2015 UH Summer Lifestyles Alexander Romanenko_MINI_MAG_SUMMER_2015 : Page 8

homes, often will compare different cities. Growing quickly too are cadres of those who can opt to work and live pretty much anywhere. Your agent is critical. choose wiselY. Fifteen years ago, the buzz in the industry was that agents would be casualties of the digital revolu-tion. Jump ahead to 2015. “The purchaser is empow-ered like no other time in history. There is a lot of information and the reality is that information is trying to persuade you to buy something,” says Margenau. Just getting the information is one thing, but decipher-ing the nuances of the market is still a little bit more complicated. “What consumers have is information, but what they don’t have is knowledge,” says Riley. “They can look at the charts, but they don’t know how to value that price on that property.” Today, determining value is only a small part of the agent’s role. “The difference between your agent having the skills, experience and acumen is quantifi-ably measurable both in the loss or gain of millions of dollars or the lack of a sale at all,” advises Hurwitz. The industry has seen a flood of newbies and many aggressively prowl online and off for luxury clients. You really need to know about an agent’s experience in the marketplace, how many homes they have sold in various price brackets, how they are cross-marketing and where their buyers are coming from. “You need to be sure you are getting the right information. Getting a general overview is not enough. You’ve got to dial it down because this is an exquisite and unique property and you want to be sure it’s being marketed to the right people because the stakes are high,” says Miller. “There are so many requirements and laws and regulations that differ from city to city and it all needs to be handled expertly,” shares Riley, who advises con-sumers, both buyers and sellers, to look at the company as much as an individual agent. “If you have a good company, you have attorneys who make sure those agents are being educated and qualified. People need to be more investigative.” is cash still king? Whether or not to pay cash is still a port-folio play for the affluent. Cash dominates, but financing is coming back. “Everything is not all about cash sales now,” says Miller. Additionally, some financial institutions are allowing their pri-vate clients to borrow against collections. “It’s not just the wine collection. It’s the art collection. It’s the jewelry or the yacht. I can’t say it’s the norm but it’s now being a much more accepted form technologY continues to be a change agent. “Technology is now at the forefront of every transaction, from the search and the dominant reliance on the Internet, to com-munication — agents are constantly telling me about how they’ve practically had entire deals done via text message — to an almost paperless transaction. Buyers and sellers have changed along with this, with higher expectations regarding online marketing, instant communication and immediate access,” observes Anton. This fast-paced world also spills over to marketing, raising the bar on required exper-tise and also on costs to properly expose an upscale property. Traditional avenues, espe-cially print, are still very relevant say experts, and savvy agents implement a mix of tools including elaborate film-quality video and aerial photography. “It’s more expensive today to market and advertise a home than it was 10 years ago or even five years ago. It’s more expen-sive to do it and to do it right. You’ve got to get the image out right because people are doing so much more work in their liv-ing room than going out and driving around and taking a look at houses,” says Margenau, noting that marketing can be a positive or a negative. “Someone could look at the prop-erty and if it’s not done well they could dis-count it even if it might be the right property for them.”

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