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April 2012

Get the Money Shot

We talk a lot about the importance of GOOD PHOTOGRAPHY when it comes to marketing luxury real estate.  In fact it is one of the most important elements of your marketing.    

Institute for Luxury Home Marketing member Joyce Marsh shares her tips on good photography in "Get the Money Shot" in the current issue of Florida Realtor Magazine. 

GetTheMoneyShot

 

You can find additional photography tips in the How to Photograph Houses eBook by Stan Barron, a free download for Institute members on our Document Downloads page (login required).  


Where in the world of real estate was Laurie Moore-Moore?

This is the last of Laurie's "Grand Tour" geography quizzes.  Take a look at this photo of Laurie (in the rain again) see if you can guess the location of this real estate office. Can you guess the city and country in which this office is located?  

Mystery Location
If you know, email us the answer.  

We'll select the winner in a random drawing of all the correct answers, so email your answer by Monday April, 23rd.  We'll announce the winner on Tuesday, April 24th.

The winner will receive 50 Member seals and 50 business card jackets.

 Hints:

  • City’s name translates to ‘Salt Castle”
  • The Mirabell Gardens are located here
  • The city is famous for its Baroque architecture
  • Mozart was born here

Good luck!

UPDATE:

Congratulations to Lana Lowell-Mclaughlin of Realty Pros of Naples in Naples, FL and Larisa Stolyarov of Beachfront Realty in Aventura, FL.  Lana and Larisa are our two lucky winners randomly selected from all of the entries which correctly named the location -- Salzburg, Austria.

"Thank you" to all of the many members who've played along!    


Where in the world of real estate was Laurie Moore-Moore?

Take a look at Laurie’s photograph of this real estate office.  You will recognize the brand, but can you guess in what city and country this office is located?  

Danubia
If you know, email us the answer.  

We'll select the winner in a random drawing of all the correct answers, so email your answer by Monday April, 16th.  We'll announce the winner on Tuesday, April 17th.

The lucky winner will receive 50 Member seals and 50 business card jackets.

 Hints:

  • This city began before 1AD as a Celtic settlement
  • It is famous for its mineral baths
  • It is a combination of two cites on both sides of a river
  • Its Castle Hill is a world Heritage Site
  • It was bombed by the Allies in WWII

This photograph will give you another visual clue:

Picture1

UPDATE:

As many of you obviously know, this is beautiful Budapest, Hungary.  We had lots of correct answers to this week's puzzler, so again we randomly selected two winners from all the correct entries.  

Our lucky winners this week are: Rhonda Diner of Sun Realty in North Naples, FL and Sela Dragan of Keller Williams Platinum in Phoenix, AZ.  Congratulations!

 


Don’t lose to competitors who “buy” listings by overpricing

It’s a common complaint.  Another agent is competing with you for a listing and “buys” the listing by agreeing to list it at a price you know the market will not support.  The seller likes the idea of the higher price and either you lose the listing and hope to be agent number two, or you feel trapped into accepting the listing at the higher price.  Neither of these options is attractive.  So, what’s the solution?  Here’s one way to approach it with a script based on a strategy  suggested by one of our members…

“I understand that the higher price, which the other agent is suggesting, is attractive to you.  However, the question a savvy seller like you will want to ask is whether the other agent is doing what real estate professionals call, “buying the listing.”   In other words, does the agent really believe that he or she can sell the home at or near that price, or does the agent plan to just ride the price down, down, down over time?

“This strategy hurts you several ways.  The listing quickly becomes identified as overpriced, showing activity drops, and low ball offers come in.  The time it takes to sell your house goes way up.   

“My recommendation is to price it right from the start.  However, if you truly want to try the other agent and the higher price, test the other agent’s commitment to that price by asking if he or she would release the listing to me if at some point the price is reduced to $________, the list price I’m recommending.  If the answer is no, that’s a sign that the agent may not believe he or she can sell your home for more that I’m recommending.  If I were a seller, that answer would make me uncomfortable”  

You might want to end by adding something about your track record in getting homes sold (your days on market and percent of list price statistics for example).   Then, ask for action.  

“Would you be willing to test the other agent’s commitment to the higher price by asking them to agree in writing to release the listing to me if the price is reduced to $_______?”


Where in the world of real estate was Laurie Moore-Moore?

We're back this week with another geography puzzler.  Take a look at this photo of Laurie in the rain and see if you can guess the location of this real estate office.  You may recognize the brand, but can you guess in what city and country this office is located?  

EngelVolkers
If you know, email us the answer.

This week, instead of the first member to email us with the correct answer, we'll select the winner in a random drawing of all the correct answers, so email your answer by Monday April, 9th.  We'll announce the winner on Tuesday, April 10th.

The lucky winner will receive 50 Member seals and 50 business card jackets.

 Hints:

  • The town is known for gingerbread.
  • The town is located where three rivers converge.  
  • One river’s name should make you think of waltzing.

Good luck!

UPDATE:  And the winner is...

Lesa Gilbert of Fairhope Alabama and Martine Addison of Denver, Colorado (yes, again!).  They both correctly identified the location as Passau, Germany (also known as Dreiflüssestadt or "City of Three Rivers") and were randomly selected from all the correct entries. 

Yes, there are two winners this week.  As you may recall, Martine won a couple of weeks ago when she correctly identified Vienna, Austria.  With her response this week she included a note that very graciously said, "You don't have to enter me in the contest, I just like playing."  

Well, that didn't seem fair.  After all she had the right answer and it was a random drawing.  So, just like all the other folks with the correct answer, we put her name on a little slip of paper and dropped it in box.  After all, it is a random drawing and what are the chances of her name being the one drawn, right?  

Suffice it to say that Martine is both knowledgeable when it comes to European cities, quick to respond, and very lucky!  Given this apparently unbeatable combination, we thought it would be fun to pick another name from the box, and make this a double winner week.  

Congratulations to both Martine and Lesa!

 


America's Sprawling Cities

As American cities continue to grow in population, they are growing in physical size too.  There is an interesting piece in The Atlantic Cities that delves into current census data and looks at the trends of growing urban populations (more than 80% of Americans now live in urban areas) and cities, both large and small, gobbling up more land.  

These growing urban areas aren't just cities extending their borders, according to Hawley, but rather clusters of urban development on the fringes of cities that are growing towards each other. As two areas spread out and get closer together, the space in between "gets sort of swallowed as growth between the two areas happens," Hawley says.

Here's a graph which shows "How U.S. urban land area has grown since 1990 in the 10 biggest gainers of 2010"

Urban Land Area - The Atlantic Cities


These are clearly metro areas that have grown dramatically, but it is not just large metros that are growing.  The cities with the largest percentage increases tended to be the smaller to mid-sized cities.  

These trends are a reflection of our changing  cities, development patterns and home buying behaviors. Understanding them is a key to understanding where future opportunities may lie.