A Breath of Fresh Air in North Carolina

Escape to a place where the familiar monotony of everyday life is no longer a worry or a rut to be stuck in. Imagine luxuriating in your finely crafted home which emits a natural feeling of peace and leisure.  Many folks say that the minute they arrive they begin to decompress from the stress that has become familiar in their city life. Here, a casual glance through your windows reveals layers of smoky mountains thick with trees, posing in verdant contrast to the cerulean sky.

This is what one finds, living in the mountains of North Carolina. The cool, clean mountain air compliments the comforts of southern hospitality. In summer the mornings and evenings are cool, with warm afternoons perfect for hiking or horseback riding uncharted mountain paths. Fall brings breathtaking and vibrant colors from Mother Nature, and winters in North Carolina are mild and enjoyable.

There is no limit to the adventure in North Carolina. Opportunities are endless – recreationally and in property choices. “Folks come all year long to seek a life stimulated by nature and close community and in an unpretentious environment,” says Barbara Matzick, Western North Carolina Realtor.

One of the properties she is marketing is a casual home under 2,000-square-feet with a large amount of crafted stone on the exterior and two fireplaces. The orientation captures magnificent westerly mountain views looking towards Sylva, North Carolina, and evening sunsets. It was one of the first homes built at Balsam Mountain Preserve and is in close proximity to the golf course. The covered patio has a fireplace to enhance the ambiance of overlooking many mountain ranges. This well-crafted home is offered at $875,000 and is perfect for entertaining.  It is a premier gated community with amenities, including an Arnold Palmer signature golf course, heated pool, horse stables, tennis courts and guest cottages.


To learn more about Barbara Matzick's properties please visit www.Balsamteam.com. 


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Posted by: Keri Mahoney
Posted on: 9/11/2012 at 12:19 PM
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: Are You Suffering from Bloggers Block?

As a luxury real estate marketing professional, consistently adding fresh, new, original content to your website by blogging is good for your ranking in Google.  More importantly, it can help expand your sphere of influence. That is, if you are writing original content that is buzz-worthy, share-worthy, newsworthy and follow-worthy. But, how do the best bloggers avoid getting stale?  How do they prevent Bloggers Block?

The antidote to Bloggers Block can be summed up in this way:BE CURIOUS   When you are passionate about your subject matter, you naturally become interested and open to new, fresh information that others do not even bother to perceive. You become a magnet for news!

One of our favorite pastimes is strolling along the beach in Santa Barbara.  We discovered early on that the beach is never the same from day to day.  The tides continuously change. They bring new creatures and sea treasures to our attention every time. The people are new. Even their dogs are new.  We have learned about so many breeds of dogs that we did not know existed. And, we are cat people!

Recently, we passed by a couple of young girls who were squealing about some discovered treasure that was clinging to the base of a garland of kelp. It was a bunch of sea urchins.  We had not seen one up close before that day. Yet, sea urchins are known as “Santa Barbara gold” because they grow in great abundance right off our coast where they are harvested, then exported to far off places like Japan.

Had those girls not been so excited we probably would have passed that kelp plant right by.  Instead, we were enriched by their discovery and our research on the subject.

As a journalist, blogging can introduce you to new worlds and new people who can become potential referral sources for your luxury real estate marketing practice.  So, if you are suffering from Bloggers Block, just be curious.  That will get you right back into the flow of following your passion.

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: 9/10/2012 at 10:36 AM
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Categories: Luxury Guest Writers | Luxury Real Estate
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: Why Google Keeps Changing Its Algorithms

This week, we were reviewing the Google ranking of a luxury real estate marketing professional who is the top producing agent in her marketplace, but ranks 7th in natural search results on her primary keyword phrase.  Of the two agents who were ranked higher on the same page, one sold just a single property over the last 12 months and the other did not sell even a single property!

Are consumers being served by placing mediocre agents ahead of market leaders?  Google doesn’t think so.  That is why they are constantly trying to fine-tune their algorithms to achieve more satisfying results.

In the context of finding qualified local service professionals on the Internet, Google’s ideal job is simply to match the consumer’s search query with the most authoritative experts in a given marketplace.  For Google, customer satisfaction with this “matchmaking” service is paramount because they are able to place revenue-generating ads on these popular pages.

Prior to the Internet and search engines, it was statistically proven that whoever got the first buyer or seller call had the best chance of winning the business.  While this may still be true with telephone contact, we question that it is true online when it comes to search engine ranking, especially in luxury real estate marketing.  One glance at a cluttered site that is difficult to navigate can send a web visitor back to the search result page in a single click.

In another instance one of our local business organizations was looking for a speaker on social media.  They hired the #1 ranked “authority” on Google to speak and the group was horrified by the presentation. It was obvious to every businessperson in attendance that this guy barely knew what he was talking about.  When confronted his response was, “I know how to rank #1”.

In addition to strong basic SEO architectural structure on your site itself, Google is looking for current, fresh, relevant, authoritative, ORIGINAL CONTENT more so now than ever.  And, they are adjusting their algorithms accordingly. 

Consistently publishing and distributing new content (through social media channels) via your blog is the best vehicle to achieve this. Getting other authoritative websites to establish links to your newsworthy, follow worthy, original content is also very helpful.  But, the days of just publishing unoriginal content, that has even become boring to the Google robots, is over!

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: 9/7/2012 at 10:19 AM
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Marketing Luxury Real Estate: Beverly Hills Branded Barricades

As a luxury real estate marketing professional it is important to immerse oneself in all aspects of luxury marketing, not just real estate. By observing the top global luxury brands one can learn volumes about communicating to high net worth clients.

Today on an early morning jaunt to Beverly Hills for a meeting, we had time to spare.  After fueling ourselves with a warm bagel from St. Urbain, we took a walk on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.  Dior had moved up the street to a larger location. They had an innovative branded barricade to mask the remodeling and construction in the store.

Dior created a façade that looks like a quilted leather bag. It was so realistic that we were compelled to feel the paper to make sure it was not leather.  Every detail was present including the handle and the Dior bauble that hangs on it.  The strategy here was promoting their unique handbags as well as their innovative, creative designs. 

The Christian Dior brand, which is part of the LVMH family (Louis Vuitton Moet & Hennessy), is beautifully and harmoniously represented here.  Christian Dior, the designer, revolutionized the fashion industry in 1946, departing from the then popular boxy look to more feminine lines.  He said, “I have designed flower women," emphasizing the curvaceous form of women.  His innovative thinking provided a legacy that lives on as you can see.

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: 9/6/2012 at 7:16 AM
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Personal & Company Branding: The High Cost of Being Vague About Your Brand

Photo by Gerald Bougham

Be explicit about who you are and what you stand for, as a luxury real estate marketing professional.  Being vague about your personal or company brand can cost you considerably. 

An important aspect of personal and company branding is clearly and consistently articulating how you want to be perceived by others.  If you do not explicitly define who you are and what your brand stands for, people will brand you or classify you in their own pigeonholes.  

In our commercial real estate practice in West Los Angeles, we were best known for our expertise in leasing high-end retail space and working with the entertainment industry.  We had a high profile in this niche because our signs were on buildings from West Hollywood to Beverly Hills to Santa Monica by the ocean.  

We also sold many commercial properties (most of which were not actually listed) to a select group of developers and investors. We typically kept a low profile about our sales because we just did not like to boast.  

But, when the property manager of one of our leasing listings needed to sell another building that he managed he looked for a buyer on his own instead of giving us the listing. He would have gladly given us the listing, but, he just did not know that we sold buildings too! Ironically, that property fell out of escrow with his buyer and we had it sold within 24 hours to one of our clients. 

Here was business right under our noses. Although, we were well branded as leasing experts in the mind of this property manager, he was clueless of our sales expertise.  That was a $75,000 opportunity that almost passed us by. This is the value of  branding that we will never forget. Nor, should you.

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: 9/5/2012 at 7:35 AM
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: The Luxury of Disconnecting

As luxury real estate marketing professionals, many feel that being available on a 24/7 basis will insure success.  It seems like everyone is connected via every possible device, software and social media platform. You may feel that it is admirable or even heroic.  However, there is a time for being inaccessible and completely disconnected.

Traveling earlier this week on business brought about an unexpected event.  At one of the locations we did not have cell or internet access.  We had to use a “land line” (an endangered species) to call those who were expecting to hear from us. Everyone understood.  We took advantage of the lack of digital connection to connect with our surroundings and each other.  That day gave us time to refresh and enjoy what was remarkable about our client’s marketplace. 

As we approach the Labor Day Weekend, it is important to re-evaluate the notion of being accessible 24/7 and seek moderation.  You may discover the strength that comes from setting limits.  When you are rested you magnify your power to attract and perceive more opportunities. Plus, your quality of life naturally improves.  Wishing you all a happy Labor Day!

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: 8/31/2012 at 10:40 AM
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Marketing Luxury Real Estate Tip: Cost of Living vs. Cost of Not Living

As a luxury real estate marketing professional it is essential that you understand the value of “living it up” because this is, more often than not, the mindset of your high net worth target market. It seems like there is far too much concern about increases in the cost of living. Have you ever considered the high cost of not living? 

Those who truly enjoy their wealth offer clues to those who aspire to acquire their own.  They are typically the most generous of human beings in that respect. 

 “Living it up” does not necessarily mean extravagance. Small indulgences and simple pleasures can send you into a mental state of abundance, a perspective that allows you see the world from an affluent vantage point—a world of possibilities and opportunities. 

Sure, there are those who are entrapped by their wealth. They are so worried about losing what they have or comparing their net worth to others that they are not really living at all. 

Recently, we visited friends who adopted “Buddy”, the rescue Golden Retriever, as a surprise present for their 6-year-old son.   One look at Buddy and you were transported into state of sheer delight and appreciation for the abundance of goodness in nature. Such loving eyes, such playfulness!  Buddy’s message to the world:  “Forget your troubles, come on, get happy!” He cajoled anyone who came into his presence to play with him and live it up. He was impossible to resist. 

The more frequently you can live it up, the more opportunities you will perceive to connect with others who share your abundant mindset. And, the more business you will attract as a luxury real estate marketing professional.  Do you have a "Buddy"?

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: 8/27/2012 at 11:15 PM
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: Turning a Mistake into a Success with Transparency

As with any business or professional practice, luxury real estate marketing professionals sometimes make mistakes. For some, it is hard to admit for fear of being judged unfavorably.  We believe it is best to be transparent about mistakes and do your best to turn them into opportunities to build trust. 

Recently, Apple made some missteps in staffing their stores.  They announced their mistake, corrected it and moved on. That is transparency.

As we were passing the wine aisle at the market, the label (depicted above), with a big orange question mark, caught our attention.  It really stood out from the others. It was priced at $5.99, so we could not resist our curiosity.  Soon, we discovered the story of this particular bottle from Oreana Winery.  It is simply labeled as red table wine and we enjoyed it very much.

Here is their story as seen on their label,

“Mistake or Fate?  I pondered this as I removed the hose from the stainless steel tank.  The wrong tank lot 1203 and lot 419 were now one.  Once destined to be bottled individually, now and forever fused. A phone call to a mentor elicited a quick response, ‘varietal wine? Blend it man and blend it well!’  I reached for a glass to decide what blue rain had been created from this mishap.   This is a soft, satiny, sexy wine, with voluptuous black cherry and blackberry fruit, plus layers of chocolate and spices suggestive of cinnamon, mint and more. It is powerful and complex, yet open and accessible."

WOW! It fully lived up to its description. It was the perfect accompaniment to our Margarita, heirloom tomato and fresh basil pizza.

What impressed us was the transparency in admitting a mistake and turning it into a success. The label fits perfectly as no varietal grape is listed. 

Turn your mistakes into successes! Be transparent.  Keep building trust.  Your reputation is the core component of your personal or company brand. This is an iconic example of branding that is remarkable and memorable. Oreana as a winery was not even on our radar screen, and with this branding coup wer will never forget it.  It made an indelible impression.

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: 8/23/2012 at 7:49 AM
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: The Economics of Aligned Self Interests

In marketing luxury real estate it is important to understand how to create and execute the economics of aligned self interest.  This strategy is one that takes all parties into account by understanding their points of views i.e. their self motivated interests.  By understanding other’s points of views (walking in their shoes) you can connect with them and create a new paradigm resulting in a viable and harmonious outcome for everyone involved.  Here is an example of the economics of aligned self interests from the retail world.

If you have been in a large mall lately, you may have noticed an interesting kiosk/booth called “me’ality” with a slogan below it, “measured reality ™”.  This booth as described by their literature is “a size matching station because one size fits nobody”.  The technology in this booth is a safe scanning device that takes 200,000 measurements of an individual’s body (women in this instance).  These measurements are translated into a list of stores (Gap, Levi, DKNY, and Ralph Lauren to name a few) which carry jeans that will fit your body and specifies the size and the cut which is perfect for you.

Whose bottom lines benefit here?  The malls have experienced additional traffic because of this kiosk.  Additional traffic translates into more sales for all the tenants in the mall and that means fewer empty stores. (One of the tenants in the Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks, California, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf had a notice on the booth giving away a $5.00 gift card for signing up with me’ality.) The retailers are subscribing by the droves with me’ality, and their list is growing daily.  Me’ality has had national positive media coverage.   Retailers are reporting more sales and less returns and exchanges.  Customers are finding the perfect fit in jeans and are telling friends about this time saving device.    

Here is a real estate example.  In our commercial real estate practice, we were approached by an architectural firm wanting to lease a building they would design in a particular geographic area.  We put out feelers in the brokerage community looking for land that could be developed into a 3 story office building.  One of our favorite teams responded.  They had a piece of land in escrow contingent on the buyer (developer) finding a sizeable tenant willing to sign a long term lease for a 3 story office building.  The fact that our clients were a noted firm was a bonus to the developer.  Everyone’s economic self interest was served.    Our architectural firm fulfilled their desire to create the perfect building for themselves.  The developer had a piece of land that increased in value because of the building and the income generated.  And the brokers made a very nice commission. 

So next time you are negotiating or trying to fulfill wishes for a buyer/seller in marketing luxury real estate take a moment to examine their self motivated interest, and find out what is in it for them.   Find a way to align all interests geared to the same goal…a successful transaction.

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: 8/21/2012 at 2:00 PM
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Categories: Luxury Guest Writers | Luxury Real Estate
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Marketing Luxury Real Estate: The Times They Are A-Changing! Amen!

When I saw this news flash on our  morning Wall Street Journal news feed, it reminded of Bob Dylan's song,The Times They Are A-Changing".  The song was released on a album by the same name in 1964, Here is the headline:

"For the first time in its 80-year history, Augusta National Golf Club has female members." 

We chose the picture of the Amen corner named by Herbert Warren Wind in Sports Illustrated as the place where exciting golf news happens, and it was appropriate given today's news.

Invitations were extended to former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and South Carolina financier, Darla Moore.  Both women accepted.  It may have taken 48 years to get here, but it is proof that we are evolving to a better place.

Here is the first stanza from the song,

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Here's A Toast to Change for the Better, Happy Monday, 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.


Bellevue: Luxury Real Estate in the Seattle Area

Bellevue real estate is diverse in every sense of the word, as the neighborhoods of Bellevue are home to people from all over the world. According to the 2010 census, individuals with recent and/or direct foreign ancestry accounted for more than 40 percent of the city’s population, and, more than 50 foreign languages are being spoken by children in Bellevue public schools. There is also a great diversity of homes in Bellevue from one bedroom apartments to Beautiful lakefront homes and estates. The style of most homes in Bellevue are either craftsman, mid-century modern, or traditional single-story ramblers. However, there are contemporary homes throughout the city, as well as the several Mediterranean style homes, particularly in newer estate communities along Lake Washington.
 
Bellevue has many parks and recreational facilities, and the city also organizes sports teams ranging from golf to swimming, which draw in lively crowds from all over the Pacific Northwest. The Bellevue School District is consistently rated among the best in the country, which has a direct impact on property values. On average, in the central locations of Bellevue, five bedroom homes start at about $1.5 million and go as high as $20 million. The average price for sold single-family homes on the west side of Bellevue is presently $1.1 million. The average for homes on the east side of Bellevue is $595,000.
 
Bellevue city residents enjoy living between two large bodies of water, Lake Washington to the west, and Lake Sammamish to the east. The Lakes offer beaches, a beautiful landscape and many activities to residents including fishing, jet skiing, waterskiing, wakeboarding, sailing, and windsurfing. Waterfront homes are very popular, and there are many of them on the market at the moment. Bellevue offers one-bedroom lake-view condos, to luxury estate lakeside homes. One or two bedroom condos with a lake view range from $300,000 to $2 million dollars, and larger estate homes are offered at a wide range of prices - most above $2 million dollars. Most lakeside homes come with docks, either floating or mounted, and some offer boat storage.
 
The city also offers one and two bedroom apartments in the city for those who wish to live near their place of work. Bellevue is one of the most successful cities in Washington. It is a very active place for commerce, technology innovation, and international trade. With a highly educated population, it is the #1 city in the U.S for entrepreneurs, and has a fast growing international trade market. It is home to most of the 25 largest companies in Washington, including Microsoft, T-Mobile, Boeing and Expedia. One bedroom condos/townhomes are offered from $98,000 up to $400,000. Many are very close to the lake to accommodate to those who wish to frequent the waterfront often, but most are located in downtown, for residents who wish to enjoy the downtown Bellevue lifestyle.

This post was provided by Anthony Gilbert, a real estate agent with the RealFX Group specializing in selling Snoqualmie Ridge Real Estate & Sammammish Homes For Sale.


Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: Does Your Brand Command a Premium?

When you are passionate about what you do and you have aligned your passion with a career path that can deliver the economic benefits that you desire, opportunities seek you out.  And, you can perceive opportunities quicker than your competition.  In fact you can find the trail to opportunities in even the most mundane non-obvious places.

As passionate brand strategists in luxury real estate marketing we find the opportunity to expound upon the principles of branding everywhere we look.  Here is an example of the value of achieving top of mind status.  Recently, we had a minor overnight invasion of ants that attacked the cat food.  We were fortunate to nip this problem in the bud.  But, we decided to take preventative measures for potential midnight raids.  We sought out ant bait/traps.  Two brands were prominently displayed: Combat and Raid.  Both boxes were the same price.  We assumed they were equally efficient. 

Raid is the brand that comes to mind first for us and Combat is not even on our radar screen. Combat had 6 traps in the box and Raid had four.  Raid, obviously commanded a 50% premium based on their brand recognition.  In a time starved world the majority of people would select to brand that comes to mind first, underlines the value of brand recognition.  There is no inherent value of the actual ingredients of the product.  Trust in the brand is the added value.

We selected Combat overriding our natural proclivity to the brand that came to mind first.  This is a mega trend in luxury marketing today: luxury brands themselves getting away with a 50% plus premium on their name alone, they have to demonstrate actual value.

Sellers and buyers are getting smarter when it comes to luxury real estate.  One of the interesting outcomes of the global economic upheaval, luxury real estate consumers are looking for intrinsic value and are unwilling to pay a premium for a home or any other goods, if the intrinsic added value is non-existent.  As a luxury real estate marketing profession, it is now imperative to define your added value and it better be substantive, so that you can achieve top of mind status.   Does your brand command a premium?

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: 8/15/2012 at 1:44 PM
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Three Simple Home Upgrades to Revamp Your Living Space

Tired of looking at the same old decor in your home, but don't want to go through the hassle of an elaborate remodeling project? Simple finishes and fixtures can have a dramatic effect on virtually every room in the house and can easily be applied and exchanged as often as home decorating trends evolve. If you're looking for a fun and easy way to get creative with your living space without committing to a huge project, the following list of cool and contemporary ideas can give your home a brand-new look and feel in just a few hours.

Fashionable finishes are your friend

One of the quickest way to update your kitchen or bath is to choose a new finish for your fixtures. According to Judd Lord, the director of industrial design for Delta Faucet Co., chrome is one of the best-selling types of finishes on the market today. Although chrome offers an eye-catching, glamorous look, homeowners can also choose brass, copper, nickel, gold-plated, oil-rubbed metals, matte finishes, shiny finishes, satiny sheens or even customized textures for an entirely unique look. Lord claims that one of the most popular finishing trends is customization, which involves combining two different finishes such as brushed nickel with oil-rubbed bronze for twice the shine and an original appeal.

Start from the top with a modern ceiling fan

A lighting fixture without a ceiling fan is a wasted opportunity. Although some newer lighting fixture styles – such as skylights – may add a chic touch to your home, homeowners can derive much more functionality and personality from modern styles of ceiling fans. Ceiling fans come in a wide variety of different styles, and they all come with the added benefit of improving the air circulation in your home. You can choose a finish for ceiling fans that complements other fixtures in the home. 

Create a pop of color and comfort with decorative rugs

Rugs offer one of the simplest ways to completely change the look and feel of your living space. The best part? You can switch out a decorative rug frequently to match your mood or the season. Adding a rug to a hardwood or tiled area of the home keeps the floor warmer beneath your feet, which gives your home a cozier feeling and provides better insulation during the colder months. Add utilitarian low-pile rugs to areas of the home where you do a lot of standing, including in front of the refrigerator, sink, stove and doors for better support and comfort. For enhanced safety, make sure to include a slip-proof mat beneath each rug to prevent accidents.

Busy homeowners, have no fear. In just half a Saturday, you can freshen up the look of your home just in time for that dinner party or friendly get-together without hiring a professional designer. These simple projects can add a touch of elegance and newness to every room in the home, which can keep you on top of the latest trends between major renovations.

This post was provided by Jessica Sark, an architecture buff with a flair for interior design. In her spare time, she blogs on behalf of Sears and other prestigious brands. Image Source: koocbor


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 8/14/2012 at 3:27 PM
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: Do You Speak Bespoke?

DNA STRAND

The word “bespoke” is what every luxury real estate marketing professional needs to know. The term "bespoke" comes from England where it originally referred to custom or tailor-made clothing. “In recent years, however, the term has been applied to information technology and also refers to custom services or products.”  (from techterms.com)

In our former lives as commercial real estate broker owners in Beverly Hills and environs, we practiced bespoke service.  Each buyer, seller, investor, lessor and lessee were treated and taken care of in a unique way based on their preferences.  At the very beginning of our relationship we sat down with each person found out what they needed and wanted from our services as well as their expectations.  We also clarified how they liked to be communicated with.  Some of our clients preferred weekly meetings and phone calls as well as a written report.  Buyers had other criteria, and our developer clients wanted an immediate call and offer written for their fax signature, when some gem came on the market. 

Today as branding and marketing strategists, we practice bespoke service.  We fly out to each client’s marketplace.  We spend time getting to know their marketplace and see the business of their luxury real estate through their eyes.  We establish our relationship and specify their preferred ways of communication and adhere to that.

By thoroughly studying our client’s competition, we help our clients identify and pioneer hidden, untapped market opportunities where they can passionately provide extraordinary value. By establishing and dominating an uncontested market niche their profit margins increase and their competition becomes inconsequential.  We also help our clients define their goals and their preferences.

With that knowledge in hand, we work on developing an over arching strategy.  From that strategy we develop a brand, brand graphics and subsequently a web site geared to fulfilling the strategy.  We also assist our clients in creating a work-style and lifestyle that’s in-sync, so that they can experience a profound sense of control over their personal and professional life.

Bespoke is our style of communication and is reflected in the brands and strategies we come up with.  We know that “one size does not fit all”, every market is unique, and every individual or company is unique and they deserve to be treated that way.  Do you speak bespoke?

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: 8/13/2012 at 12:52 PM
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Categories: Luxury Guest Writers | Luxury Real Estate
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Country Manor on the Mississippi

This 6-bedroom, 10-bathroom, Alpine log home is perfectly situated on 143+ rolling acres offering serene and stunning panoramic views of the Mississippi River. Located just 20 minutes from Dubuque, Iowa, this property will take your breath away.

The kitchen is a dream come true, granite countertops, Durasupreme custom cabinetry, 2 dishwashers, Sub-Zero refrigerator, 2 Sub-Zero drawers, Wolf stove with six burners, griddle and double oven, microwave drawer. Five gas fireplaces, 2 indoor masonry-wood burning fireplaces with gas starters, 1 outdoor masonry-wood burning fireplace and one gas stove. Spectacular bath features a custom rock waterfall. Office and library include custom cherry paneling, moldings and trim, lighted built-in book shelves. Three-story elevator. 30+ acres of tillable land currently used to farm. Numerous trails for hiking, horses or 4-wheelers. Includes a road to the Mississippi River, with a platform dock for kayaks, canoes or flat-bottom boat. BarnPro Custom barn with 6 stalls available. Walk out basement has a 120-foot theater, bar, exercise room, steam shower and built-in sauna. Floor heating system. Diesel generator for backup power, two large mechanical rooms with multiple water heaters and boosters, built-in vacuum system, whole house (smart-house) audio and video, security system with multiple cameras, humidification system, and pure air exchange system. Full apartment over the garage has a full kitchen with refrigerator, dishwasher, stove/oven, microwave, full bathroom and fireplace. Tons of storage. Too many amenities to list!

Offered at $4.9 million. For more information, click here.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 8/12/2012 at 8:02 AM
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Categories: duPont REGISTRY Featured Properties | Luxury Real Estate
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