6 Smart Home Tech Gadgets Perfect for Luxury Real Estate

by Chuck Roper 30. October 2019 06:36

The global smart home tech market is on track to reach $103 billion in annual revenue by the end of this year. At an estimated compound annual growth rate of 11% — that number is projected to skyrocket to $157 billion in annual revenue by 2023. So, how does this tie into luxury real estate? The answer is simple: property value. 


Smart home tech is on the rise and in huge demand with luxury buyers — especially the socially conscious and eco-friendly millennial generation. Adding just a few smart features to a home can pay off when making the sale. In fact, according to Chad Curry, MD of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a home with integrated smart features can receive a premium over standard alternatives in the same neighborhood. 


Though, there are certain gadgets affluent buyers are more interested in when searching for smart-enabled houses, such as smart security, eco-friendly options, and enhanced entertainment. These tech gadgets go beyond Amazon Alexa or Google Home. 

 

With this in mind, we rounded up six options that are perfect for luxury real estate.


6 Smart Home Tech Gadgets Perfect for Luxury Real Estate

1. Arlo Ultra 

[Image Credit: @arlosmarthome via Instagram]


The Arlo Ultra is a wire-free and WiFi-enabled security camera touting some impressive capabilities. For example, 4K high-dynamic-range (HDR) image quality, enhanced night vision, auto-zoom and tracking, and more. Its weather-resistant build means that it works rain or shine, snow or sleet, to protect the home. It also has a smart subscription service that incorporates things such as advanced object detection (like notifying the owner of a package delivery) and 911 emergency services connections. 

2. Lutron Dimmers 

[Image Credit: Lutron Electronics via Facebook]


Lutron offers a full line of “eco-home dimmers, sensors, and timers,” that can be placed throughout the home to reduce electricity usage and extend the life of the light bulb. Utilizing their advanced technology, the homeowner can control the latest energy-efficient light sources, such as LEDs — making it easier than ever to go green. 

3. Rachio 3

[Image Credit: Rachio via Facebook]


Rachio 3 is a smart sprinkler controller that optimizes a home’s in-ground irrigation system through an automated watering schedule. It’s available in eight or 16 zones, and uses weather intelligence to predict changes in lawn watering needs. It also adjusts its schedule to ensure no water is being wasted. Rachio 3 works with Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest, and more. 

4. Ecobee SmartThermostat With Voice Control

[Image Credit: @ecobeeinc via Instagram]


Ecobee’s SmartThermostat with voice control is the crème de la crème of smart thermostats. Change the temperature, control the home, call friends and family, and more, all with voice command. The SmartThermostat also introduces a SmartSensor, which detects both temperature and occupancy to heat or cool the rooms that need it most.

5. Kaleidescape Strato Movie Player

[Image Credit: @kaleidescapeinc via Instagram]


Kaleidescape Strato is an award-winning movie player that’s capable of playing 4K ultra-high-def movies with high-dynamic-range at 60 frames per second, with immersive audio. It can be integrated with modern AV systems to automatically control light dimming or screen masking to adjust to a proper ratio. Think state-of-the-art home movie theater. 

6. Brilliant Control

[Image Credit: @brilliant_tech via Instagram]


Think of Brilliant Control as an all-in-one smart home hub, where the homeowner can manage all smart home systems from one seamless control panel on the wall, or through a mobile app. It features a 5-inch color touch screen that can change the temperature or lighting, play music, show who’s at the front door, and more. 


What smart home features have you noticed luxury buyers looking for in the market? Comment below!


Janet McAfee is a recognized luxury real estate agency in the St. Louis area. For more details about careers at our boutique firm or the luxury market, visit our website!

Navigating the Luxury Real Estate Market: An Inside Look from Top Agents

by Chuck Roper 30. September 2019 07:21

St. Louis continues to enjoy a thriving luxury real estate market, with sales of residential homes priced at $1 million and above during the first six months of 2019 coming in at 13.9% higher than the same period last year. This is consistent with the upward trend since 2015. 


For those who are dedicated and willing to learn, now is a great time to be a luxury real estate agent. So, we sat down with three top-performing agents at Janet McAfee and discussed the most frequently asked questions on how to navigate the luxury market.  



Stephanie Connell has been a top luxury real estate agent since 2002, and with Janet McAfee for the past year. 


Julie Lane has been a top agent in the luxury real estate market with Janet McAfee for 11 years. 


Lisa Coulter has been a top luxury market agent at Janet McAfee for 25 years. 


 

How can someone get started as a luxury real estate agent?


Stephanie Connell: Somebody thinking about getting into luxury real estate should know the area, market and type of luxury real estate that they’d like to concentrate on. In St. Louis, we define the luxury market as being $1 million and up. So, really discover what price point to concentrate on, define that and become an educator...not just educated. People who see you at social events often ask questions, and you want to be able to have information readily available so you’re marketing yourself wisely. 


Lisa Coulter:  It’s not easy in the beginning, but it really pays off to get a good base of knowledge. It would be great to shadow top producers so you can see what they do and how they do it on a daily basis. Ultimately, you have to have knowledge of pricing and recent sales in all the areas you want to work. That knowledge will help you as you make the connections you need to build your business. 


Julie Lane: With this job, even when everyone else is not working, that’s when you have to be working. This segment of the market doesn’t follow the typical real estate calendar — meaning they don’t all buy and sell in the spring. It’s an ever-changing timeline. So, it helps to be very familiar with the area you’re trying to do business in. When you're armed with knowledge of the market that potential clients are trying to buy and sell in, it makes them feel really comfortable with you.


How do you become a successful luxury real estate agent? 


SC:  For luxury buyers and sellers, it’s a lifestyle. They don’t always have to move. So, you have to be able to communicate with clients and know what type of information they’re receptive to, like presenting data and facts to help with their decision. 


LC: You have to develop good relationships, not just with your clients, but also other agents. If you build a reputation of being fair, good and communicative — all the things that other agents want to deal with — people want to work with you. It's important to make connections with other top producers, not only to build your reputation with them, but also to learn about homes that may not be on the market yet that would be perfect for your clients. 


What would you say is the best way to market luxury real estate?


JL:  I think it’s really important to get to know the client and the property. Ask sellers why they fell in love with the house in the first place, because that same reason can attract the next buyer. It can also help you make key decisions about what type of promotional materials to gather, like aerial shots, twilight shots or video.  


SC: Everything has to be professional. From brochures to pictures, your marketing always needs to be that higher end presentation. Also, getting creative with open houses. We try to get other agents to come in and preview the house so they can share it with their clients however we can — whether it’s hosting lunch, a cocktail hour or by invitation only. 


LC: The pre-market stage is the most important, working with the client to get the home market-ready before gathering photography and videography. Then, teasing the upcoming listing using those assets.  


At Janet McAfee, we’re so lucky to be a part of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World and Luxury Portfolio International. Those marketing platforms have a global reach and expose our listings to a wide audience well beyond St. Louis. Being a part of organizations like this to market listings is a huge help. 


What advice can you give on navigating a down market? 


JL:  Don’t stop working, continue on. You have to be even more focused on what’s happening when the market is down to be able to give sound advice to your clients. For example, you may know that a house in a great neighborhood is going to sell whether the market is down or not. But, you have to be able to discern that. 


LC:  Connections and networking are everything. Just as an example, the recession 10 years ago was a tough time for the real estate market, but my business partner and I actually had one of our highest producing years. This was mainly because we had connections with sellers that we knew had been talking to us about selling their house, and buyers that we knew were looking. So, we could put together deals on houses that weren't even on the market, which worked well for us. Looking at current listings in MLS just isn't enough to be in this luxury market.


Janet McAfee is a recognized luxury real estate agency in the St. Louis area. For more details about careers at our boutique firm or the luxury market, visit our website!

 

Here's What $5 Million Can Buy in Greater St. Louis

by Chuck Roper 20. August 2019 05:35

Affluent buyers with at least $1 million to invest in their luxury home can experience refined living in the Midwest. Increase that to $5 million in St. Louis’ highly sought-after luxury market, and buyers can lavish in vistas, exceptional craftsmanship, wine cellars, heated pools and more. 


Here’s a closer look at what $5 Million can buy in Greater St. Louis:

1. St. Albans

[1091 Wings Road, St. Albans, MO 63073]


List Price: $4.9 million 

Square footage: 12,031 

Acres: 15.7

Number of bedrooms and bathrooms: 6 beds, 7 baths 


The 5,400 acre community of St. Albans is recognized as a premier golf course development within Missouri offering exclusive courses, exquisite country clubs and the utmost privacy. For buyers who enjoy a quiet neighborhood, this St. Albans home offers stunning amenities. 


At $4.9 million, "La Charrette" sits on 15.7 acres of land offering spectacular bluff views of the Missouri River. It was designed by renowned architect Jack Arnold and features breathtaking architectural details, including Cathedral ceilings and interior trusses made from 800-year-old Douglas Fir. 


Take a look around:


2. Huntleigh

[18 Huntleigh Woods, Huntleigh, MO 63131]


List Price: $4.25 million 

Square footage: 6,517

Acres: 2.05

Number of bedrooms and bathrooms: 4 beds, 5.5 baths 


Huntleigh is one of the most alluring and exclusive neighborhoods in all of Greater St. Louis. A grand, two-story entryway, spacious walk-in closets, in-ground pool, luxurious pool house, bonus studio apartment and wet bar are all included in this sophisticated estate. Situated upon 2.05 acres, the home is just a short drive to fine dining, boutique shopping and top-rated public and private schools.  


Take a look around:


3. Ladue 

[809 South Warson Road, St. Louis, MO 63124]


List Price: $4.125 million 

Square footage: 7,240

Acres: 1

Number of bedrooms and bathrooms: 5 beds, 7 baths 


Affluent buyers will find this St. Louis estate a stunning oasis. The tree-lined property offers extreme privacy, with multiple amenities for outdoor entertaining, alfresco dining and lasting memories. 


Inside is a work of true art and craftsmanship, from the wood floors to the immaculate finishes. A 2,000-bottle wine cellar, media room, exercise room, and suede granite countertops offer the true splendor of luxury living. 


Take a look around: 


4. Clayton

[29 West Brentmoor Park, Clayton, MO 63105]


List Price: $3.45 million 

Square footage: 8,876

Acres: 1.51

Number of bedrooms and bathrooms: 5 beds, 7 baths 


Clayton has significant buyer appeal and a prominent luxury market that attracts businesses and resident owners alike. There’s certainly no shortage of things to do in the gorgeous community. Shaw Park includes a pool, skating rink, ball fields, gardens, sculptures, gorgeous pavilions and more. 


For $3.45 million, buyers can get an 8,876 square foot home with over three stories, five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, five fireplaces and an attached guest apartment. Not to mention, a 5,000-bottle wine cellar that replicates a cave for the true collector.  


Take a look around:



These sophisticated luxury homes are just a slice of the thriving St. Louis luxury market. To view more fine homes in key central corridor communities, view Janet McAfee’s Luxury Collection


We are a recognized local leader in luxury real estate. For more information, give us a call at (314) 997-4800 or visit our website.

Today's Affluent Home Buyer

by Chuck Roper 24. September 2018 05:04

The high end home buyer today is savvier when it comes to luxury brands, more discriminating when it comes to amenities and has more choices than ever before.   More than ever, the affluent consumer has access to an abundance of goods and services in all aspects of their lives.  Choosing a home is no exception.

 

Luxury Portfolio International, a leading opinion leader of all things luxury, has taken a deep dive into the mindset of the millionaire homebuyer.  Today’s luxury buyer wants pristine, new condition.  Only 5% are looking to renovate completely; 15% will consider buying an older home completely renovated.  55% want privacy and energy efficiency/environmental design.  Luxury buyers want a master bedroom with a luxurious bathroom (54%), walk in closets (51%), outdoor living/entertaining (49%) and an open floor plan (49%).

 

Janet McAfee is the exclusive St. Louis member of Luxury Portfolio International. 

What Constitutes Luxury?

by Chuck Roper 30. July 2018 09:03

If there’s one thing I’ve learned all these years as a luxury Realtor, is “Luxury” means something unique to each of us.  Luxury is personal.  

•  Luxury = Lifestyle.  Luxury buyers are inspired by amenities which enhance the home experience.  Lifestyle seekers are excited by outdoor kitchens, breathtaking pools and spas, wine tasting rooms, whole house media systems and over the top master closets. 

•  Luxury = Smart.  Technology has introduced a whole new landscape of luxury features for savvy home buyers.   Temperature controlled wine cellars, variable speed air conditioners and window glass which goes from clear to opaque are features which motivate this buyer.  Does our future include A.I. devices in every room?

•  Luxury = Aesthetic.  Buyers are seeking exceptional design and exclusivity.   Architectural provenance is important for the buyer looking for historic significance.  Haute home interiors include hand crafted draperies and authentic wall murals, which cannot be replicated.

What does luxury mean to you?   

-Janet Horlacher

Top St. Louis Communities to Live In

by Chuck Roper 26. June 2017 10:33

 

 

People move to different areas for a variety of reasons. St. Louis is unique in the fact it is home to many communities that appeal to different interests and walks of life. Each suburb and community has distinctive features that appeal to foodies, artists, outdoorsmen and women, and sports enthusiasts. Join us as we take a tour of the Top Communities in St. Louis!

 

 

 

CHESTERFIELD - If shopping is your bag, Chesterfield is the place for you. With new construction going up all the time and businesses moving in at a rapid pace, Chesterfield shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, there are over 4,000 total services with a number of shopping malls and outlets, including Taubman Prestige Outlets. You would think that they are all play and no work because of this… but you’d be wrong! The community has a 96% high school graduation rate! The houses range in price and style from colonial to craftsman to farmhouse. All of these features combined make this a big draw for growing families. Click to learn more and see houses in this area!

Link: http://www.janetmcafee.com/chesterfield-real-estate

 

 

 

CLAYTON - Everyone in St. Louis knows about Clayton, and for good reason. This historic community is known as being in the center of it all.  It’s less than 10 miles from downtown St. Louis, two miles from the St. Louis Art Museum and St. Louis Zoo, and sports easy access to many highways as well as the Metrolink. Not to mention, Clayton has so much to offer right within the community. You can sample more than 80 restaurants (Foodies, take note!) and walk to high-end boutiques and art galleries easily. If you like to live the luxurious life, this is the place for you. Click to learn more and see houses in this area!

Link: http://www.janetmcafee.com/clayton-real-estate

 

 

BALLWIN - Family fun is right outside your door in Ballwin. Many young families have been getting their start in Ballwin. They sport the massive North Pointe Family Aquatic Center, a number of parks for hiking and outdoor fun (Queeny Park, Lone Elk Park, and Castlewood State Park), and multiple golf clubs (Ballwin Golf Course and the Meadowbrook Country Club). To match the large number of recreational activities, the neighborhoods sport a variety of housing styles including craftsman, colonial, and ranch. Not to mention, you can typically get a lot of house for a good price. Click to learn more and see houses in this area!

Link: http://www.janetmcafee.com/ballwin-real-estate

 

 

WEBSTER GROVES - Historical architecture and rows upon rows of trees welcome you when you enter Webster Groves. Cottage, colonial, craftsman, and bungalow style homes are the most common in these quiet neighborhoods that surround Webster University. Webster Groves also boasts one of the best school districts in St. Louis and the 38-acre Blackburn Park (featuring a bird sanctuary, tennis courts, trails, and picnic areas), though you pay a little more for these amenities in taxes. In addition, various community events are held throughout the year such as the weekly Farmer’s Market and a Fourth of July firework display that may very be the second best next to the famous downtown firework show. Click to learn more and see houses in this area!

Link: http://www.janetmcafee.com/webster-groves-real-estate

 

 

KIRKWOOD - The high school rivalry between Webster Groves and Kirkwood is legendary, but it might be because these neighboring communities share many similarities. Kirkwood also sports a college (St. Louis Community College Meramec), lovely yards and trees, a Farmer’s Market, and a quiet neighborhood feel consisting of ranch, Victorian, and charming craftsman houses. What is unique is the still functional historic train station, and the famous Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth Park! Quiet, quaint, and classic. Click to learn more and see houses in this area!

Link: http://www.janetmcafee.com/kirkwood-real-estate

 

 

 

BRENTWOOD - Experience the feel of a small town, while still having Downtown St. Louis just 9 miles away. Brentwood and the neighboring Maplewood community make for a double dose of fun that appeals to families and young couples who enjoy shopping and nearby restaurants and breweries. Historic farmhouse, colonial, and craftsman style homes surround Memorial and Brentwood Park (which is home to a fabulous Summer Concert Series). Brentwood High School also has an astounding 96% high school graduation rate. Although it might not be the first community that comes to mind when you think of St. Louis, Brentwood acts as a little known secret that’s central to many parts of the city and county. Click to learn more and see houses in this area!

 

Link: http://www.janetmcafee.com/brentwood-real-estate

What Does the Interest Rate Hike Mean to Us?

by Chuck Roper 17. March 2017 11:29

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve announced raising the Federal Funds rate (the rate which banks lend money to other banks for overnight borrowing) by one quarter percentage point.   Historically, an interest rate hike sends Realtors into an emotional frenzy.  This time, however, I have heard very little push back and I think this is why: 

1.       We all anticipated the rate hike.  Generally, we don’t like surprises, so it just confirmed what we already thought.

2.       We are happy the economy is performing better; unemployment is under 5% (4.7% in February); 200,000 jobs are being added per month; and the stock market is at record levels (actually closing higher on Wednesday).

3.       Mortgage rates remain historically low.  After the announcement, the 30-year rate rose from 4.21% to 4.30%.  If you’re like me and purchased your first home with a 12% mortgage, this still seems like a pretty good deal. 

4.       Real estate sales are gaining steam.  In our market area, 65 homes went under contract from Wednesday to Friday.  71 homes are pending, which means they are scheduled to close. 

As Realtors, we can’t predict the future.  But for now, we are seeing positive economic signs, confidence and optimism.  I’ll take that any day!

 

Janet Horlacher

 

Principal, Janet McAfee  

“To Stage or Not to Stage? That is the Question”

by Chuck Roper 20. January 2017 05:52

Sellers often ask me if there is a benefit to staging their home.  The answer is a resounding YES!  Research from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and our “real world” local experience is indisputable: staging adds value, reduces the time on market and produces a positive ROI.   Here are the 10 Reasons to Stage Your Home for selling:

1.       You will make more money.   A 2015 NAR survey found the majority of buyers were more likely to offer higher prices for a staged home compared to a similar home.

2.       Your home will sell faster.  Professionally staged homes spent 72% less time on the market, according to a survey from the Real Estate Staging Association.

3.       Buyers can visualize themselves in the home.  81% of buyers it was easier to visualize the staged property as their future home.   

4.       Your online photos will look better.  Over 95% of home buyers look online.  This is where you make your first impression and where potential buyers decide whether to make an appointment.  Professional staged homes stand out and generate more buyer interest. 

5.       Staging helps defuse other property flaws.  2015 NAR survey revealed 28% of buyers viewing a staged home overlook other property faults.  The eye is naturally drawn to clean, well-appointed furnishings and away from minor imperfections.

6.       Personal photos and memorability distract your buyer from viewing the home.  Remember, you are trying to help a buyer see themselves living in this property, not as a guest amidst your family’s personal life story.

7.       The cost of staging is less than your first price reduction.  Some sellers will say “I’ll give it a try without staging and then if it doesn’t sell, I’ll stage it.”  This is a huge mistake.  Days on market tick on.  By the time you have determined you need to stage, your best prospects have already seen your home and formed their opinion.   You are looking at a price reduction just to attract new interest.

8.       Sellers are not objective about their own homes.  The chinoiserie fabric you selected to match the floral chintz may be your pride and joy, but the buyer may not share your design style.  A professional stager will select a neutral pallet which appeals to a broad range of prospective buyers.

9.       You will save time and reduce your anxiety.  Selling your home can be stressful and time consuming.  A professional stager will manage the process for you so that you can devote your energy into your new home.

10.   Your Realtor will support you 100%.  Real estate professionals know that staged homes attract higher offers and faster sales.  We are delighted to help facilitate the process, make appointments for you, meet painters or handyman at your home and help you arrange an estate sale.

Janet Horlacher

Principal

Janet McAfee Inc.

(Property in photograph is 9044 Clayton Road, professionally staged by Property Enhancements LLC)

Pool Tips For Fall

by Chuck Roper 21. September 2016 11:13


If you are listing a property with a pool now, photograph the pool while the weather cooperates, even if the home’s interior is not yet ready for shooting.  Suggest that the sellers direct their pool company to perform a brief maintenance check, making suggested repairs and delineating ongoing maintenance in writing, when the pool is closed in autumn.  Most buyers will contact the pool service company listed in the disclosure for information on the pool, so a written report will insure that all parties are literally ‘on the same page’ when the winter winds begin to blow! 

-Cathy Noll
 Vice President/Broker

Tags:

General | Seasonal Preparations

TextBox

Tag cloud