“Residential Real Estate is Far More Science than Art”

The subject line comes from a solid article on the future of brokerages in Forbes (link below). It’s definitely worth the read, but for those like me with short attention spans, this paragraph is the main takeaway:

Bigger, tech-heavy firms will need significant capital to advertise and purchase data and acquire staff. It is a volume game. This model will be ideal for clients who are self-reliant and cost-conscious. These firms can charge and pay lower commissions because a seasoned agent is not necessary.
On the flip side, smaller, boutique brokerages will find their niche with those clients in the very high end of the market who demand expert service, or those clients with more complicated deals.
It will also be the choice for people who simply feel more comfortable working with a seasoned professional. Brokerage owners will be able to charge higher commissions for their services, but they will be paying higher commissions as well to retain top agents.

For the full article click here.

The Blinding Effect of the “Mega-Listing”

“When you think about it, Million Dollar Listing has become a quaint title.”

Another agent chimed in, “In L.A. they should just call it Listing.”

I was at my office’s caravan review where we go over the broker open listings we saw earlier in the day. The review evolved into a discussion of the preponderance of the mega-listing.

There was a time, just a few years ago, that a $30 million listing would turn a few heads and get agents to take notice, but now the $30 million house barely ranks notice. “Did anyone see so-and-so’s listing on Lindacrest?”

“I did.”

“What did you think?”

“I don’t think it’s worth 33 million. Maybe 28.”

Other agents nodded their agreement and we moved on to the next listing. It’s difficult to be wowed by twenty and thirty million dollar listings when vacant land can sell for as much.

Even, and I can’t believe I’m actually writing this, even the $65 million listing has become a bit ho-hum. I’ve become immune to the wonders of the excesses in those houses (televisions that rise from pools, aquarium hallway walls that rival those in Las Vegas hotels), and I move from a sixty-five million home to see an eighty, then drive on to a $120 million listing.

The numbers themselves astound me, the houses, on the other hand, fail to impress me — not that they are not impressive, there’s just a point where excess loses its effect (much the way people discuss which is more painful: kidney stones or childbirth — let’s just agree that after a certain point, it just doesn’t matter).

The mega-listing is here to stay. And with even modest condos in West LA going for upwards of $800,000 (while more exclusive condos are selling for $5 million, $10 million, $15 million… you get the point), Million Dollar Listing does seem quaint. That’s why I like to travel to places like Tennessee, Vermont, New Mexico… Heck, even Iowa. Yes, they all have their million dollar listings, but in those places, people actually take notice.

March Market Report

Every month Douglas Elliman releases a “Micro-Market Report” that analyzes each area and sub-market in Southern California. Click here to read the report, and let’s talk about what’s going on in your area.Market Report

But at What Price?

suzanne dranow real estateReal estate agents spend a lot of time thinking about pricing properties. In any office, “Do you have a second?” is usually followed up with a pricing opinion question. Agents discuss, debate and defend the merits of pricing based on their favorite methods, be it average sold price per square foot, sales price to list price ratio, or days on market compared to…  [Read more…]

Keeping Beverly Hills Free

There’s a spot on Olympic Boulevard where Beverly Drive and Beverwil cross. In the median is a statue that stands as a testament to a “civil war“ fought in Los Angeles county. Some considered it a war of independence, others chided it as a mere power play about land, water, and police rights.  Here is an interesting story about the Beverly Hills resistance to being subsumed by the city of Los Angeles.

[Read more…]

Douglas Elliman Luxury Market Report for January 2018

Douglas Elliman has just released its comprehensive Luxury Market Report for 2018, which truly shows that each sub-market throughout the state and even within Los Angeles has its own particular trajectory. You can view the report here.Market Report