Previous month:
January 2016
Next month:
March 2016

February 2016

Denver Realtor and Institute Member Gives Back to Community in a BIG way

In 2006, Denver Realtor and Institute Member, Joan Rogliano, started a support group for her transitioning clients of divorce and widowhood. The Wildflower Group that was once a support group quickly became an opportunity to educate clients about options regarding their martial home. Subsequently, Joan began to offer educational workshops titled, Divorce and Your Home. Soon after delivering a few of these workshops, she realized there was a greater need for an expanded social community that provided support and trusted professional resources. After implementing, the workshops expanded and the schedule of events increased.

Recognizing there was also urgency for financial aid for this transitioning demographic, Joan created the Wildflower Women's Organization in 2010. WWO is a 501c3 nonprofit which provides educational, financial, and legal advocacy. Supporters include the Anschutz Family Foundation, Coors Foundation, and Jackson National Life Insurance.

Word spread quickly about Wildflower Group throughout the Denver metro area and it also garnered national attention. Recently, Joan was featured on the TODAY Show, her segment was focused on how Wildflower Group supports divorced and widowed women across the United States.

TODAY-Wildflower

Click the image above to view the TODAY Show segment

Wildflower Group is now operating in ten states as a national network of trusted divorce professionals providing education and community support. Current statistics show that women make 85% of consumer purchases in the United States and influence 85% of consumer decisions. Wildflower Group’s Marketing System offers potential Garnders a turnkey system that shows real estate professionals how to begin marketing to this niche market of consumers.

You can learn more about becoming a Gardner for the Wildflower Group by visiting their website.

 Website www.wildflowergroup.net


U.S. Will Unmask Secret Buyers of Luxury Real Estate

Beginning in March of this year, the Treasury Department will take steps to increase transparency in luxury real estate transactions. The new initiative will target all-cash real estate purchases made by shell companies, LLCs, partnerships, and other entities that conceal the homebuyer’s identity. The use of shell companies in real estate purchases is legal, and this will be the first time that high-end buyers—often private by nature and necessity—will be required to reveal their identities. While an individual might utilize a shell company or LLC to protect their privacy and protect themselves from liability, the Treasury and the FBI are aiming to crack down on the international buyers who use these transactions to hide illicit funds and illegal activity.

Cityscape

Money Laundering & Luxury Real Estate

In “Towers of Secrecy,” a series of investigative articles published in 2015, The New York Times pulled back the curtain on all-cash, multi-million-dollar real estate purchases made by mysterious shell companies in Manhattan. This investigation revealed that many of these real estate transactions were being used to shield the significant wealth of foreign politicians and business people who had been accused of or tied to criminal activity. The Times reported: “Many of the owners represent a cross-section of American wealth: chief executives and celebrities, doctors and lawyers, technology entrepreneurs and Wall Street traders. But The Times also found a growing proportion of wealthy foreigners, at least 16 of whom have been the subject of government inquiries around the world, either personally or as heads of companies. The cases range from housing and environmental violations to financial fraud.” This investigation revealed that, of all the homes worth $5 million or more in the United States, nearly half are purchased using shell companies. It also suggested that, in many instances, luxury real estate professionals do not know the true identities of their clients.

Unmasking Secret Buyers

Partly in response to The Times’ findings, the U.S. Treasury is launching their initiative to unmask mysterious buyers of high-end homes. The initiative will start in Manhattan and Miami-Dade County, running from March through August, and apply only to all-cash purchases made through shell companies. When a shell company pays cash for a Manhattan property worth at least $3 million or a Miami property with at least $1 million, the title insurance company will be required to identify the “natural persons” behind the transactions—“each individual who, directly or indirectly, owns 25 percent or more of the equity interests” of the entity that purchased the property. The title insurance company will then copy the license or passport of each individual and report their findings to the Treasury. The government will compile this information in a database for federal law enforcement, who will investigate the buyers and the origins of their cash.

If many sales involve suspicious money, the Treasury will instate permanent reporting requirements across the entire country. The Treasury also noted that, as part of a broader push to crack down on money laundering in real estate, future investigations would focus on the professionals who assist in these suspicious transactions, such as lawyers, bankers, and real estate agents.


Tips For Marketing To Wealthy 50+ Prospects

Capturing business from an offline generation

An October 2015 report from Forbes Insights, Engaging 50+ Consumers In A Digital World, examines the consumer behaviors of wealthy Americans 50 years old and above, a demographic which holds $3.6 trillion in annual income, or 49% of all after-tax income in U.S. Created in partnership with Wealth Engine, the report asserts that this demographic has wholly unique values and preferences concerning marketing from luxury brands and service providers.

1. Emphasize the property’s quality and craftsmanship.

To speak to the values of wealthy 50+ Americans, luxury real estate professionals should highlight the quality and craftsmanship of high-end homes rather than the related prestige of living in the home or community. The Wealth Engine survey shows that this group considers the most vital aspects of a luxury product or service to be quality (82%) and craftsmanship (66%). These values are even more important to baby boomers (51-70) than older generations, so this definition of luxury will be around for a while. In contrast, more traditional conceptions of luxury—prestige of ownership (19%), brand/maker name (17%), price (11%)—are not top-priority with respondents.

ChartWEBlog

2. Market online and offline.

While the Internet plays a part in their decision making processes, these consumers are tentative about the ever-changing technological landscape and thus unlikely to make buying decisions solely based on information received online. On the other hand, 50+ wealthy consumers are generally more receptive than younger generations to offline interactions, experiences, and marketing. 50+ wealthy consumers prefer to get marketing and advertising messages: (1) by word of mouth, (2) through an online search, (3) by visiting a known brand or retailer website directly, and (4) via print or direct mail.

While it can be challenging to strike the on/offline balance needed to engage these consumers, the Forbes/Wealth Engine report urges that careful, value-oriented marketing can really pay off: “While [wealthy 50+ consumers] might not be as digitally savvy as their children and grandchildren, they still have more discretionary funds to spend.”

3. Avoid email marketing with unknown leads.

Be cautious about how you use email to engage 50+ leads and prospects. The Wealth Engine survey shows that, while 17% of respondents rank “email from known brands” in their top 3 preferred methods of receiving marketing and advertising, only 8% appreciate emails from previously unknown brands. In fact, reflecting on the proliferation of unsolicited direct and email marketing, 21% say it makes them not want to do business with a brand, and 18% think it indicates that the brand doesn’t understand what they want.

4. Utilize data-driven targeted marketing, but don’t get too personal.

The wealthy 50+ demographic is particularly receptive to targeted marketing. Of respondents who decided to buy from a particular brand or service provider after seeing their marketing: 68% say they did so because “the timing of the marketing message matched when I wanted/needed to buy,” and 52% say that the inciting marketing message included a special offer that appealed to them.

On the other hand, Forbes notes that, “while they like the personal touch in real life, they are not as keen on it in marketing messages they receive.” 50+ wealthy Americans are hyper-sensitive to data privacy and liable to be made uncomfortable by over-personalized messaging. They will likely not appreciate messaging that mentions a birthday, recent purchase, or any personal information that indicates data mining practices.

5. Be direct when seeking referrals and reviews.

Wealthy 50+ consumers are comfortable giving referrals and recommendations by word of mouth, but very unlikely to sing their praises online. The Forbes survey and report shows that, for referring a brand or business, 84% are willing to share by word of mouth, while only 21% are willing to write reviews online. To capture referrals from this demographic, real estate professionals should directly ask whether the client has any friends or family members who are thinking of buying or selling real estate in the near future. In addition, agents should ask for a written review to include in a testimonial book or in the testimonial section of your webpage.