LRE® Blog

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October 6, 2008

Caribbean fractionals expanding to Botany Bay Resort!

By Jim Walberg From his blog: Caribbean Fractionals Expanding To Botany Bay Resort! St. Thomas, USVI is the location, and the former Preserve At Botany Bay is the spot! Caribbean fractionals continue to be THE real estate choice of thousands of Caribbean buyers. Last week David Burden – founder and CEO of Timbers Resorts – announced that the ultra-luxury resort located on the western tip of St. Thomas will be managed by the international hospitality management group – Jumeirah Group, which is a member of Dubai Holding. This announcement was made at the signing ceremony with Gerald Lawless, Executive Chairman of Jumeirah (Remember my past article about the Virgin Islands fractional market?). “We selected Jumeirah as the ideal hotel company to partner with at this unprecedented resort on the secluded western tip of St. Thomas,” remarked David Burden. “Based on their internationally renowned hotel experience in luxury service, they will be a perfect match for our discerning owners and resort guests.”

September 30, 2008

Mexican luxury real estate leaps forward with Las Villas De Mexico

By Las Villas de Mexico Las Villas de Mexico, a newly announced collection of luxury resorts spread across Mexico’s top tourist locations, is sponsoring the 13th Annual Luxury Real Estate Fall Conference, which will be hosted in Philadelphia on October 11-14, 2008 at The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia. Planners of Las Villas de Mexico are currently building 1,000 luxury properties in four locations: Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Subsequent phases are expected to include other Mexican destinations such as San Miguel de Allende. The first pre-construction purchase opportunities are scheduled to be offered in the first week of December 2008. “We have created a whole-ownership concept that is altogether different from anything else on the marketplace,” said Brett Sawyer, director of international sales at Las Villas de Mexico. “By purchasing a Las Villas de Mexico home, owners become part of a greater community of multiple locations throughout Mexico, all of them dedicated to the very best luxury experience, from world-class golf and spas to stunning beaches.”

September 25, 2008

Credit lenders suffering from withdrawal

By Robert Lockard I am sorry to keep talking about sad things in my luxury real estate blog entries, but I just read an article in CNN entitled “Ex-bankers on pushing customers to rack up debt” and it once again brought up many familiar concerns to my mind on the topic of consumer debt. I wish that I could talk about happy topics. I would much prefer to discuss luxury properties or any other topic, including how getting adequate sleep can lead to more success, but, alas, I feel it much more pressing to focus on the problems upon us. I am absolutely disgusted by the state of our financial markets. It seems to me that dishonesty is rampant and the very people who are responsible for this mess are asking for a great deal of money to supposedly solve the problem. But I care about people much more than institutions. And, based upon the testimony of the two honest women in the CNN article, who both have good consciences, I see little difference between the practices of certain banks and lenders and the practices of drug pushers. Many lenders trick people into taking more money than they need, they strive to get young people addicted and they keep people in a state of dependency for extended periods of time. All of that adds up to trouble. Debt is a plague that, when handled unwisely, can lead to all sorts of problems that I think are even worse than the horrible effects of drug abuse. People can at least stop taking drugs and eventually go through a process of withdrawal and recovery. But with debt, even if a person stops going into more debt, they still have interest building up on the money they owe and they face all sorts of roadblocks on the way to recovery.

September 10, 2008

Should I buy a franchise or go it alone?

By Michael Marquette From his blog: Should I Buy a Franchise or Go It Alone? How much is a brand worth when deciding whether to join a franchise? Throughout Australia there are plenty of agencies willing to sell their letterhead and designs to almost anyone willing to pay the money to get it. Real estate names like LJ Hooker, Ray White, Richardson & Wrench, Laing+Simmons, First National, Hocking Stuart and now McGrath are all competing with many others to get the agent-come-entrepreneur’s buck. To secure the franchise there are a number of requirements – an office in a prominent position is usually one of them. This, in itself, is cause for alarm in a world where the Internet is a part of life and online searches are an everyday thing. Most of us use Google some or most of the time as an Internet search engine, yet how many of us have been to the Google office? Where is their office?

August 19, 2008

Luxury homes better off avoiding auctions

By Michael Marquette From his blog: Luxury Homes Fail to Sell at Auction It has always astonished me how many real estate agents advise everyone they meet to auction their home home. In Regional cities like Newcastle this happens all too often with the inevitable result of the property passing in, and in most cases not even receiving one bid from a potential buyer. The process is horrendous for vendors who quite often have their hopes set high only to have them come crashing down on auction day. Potential purchasers use the fact that the property passed in to show that there is little if any interest in the home and accordingly offer much less for the property or just wait for the price to continue falling in the hope of snapping it up for a bargain price.

August 13, 2008

Live like the king: Elvis Presley estate now for sale

By Robert Lockard There are so many fun one-liners I could use to sum up this story, it’s hard to pick just one. I’ll go ahead and try this one: Elvis has left the building, and now that building can be yours! Yeah, that’ll work. Elvis Presley’s “Graceland West” estate in Palm Springs, Calif. is now for sale. Talk about a house with some history, this two-acre estate, nestled in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains, is where Elvis (the king of Rock and Roll) lived for almost eight years, recorded eight songs in the living room in 1973 and spent his last birthday. He died on Aug. 16, 1977 at the age of 42.

August 12, 2008

FACT: Print advertising drives Web traffic

By Brian Langhorst I have heard many times over that print is dead, but this is false information! Whoever is saying this does not know the audience for luxury homes and their habits. Yes, people look to the Internet for information and, according to a National Association of REALTORS® survey, over 80% of home seekers are starting their search online for real estate. The main question we should think about is how do they know where to look for real estate online? The answer is print!

August 8, 2008

Luxury fractional ownership: Promoting the dream

By Jean-Yves Piton While luxury properties are part of the conspicuous consumption group, unlike several other goods, their proposed premium prices are not a function of the premium brands they are attached to. Instead, factors such as location, amenities, space, architecture and historical value justify their premium prices around the world. So, what type of luxury homes would you acquire in major metropolitan cites worldwide for $1 million USD in 2008?

August 8, 2008

Bloggers love helping other bloggers succeed

By Robert Lockard Jim Walberg, the co-Owner/Broker of The Bay Area Team in San Francisco, told me something really cool a few days ago. He said, “Bloggers are the most open and sharing community I have found on the Internet. They want every blogger to win!” I have definitely found that to be true.

July 29, 2008

Positioning is critical for long-term success

By Jean-Yves Piton The classic marketing mix, with its 4 Ps (Product, Price, Promotion and Place), is evolving to meet current global business needs. It now includes 3 more Ps: Positioning, Packaging and People. Keep in mind that Positioning should not be confused with Promotion. Although advertising efforts are inherently part of both Promotion and Positioning, the latter P mainly focuses on your competitive position within the marketplace and image amongst consumers.
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