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How Virtual Reality is Helping Global Buyers Find Home

Virtual reality is making the world of real estate a smaller place for international buyers looking for home across the globe. VR visionary, Miami Coldwell Banker agent Nick Quay, shows us how.

What if the best buyer for your home lives across the globe? For many markets, like the Miami area where Coldwell Banker agent Nick Quay lives and works, this is often the reality. So, Nick considers the global buyer as an integral part of the marketing program for every home he lists. But, he takes catering to a global buyer to the next level using 3D Virtual Tours, allowing buyers from around the world to visit his client’s properties without any of the travel.

VR_wclient

Most recently, Nick used a 3D Virtual Tour to sell a penthouse property on Williams Island to a buyer from France. We asked Nick to share his secrets for attracting global buyers and why a mystery man named Matteo is his right-hand man. Here’s what Nick said:

On Matteo, the 3D Wingman
I named my 3D Virtual Tour camera system Matteo because he’s become such a huge part of my business and how I create a buzz for my properties. I was the first agent I know of in Miami to own a Matterport camera, which is a 3D camera that can scan an area and allow a viewer to experience it in virtual reality, so they feel as though they’re actually standing in the penthouse of a Miami hi-rise instead of their home in Europe. Being able to provide an open house experience on the fly to anyone literally anywhere in the world has drastically improved my potential buyer pool over the last few years. This, coupled with high end professional photography and modern promo videos, enable me to sell my listings for higher per square foot prices and much faster than other local agents.

Nick and Matteo the Matterport 2 - small_header

It’s always interesting to see how people react when I show up to a listing presentation with a military grade hard case with large loud snaps on it. When they ask what’s in the box sometimes I say “ohh this? It’s just Matteo” just to get a laugh and break the ice a bit.

 

 

Making the Global Sale
Matteo played a big role in the sale of a penthouse property last week on Williams Island in South Florida. The cash buyer from France was able to bring his family, designer, and contractor into the unit to experience it for themselves by simply sharing a link to the 3D virtual tour of the home. Being able to understand the space, walk around the corners, view the marina and pool area, and even experience the gorgeous Miami sunsets were all crucial elements of the decision-making process. I was even able to provide new floor plans with measurements so the buyer knew what furniture or art would fit nicely in the home. I think it’s awesome technology and create 3D Virtual Tours for all of my listings.

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Why Virtual Reality?
The fun for me is in the storytelling process and how I’m able to kick it up several levels by adding information into the experience that will hopefully create an emotional bond for the buyer. My sellers love it. But, even better, I attribute virtual reality to sight-unseen offers from out of town and foreign buyers. With VR, not only am I able to show buyers both locally and from afar, but I can also showcase the demand for the property by showing a seller analytics on view trends of a particular home’s virtual tour.

Virtual reality is playing a bigger and bigger role in global real estate, bringing buyers inside their new home an ocean away. Consider speaking to your local real estate agent about creating a 3D Virtual Tour of your home to help attract international buyers.

 

#WinthropRealEstate #WinthropHomesforSale #LandforSale

 

Housing inventory reaches record low, but brokers expect spring bounce 

*Report from Northwest MLS 

March 8, 2017



NC Pass - Opens Thursday
Monday, May 05, 2014
by Dave Thomsen
The North Cascades Highway will reopen Thursday, May 8, at Noon - that's the word from the State Department of Transportation.
Jeff Adamson, from the WSDOT, sent the following report today:
This morning the Eastside crew arrived at work to see if there had been any more significant snow slides over the weekend.  When they left Friday afternoon they had cleaned up 10 slides triggered by Thursday's helicopter avalanche control work. While there had been some minor sloughing, the cool temperatures kept the chutes that still have snow in them, stable.  The forecast is for more of the same with gradual warming.  That suggests we could well find those chutes will remain stable as they enter their spring "melt". Even if precipitation and temperature combine to create an avalanche hazard in the days ahead, we'll close for the time it takes to do control work at that location, clean up what comes down, and then reopen.
There's still 3-1/2 miles of snow separating the east and west crews today, but they're confident they will clear the road and the widenings, etc. by Thursday morning.
--END -- Adamson report.


N. Cascades Pass - Open in 6 Weeks?
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
by Dave Thomsen
Jeff Adamson, from the Washington State Department of Transportation, just issued the following report, indicating efforts to clear the pass will begin March 31. Adamson also indicates, if weather cooperates, the pass could be reopened within six weeks.
TWISP – The effort to reopen the North Cascades Highway will begin the last day of March. But despite the heavy late season snowfall, those responsible for the annual reopening effort are optimistic that State Route 20 could be open by early May.
Last year the clearing began Mar. 25 and was complete in less than 4 weeks.  “There’s twice as much snow at the summit than last year and it’s likely to take closer to the usual 6 weeks to reopen this year,” said Avalanche Control Supervisor Mike Stanford.
On Tuesday, Washington State Department of Transportation avalanche-control specialists and maintenance technicians ventured up  the North Cascades from the Early Winters information center near Mazama to Washington Pass. Along the way they stopped to measure snow depths in two dozen avalanche chutes and other sites. Snow at the summit of Washington Pass measured almost 10 feet compared to 5 feet last year. Snow on the highway below the Liberty Bell avalanche chutes averaged 35 feet deep.
WSDOT closed the highway for the winter last on Dec. 3. The earliest recorded opening was Mar.10, 2005.  During the drought of 1976, it remained open all winter. Due to avalanches in 2011, WSDOT couldn’t begin clearing the road until Apr. 11 and didn’t reopen it until May 25.
Stanford suggested the conditions this year are similar to the 2011 reopening. “This is a weird year all over the region as far as the snowpack goes. Washington pass is no exception. Right now we have debris in places we normally do not see it and no debris in places we normally expect to. Some chutes have wet slide debris in them, others have none”.
 

We've Finally Crossed Over!
Monday, December 09, 2013
by Dave Thomsen
By Dave Thomsen, Owner/Designated Broker, Coldwell Banker Winthrop Realty

WINTHROP, WA (Dec. 9, 2013) – There are still 23 days to go in the month of December, but already the 2013 Methow Valley real estate market has surpassed all previous recessionary years  since the peak of the market in 2007. 
The total dollar volume of 2013 real estate sales has now surpassed $38 million, compared to $30 million in 2012 and $35 million in 2008.  And it marks significant growth from the low of the market in 2009, when market sales totaled a mere $22.5 million.
This milestone comes with caveats:  sale prices remain well below pre-recession market levels?and some market sectors remain weak, including?land and commercial sales.

Some market growth can be attributed to the sales of higher-value properties, which was largely unseen during?the most difficult recessionary years.  In 2013, the market saw three sales in the $900,000 to $1 million range, and two sales in the $700,000 range.??The same pattern of grown is evident in the realm of transactions. Through December 8th, a total of 172 transactions have closed this year, and that number, again, eclipses all previous years since 2007.
As always, Coldwell Banker Winthrop Realty will provide complete analysis of market events following year end.
2013 saw another strong performance from Coldwell Banker Winthrop Realty.  The broker rankings chart, below, measures market transaction totals through 12.8.13 as measured by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

 
 
All of us at Coldwell Banker Winthrop Realty wish you the happiest of holidays and wonderful New Year.  Seasons Greetings!

NC Pass - CLOSED For The Season
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
by Dave Thomsen
By Dave Thomsen, Designated Broker / Owner
 
Today the Washington State Department of Transportation closed the North Cascades Highway 20 Pass for the winter season.
 
"Our avalanche and maintenance folks headed up early this morning to see what three feet of new snow over the past two days had done to the highway.  They found unstable avalanche zones and several slides.  The largest they got to was below Liberty Bell Mountain - 150' wide by 12' deep," said Jeff Adamson, a WSDOT spokesman. 
 
The state road people decided it was unsafe to send crews to clean up the snow, or to let motorists drive beneath the avalanche chutes.
 
Last year, the pass closed Nov. 20 and reopened April 16.
 
We hope you have opportunities to enjoy the Methow Valley in this stunning season of snow, which is just getting underway. 
 
And remember, driving the "back way" - from Interstate 90 or Stevens Pass - takes only slightly longer than the drive across the North Cascades Pass.

 

2013 Overtakes 2012 - Already!
Monday, November 04, 2013
by Dave Thomsen

By Dave Thomsen, Designated Broker / Owner
WINTHROP, WA (Nov. 3, 2013) – Ten months into 2013, the Methow Valley real estate market has already eclipsed the entire financial performance of 2012.
Through October 31, 2013 real estate sales through Northwest Multiple Listing Service brokers totaled $33.8 million, an 11-percent increase over sales in the full year 2012.
As you may recall, 2012 marked the Methow Valley’s resurgence from the Great Recession.
The 2013 market is also stronger in the number of closed sales:  153 transactions year to date, only one shy of 2012’s annual total of 154.
HOME SALES?Home sales remain the Methow Valley’s biggest market driver.  2013’s year-to-date sales already exceed 2012’s full-year levels.  
A total of 94 homes sold through October 2013, compared to 86 homes in all of 2012.
The value of the 94 homes was $27 million, compared to $22.7 million for homes sold in 2012.
The average home sale price for the first ten months of 2013 was $288,196, a nine-percent increase over 2012’s average price of $263,413.
LAND SALES?Activity in the Land sector remains far behind activity in the home sector.  Year to date in 2013, a total of 55 raw land parcels have sold, compared to 66 sales in all of 2012.
The dollar volume for land sales, relative to the number of sales, is up in 2013, however, with an average sales price of nearly $108,000, compared to $102,600 in 2012.                                                             
COMMERCIAL SALES remained slow in 2013, with a total of four transactions year to date, collectively worth $586,000.? 
OBSERVATIONS?While the number of sales has improved in 2013, the primary market factor involves not the number of sales, but the amount of money being spent on those sales.  After sitting on the sidelines for years, a significant number of mid-upper-level homes ($400,000 to $600,000) and upper-level homes ($600,000 to $1 million) are selling, and that’s boosting confidence throughout the market.??2013 YTD TOP SALES:??--$969,500       --$910,000       --$897,500       --$705,000       --$670,000        --$646,000       --$610,000
--TEN SALES from $400,000 to $570,000  ? 
PRICES?The sale of higher-value properties raises averages and dollar volumes across the board, but the fact higher-value properties are selling, does not equate to significant price inflation.  It is true that prices have solidified and strengthened in some cases, also inventory has diminished, but we still have a buyer’s market in the Methow Valley. 
 

BROKERAGE PERFORMANCE? Throughout this active year of 2013, Coldwell Banker Winthrop Realty has, as you might expect, served many more sellers and buyers than any other real estate firm in the region.  ??We are proud and grateful Coldwell Banker Winthrop Realty exceeds the performance of all other firms, in the number of properties sold, by a strong margin.

Methow Market Report - 8 Months of 2013
Thursday, September 12, 2013
by Dave Thomsen
By Dave Thomsen, Designated Broker / Owner
WINTHROP, WA (Sept. 11, 2013) – Eight full months into 2013, with the bulk of the busy summer market behind us, the Methow Valley real estate market achieved strong gains from the deep lows of recent years and noteworthy gains over 2012, the year which broke the market’s years-long downward cycle.

Through August 31st, a total of 115 transactions – including homes, raw land and commercial properties – closed in the Methow Valley. That marks a modest 6-percent increase over sales during the same period of 2012, but more importantly, it solidifies and strengthens the trend toward improvement. 
Of most significance: the amount of money spent on sales thus far in 2013. Dollar volume increased 18-percent over the same period of 2012 and 42-percent over 2011. 
The vast majority of dollars spent involved existing homes, versus raw land. This trend makes sense when you consider the historically high cost of building in the Methow Valley and the comparatively reasonable cost of existing homes for sale.

The average sale – for homes, land and all property types – totaled $215,000 in 2013, compared to $187,000 for the same period in 2012.
 
HOME SALES? For the first eight months of 2013 a total of 68 homes sold, a 9-percent increase over the same period in 2012, but the most significant difference, again, involved dollar volume.
Home sales totaled $19.7 million in 2013, a 21-percent increase over the same period of 2012, and a 55-percent increase over the same period of 2011.  

The average home sale price for the first eight months of 2013 was $290,000, up 14-percent from $250,000 in 2012, and up 19-percent from $234,000 in 2011.
At first blush, the higher dollar volume suggests price inflation, which is somewhat true, but not wholly true.
The biggest reason the average sale-price figure rose so significantly: more higher-value properties sold, and that raised the overall price average.  Lower-cost properties have been the market’s main diet for several years, and now we’re seeing more variation in the scope of properties purchased.  And that is different than simple price inflation.
The chart below shows the growing trend toward higher-value properties, a trend which has increased market confidence and strength.? 
       HOME SALES PRICE BRACKETS?                                January through August
                                                          2011                2012               2013
$45K  -   $99k                                       1                      7                     6
 
$100K - $199k                                    20                    21                    20
 
$200K - $299k                                    7                     15                    14
 
$300K - $399k                                    6                       8                    15
 
$400K - $499k                                    3                       5                      4
 
$500K - $599k                                    1                       3                      5
 
$600K - $699k                                    --                       --                      2
 
$700K - $799k                                    --                       2                     --
 
$800K - $899k                                    --                       --                      1
 
$900K - $999k                                    --                       --                      1
 
LAND SALES ?The number of land sales for the first eight months of 2013 fell slightly from 2012:  43 land sales occurred in 2013, compared to 46 land sales in 2012.  But once again, the biggest factor wasn’t the number of properties sold, but rather the dollar volume of the properties sold.  And in the case of land sales, the results were opposite from what occurred in the home sector.  The dollar volume for land sales actually fell in 2013, compared to the same period of 2012.
Land sales for the first eight months of 2012 included five parcels in Mazama, which sold in a range from $200,000 to $300,000.  Land sales for the same period of 2013, included only one high-dollar parcel in Mazama; it sold for $341,001 .  The next highest land sales for 2013 occurred at $180,000. 
The average selling price for a parcel of land during the first eight months of 2013 was $99,500. For the same period of 2012, the average selling price was $103,500, and for 2011 the average price was $85,500.
?COMMERCIAL SALES?The first eight months of 2013 delivered four commercially-related sales ranging from $32,500 to $312,000, for a total $713,000.  No commercial sales occurred in the first eight months of 2012, and three such sales occurred during the same period of 2011.
?COLDWELL BANKER WINTHROP REALTY?During this first eight months of 2013, I’m pleased to say our company has once again served many more sellers and buyers than any other brokerage in the market.  If you have questions about your property or are looking for the right acquisition, I hope you will give us a call.

North Cascades Pass - REOPENS
Thursday, September 12, 2013
by Dave Thomsen
By Dave Thomsen, Designated Broker / Owner
The Washington State Department of Transportation opened the North Cascades Pass Thursday, as expected.  The pass was blocked by mudslides last week.
 

Final Step To Reopen NC Pass
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
by Dave Thomsen
By Dave Thomsen, Designated Broker and Owner
Here's a quick and hopefully final update on the reopening of the North Cascades Pass, blocked last week by mudslides.
Late today, the Washington State Department of Transportation announced it has one large boulder to remove, using explosives. It plans to do the job tomorrow morning, then reopen Highway 20 by noon. The photograph below was provided by WSDOT.


North Cascades Pass - CLOSED Temporarily!
Friday, September 06, 2013
by Dave Thomsen
by Dave Thomsen, Designated Broker/Owner
The same crazy weather which triggered a huge lightening, thunder and rain storm in the Methow Valley overnight, also triggered another mud and rock slide over Highway 20, closing the North Cascades Pass.
We just received the following bulletin from the Washington State Department of Transportation:
"Heavy rain caused more mud and rock slides over State Route 20 in several locations, indefinitely closing a 24-mile stretch between the North Cascades passes. With heavier rains expected today, crews do not expect to reopen the highway until sometime next week.
"The North Cascades Highway is closed between mileposts 147 (10 miles west of Rainy Pass) and 171 (9 miles east of Washington Pass) while the Washington State Department of Transportation assesses how long it will take to clear the slides. Crews will likely wait until the rain subsides to begin cleanup efforts, since more debris may come down as the day progresses."

Off-Road Motorcycling The Methow
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
by Ina Clark

By Ina Clark, Broker, Coldwell Banker Winthrop Realty
When we think of recreation in the Methow Valley, dual sport motorcycles usually don’t come to mind - at least not initially!  But the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route, which now goes through the Methow Valley, may bring a greater awareness to some amazing off-road motorcycle opportunities in the Methow.

The Washington Backcountry Discovery Route (WABDR) starts at the Canadian boarder at Nighthawk and extends south to Oregon covering 575 miles of mostly unpaved back roads.
The route traverses through the Methow Valley from Loup Loup down towards Benson Creek through Carlton for a gas stop and continues on scenic South Fork Gold Creek Road down to Lake Chelan.  This Methow portion is great fun with dirt forest service roads and spectacular views and scenery.
When my husband and I road the WABDR we were both on smaller 250cc motorcycles and we found that traveling about 150 miles per day was about the right amount of distance for dirt road traveling.  This allowed for lots of stopping, appreciating the views and some exploring on the side. 
We saw other riders on large motorcycles, so any size works. We really enjoy smaller motorcycles for fun, fast riding on dirt trails.  Once we hit pavement we pay for the smaller size bikes with slower speeds and more vibration.  However I think the fun factor on dirt roads and single track make up for the less then ideal pavement speeds.

What makes adventure motor biking so fun in the Methow, are the endless exploration options available on Forest Service roads.  You can travel light without camping gear and stay at lodging along the way, or make it more of an adventure by hauling camping gear. 
If you have any interest in the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route(WABDR), check-out their website, then come to the Methow Valley and have fun!  I think the Methow is one of the best possible places to ride!