I recently had the opportunity to get some insight from Luxury Real Estate Agent Julie Locke. Locke is a highly trained at devising a strategic plan for her diverse client base who share a refined eye for unique and often one- of- a- kind properties. She is a world traveler in her own right, has lived in England, Paris, New York and now in southern California’s version of the “French Riviera”, she innately knows what her clients expect with her bespoke brand of British concierge service.
Q: Julie, can you give me a brief history prior to your career in real estate? What lead you into the industry?
A: I am a Mum of one but got into residential after a commercial real estate career and residential helped me to raise my son and not have him in day care.
It was such an incredible blessing as I was 36 and told I would never have children, so I wanted to be there as much as I could with my son. Real estate gave me that opportunity.
Q: What price point defines a luxury home in Orange County?
A: Well that is a tough one, someone owning a $500,000 house could define luxury very easily and someone with a $2 million may not have a clue about luxury, however, price points start at about $850,000 usually. The demographic I concentrate on is $850,000-$4 Million.
Q: What trends have you seen in the real estate market in your area, particularly since the market crash? What’s happening right now?
A: Well no one is talking about it, but we are in a little bubble with little inventory right now this minute in July 2016, so buyers are shroud because of what they have been through and sellers expect a lot of return on investment. However, I am a stickler for staging and making absolutely sure homes look good for marketing including, photos, having professional copy written and staging is paramount. Now we do websites for each property and also video, drones, music, sometimes even actors. In the end though, the home must raise above and sell itself.
So, in a nutshell, your home must look good on the internet, in the old days, some agents thought it was OK to shoot with your phones, that was terribly hideous, now you would not dare do such a thing as it ruins your reputation as not knowing what the hell you are doing.
Q: Can you give me an example of how your experience had guided a client to a better fit in a property than what they were originally after?
A: Yes, what an awesome question, that has been such a big part of my career, recently I was interviewing a client, I also call it therapy- then she stopped suddenly and said “ I am describing to you my childhood home, it just dawned on me I want to live again in my childhood home” that is powerful, the more questions you ask the more they peel away the layers, this client had asked for something so different to what she really wanted and it was the process of asking questions, this is what makes me love my work.
Q: What has been a key element of your success?
A: I love design, and so does my husband, I bring a value add to my work. I know exactly what sells a house and I sit down and tell you and we work as a team, the clients are involved and love it, they never loose any power with my methods, they sit happily in the drivers seat of the sale with me as a wingman, it is honestly the most calm way to work and happy all the way into a usually stressful experience.
Q: What are the top three questions your clients ask while showing a property?
A: Show me something that was $2 million now $1 million, no I am kidding, but everyone wants value.
They want Value and are usually very concerned about ROI ( return on investment) and making sure the family is happy.
I always ask for three top things they cannot live without.
My three top questions from are:
2.View ( usually the water)
You are constantly learning in this area of business, this year marks my 15th year, my son is now 16 and I often ask myself, “ Would you do this all again” the answer is always Yes.
Q: What is the most common problem you see your clients have in selecting a property?
A: We see a lot of open concept homes now, I notice most people do not want to be running back and forth to home depot of dealing with deadlines, so mostly finding the home that is perfect without having to add and delay life especially for families.
Q: If you were to give advice to a friend who was in the market for a property, what would you suggest they look for in an agent?
A: Someone who is open and willing to listen intently to what THEY want and then in turn brings their past success to the client, an agent should be open minded and work as a team with the client.
,, is a full service, results driven international realtor who brings a wealth of skill and expertise to all of her valued high end clients. She is known as much for her ability to uncover exquisite real estate properties as she is to her attentiveness to busy clients individual needs and expectations. Due to her knowledge of valuable inventory and up and coming developments, Locke is able to chart real estate trends and fluctuations in a way that creates lucrative opportunities for her clients. Locke’s business transactions possess her keen ability for instinctive forecasting of sales trends along with her absolute integrity and financial transparency in any real estate transaction. With an eye for the critical fine print that helps make clients investment of time and money a rich and rewarding experience. As Julie always says, “
Good service is good business.”