estate
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Marketing Luxury Real Estate: The Quest for the Best!

On August 20,2008, we wrote about the best in class of taquerias in Santa Barbara.  It is still one of our favorite places here.  Friday, we were there for lunch and marveled that each time we go, it is as good as we remembered from the last time we were there.  This restaurant has existed since the early 80's and each time we leave there is a line forming out of the door, and it continues to form down the block daily.  

We used this example as being the best in class in their niche and consistently getting the best results and the best word of mouth referral.  When tourists are in town, we make sure we get there just before they open at 11:00 AM, and get in line with the other smart locals...

La Superica is the best in its class, the best Mexican food in town at any price. The Robb Report, known as “the Global Luxury Source”, listed La Surperica as one of the top 100 restaurants in the world. We call this practical luxury. It’s not about the money. It’s about the quest for the best!

Wishing you all the best in 2013, Cheers, Ron & Alexandra

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/30/2012 at 7:31 AM
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Categories: Luxury Guest Writers | Luxury Real Estate
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: Try Basecamp for Listing and Marketing Coordination

Sometimes you need to go outside of the real estate industry to find the best (and simplest) systems for luxury real estate marketing coordination and listing coordination.   We highly recommend Basecamp, a cloud-based project management software-as-a-service. 

Basecamp lets you create a custom template with To Do lists in your own words.  Save the template and use it for all of your listings (you can always make modifications for specific listings).  Each listing becomes a project. Because it is web-based your entire team (e.g., your assistant, your photographer, co-listing agents, etc.) can all have access to it from anywhere. 

Documents and photos can easily be uploaded to any To Do item (or the project in general) and shared. To Do’s can be assigned and added to a calendar which all can view. Emails are sent to the person assigned to the task with a link back to the specific To Do for that specific listing in Basecamp. 

Task specific discussions for any given listing/project are all in one place.  You do not have to search through your email inbox to find related items that may not be identified in the email subject line. 

Nothing gets lost!  If someone accidentally deletes something, you the owner, can easily retrieve it.  

We thought we lost a detailed description of a new marketing project in our own strategic branding and marketing consulting practice. We worked for almost two hours on this.  It was after hours on Christmas Eve.  We wrote to tech support not expecting to hear back until December 26th.  But, on Christmas morning there was our answer. We retrieved it instantly.  WOW!

Customer service and tech support at Basecamp is superlative!  That is so important given the need for speedy response on something that is at the core of your luxury real estate marketing practice: Listings and marketing!

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/27/2012 at 7:30 AM
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Luxury Real Estate Personal & Company Branding: The "Hailo" Effect

Luxury real estate marketing professionals often ask us about the importance of selecting the right brand name.  It really comes down to how fast and easy you want to make it for your potential referral sources to remember your name, because top-of-mind status IS the name of the referral game. 

In marketing luxury real estate, previous conventional wisdom focused primarily on your “sphere of influence”, those people who know you directly and think highly of you.  But, with the advent of the Internet and social media the very concept of your sphere can change radically.

The fundamentals of staying in touch with your immediate sphere still apply.  But, now there is a potential to have a continuously expanding  “peripheral sphere of influence” comprised of people you have never met!  And, the aggregate of that sphere can literally become a significant source of referrals. 

Here is an example:  A couple comes to your town on vacation, has a great time and is inspired to purchase a second home in your marketplace. They ask a local, a stranger, “Who is the best real estate agent or broker in the area? Now, if you can get your name to come up first for that local person, even if that person is not in the market to buy or sell their home right now, that person is in your peripheral sphere of influence. Don’t you think it is important to make it easy for that person to remember your name, first? 

Some of the best brand names are those that you hear once or see once and never forget.  Here is an example of one of those great brand names: HAILO, the taxi app or iPhones and Androids.  This name may be more significant for those of you who live in a major city and frequently use taxis for transportation.  But, once you have heard about it once you are very unlikely to forget it.  

With just a couple of taps of your phone you hail a cap and it tells you what your wait time will be.  No more flailing arms to summon a cab!  Then, as soon as you step out of the cap at your destination, it sends you a receipt, because your credit cards are on file for immediate payment with the app.  The service is available in New York, London, Tokyo, Chicago and five other cities so far. 

Graphically, the logo is very simple. HAIL on one line, O just below. Black letters with “yellow cab” yellow background. It is a better way to hail a cab in just one word. 

There are many tried-and-true principles and approaches that can be applied in crafting a great brand name. Selecting the right approach for your luxury real estate practice or your company in your marketplace is the key.  It must fit the essence of who you are.  And, it must help you differentiate you from your competition. 

Is it worth taking the time to make the right brand name choice? It is if you want to capitalize on and expand your peripheral sphere of influence.

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra.


Turnberry Penthouse in Las Vegas, Nevada

This One of Kind 2 Story Ultra Penthouse is Located in the Sleek and Modern Tower 4 of Turnberry Place. Unit 3704 has 6,421 Sq. Ft. of Living Space with 3 Bedrooms, 2 Full & 3 ¾ Bathrooms. It also has 4 Designated Private Parking Spaces. Inside this Home you will Discover Custom Architectural Design with Floor to Ceiling Glass Throughout, Hardwood and Stone Flooring, as well as Etched Custom Glasswork that Divides the Dining Room from the Kitchen and Family Room. This Penthouse is Fully Furnished with Custom Woodworking Throughout. The Commercial Appliances in the Gourmet Kitchen Afford any Grand Entertaining. For more information, contact Luxe Estates Collection at 702-684-6100.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/24/2012 at 12:00 AM
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Categories: duPont Marketplace | duPont REGISTRY Featured Properties
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Persian King Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada

This Two-Story Persian Estate built in “2001” is a Masterpiece in many measurable ways. With more than 11,000 total square feet, this is one premier extravagance in Las Vegas. Absorb the finest peaceful, serene and panoramic views of the Strip. Enjoy the graciously sized infinity-edged pool on over an acre of property. Security is balanced with both a double gated entry and a video enhanced security system. This Estate features 5 bedrooms in the Main House, 9 baths and a 6 car garage. Include the entertainer’s game room, a loft library, a meditation room and custom home office and over 1600 square feet of upstairs balconies; one can only imagine a lifestyle for the Rich and Famous. For more information, contact Luxe Estates Collection at 702-684-6100.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/23/2012 at 12:00 AM
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Mandarin Oriental Penthouse in Las Vegas, Nevada

Designer Inspired Penthouse in The Mandarin Oriental at City Center takes Advantage of the 360° Views. Enter through Detailed Walls into a Vestibule Overlooking the Fabulous Las Vegas Strip. Two Indulgently Sized Master Suites on Opposite Ends of this Unique Floor Plan Boasts Gigantic Elaborately Decorated Master Baths with Walk-in Closets and Floor to Ceiling Glass Windows. Window Treatments Include both Electronic Roll Away Shades and Fine Custom Draperies. Two Distinct and Oversized Family Rooms Adorned with Hardwood Flooring Inspire Late Night Entertainment Parties with Custom Island and Built-in Bar. For more information, contact Luxe Estates Collection at 702-684-6100.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/22/2012 at 12:00 AM
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English Manor House in Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, Canada

Welcomed by a scenic and winding driveway, this private upscale English Country Manor House is a tranquil oasis on 53 acres on Vancouver's Sunshine Coast. Completed in 2005, this Stuart Howard designed home mdoels a late 18th Century mansion, featuring 12 en-suited bedrooms and separate caretaker's home. Materials used give this 21,000-square-foot Manor House its stately appearance from the granite exterior and slate-tile roof to the marble floors and grand formai entrance with twin-curved staircases. Enjoy idyllic west coast views of Howe Sound-Gmabier, Keats and Bowen Island. This is truly a unique and irreplaceable offering. For more information, contact Jamie MacDougall at 604-992-2282.


For All Those Who Believe the Mayan Apocalpyse Is Going to Happen

If you believe tomorrow is going to mark the beginning of the end, we found the perfect house for you: the Safe House from KWK Promes, an architectural design company located in Poland. Safe House is located on the outskirts of Warsaw, Poland (perfect for avoiding any zombie-infested mega cities) and is a 2-story house that provides maximum security against any impending doom. While the house itself can be seen as a very architectural, modern design, it's most notable features are the movable walls, which allow the house to be completely closed off to the outdoors (essentially a huge concrete box). The property is also enclosed by a concrete wall, so there's no chance of security breach—if you close the gates in time. Even if you were to live in this property and no apocalypse or end-of-the-world happens, the amount of land it sits on allows for many advancements for building more safe places, or just enjoying the outdoors.

[Photos via Luxedb]


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/20/2012 at 9:17 AM
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Hawkeye's Haven in Watersweet, Michigan

A very rare opportunity to own over 18 acres and 729 feet of frontage on a virtually privte pristine lake.  The property is surrounded by the Sylvania Wilderness Area and the Ottawa National Forest. The  beautiful year round log cabin is a 3 bedroom, 3 bath year round home with 2 outbuildings, one of which contains a complete wood shop.  Wood paneling is featured throughout the home and there is a finished basement with sauna.  Enjoy cross country skiing  and snowshoeing right out your front door.  Great snowmobling country! Excellent hunting: deer, bear, turkey, grouse, ducks, geese, and more right on the property, as well as fishing. Beauty, privacy and nature prevail here all year long. Offered at $1,990,000. For more information call Eric and Gloria Sund at 906-544-2593.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/20/2012 at 12:00 AM
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Categories: duPont Marketplace | Luxury Real Estate
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Short Hills in New Jersey

Short Hills is an unincorporated community that the U. S. Census recognizes as having 13,165 people in 2010. The area is located within the township of Millburn in Essex County. Many of its residents work in New York City because of its proximity to the City and the convenient rail transportation. The Census identifies 4,146 households and 54.1 percent had children.

Short Hills NJ is a community with many homes valued in the multi-million dollar range and the median home price in $986,000 according to Trulia. The community has a lovely shopping district with New England charm. The Boxcar Bar and Grille is a new high end eatery that has become an overnight sensation attracting locals and people from neighboring Millburn.

The Mall at Short Hills is the preeminent shopping location with 160 stores featuring the famous shops that have made Fifth Avenue a popular destination. The mall has fine restaurants and many personal services. The area residents claim that if the Mall at Short Hills doesn’t have it, it isn’t worth having. While this may be an overstatement, it is one of the country’s premier shopping destinations.

The Greenwood Gardens is a beautiful attraction. This 28 acre public garden has a national reputation for its beautiful representation of botanical history. The garden combines all of the elements of beauty found in meadows, wooded areas, and open grassland. The garden is a natural attraction to artists who find the garden’s elegant features to be a haven for fostering artistic creativity.

The best of Essex County can be found in Short Hills and neighboring Millburn. The schools are wonderful ranking third in the State.

The job market in Short Hills is service oriented if it exists at all. Many people use the professional services located in New York City. However, the home office of Dunn and Bradstreet is located in Short Hills.

This blog post was contributed by Tony Verducci, a luxury real estate agent in New Jersey who sells primarily in Summit & Short Hills for Lois Schneider.


Diamond on the Ocean

The most amazing home on this private stretch of ocean overlooking the Hillsboro lighthouse and inlet. Magnificently gated, custom built home had 5 beds, 5.5 baths, full gym with sauna and 3-car garage with over 8,000 square feet of living space. Take advantage of the buyers market and own the BEST home of only 22 direct ocean residences on the Hillsboro Inlet. It's impossible to build new what you can get for the price in this home. For more information, call Jed Weaver at 954-817-2757.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/19/2012 at 12:00 AM
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: Adopting a Beginner's Mind-Part 3

In this third post about the beginner’s mind, we leave you with a single, highly focused thought, in the Zen tradition, for those who market luxury real estate. 

When Kobe Bryant, the famed Los Angeles Laker, was just 8 years old he shot 82 successful free throws in a row. When asked how he did it he simply answered, “I did not know I couldn’t do it”.

That is the true secret behind a beginner’s mind.

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/18/2012 at 9:14 AM
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Categories: Luxury Guest Writers | Luxury Real Estate
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The Most Expensive Celebrity Homes for Sale

It's one thing to be extraordinarily rich and own a $10+ million home—people may wonder who lives in your gorgeous mansion, but most wouldn't recognize a CEO of a Fortune 500 company if a hardworking exec was right in front of them. It's another thing to have a home like that, and be famous, where your face is constantly on the silver screen, on TV during a big game, or on a stage serenading 50,000+ fans. Celebrities may try to live private lives, but it makes it hard when cities provide bus tours escorting curious lookers to catch a glimpse of a celebrity home (and maybe even the celebrity). Perhaps the lack of privacy is why these celebrities are selling their gorgeous estates...

Owners: Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell

Location: Broad Bench Road, Malibu, California

List Price: $9.95 million

See the listing here.

Owner: Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson

Location: Farmington, Connecticut

List Price: $10 million

See the listing here.

Former Owner: Frank Sinatra (rented in the 1950s)

Location: Farralone, Chatsworth, California

List Price: $12 million

Owner: Mark Wahlberg

Location: Oak Pass, Beverly Hills, California

List Price: $13 million

Former Owner: Elvis Presley (lived here in the late 1960s)

Location: North Hillcrest Road, Beverly Hills, California

List Price: $13 million

Owner: Christina Aguilera

Location: Doheny Road, Beverly Hills, California

List Price: $13.5 million

Owner: Anjelica Huston

Location: Windward Avenue, Venice Beach, California

List Price: $13.9 million

Owner: Jim Carrey

Location: Malibu Colony Road, Malibu, California

List Price: $13.95 million

Owner: Zsa Zsa Gabor

Location: Bel Air Road, Los Angeles, California

List Price: $14.9 million

Owner: Wayne Gretzky

Location: Newbern Court, Thousand Oaks, California

List Price: $15 million

Owners: Jack Nicholson and director Lou Adler

Location: West End, Aspen, Colorado

List Price: $15 million

Owner: Sheryl Crow

Location: North Vista Street, Los Angeles, California

List Price: $15.95 million

Owner: Pharrell Williams

Location: Bristol Tower Penthouse, Miami Beach, Florida

List Price: $16.8 million

Owners: Kelsey and Camille Grammer

Location: Serra Retreat, Malibu, California

List Price: $16.9 million

See the listing here.

Owners: Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz

Location: Crosby Street Penthouse, New York, New York

List Price: $17.95 million

Owner: Vidal Sassoon

Location: Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles, California

List Price: $18 million

Owner: Rosie O'Donnell

Location: Star Island Drive, Miami Beach, Florida

List Price: $19.5 million

Owner: Pete Sampras

Location: West Stafford Road, Thousand Oaks, California

List Price: $19.95 million

See the listing here.

Owner: Leonardo DiCaprio

Location: Malibu Colony Road, Malibu, California

List Price: $23 million

Owner: Madonna

Location: Harperley Hall (apartment), New York, New York

List Price: $23.5 million

Owner: Michael Jordan

Location: Point Lane, Highland Park, Illinois

List Price: $29 million

Owner: Celine Dion

Location: Ile Gagnon, Laval, Quebec, Canada

List Price: $29.7 million

Owner: Robin Williams

Location: Villa Sorriso, Napa, California

List Price: $29.9 million

Former Owner: Katharine Hepburn (owned in the 1930s and 1940s)

Location: Hepburn Compound, Old Saybrook, Connecticut

List Price: $30 million

Owner: Annie Leibovitz

Location: Greenwich Street, New York, New York

List Price: $33 million

Owner: Joe Montana

Location: Villa Montana, Calistoga, California

List Price: $35 million

See the listing here.

Owner: Alex Rodriguez

Location: North Bay Road, Miami Beach, Florida

List Price: $38 million

Former Owner: Gianni Versace

Location: Casa Casuarina, Miami Beach, California

List Price: $100 million

See the listing here.

[All photos and information via Forbes]


Yachtman's Paradise in Miami, Florida

Reduced over $10 million! The deal of a lifetime. This extraordinary mansion sets a new standard in luxury! Enjoy over 21,000 square feet of living space with 375 feet on the water with 6-deluxe bedroom suites, 14 baths, 9 bars, theater, dockage for up to a 115-foot yacht and ocean access. For more information, contact Amorette Robertson at 305-496-8218.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 12/18/2012 at 12:00 AM
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Categories: duPont Marketplace | duPont REGISTRY Featured Properties
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