Archive for the ‘Luxury home trends’ Category

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Generational real estate selling and other minsinformation.

April 28, 2011

We live in a time when people want quick answers and quick resolutions to all their questions. How many times a day do you see articles with “Five ways to Happiness” or “Seven steps to selling your home”? Here’s a fact: there aren’t any quick or fast steps to doing anything. It’s just the use of a catch phrase to get your attention. Imagine how great life would be if we could solve things in three easy steps? It just not that simple.

One of the main things I see is that realtors are being misled to believe that their clients are now internet social butterflies and that so much business is done via the web. This is simply not true. While more than 80% may look on the web for a home; the majority of individuals still rely on word-of-mouth or personal relationships to find a realtor to assist them. For instance, a recent fact published by the American Affluence Research Center reflects that only 12.5% of affluent clients even use social media. That’s not very good odds for those seeking to attract the luxury market via the web, through Facebook or other social networking venues.

The other common mistake I see in today’s real estate world is labeling clients. Of course, you know about “boomers” but now we have the newest which is the Millenial generation. The Millenial Generation was born between 1977 and 1998 and has approximately 75 million members. REALTORS are being led to believe that this age group is the next big wave of buyers. Let me assure you – I don’t see this happening. Why? Because I personally have millenials (with college degrees) living under my roof and they can’t find jobs that pay enough to afford a home. Fact: College degrees don’t guarantee a high-paying job thereby making home ownership affordable. I have friends who also have children who graduated college, who are hard-working and driven BUT who are also waiting tables and working part-time at corporations just to get an opportunity for full-time employment. Where do they live? At home with their parents! In addition, many of my friends have not only their grown children living at home but also their parents. These are the people who are helping to support the Millenials. I wish more people would write about that fact.

Millenials and Gen “X” and “Y” are watching the world economy in turmoil and they are scared for their future. I’m not sure they see the value in home ownership and they may just wait it out for a few years and see how the United States government (and lending instituions) respond to our economic crisis.

What is factual? At the end of the day it is still about relationships. Get out from behind your computer and meet people. Stay in touch with friends and former clients. While I personally have a blog, Facebook page and I tweet like a maniac, I do so for fun. I don’t expect business to boom because I do all my social networking. People will buy homes because they need a place to live. But as for me – know any investors or better yet – let’s do lunch?

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The changing luxury market

April 20, 2010

 

The Changing Luxury Market

I am a specialist in luxury homes and marketing luxury goods to clients throughout the world. This current economic climate though has changed my opinion of the definition of luxury. Times change, people change and luxury has changed.

Luxury clients were once an elite group of individuals who were fairly obvious to even the most amateur of sales executives. But luxury elite status has dimmed somewhat as firstly, many people are now able to afford luxury goods and secondly, many luxury clients are experiencing their first economic crisis of a lifetime.

Today’s luxury homeowner may look and feel like luxury (expensive diamonds, cars, art) but underneath their demeanor is a homeowner who is living month to month and wondering how to maintain appearances.  It’s a fragile world and frankly, they are not prepared for what is to come.

Today’s TRUE luxury client may look different and seem different. The smart ones are people who have not fallen prey to every excess on the market, purchased a bucket load of baubles and continue to drive the latest most expensive cars. I am finding many luxury clients asking me to assist them as they work through a financial downturn they never anticipated or saved for. It’s a scary world.

Today’s luxury client could mean dreadlocks and diamonds. In other words – today’s luxury is not the obvious…in fact, it’s the reverse. They are the people you least expect and they have invested well and with discretion. They may drive a Ford and not have a multi-million dollar medieval castle. They wear jeans and Nikes. They are totally unique and totally in tune with the market. 80% of today’s luxury buyer is tech savvy and researches every purchase. And most importantly, today’s luxury customer rarely buys on impulse. Long term investments are the rule with multiple properties instead of one show home. It’s actually an interesting turn of events.

I am reminded of my grandmother who came from great wealth but lived her later years in a charming bungalow of about 970 square feet. She mowed her own yard in knee highs and pearls. She drank her tea on fine china in a tiny kitchen. That’s today’s luxury. They are different, they act different and they have a certain rule for living that is going to redefine the future. They may not have a million dollar home but their home will be chic and charming. Gaudy is out and tasteful and charming is in. Small is the new big. This is going to be amazing to watch the old world appeal of  outrageous display transformed by a new era of discrete buyers.

To quote F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The rich are different…”

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When smaller is better – house downsizing

May 30, 2009

Is it me or is everything getting smaller?

I know this a luxury blog but luxury no longer equals HUGE. Lavish displays of extravagant wealth are no longer de rigueur. You can be opulent and tastefully small.

I have watched, with our current market conditions, as homeowners are downsizing in record numbers. People still want to be surrounded by beautiful things – just not so much of them. Maybe there is too much of a good thing.

I have also watched people who had extraordinary home settle for something sweet and simple. When the world around you is teetering, just a bit, it is good to have something that is warm and cozy and feels like home.

In the end, this may not be a bad thing at all. Luxury in a box, a delicious, delightful and small box. I think I may try it myself.

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Outdoor Living Space – The New Luxury Item

September 25, 2008

One of the hottest trends we are seeing in Florida is the extension of the home into the outdoors. The new must-have for the luxury homeowner is an outdoor space with pool, fire pit, sofa, pillows, pergolas, and state-of-the art grilling centers. These are now top selling features in upscale homes. Fireplace in the back yard? Not a problem. More and more home buyers are looking for a place to hang out in the fantastic Florida climate and enjoy the day late into the night. I think the high stressed and hard-working homeowners want to enjoy the outdoors to the fullest and the new outdoor living room is just the answer.

When you are thinking back yard…it’s not just a screened pool anymore. It’s a fireplace, a waterfall, a lounge area. It’s so much more. It’s totally zen and a spa-like retreat for the work weary.

Modern backyard landscape design takes the traditional, simple lawn and extends the enjoyable living space of your home into the natural appeal of the outdoors. Today’s outdoor living spaces incorporate all the elements of indoor living, from purposeful living areas to detailed accents, to create a true estate home that is enjoyable throughout.

Creating an outdoor ambience is critical and should compliment your home design and style. It should be a place to entertain, relax and to bond. Look for this trend to continue well into the next few years.

It’s extending home life into the outdoors.