From Carbon Footprints to Your Client's Blueprints

Luxury home buyers have become increasingly sensitive to their carbon footprint, allowing architects and engineers to use innovative processes and materials in creating and renovating high-end homes. Staying on top of these trends and technological advances will help luxury real estate professionals know what to look for and what questions to ask when assisting affluent clients who are seeking ways to recycle, reuse, and reduce.

As Earth Day approaches (Saturday, April 22), we are taking a look at some of the latest trends in design and construction that minimize environmental impact while maximizing functional design and well-being for homeowners.

Recycled Construction

“Renovation and reuse projects typically save between 50 and 75 percent of the embodied carbon emissions compared to constructing a new building.” The American Institute for Architects (AIA) notes that reusing and recycling materials, reduces carbon emissions and saves on construction and design costs. In renovating a Cambridge, Massachusetts home, Wolf Architects, Inc. utilized reclaimed lumber originally harvested in the 19th century that proved to be a higher quality than equivalent wood species today.

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Wolf Architects, Inc. milled reclaimed lumber for the exterior cladding on this Cambridge home that proved stronger than today's wood. Photo by Eric Roth

Sustainable Materials

Thanks in part to the success of IKEA’s Sinnerlig collection, sustainable cork products have trickled up into the luxury design world. The cork used in products from wine stops to insulation comes from the just the bark of the cork oak tree, allowing the tree to continue to grow. Aesthetically pleasing, tactile, and warm, cork is also a very functional material that is resistant to mold, mildew, water, termites, fire, cracking, and abrasions.

Renewable Energy

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Tesla unveiled its design for solar roof tiles. Photo Tesla.com

One of the most talked about materials in design and construction this year is the solar roof tiles developed by Tesla, known for its electric cars. While traditional solar panels come at a high cost, when not factoring government rebates and tax credits, Tesla claims that its solar roof tiles will cost less than an equivalent roof, opening the possibility for more than just luxury homes to produce and conserve renewable energy.

Learn More

See Dwell Magazine’s latest list of LEED-certified residences that use the latest technology and renewable resources to minimize environmental impact.

AIA's Ten Steps to Reducing Carbon Embodied Emissions during the construction and renovation process.

Check out the REALTOR® Magazine 2017 Home Design Trends featuring several environmentally friendly ideas.


The San Pellegrino Effect: Wealth, Cuisine and Travel

The list is here! For many, the announcement of the Top 50 Restaurants in the World is a harbinger of vacations to come, and entire trips are planned around a twelve course tasting menu. Snagging a reservation at any of the restaurants on the 2017 list is hard enough, but a new trend has emerged making just getting to some of these gastronomic paradises even more difficult.

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A tasting plate at Eleven Madison Park, named the best restaurant in the world for 2017. Image source theworlds50best.com

In past decades, a majority of the restaurants honored on the San Pellegrino Top 50 Restaurants list were (and still are) in the expected culinary destinations of the world: London, New York, and, of course, Paris. Each of these cities is also an economic capital of the world, so it comes as no surprise that where the wealthy live and work is where they eat. The restaurants that emerge in these cities rely on their affluent citizens to sustain them year after year. In line with that expectation, Tokyo's notoriety for fine dining came only after years of sustain economic growth throughout the 1990s.

However, recent years have seen restaurants added to this list from unexpected places without the support of sustained economic growth or a concentration of high net worth individuals. Wealth-X, a leader in global wealth research, explains that social media has "super-charged" word of mouth, meaning that the sharing of reviews and the awareness of awards makes the remote locations of some of the newest top restaurants a destination for the jetsetting crowd. As Winston Chesterfield, custom research director for Wealth-X, notes:

An entry in the list acts as a siren call to luxury concierges, jetsetters, and the world’s elite – and as such, almost guarantees full tables for the next 12 months.

The native, resident populations are, most often, not the focus for these modern marvels of food. Though they are, no doubt, a discerning group whose palates often inspire the innovative menus, the close presence of internationally renowned, multi-starred, celebrity-visited establishments is largely inexplicable and as remote from their existence as the cities from which these international individuals visit.

These individuals are the intended, the chosen ones. The premium-cabin-flying, luxury experience nomads, whose moving meccas are the next travel experience, the next luxury hotel concept, the next cuisine. These experiences have become as much a currency as the designer wallets which they plonk on the tables, and perhaps even more so than the motor cars they arrive in.

Read more about the changing trends in fine dining and where your clients may be eating next at LuxurySociety.com.


Add This To Your Client's Wish List: Luxury Panic Room

No longer just a novelty or for the wealthy recluse, safe rooms, or panic rooms, have entered the mainstream with many affluent clients considering them a necessity when searching for a new luxury property.

The 2002 action-thriller Panic Room starring Jodie Foster featured a safe room that only included the basics to stay secure until help could arrive. Since then, an entire industry has built up around making these safe spaces into usable rooms worth bragging about. As a recent article in Architectural Digest notes, some of these rooms can cost several hundred thousand dollars and come with security features like Kevlar lining, autonomous air-filtration systems, and infrared surveillance systems.

image from media.architecturaldigest.com

A home office that doubles as a safe room. Photo: Courtesy of Covert Interiors

Those with the means have been able to turn what was once thought of as a utilitarian bunker into wine and cigar cellars, dressing rooms, and more. With all of the possibilities emerging for these now multi-purpose rooms, consulting safety and design professionals now will help you gain valuable information when your next affluent client requires the added security of a panic room.

Read the full article, Luxury Panic Rooms and VIP Evacuation Services Are in High Demand, at architecturaldigest.com

 

 


Canadian Home Prices Rise In February as Toronto Stays Strong

Canadian home prices continue to rise, despite new regulations on foreign buyers in some markets and concerns of a real estate bubble. Prices across Canada were up 13.4 percent compared to a year ago, the biggest 12-month increase since November 2006, indicating strong growth and recovery after the global financial crisis.

Toronto Infographic

Image source HousePriceIndex.ca Teranet - National Bank House Price Index

The Toronto market continued to defy expectations, showing home prices rising for the 13th straight month, despite tighter mortgage lending rules. Reuters reports that some economists worry that the market could turn into a bubble if further regulations are not put in place to help control prices.

 

Read the full article written by Leah Schnurr (edited by Jonathan Oatis) on Reuters.com

See more details of the report on the Canadian Housing Marketing from Teranet - National Bank

 


U.S. Luxury Prices Flatlined in the Last Quarter of 2016

Santa Clarity source Wish Sotheby's International Realty

Santa Clarita, an affluent suburb outside of Los Angeles, saw the biggest price growth of the fourth quarter last year. Wish Sotheby's International Realty

The stock market rally has done little to move prices in the luxury real estate marketed consistently across the United States. In select cities, particularly Santa Clarita, California, average luxury home prices did rise more than 113%, however many cities saw a double-digit decrease in luxury home prices. The average luxury home price across the U.S. remained flat in the final quarter of 2016, rising a slight 0.7% year-over-year.

Read the full article at Mansion Global by Fang Block and see how your luxury market is performing this week with The Institute's Luxury Market Report.


Nine Things To Know About Today's Billionaires

“Luxury real estate is very competitive in the U.S.,” says Lucio Bernal, an Expert Trainer with the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing and President of the Palm Springs Regional Association of REALTORS. “There is a direct correlation between luxury real estate and the number of billionaires in the U.S. — it’s those billionaires who are essential in keeping our luxury business active and robust.”

As the number of billionaires around the world increases, it’s helpful to understand how global business trends are affected by these people and the sources of their wealth.

In a recent New York Times article entitled “Where the Big Money Is,” Juan Velasco and Paul Sullivan explored today’s billionaires around the world through statistics. The infographics in the article present research by Wealth-X, which uses a database of regularly updated information on high net worth individuals.

Here are the top nine things to know about today’s billionaires: 

image from static01.nyt.com

Image Source: New York Times February 19, 2017

  1. Four of the top five billionaires in the world are American.

Bill Gates leads the pack at $89.3B, while the other top billionaires include household names such as Warren E. Buffett (#2, $73.5B), Jeff Bezos (#4, $68B) and Mark Zuckerberg (#5, $50.7B). The only non-American in the top 10 billionaires is Spanish clothing retailer Amancio Ortega Gaona (#3, $70.7B).

  1. Europe has the most billionaires of any region.

With 806 billionaires, Europe is far and away #1 on this list. After Asia (645) and North America (628), there is a much lower concentration of ultra high net worth individuals in other regions: Middle East (166), Latin America & Caribbean (154), Africa (41), and Pacific (33).

  1. The city with the most billionaires is New York City.

“The Big Apple” is home to 97 billionaires — followed by Hong Kong (79), Moscow (74), London (68), Beijing (38), Singapore (37), Sao Paulo, Brazil (36), Dubai (35), Istanbul (32), and Mumbai (31).

  1. The world’s 2,473 billionaires had a combined wealth of $7.7 trillion in 2015.

For context, the U.S. GDP (Gross Domestic Product) was approximately $17.9 trillion in 2015, and China’s GDP was about $11 trillion. If the world’s billionaires were a country, they would come in third after those two nations.

  1. The most common industry for billionaires is finance/banking/investments.
    The wealth of 377 billionaires comes from the finance/banking/investment industry, followed by: industrial conglomerates (317), real estate (141), nonprofit and social organizations (122), manufacturing (120), technology (114), textile, apparel and luxury goods (111), food products (103), and various other industries (1,068).
  2. There are 8.1 male billionaires for every 1 female billionaire.

While there are only four females among the top 50 billionaires, a 2015 Business Insider article revealed Wealth-X research that “The World’s 15 Richest Self-Made Women Are Worth $53 Billion — More Than the GDP of Iceland.”

  1. The majority of male billionaires are self-made, while the majority of female billionaires inherited their wealth.

60.5% of male billionaires are self-made — while 29.1% of them have a combination of inherited and self-made wealth, and 10.4% inherited their fortune. When it comes to female billionaires, 16.5% are self-made, 27.5% have a combination of inherited and self-made wealth, and 56% inherited their money.

  1. The average ages of billionaires are 63.2 for men and 62.2 for women.

Today’s billionaires, categorized by age:

  • Below 35 - 1.5%
  • 35-44 - 6.2%
  • 45-54 - 20.7%
  • 55-64 - 25.7%
  • 65-74 - 25.9%
  • 75-84 - 13.4%
  • Above 85 - 6.6%

9. The most common interest among billionaires is philanthropy.

While philanthropy tops the list of billionaires’ interests and hobbies at 56.3%, others include: travel (31%), art (28.7%), fashion and style (25.2%), politics (22.2%), wine and spirits (15.9%), boating (14.9%), health and exercise (14.8%), automobiles (14.5%), collectibles (14.1%), football/soccer (13.1%), reading (12.3%), cultural events (12.1%), golf (11%), and dining (10.9%).

Conclusion

These ultra-high net worth individuals play a major role in the luxury real estate market, so knowing as much as possible about them is essential for real estate professionals who serve affluent clientele. Living in “The Information Age” makes it easier to understand client needs and build successful relationships with them. Institute members have access to Online Wealth Lookup and WealthEngine's Prospecting Tool to assist them in learning more about the affluent buyers and sellers in their luxury markets.


Super Bowl LI Boosts Luxury Market in Houston

Super Bowl Sunday was this past weekend, and that one event had a positive impact on the host city. With more than a million tourists who came to watch the Atlanta Falcons take on the New England Patriots, Houston’s growing luxury real estate market experienced a real boom.

Like any city hosting a large sporting event, Houston revitalized many of its areas as the city tried to accommodate more than one million tourists, as well as wealthy individuals and celebrities who tend to stay at exclusive and luxury areas. With that in mind, Houston already has a growing luxury housing market, and the Super Bowl has driven many changes to the area. For example, the George R. Brown Convention Center underwent a large renovation project, worth around $175 million.

According to Avishai Sivan, CEO of Tena Holdings, a Houston based real estate investment firm, “ The Super Bowl couldn't have come at a better time. It helped the city plow through the economy's oil dip in more ways than one. From road construction around NRG stadium to a number of other new developments and improvements to the city, preparations over the past few years for the big game, hopefully will have a lasting effect on the real estate market and property value in Houston.”

Click here to read the full article.


How to Define Luxury Real Estate in Today's Market

Tips on identifying high-end properties in a world where the term "luxury" has become cliché.

by Devon Thorsby

This post is a condensed version of an article featured in U.S. News & World Report. Click here for the full version.

If you say a word enough times, it starts to lose its meaning. And in real estate, where the right description can draw buyers to a home on the market, using the right terms is crucial. So when half the homes on the market are suddenly marketed as “luxury,” the definition of the word starts to melt away.

How can you interpret how luxury is defined in your area, and how can you leverage that information to better express your expectations as a homebuyer? Whether or not you fall into the real estate definition of luxury living, knowing how your market defines high-end properties will allow you to better understand the qualities you need and want in a home.

The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, which specializes in training real estate professionals in high-end home sales, defines luxury agents as those performing in the top 10 percent of their given market. “It’s a way to flatten the country” and make markets more comparable to each other, says Diane Hartley, general manager of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.

Read more...


How To Sell in Just 45 Days as Luxury Market Slows

"Why is my luxury property listing not selling?" 

It is very likely that your luxury real estate market is slowing down, especially if you're in New York, San Francisco, Miami, Aspen, Hong Kong or London. Asking prices are falling, average days on market are climbing. Case and point…

  • 24% Increase - Days on Market, Manhattan1
  • 19% Decrease - List vs. Sold Price2
  • 30% Increase - Days on Market, California3

Turbulence in overseas stock markets, falling currency values, low oil prices and varying economic outlooks have all impacted the demand for high-end mansions, penthouses and vacation properties around the world. During the Institute’s 2016 Leaders in Luxury event, Maverick Commins, recipient of the Listing Achievement Award, examined an emerging paradigm shift within the luxury market to combat this slowdown.

“Once reserved for rare artwork (Monet nets record breaking sale for $81.4 Million at Christie’s auction) and classic cars, luxury real estate auctions are now an integral tool for the market’s top agents,” said Mr. Commins, CEO of Supreme Auctions®. “Agents that do not explore this process not only lose their luxury listings that continue to sit, but miss opportunities altogether where agents offer a luxury auction option upfront as a differentiator.”

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Christie’s Record Breaking $81.4 Million Monet

We’re hearing directly from owners who are attracted to an auction’s accelerated sales process, which reduces holding costs and eliminates the uncertainty of when their home will sell. Qualified buyers are drawn to the opportunity, knowing they can bid at their price with the certainty that the property will sell. Auctions produce results, while agents retain their full commission at the close of escrow (with Supreme).

If you have a luxury property that is not selling, or you want to add another tool to differentiate yourself from the growing competition, we invite you t0 explore the accelerated marketing method of a luxury real estate auction. Here's where you should start:

  1. Search for companies with a stellar reputation, cutting edge marketing programs and a successful track record.

  2. Ask for references and make your selection based on facts, integrity, trust, experience, and results.

  3. Do your due diligence, as not all auction companies are the same.

The auction process has been around for centuries but the methods of marketing a luxury real estate auction are changing at a rapid pace. Don’t miss this growing paradigm shift and learn how the messaging and benefits of an accelerated sales process can offset a slowdown within the luxury real estate market.

 


As a Member of the Institute working in the top tier of the luxury market, Supreme Auctions would like to offer you a complimentary property consultation, including a detailed luxury real estate auction orientation. Supreme-Auctions, the industry’s leading auction firm, offers the most current systems, resources and experience to make sure your real estate auction experience is an exceptional one.

Call (866) 929-2243 or visit www.supreme-auctions.com today for your complimentary copy of “The Ultimate Guide To the Luxury Auction Process.”

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About Supreme Auctions

Supreme Auctions is a leader in luxury real estate property auctions, providing proprietary accelerated marketing services unique to each distinctive property represented and sold. With 15 offices across the United States including Hawaii and an office in Costa Rica and London, UK, the company has a dedicated team of auction marketing professionals that provide decades of expertise, integrity, and knowledge. Supreme Auctions provides the highest level of service to both sellers and buyers of multimillion-dollar luxury properties by combining experience with the most current technology and marketing resources. The company offers sellers and luxury brokerages nationwide the appropriate auction strategy to ideally suit each exclusive property, providing services that are unparalleled in the real estate auction industry.

Maverick Commins Wins Listing Achievement Award

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  1. Properties $4+ Million, 2016 vs. 2015 – Olshan Realty Inc.
  2. 2015 Luxury Sales – survey of top sales in 100 luxury markets worldwide
  3. $3+ million, Q1 16 vs. 15, California Association of Realtors in Los Angeles

The 2016 Leaders in Luxury Marketing Awards Winners are...

More than 100 of our members gathered in Tucson, Arizona Monday night to celebrate another competitive year and recognize the winners of the 2016 Leaders in Luxury Marketing Awards.

These awards recognize luxury real estate professionals who demonstrate a successful combination of creativity and proficiency in marketing upscale residential properties. 

The waiting is over! Please join us in giving a round of applause to the winners.

  • Best Marketing Campaign for a Property

Debbie Murray, Allie Beth Allan & Associates 

  • Overall Excellence in Personal Marketing

Christopher Fling & Karen Yang, Keller Williams Realty | Fling Yang & Associates

  • Best Agent Market Report

Elizabeth McQueen, RE/MAX Crest Realty

 

  • Listing Presentation Achievement

Maverick Commins, , Keller Williams Supreme Auctions

  • Best Property Marketing Video

Susana Murphy, ALANTE Real Estate 

 

A sincere thank you to everyone who took the time to enter The Institute's annual Marketing Awards competition. We received a record-breaking number of entries and hope to continue the momentum in 2017. It’s never too early to set aside your most exemplary work!

Sincerely,

The Institute