Top 10 Baths

Often overlooked, a well-designed room can be a luxurious, private retreat. When we think of beautiful baths, modern, vintage, classic, comfortable and relaxing are only a few designs that come to mind. Here are some exquisitie concepts from a Jacuzzi tub in front of a bay window with a private view of the ocean to an ethereal room with a solid, modern-carved island tub to a beautiful, natural bathroom with grand windows and natural lighting. We hope these spaces will serve as inspiration for you to create your own intimate retreat for relaxatin after those long, hard days of work.

Atlanta, Georgia • Kelly Boudreau, Harry Norman Realtors • www.kellyboudreau.com

Suisun Valley, California • Bob and Rosemarie Ogan, Country Estates, Inc. • www.VillaDeMadreEstate.com

Kiawah Island, South Carolina • Holly Morrison, Kiawah Island Real Estaet • www.kiawahisland.com

Bozeman, Montana • Sally Uhimann, Pure West Christies • www.purewestproperties.com

Scottsdale, Arizona • Kris LaCroix, Russ Lyon Sotheby's International • www.lacroixsnep.com

Cayman Islands • Sheena Conolly, Cayman Islands Sotheby's International Realty • www.SIRCaymanIslands.com

Paradise Valley, Montana • Sally Uhlmann, Pure West Christies • www.purewestproperties.com

Cyaman Islands • Sheena Conolly, Cayman Islands Sotheby's International Realty • www.SIRCaymanIslands.com

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina • Steve Timperman, Charter 1 Realty & Marketing • www.SteveTimperman.com

Miami, Florida • Dora Puig, PA • www.dorapuig.com


Marketing Luxury Real Estate: The Ultimate Service- Providing Peace of Mind

Recently we were reading some of our clients’ testimonials, and one of them inspired this post.  Here is a direct quote, “This individual (agent) is truly a professional who can manage all the details involved in selling my home, and does it so effortlessly that I never had to worry about a thing.”

Given the rapid rate of our lives, we all want someone who gives us service at the level where we do not spend time worrying.  Worry is defined as: “ thoughts, images and negative emotions in which mental attempts are  imagined and discussed to avoid anticipated potential threats.”

What is peace of mind? The dictionary defines it as: “The absence of mental stress or anxiety, and the presence of serenity, calm, quiet, comfort of mind." That is exactly what a buyer/seller wants when working with you.”  Ultimately, they are signing with you because they feel that you will provide them with a seamless flow in reaching the grand finale of selling or buying a house.

How valuable is peace of mind?  It is so valuable that many agents who give this type of service are given a constant stream of referrals.  And, in many cases their clients are also giving them a closing gift.

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: 5/14/2012 at 3:00 PM
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Categories: Luxury Guest Writers | Luxury Real Estate
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: Put a New Twist in Your Marketing Approach

Remarkable service with a twist that distinguishes you from your competition can create an indelible impression and enchant your clients.. Look for evidence of enchantment, times when you have enjoyed exemplary service in your daily life, and reach for ways that you can incorporate enchantment into your own luxury real estate marketing practice.

Saint Alexandra’s Day (Alexandra’s Name Day) provided the perfect opportunity to seek out evidence of enchantment marketing. We googled “the best steak house in Thousand Oaks” (nearby Santa Barbara and close to Malibu) and found an entire page dominated by great reviews of Mastro’s.  Since we very rarely order beef we wanted to find the best place.But we were seeking an restaurant just outside of town so we could turn it into a new adventure. 

Mastro’s, we discovered, has multiple locations in Arizona, Nevada, California and Illinois.  It definitely lived up to its reviews.   Here are some of the quality cues that lead us to a very favorable opinion of this fine establishment:

We were served an assortment of scrumptious artisan breads that were fresh out of the oven.  That could have been a meal unto itself. Our favorite was the pretzel bread. 

Our server reminded us of a European professional waiter who really knew his wines. We were allowed to taste a couple of them prior to ordering and the dialogue was educational. 

 He was equally knowledgable about the extensive menu. He had definite personal opinions about it when asked. 

We ordered creamed spinach and the crunchiest snap peas as our vegetables.  We asked if the creamed spinach was made with bacon.  Our server said, “No.  But, everything tastes better with bacon”, and he disappeared only to return with some of the  best bacon we had ever tasted.

We did not order dessert. But, we were presented with an enormous slice of St. Alexandra’s Names Day cake and a side of whipped cream that must have been more than a pint.  With only room for a couple of nibbles, we were more than delighted.

When we left the restaurant, the valet brought our car and handed us some bottled water for the road with the Mastro’s logo on the bottle.  We had previously been given a shopping bag with handles to cary three box full of food items that we could not finish.

Seek out quality cues, evidence of enchantment marketing in peripheral aspects of your life, not just in  your field.  Get a sense of how it feels when you are treated exceptionally well.  Then incorporate as many ways as possible to enchant your clients. It will put a twist in your marketing approach that will help you to standout from your competition.

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: 5/14/2012 at 2:40 PM
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Categories: Luxury Guest Writers | Luxury Real Estate
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Nova Scotia, Canada

Lakefront living is an incomparable way of life. It is a way of life that offers different things to different people.  “There is a feeling of serenity after waking up to a spectacular sunrise over the calm water,” says Ron Hollett, Associate Broker at RE/MAX Nova in Canada. “And in the evening, feeling the cool breeze on a boat ride while enjoying a spectacular sunset offers the same feeling all over again.”

Nova Scotia is the perfect location to embrace the allure of nature in a lakeside home while being a short distance away from the rich culture and heritage neighboring cities provide. Local sportsmen have the ability to fish from shore or boat on one of Nova Scotia’s largest lakes, and other residents can enjoy a leisurely swim in the warm water of the lakes. Close-by ocean beaches offer plenty of family friendly activities.

“The nearby cities are thriving,” says Hollett. Following a short 20-minute drive you can surround yourself with the theatre, various sports activities, shopping and night life entertainment. Slip back to the lake after a bustling day in the city for an evening of rest and relaxation.

One of the most charming properties on the market today is the stunning sprawling estate at 19 Narrows Lane on Porters Lake in Nova Scotia. This 5,873-square-foot, 7 bedroom, 6 bath home is fully furnished with a professionally equipped gym, heated pool and hot tub. The gated property offers privacy for residents as they coast along 250-feet of water frontage on the 26-foot Pontoon boat or Seadoos.


Washington D.C.

“Representing a significant portion of suburban Washington, D.C., northern Virginia’s proximity to the nation’s capital attracts a wonderful collection of successful and highly educated residents from across the country and around the world,” says Rob Carney, Vice President of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty. 

The social and cultural activities available, including the Smithsonian Museum, Kennedy Center and Foreign Embassies, to name just a few, assure a vast array of activities to keep residents entertained year round.  Several rail systems throughout the area allow for easy access to the nation’s capital, making the northern Virginia area the ideal location for D.C. area commuters looking for the suburban family lifestyle.

One property that fits the bill, located about an hour south of Washington, D.C. in Virginia’s Hunt Country, is the grand estate of Horsefields.  The main residence is an elegant stone manor with an expansive main level well suited for both grand entertaining and quiet relaxation. Two guest houses mirror the high standard of the main residence’s interior and there is garage parking for six cars.   Encompassing over 140 acres, the property boasts rolling hills, charming ponds and seven paddocks.  “The focal point of the equestrian facilities is an exquisite stone barn, with 14 stalls and two wash bays, which has been featured on the Hunt Country Stable Tour,” explains Rob.  “Over the past 5 years, Horsefields has undergone an extensive renovation which added luxurious finishes and modern mechanical systems while preserving the historic charm which exemplifies the grand estates of this community.”


Hampton Roads, Virginia

Rich in history, Hampton Roads offers residents and visitors an array of museums, historic sites, wineries and breweries, and state parks to explore. In addition to cultural activities are numerous spas, theme parks, and outdoor activities.

“With thanks to the moderate weather and varying typography in Virginia, residents can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities from deep sea fishing and water sports to skiing in the mountains,” says Jeanne West, a REMAX Real Estate Specialist in Hampton Roads, Virginia.

On a day when outdoor activities are not appealing, you can travel to historic Williamsburg, catch a game at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville or unwind on Virginia Beach – all located in the Hampton Roads area. “The residents of Virginia are very friendly and open,” says Jeanne. “It is something I think can be attributed to the endless possibilities Virginia has to offer.”

One of the grandest available properties is a 6,700-square-foot home located in an elite golf course community on Broad Bay in Virginia Beach. The dramatically designed architecture evokes the feeling of a cruise ship with large bay windows with a flawless view of the waterfront. Amenities include an extensive recreation room, pool area and a walkway to the dock and boathouse.


Lake Burton, Georgia

“Lake Burton is quickly becoming the Lake Tahoe of the Southeast,” says Julie Barnett, a Realtor with Harry Norman, Realtors at Lake Burton. “Our location being within a 2-hour drive from Atlanta, Ashville and Greenville offers easy access and allows home owners to get away and relax for a weekend.”

Lake Burton is located in the northeast corner of Georgia, bordering the Carolinas. Rabun County, which Lake Burton is a part of, is 67-percent national forest and land owned by Georgia Power, therefore only 33 percent of this gorgeous landscape can be developed. “Our views are pristine,” Julie says. “We’re surrounded by untouched mountains and have 62 miles of shoreline on a 2775 acre lake.  It sets the stage for some dramatic sunsets.”

Residents and vacationers can enjoy many outdoor activities in Rabun County, “where spring spends the summer.” Waterfall hiking, biking, kayaking, trophy fishing for brown trout, rainbow trout and large-mouth bass in the rivers, lakes and streams are all staples of the Lake Burton lifestyle. Two marinas, beautiful golf courses, fine dining and trendy restaurants, spas, antique shopping and several wineries are close by for those who enjoy the finer things in life.

While part-time residents love vacationing to Lake Burton, it’s the full-time residents who reap all the benefits. Inspiring mountain views, shimmering clear waters, and mild temperatures can be enjoyed year-round, Julie notes. “The thing I love most about Lake Burton is that each morning when I wake up, there’s a different picture painted across the lake and sky.”


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 5/9/2012 at 9:11 AM
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Categories: duPont Marketplace | Luxury Real Estate
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Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia

With 500 miles of shoreline, Smith Mountain Lake is one of Virginia’s most popular lakes. Its beauty is transcendent and explains why the lake is known as the “Jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains.” “This lake can keep you grounded,” says Leslie Becker, broker at Smith Mountain Lake Properties. “You can do business anywhere, but this lake helps you keep your sanity and your lifestyle intact, unlike many other places.”

Convenience is one of the biggest perks of living in Smith Mountain Lake, because it’s an easy commute via the bullet train to Washington D.C. The airport is about 30 minutes away with direct flights leaving daily, a private airport if needed, and there is even the ease of having two teaching hospitals close by.

Virginia is one of the most beautiful states during spring and fall, but the lake’s beauty is never-ending throughout the seasons. There is an endless amount of water activities you can do anytime of the year, such as fishing, kayaking and sailing. Some of the land activities include hiking, triathlons, and huge equestrian centers available right at your fingertips. ”If you’re an active and outdoors person, this place will be your nirvana,” Leslie says. If you’re the cultural type, there’s the new Taub museum in Roanoke to explore. There are also 5 signature golf courses available 10 months out of the year.

The atmosphere is beautiful all year around, partly because the residents are some of the friendliest people you will meet on earth. No matter if you’re just visiting or a new resident, you will always feel welcome around here. Everyone that comes here will inevitably come back, because after vacationing here, it’s hard not to fall in love with this place!


Williamsburg, Virginia

Rich in history with a small-town ambience, Williamsburg is a destination for many buyers looking to enjoy all life has to offer. “We have an ideal location with tremendous amenities, but it is also the people that make this area a wonderful place to call home,” says Marley Numbers, Realtor with Long and Foster Realty. “They arrive here and bring with them great enthusiasm for the area, have wonderful life experiences to share, and embrace building new friendships.”

Residents of Williamsburg enjoy deep-water boating and fishing, championship golf, four temperate seasons, easy access to the mountains and the ocean, three international airports within an hour’s drive, and low tax rates. “People choose Williamsburg as a destination because it offers a lifestyle that has many of the attributes that they are seeking,” Marley says.

For those looking to take advantage of the current buyer’s market and an enjoyable lifestyle, Williamsburg is the place to go. “They search up and down the coast and across the country, but they return to Williamsburg because of our unique and very special attributes,” she says. “It’s a place where they will enjoy life and live it they way they have always dreamed of living it.”


Marketing Luxury Real Estate Tip: Staying on the Leading Edge Part 2

Fear of change is another of the top vulnerabilities of market leaders.  For luxury real estate marketing professionals who are bent on gaining or sustaining market leadership you need to keep evolving as an individual, a team or as a company.  The common adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, or “I am doing well, why rock the boat” does not apply if you intend on maintaining your position.

 We are experiencing a tidal wave of change on a daily basis in every aspect of life.  If you want to successfully keep moving forward, you have to keep reinventing yourself.  One of the most important elements in this process is to be willing to break down your business model on a regular basis and reexamine every aspect through a magnifying lens. You may have to throw out what “ain’t’broke” altogether and adopt and adapt consistently.  You have to stay nimble and be able to turn on a dime.   If you don’t do it, your competition will rapidly surpass you without any hesitation, or find a way to profit from your passivity. 

Some companies capitalize on the “fear of change” and develop business models which take advantage of this mentality.  An example of this is “show rooming”.  Many consumers visit showrooms note model numbers, and then find the identical item on line using their Smartphone’s and purchase them for a lot less.  What caused this?  Fear of change and the unwillingness to adapt.  Companies such as Best Buy are now looking for ways to prevent the show rooming epidemic. In real estate lending, companies such as the Lending Tree captured consumer leads for loans, routed them to the banks and received a commission.  They understood that banks are not quick to respond to change, and they could step in and profit.

What must not change are your core values, your integrity and your commitment to superb service for your clients.

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: 5/8/2012 at 3:09 PM
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Categories: Luxury Guest Writers | Luxury Real Estate
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: Staying on the Leading Edge

Photo by Chris Dorney

Complacency is one of the top vulnerabilities of market leaders.  For Luxury real estate marketing professionals who are bent on gaining or sustaining market leadership staying on the leading edge is not an option, it is an imperative.  Harrods’s department store in London exemplifies this principle.

Harrods is already known for its outstanding service private client service and was recently given an award at the Luxury Briefing awards for its customer service.  According to Luxury Briefing, “Beyond is an extension of Harrods’ service available to private clients and goes above the realms of what consumers expect from a department store.”  So why would they send their employees to study with Minding Manners (etiquette and protocol consultants) to learn about etiquette? The employees enrolled in a two full-day sessions that emphasized etiquette aspects of multi-cultural awareness.

Global capital cities as well as globally known luxury resort destinations are regularly visited by buyers of goods and real estate from all parts of the word.  What is considered to be great manners in the European or American cities can be interpreted as an insult in other parts of the world.  Since Harrods has an extensive VIP clientele from the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the Americas, the training by Minding Manners covered all aspects of meeting, greeting and interacting with cross-cultural respect.

At one time, every shopper entering the store was greeted with a handshake and a glass of champagne.  Now this tradition has been revisited as many cultures and religious sects practice alcohol abstinence, and do not shake hands with women.  Also the friendly Western physical touches are not necessarily welcome, particularly when it comes to opposite genders.  How to dress is also important when meeting customers from other countries if not in a standard store uniform.

Whether or not you are dealing with an elite global clientele or culturally integrated Americans, it is important to avail yourself of the knowledge of every community’s cultural and religious preferences.  In order to stay on the leading edge and successfully earn the trust of global communities, take the cue from Harrods.  Impeccable cultural etiquette is one way to differentiate you as a luxury real estate marketing professional.  To stay on the leading edge avoid complacency at all costs.

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.


16250 Sunset Pines Circle in Boca Grande, Florida

Experience gorgeous sunrises over Lake Gasparilla in Boca Grande, Florida at 16250 Sunset Pines Circle. This beautiful 3-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom property is perfect for those who want the best of the best.

“This is one of the best newer construction homes available in Boca Grande today,” says Bob Melvin, Owner/Broker/Realtor of Gasparilla Properties.  “The quality of the construction makes 16250 Sunset Pines Circle different than other waterfront properties, as do the Lake Gasparilla and Gulf views with direct beach access.”

Residents of Boca Grande have the luxury of long sandy, white beaches and all the activities that go along with living near the water: fishing, boating, sailing, swimming, canoeing, and kayaking. “With over 300 days of sunshine per year, this is the best weather the continental United States has to offer,” Bob says. “In addition to all the water activities, there are multiple recreational outlets like golfing, tennis, walking, running, and biking.”

In addition to all the amenities of living in a beach town, a Sunset Pines address in the Gulf Shores North area of Boca Grande gives residents the quickest access to the best beach, notes Bob. “Buyers in Gulf Shores North buy here because it is the island’s best beach.”

16250 Sunset Pines Circle is being offered at $2.35 million. The owner also has a condominium boat slip nearby for sale. You can have it all!

For more information on this property, click here.


Marketing Luxury Real Estate: 100 Bottles of Tequila on the Wall

On the eve of Cinco de Mayo we thought it would be appropriate to discuss the iconic brand of tequila which is associated with Mexico.  Mexico has the international rights to the word “tequila”, and they have made it clear that they will take legal action against anyone or any country that uses the word to describe blue agave spirits.  Mexico law also states that tequila can be produced in the state of Jalisco (Tequila is a city in Jalisco), and specific regions in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, and Tamaulipas.

Furthermore, the Tequila regulatory Council has stated that authentic tequila must be made from 100% agave. Only then can it be designated as “100%” agave.  Everything else is“mixto” tequila.

Artisanal tequila is a thriving industry.  Recently we dined at the bar of Cielito, a wonderful restaurant in Santa Barbara, and learned that they carry over 70 brands of artisanal tequila.  Like wine, the producers of tequila create variations in taste based on the extent of aging and also on the type of wood used in the barrels where the tequila is aged. Other varietals can be created using agave that is grown at high altitudes giving it a sweeter taste, as opposed to lower altitudes which can give tequila an herbaceous taste.

While we were dining, we noticed that there were three bottles of tequila on the shelf shaped like human skulls.  Our friendly bartender told us that these bottles of tequila were made of hand-blown glass. The black skull bottle with hand glued rhinestones is the most expensive ($70 a shot) because it had been aged the longest.

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 via the agents/brokers interviewed.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 5/7/2012 at 10:14 AM
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Categories: Luxury Guest Writers | Luxury Real Estate
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: Perform a Time-saving Audit

In a time-pressed world, time becomes the ultimate luxury. Affluent consumers will pay a premium if you can save them time and the aggravation of wasted time.  As a luxury real estate marketing professional, think about how you can save your clients time and aggravation every step of the way. Perform a Time-saving audit on all aspects of the service you provide.

Saving time applies to the user experience on your website from their first encounter with you. And, it applies to every other encounter they have with you or your team. Here are few items to consider when you perform your Time-saving Audit:  

  1. Does your website navigation save the user time in finding exactly what they came for? 
  2. The simple act of listening to your client’s specific needs and only showing them the properties that match those needs saves them time.  Do you preview the homes you show your clients.?
  3. If you are the listing broker, do you prepare detailed home-showing instructions for cooperating brokers so that they do not waste their clients’ time?  Their clients may be the perfect buyer for your listings. 

This will get you started with your Time-saving Audit. Your high net worth clients will certainly appreciate you for doing these things because time is the ultimate luxury.  But, just as important as it is to save your client’s time, you should also be including, in your audit, all of the ways you can save yourself time.  Value their time and value yours as well.  Only then will you see that the time your save can turn into money.  Does that make "cents"?

Let us know some of YOUR questions that you think should be included in the Time-saving Audit!

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 via the agents/brokers interviewed.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 5/1/2012 at 8:34 AM
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Categories: Luxury Guest Writers | Luxury Real Estate
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3 Hot Home Security Trends You Need To Know About

Every time a new home security gadget comes out, burglars figure out a way to bypass it. It’s hard to stay one step ahead of the bad guys, but there are three new technologies that you can employ here and now to protect your home and improve your family's safety:

1. Biometric Scanners

Biometric door locks can keep out everyone but you and your loved ones by using unique retinal and fingerprint scan technology. When equipped with a biometric lock, your front door will only give access to the people who you approve. It is virtually impossible to fake an eye or a finger and gain entry into homes with biometric locks as long as they are properly installed by professionals.

2. Home Automation

Xfinity is the latest company to jump on the home security bandwagon, but they are putting their mark on the industry. The newest trend is to incorporate home automation into home security systems to allow homeowners to not only program and control their security systems but also their lights, heating and cooling. Comcast (Xfinity's parent company) is the largest cable provider in the US, so this new technology is bound to have an impact on home security.

3. HD Video Surveillance

Cell phones and web cams can take HD video, so why not security systems? The latest trend in home security is to set up HD video cameras inside and outside your home to record video directly to a DVR. HD technology may not be new, but using it inside your home for security certainly is! These trends are popular because they meet the needs of homeowners who are trying to outsmart experienced criminals. Any law enforcement officer will tell you that reliable home security isn’t about a single trend, but rather about a combination of old and new security measures working together. Upgrade your security plans and include a few new tricks to keep away the burglars.

About the Author: Jane Leyman is an expert in home security and theft. She has worked in the home security field for 19 years. In addition to her work experience, she is a member of ASIS International, and has helped dozens of communities organize neighborhood watch groups. This blog posting has been provided by Ben Fisher, an agent at Summit Sotheby's International Realty in Park City, Utah. He services Park City, Utah and Deer Valley Luxury Homes.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 4/30/2012 at 12:23 PM
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