Previous month:
March 2011
Next month:
May 2011

April 2011

Will and Kate – Above the Clouds

We’ve joined this week’s royal wedding hoopla with the question:

 If Will and Kate ventured across the pond to buy a home,
what might be the perfect match for them?

Currently the royal couple are nestled in a whitewashed farm house on the tiny windswept isle of Anglesey in NW Wales (rented for a bargain £750 a month) while William finishes his Royal Air Force tour of duty.  Then, one presumes, they’ll spend some time in the new 6-bedroom eco-friendly home Daddy (oops! That’s Prince Charles to us) has built on his 900 acre Herefordshire estate.  

Clouds But, if the young royals yearn for privacy, security and a bit of distance from family politics and royal pressures, we’ve surveyed our members and concluded that ILHM member Sharon Bateman of Pall Spera  Company has a perfect North American listing for Kate and Will -- Above the Clouds. Perched on massive rocks on Stowe, Vermont’s highest ground and featuring a dramatic rock ledge canyon approach, Above the Clouds is an 18,000 square foot, 15 acre property offering quiet elegance and local craftsmanship.

The approximately £8.82 million price ($16 million) would hardly put a dent in the royal coffers.  New York City, Boston and Montreal are just short flights away and there’s ample room for Kate’s hats, Will’s Ducati bike, new heirs and the Royal Protection Squad.  

So, we join Sharon Bateman in issuing an invitation to the young royals, their “screeners,” and to Fleet Street (the UK Press) to schedule a showing! Please come (and don’t hold the revolution against us).

Check out the playlet Sharon’s team wrote imagining a conversation between Will and Kate:

Will and Kate In the Clouds (A one-act playlet)

Place: Interior of Balmoral Castle
Time: After the storybook wedding.

Will: (with amusement) I do wish we could get away from it all.
Kate: (an oblique smile) My little clotted cream. I too want to be where we can just muck around.
Will: How exactly do you mean?
Kate: Don’t be so vieux jeu.
Will: I didn’t read French at Oxford.
Kate: O, Wills, I want to pole a punt upstream with you in the bowseat, remember the Cherwell, picnic on the river, sip some fizz...get dirty. With soil, I mean.
Will: Yes, yes...(looks pensive). Can I give up the feel of marble underfoot…
Kate: (Pokes Will’s chest playfully) I want to show you something.
Will: (blushing) Oh?
Kate: (whips out her iPad, strums furiously across keyboard.) Look.
Will: (a tad disappointed) Oh!
Kate: (showing him the iPad) It’s in Stowe, Vermont. Look at that three-story living room and Bottocino marble everywhere. Sunken tub, Oh Wills, Henry VIII would fit comfortably.
Will: Quite stunning, Chamonix?
Kate: New England!
Will: Neeeeeew England? Where the Dickens is that?
Kate: Across the pond in the colonies! Above the Clouds, the name of the estate.
Will: (looking at iPad) An East and West wing! Magnificent views of the ski trails minutes away. Pops, ugh…dad, will love it. I love it, all 18,000 SFs of it. What is that in metric, love?
Kate: Did you say Pops?




Property photographs and details:
Property MLS information

An Exclusive Summer Soiree in London


Looking to connect with the "jet set" this July?  

Try the Concours d'Elegance in London.  July 27-29 the exclusive, private Hurlingham Club plays host to one of the world's most exclusive garden parties.   Take an afternoon stroll through the lawns and explore the finest luxury offerings from top brands in fashion, jewellery, yachts, aviation, and collectible automobiles.  Promote your own exclusive properties, or explore those on offer.  

Concours2 The soiree lasts well into the night, so there is ample opportunity to mix and mingle, see and be seen.

Consider it old fashioned social networking.

Half the affluent opting-out of social media

Anti-social or just busy with other things, half of the affluent say they do not participate in any type of social media according to the Spring 2011 Affluent Market Tracking Study conducted by The American Affluence Research Center.  

Some highlights from the study:

  • In contrast to the March general Consumer Confidence Index of The Conference Board, which fell over 10% to the low levels last seen in Fall 2010, the affluent, who account for about half of all consumer spending, report a better outlook for the economy and their personal spending plans.
  • Spending plans for all 17 products and services tracked by these surveys are much stronger than in the Fall 2010 survey. 
  • There is also improvement in the plans to make major expenditures such as for a new auto, a cruise, and a vacation home.
  • While 65% of the affluent own a smart phone or a tablet (or both), the remainder have regular access to a computer. Half of the affluent say they do not participate in any type of social media.
  • Among those that do participate in social media, only a quarter say they use social media to receive regular communications about product and related information from a manufacturer or retailer.  In other words, only 12.5% of the affluent say they are using social media to receive regular product information from a manufacturer or retailer. This relatively low number (12.5% of the affluent) may be surprising given all the amazing statistics being circulated by various research and traffic tracking companies about the volume and growth of e-commerce, the ubiquitous mobile devices, and the urgent emphasis to invest time and money into various forms of mobile apps and promotional activities online through proprietary sites and social media. It is important to understand who will actually be reached through mobile devices and social media (and whether the ROI is reasonable), what technology is needed to be compatible with the various different mobile and other receiving devices, and who might be missed if communications are limited exclusively to these channels.
  • About 59% of the affluent say they are not familiar with the concepts of private residence or destination clubs. Concept familiarity, which is essentially the same as in 2007, is strongest among the younger (59 and under), higher income, and higher net worth groups.
  • About 10% of the affluent say they will seriously consider acquiring access to a vacation home during the next 12 months. Plans to make an acquisition increase as age declines, income increases, and net worth increases. About 2.9% are considering two types of vacation home acquisition. Wholly-owned homes are the most favored type of vacation home access. Wholly-owned homes used primarily on a seasonal basis are more popular than those used frequently throughout the year. The only exceptions are the 50 to 59 age group, the under $200K income group, and the lowest net worth group.

Overall, this is good news.  Among the successful, outlooks are more positive and spending plans are up.  

Remember that insights based on good research and data can help you identify opportunities and threats and adjust your marketing strategies and plans accordingly. 

Targeting the Coastal Lifestyle?

New discounts and options available to market your property to a captive audience of coastal home prospects

Ocean We're pleased to announce that Ocean Home Magazine is now offering special pricing on both print and online advertising for Members of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.

Ocean Home’s targeted circulation to the nation’s most affluent households ensures that your message reaches an audience with unmatched buying power. Ocean Home readers are sophisticated and savvy and are most qualified by income, net worth, lifestyle, and regional location to purchase ocean homes of all types.  


  • Average age: 51
  • Gender: 51% Female, 49% Male
  • Married: 90%
  • Average HHI: $1,214,000
  • Net Worth: $5,831,000
  • Primary Residence Value: $1,964,000

Reach these active buyers of coastal and island property with pinpoint accuracy through Ocean Home's qualified network and distribution sources. Ocean Home's readership is comprised of a highly select group of second, third, and fourth home buyers, coupled with the private customer lists of their strategic advertising partners.

You'll find a complete Real Estate Media Kit with special pricing for Institute Members on the Ocean Home page in the Members Only section of our website.  In addition to the special pricing, you'll also find the editorial calendar for 2011, a list of online resources, special promotions, and more.

You can contact them directly with questions and to find out how they can help you deliver on your marketing promises and find the affluent buyers and sellers you seek.

Ocean Home Magazine
16 Haverhill St., Suite 300
Andover, MA 01810

A big "THANK YOU" to Ocean Home Magazine for their support of Institute Members like you! 

Rich spending more but still looking for value

Good news regarding the mood of America's rich...

Results from the annual Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America are out today.  The wealthy are  expected to continue to increase their spending on luxury goods and services, but with with an eye toward value.

Spending on luxuries, excluding cars and travel, is set to rise 8 percent to $359 billion compared to 2010, according to the sixth annual American Express Publishing and Harrison Group survey.

Other highlights:

  • 70% believe the US is still in a recession, but they are less anxious about it
  • Concerns about potential job loss have fallen 50% compared to last year
  • Only 11% are worried about the potential failure of their businesses, down from 28% last year

More details in this Reuters article

Global trends in wealth and prime property

Knight Frank and Citi Private Banking have published their annual Wealth Report, which takes stock of the global trends in wealth and "prime property."

Highlights of the 2011 Wealth Report include:

  • Their picks on the best of investment property
  • Massive growth in Asian luxury markets
  • The Prime International Residential Index
  • Knight Frank Global Cities Survey
  • BRIC countries challenging the traditional financial centers NYC and London...

If you're watching the international wealth and real estate trends, consider it required reading.