June 12, 2019

Social Media’s Impact on Real Estate

Social Media and Silicon Beach Homes


As of 2018, Millennials made up 66 percent of the market for first-time homebuyers, and 99 percent of those looking for homes use the internet to research properties. And we aren’t just talking googling — 86 percent of home shoppers say they would use video to learn more about a specific community they are considering. Over the last decade, the internet and social media has impacted the way people find and buy homes. Below, we breakdown how social media has impacted the way we do Real Estate. 




Finding an agent


Before social media, if you were looking for a local agent you’d probably ask neighbors or utilize the real estate section of the local paper. Today, fewer people receive the local paper, therefore, agents are spending less money advertising in print, and instead spend the ad money on facebook and instagram campaigns. Additionally, old fashioned word of mouth is no longer as simple as asking your neighbors and colleagues. Instead, a simple social media post out to your entire network inquiring about the best local agents can lead to a number of suggestions. 




Searching Inventory


One of social media’s largest impacts on Real Estate is the ability to give video tours, post countless photos, and promote inventory in a cost effective way. Prior to social media, the only way to show off inventory was to pay for ad space in the local paper or real estate catalogue. Now, agents can post inventory in real time, and update when the home has been put under agreement so that potential clients are aware the house is off the market.




Promoting Open Houses


Gone are the days of hanging open house signs and promoting in the local paper in hopes someone may come to the open house. Now, simply post on social media a few photos of the home with your open house date, pay a few dollars to boost the post, and everyone within a 10-mile radius of the open house will know it’s going on.




What are the negatives?


Though social media has been a largely successful addition to the real estate business, there are still some fallbacks. For example, local, old-school brokerages that don't have a full grasp on social media can take major hits by not keeping up with the Jones’s. These agencies may need to hire young talent to come in and revamp their social pages in order to keep up, which isn’t always cost-effective. For those who understand social media, it is an affordable way to keep in front of potential clients, but for those who don’t it can be costly to keep up. 

Posted in Silicon Beach News
June 5, 2019

Why independent brokerages are favorable in 2019

Indie Brokerage Silicon Beach Homes

In 2008, when the real estate market crashed many brokerages — big and small alike— were faced with the possibility of closure. In the decade since the biggest real estate crash in history, local brokerages are rapidly beginning to succeed and surge in popularity. 

The popularity of independent brokerages makes sense, because as far as real estate goes, seeking local is always better. In a survey of more than 3,000 U.S. homeowners, nearly 90 percent of consumers said they preferred working with an agent who was affiliated with an established local real estate company.

Below, we’ve listed the top reasons homebuyers should consider independent real estate brokerages when buying or selling a home.


We know the neighborhood

Homebuyers moving to a new area can spending countless hours researching data online regarding a neighborhood, but no one will be able to guide you to the perfect location quite like a local agent. If you break down what you are looking for in a neighborhood, chances are we can show you the houses on the market in an area that best fits your needs. 

This knowledge of a community also comes in handy when working with a seller. Local agents can pull closer comps and foresee the market changing in the area faster than national agents can. 


We live here so our guidance is authentic 

Brokers and agents at independent brokerages tend to live in the area they sell to. This means, agents are more likely to be highly invested in the properties that they are working with. We are excited to share the community we love, and will work with you to find a home here too! 


Talent is gravitating towards independent brokerages

According to a National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2016 survey, over half (51 percent) of Realtors today are affiliated with an independent company. Why is this? Well, most top talent are for brokerages with cultures that support collaboration, social giving and independence. They want the ability to learn, grow and receive proper praise for a job well done. 


We’re more adaptable than the franchises

When you work with a local brokerage, there is no red tape from upper management that needs to be cut through, making us more adaptable to your needs. If we see that there is a shift in the market or a new technology that will benefit our clients, we don't have to wait for someone to approve our request. Independent brokerages can simply adapt and make changes to quickly, and most effectively, help our clients.

Posted in Silicon Beach News
May 29, 2019

What are IBUY Programs and How do they work?

Silicon Beach and IBuy Programs


Since the Silicon Valley boom in the 90’s technology has begun to disrupt every single industry — Real Estate included. We predict that 2019 will be the year that iBuyer programs truly get put to the test, so we’ve broken down if going through an iBuyer program is best for you. 




What is an iBuyer?


An iBuyer is a real estate company that will make an instant offer on a home. These iBuyers use algorithms known as AVMs to evaluate your home’s worth based on comparable market date. iBuyer sales can close in as little as 2 weeks and after the home is purchased the iBuyer will do repairs and remodels and resell the house for a profit.




How much do iBuyers pay?


iBuyer transactions have much higher fees and cost more than the traditional real estate transactions. iBuyers generally pay 75-100% of market value for a home. For example, according to this Redfin article, if you have a $1M home and the iBuyer gives you 85% of value and charges a 7% fee, you’d end up with 16% less than selling on open market if you paid 6% on agent commissions.


Often the best way to get top dollar for your home is to make it shine and list it for sale with a local real estate agent, but if you have extenuating circumstances that don’t allow you the time, energy, or money to go through that process, then iBuyer programs are a good option. If you’re on the fence, the best thing to do is explore both options and see which one will work the best for you. 


Circumstances that may work best for an iBuying program include:


      • You're Relocating. Usually when you have to relocate for work you don’t have a long period to do so, iBuyer programs takes away the stress of listing your home during an already stressful time.
      • You already purchased your new home. If you found your dream job and purchased it before selling your current home, iBuyer programs can help you quickly get out of your old home so you don’t have overlapping mortgage payments.
      • You don’t have to worry about repairs. If your home needs a lot of repairs that you would have to fix prior to moving out then selling to an iBuyer for a lower price may save you stress and money. 
      • You have extenuating family circumstances. Sometimes marriages don’t work out, and splitting assets can be a long and stressful affair. If you want a quick and less stressful way out of your home you can go through and iBuyer program. 


Though not for everyone, iBuying provides a quick option in exchange for a discounted offer. This allows you to bypass the listing process, sell the house quickly, and move on your own terms. 






Posted in Silicon Beach News
May 22, 2019

Cryptocurrency: The Disruption of the Real Estate Market


Silicon Beach Homes Explains Crypto Currency

Cryptocurrency is still a relatively new kind of currency, but the effect it has had on the global market has been undeniable. From feeding families in Venezuela to buying homes in the states, crypto has changed the way that we do things. Below, we look into how cryptocurrency is effecting the real estate market. 


What is cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency built to make financial transactions secure and difficult to fake. One of the most important features of crypto is that its not controlled by any central authority — including governments, banks, etc. The decentralized nature of blockchain makes cryptocurrency nearly immune to the old ways of government control and interference. 


Cryptocurrency also makes it easier to conduct any transactions. Transfers are simplified through use of public and private keys for security and privacy purposes and these transfers can be done with minimal processing fees, allowing users to avoid the steep fees charged by traditional financial institutions.


Crypto and Real Estate 

According to Investopedia, "Previously, transacting high value assets such as real estate exclusively through digital channels has never been the norm. Real estate transactions are often conducted offline involving face-to-face engagements with various entities. Blockchain, however, opened up ways to change this. The introduction of smart contracts in blockchain platforms now allows assets like real estate to be tokenized and be traded like cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether."


Translation: Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology eliminates the need for a trusted (and pricy) third party to facilitate the digital transactions. Blockchain can also make MLS property data more centralized and accessible, title records easier to track and transfer, and it can make transactions more efficient and secure.


Crypto and California Real Estate

As aforementioned, crypto is not dictated by any particular government, making it a useful tool in international transactions. The real estate market in California is extremely popular with foreign investors and so it’s predicted to be one of the first markets to fully adopt crypto in real estate transactions. Real estate listings in markets that are popular with foreign investors are increasingly advertising that they accept cryptocurrency. The appearance of these listings is likely driven by two things: a marketing tool to catch the attention of foreign investors and a hope to attract local enthusiasts who prefer to play with crypto. 


What’s Next? 

Many believe that within the next decade most real estate transactions will be conducted on the blockchain. The constant flux in the cryptocurrency market demands caution, but cryptocurrencies are poised to disrupt the real estate industry and savvy real estate brokers who want to stay ahead of the curve should prepare now.

Posted in Silicon Beach News
May 15, 2019

Where to see the SoCal Wildflowers



Happy Spring! With the warm weather rolling in, the Southern California wildflowers have begun to bloom! Whether you want to take a weekend getaway or a sunny afternoon, we have a list of some of the best places to go to see the wildflowers! 


Spring is here, which means Southern California wildflowers have made their appearance—and at some of these spots, they will continue to do so later into the year.




Point Dume


Take an afternoon off and enjoy a hike along the top of the iconic Malibu cliff to see hundreds of brilliant giant coreopsis that turn from dusty green to lively yellow each winter and spring. Parking can be limited on Cliffside Drive, between Birdview Avenue and Dume Drive, so we suggest hiking from the beach below. 




Anza-Borrego Desert State Park


Though the flowers are not expected to bloom as extravagantly this year as they did last year, the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is still a great place to go to see colorful clusters of sand verbena and graceful sand lilies. Each canyon —Borrego Palm Canyon, Henderson Canyon Road and Coyote Canyon—have variations of flowers. For a list of the varieties click here!




Chino Hills State Park


Enjoy rolling green hills and patches of poppies and yellow flowers while gazing at snow-capped mountains in the distance. To see the gorgeous flowers follow the lone park road, and just before it turns toward its terminus, you’ll see a dirt parking lot where Bane Canyon Road turns into Telegraph Canyon Road. Follow the signs for the Bane Ridge Trail and you’ll encounter poppies within 10 minutes. Warning, to enter the parking lot you’ll have to stuff $5 in an envelope which can cause a back up. Though, a traffic jam is still probably better than the alternative of parking into the residential area near the entrance, which is a few miles away from the wildflowers. 




Carrizo Plain


For a weekend away from the city, take a trip to the sprawling grasslands of Southeastern San Luis Obispo County. Though San Luis Obispo County stretches past what we’d typically consider Southern California, the three-hour trip is well worth it after a wet winter.


When the conditions are just right—as they were in 2017—we get a couple of weeks where the hillsides turn into mosaics of daisies, goldfields and other yellow, orange and purple flowers. As of early April, the area was carpeted in daises and goldfields, with splashes of poppies and baby blue eyes here and there. Do note that many roads within the park remain impassable due to winter storms, so you might have to hike on foot. 



May 8, 2019

The Regattas in Marina del Rey

Every Wednesday from 6 to 8 p.m. from April 17 through September 11 you can catch a series of sailing races within Marina Del Rey.  Below, we break down the best spots to catch a race and the vast history behind the California Yacht Club.




History of the Yacht Club


The California Yacht Club has a vast history of excellence when it comes to race management. The California Yacht Club was established in 1922 in Los Angeles harbor by a group of dedicated yachtsman from Los Angeles Athletic Club. In time, the group were able to build a beautiful clubhouse with the ability to dock several hundred sail and power boats. Before long they were hosting everything from Championship-level regattas to casual weekend races. 




History of Sunset Races


In 1931, Club members held their first ever Sunset Series — an event that lasts to this day. The first year there were few regulations, with all manners of skiffs, even pointing punts, being used. As the series went on, new boats joined into the races. From dinghies to sleek rainbow class boats, it seemed everyone wanted to join the series. 




A New Home: Marina del Rey


On September 22, 1963, the Club moved into new quarters at the Sheraton Marina del Rey Hotel. The popular Sunset Series (or "Wet Wednesdays”) continued to bring in huge crowds. The new location also included a new junior program, the Overton Series for ocean racers, Matt Walsh Series for Midget Ocean Racers, and Women's Auxiliary races to name a few.


October 1, 1966 saw the big move to the exciting and beautiful new clubhouse in Marina del Rey. An armada of the Club's fleet moved into the 230 slips at the present site at the head of the main channel. The completed new facilities were formally opened on June 10, 1967. 



Today’s Regatta in Marina del Rey


The California Yacht Club puts on this series of sailing races that take place Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. In 2019, the season is April 17 to September 11. Pro tip: the best viewing spots are at Fisherman’s Village and Burton Chace Park. We suggest having your camera ready around 7:30 to capture the wave of sailboats returning to the harbor’s main channel.


It has been over 75 years since the founding of the California Yacht Club and volunteers continue to work diligently to provide our members with one of the world's finest yacht clubs.

May 1, 2019

Mother’s Day Brunches in Silicon Beach

This Mother’s Day, show your mom how much you care by taking her to a one of a kind brunch in Silicon Beach! Below, we list the best spots to bring Mom on May 12! 


Shutters on the Beach


One of the most breathtaking views in Santa Monica can be seen from Shutters on the Beach, a luxury waterfront hotel that is home to some of the best restaurants in Silicon Beach. One of those restaurants, Pico, is known as one of the premier beachfront dining destinations in Southern California and a Silicon Beach Favorite.


The special Mother’s Day brunch menu features appetizers such us asparagus green garlic soup, burrata tomato salad and grilled prawn salad. The main course includes a choice of Maine lobster benedict, roasted Alaskan halibut, wagyu beef filet and homemade spaghetti. Desserts include chocolate coffee ganache, raspberries mimosa tart and bing cherry compote. The 3-course brunch costs $110 per person. 



Blue Daisy


With a beautiful outdoor patio and one of the best brunches in Silicon Beach, Blue Daisy makes our list of Best Mother’s Day Brunches! Brunch as Blue Daisy features unique dishes and cocktails such as Bacon Bloody Mary’s, Florentine Crepes, and Pancake Benedict with Bacon. 


Blue Daisy proudly uses only the freshest, highest quality ingredients, including hormone-free and antibiotic-free meats, organic greens and veggies, artisan cheeses and breads, as well as sustainable and organic coffee, espresso and tea. Brunch at Blue Daisy is available from 8:00am to 4:00pm and you can find the entire brunch menu here! 




FIG is a neighborhood bistro committed to fresh, seasonal cuisine. The menu is made up of ingredients sourced from multiple weekly visits to the local farmers markets and from specialty foragers that comb the coastline for hard to find items. The menu changes day to day based on ingredient availability, but crowd favorite such as Lobster Cobb Salad or Mary’s Chicken have a permanent place on the menu. For a glance at the possible Mother’s Day brunch menu, click here! 



Herringbone is a nautical restaurant that features coastal cuisine with an emphasis on line-caught seafood and high-quality meats. 


Located in The Seychelle at Ocean Avenue South, Herringbone Santa Monica perfectly mixes a contemporary atmosphere with a seaside rustic vibe. The restaurant feature generous indoor and outdoor space, an open kitchen, raw bar and lively bar and lounge, Treat your mom to their Mother’s Day menu with includes mixed berry parfait, sashimi on ice, and local farm egg quiche florentine.  For the full Mother’s Day menu, click here!

April 24, 2019

The companies coming and going in Silicon Beach!



Last week we wrote about HBO leaving Santa Monica and heading over to Culver City in a new, expansive office. But this week, we want to highlight all of the companies making their way into Silicon Beach.

Silicon Beach has been a hotbed for tech in LA for over a decade, with companies such as Youtube, Hulu, Headspace and Snap Inc. calling the area home. According to an article published by Built in LA, Silicon Beach is home to more than 500 companies with startups alone raising $4.2 billion in 2016.

As the economy in Silicon Beach continues to grow and evolve, more companies are planning on making the community home including the global law firm Goodwin who recently announced plans to set up a new practice in Santa Monica dedicated to private equity and technology.

Goodwin will be located at 520 Broadway in Santa Monica. It will initially take up more than 20,000 square feet over the building’s entire fifth floor. The office will be home to approximately 20 technology and private equity lawyers, including current Goodwin lawyers who will relocate.

Goodwin is moving to Santa Monica because many of their tech clients list the travel from the westside to other parts of Los Angeles is a legitimate deterrent for business deals. The move will open up a wide range of possibilities for clients from Hermosa to Santa Monica.

While Goodwin is moving in, other companies (like aforementioned HBO) are moving out of the coastal tech hub. One of the reasons companies are leaving is the price of rent in Silicon Beach as opposed to communities 5 or 10 miles away from the beach. As the city’s tech industry grows, so does the cost of office space.

According to a 2018 report by CBRE — which surveyed office rents in the top 30 tech markets across the U.S. and Canada — LA’s tech scene ranks second in overall market growth, with around 1.3 million square feet of space rented in the last five years. But as the need for space intensifies, the rent rises. The rent in Silicon Beach went up 16% between 2016 and 2017, with rent in Santa Monica alone rising 78% between 2011 and 2018. If you think moving to one of the other beautiful beaches would give your wallet some relief you would be wrong. Rent in Playa del Rey and other coastal communities neighboring Santa Monica and Venice sits at around $100 per square foot.

You may be wondering, “if rent is so high, why are startups still settling into Silicon Beach?” With breathtaking beaches, unlimited resources for tech startups and a right of passage that comes along with the location, it is still one of the top locations in the country for tech companies. 

Posted in Silicon Beach News
April 15, 2019

HBO's Big Move!

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons 



HBO is moving! The media giant has decided to leave its longtime home in Santa Monica for a five-story office building under construction on Venice Boulevard in Culver City.


What we know so far

News of the move recently shook Silicon beach, as the premium cable network has called Santa Monica home since 2004. HBO will move in 2021 and will be part of the Ivy Station mixed-use development, a $350-million project that will include apartments, restaurants, and shops.


It was recently announced that HBO would occupy all 240,000 square feet of office space in the complex. This is a huge development for the once quiet Culver City — which is experiencing massive growth as the home to Amazon Studios and numerous advertising and digital media shops.


Why Culver City?

Culver City has become a hot bed for entertainment over the last few years. Consisting of just over 5 square miles of land, the small but mighty community is rapidly growing. Last year, Amazon Studios moved into the historic city, and later decided to lease 75,000 square feet of office space at the new Culver Steps development.


According to Tom Wulf — executive vice president of Lowe, on of the Ivy Station Developers — HBO was attracted to the space because it has easy access to public transit, lodging, shops and restaurants.


According to the LA Times article, the network initially considered moving into a new Washington Boulevard office building near Culver City’s art gallery district, but Apple Inc. ended up leasing that space instead.


HBO’s Revamp

News of this move comes on the heels of HBO’s announcement of a major revamp. The media conglomerate is preparing to launch a streaming service later this year to compete with Apple, Netflix Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Walt Disney Co. The streaming service will showcase programming from HBO and other TV networks, including TBS and TNT, which now are owned by AT&T.


HBO plans to expand their programming now that their massive hit series “Game of Thrones” begins its final season. The marching orders to expand programming came from AT&T — the telecommunications giant that spent $85 billion to acquire Time Warner Inc. in 2018.


About Ivy Station

Ivy Station is envisioned as a roughly 500,000-square-foot campus of contemporary-style, mid-rise buildings. The space will feature 200 apartments, 50,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and restaurant space and a 148-room hotel. The brand of the hotel will be identified later, the developers said.


According to an article by the LA Times, the financial terms of HBO’s 15-year lease were not disclosed, but landlords in the area typically ask for about $4.50 a square foot a month, according to statistics compiled by real estate brokerage CBRE. Making monthly rent well over $1 Million. 

Posted in Silicon Beach News
April 11, 2019

Family Fun Easter Activities in Silicon Beach



Every year the communities in Silicon Beach pull out all the stops for family fun activities on Easter. From easter egg hunts and face painting to morning cruises with easter treats, we have listed our favorite local Easter activities that the entire family can enjoy! 




Annual Venice Beach Egg Hunt


Each year Venice Beach hosts a massive Easter egg hunt that attracts crowds from all over Silicon Beach. The egg hunt offers free candy for anyone under 11 years old and is broken down into four age groups so that the hunt is fair. The age groups consist of 2-3 year olds (10:30 am), 4-5 year olds (11:00 am), 6-8 year olds (11:30 am) and 9-11 year old (12:00 noon). The winners of each age group will also receive a prize! 


Simply bring your own Easter basket and a smile for your photo ops with Peter Cotton Tail.   The event will also feature face painting, a moon bounce, and a fire truck! 


The event is located at the Venice Recreation and Parks; 1800 Ocean Front Walk Venice, CA 90291. There is street parking as well as available spots at the South City Parking Lot (2100 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291).




Marina Del Rey Easter Brunch Cruise


If your kids are a little older and get more enjoyment out of a good instagram pic than they do an Easter egg hunt, then this might be the perfect way to spend the holiday. The gorgeous SoCal coastline is the perfect backdrop to any experience, but having your whole family together to celebrate makes it even better! 


The brunch features a generous buffet with classic breakfast goodies, holiday classics and chocolatey treats. For those 21+ there will be free-flowing Champagne to enjoy throughout the cruise. There is also live entertainment and even a visit from the Easter Bunny. 


Three cruises are offered throughout the day — 10:30 am, 11:00 am and 3:00 pm — all lasting 2 hours. For more information about tickets, pricing and menus click here! 




Santa Monica Easter Run 


Looking to work off that Easter dinner? Join the Santa Monica Easter Run and feel free to indulged in whatever your heart (and stomach) desire that evening. The runs offered include 5K, 10K, 15K and 1/2 Marathon. The course is simple, it will consist of counter clockwise loops around the beach path that will be marked. Fees to enter start at just $22.00! For more information click here!