A star property itself, this private estate offers incredible attention to detail and elegant interiors that exude sophistication.
Patrick Fogarty of Hilton & Hyland represented the buyers, German national Ekkehart Hassels-Weiler and his new husband Omar Romero, who were eager to acquire this unique home. Fogarty says the home was on the market for less than a month and bought in under four.
Externally, the home is almost mysterious at first glance, as the long driveway affords complete privacy from the street. That mystery transitions into pure awe once the house is in full view, as Fogarty says the home’s proportions and classic design give it a grand feel that enhances with every meticulous detail. “The style is timeless rather than of the moment,” he says, adding that the overall aesthetic is tasteful yet opulent.
Built and developed by the seller, British property developers Ian and Richard Livingston, the estate greets visitors with a graceful motor court that features both trees and fountains. The front doors open to a striking grand entry with 30-foot ceilings and walls of marble, all opening up to a grand staircase and detailed floor plan. A strong yet beautiful harmony is felt in every room, from the dramatic kitchen to the tasteful master bedroom and baths. Interestingly, Fogarty notes that though “the home is grand in scale, [it] still manages to feel like a home.” Other features of this estate include a master wing, gym, theater, guesthouse, staff quarters and bocce court. The expansive backyard also boasts an ozone pool that highlights the perfect California indoor-outdoor lifestyle.
Only approximately five minutes from Rodeo Drive, the 8-bedroom, 11-bath home remarkably reflects a sense of tranquility and serenity, allowing the new owners to relax with complete privacy. The blend of rich landscaping and natural materials, such as stones, wood, steel, and brass, also enrich its character and depth, making it a true sanctuary.
Photos by Berlyn Photography 2019.
Through a long-winding and manicured driveway, off of the Old Highway on Plantation Key in Islamorada, FL, this villa sits on two acres facing the Atlantic Ocean. With 170 feet of shoreline with deep water dockage, a boat lift and a sandy beach, it is a rare find in the Florida Keys.
The home features 8,226 square feet of living space with three levels offering six bedrooms, four and one half baths and an additional one bedroom en suite on the ground level. It also showcases an imperial staircase, gourmet kitchen, private verandas, a custom-built living room entertainment center, sub-zero Viking appliances, Versace designed lighting, and a master suite with a grand balcony. “The chef’s kitchen is our favorite room because you can entertain friends, while looking out towards the beach and ocean — watching swimmers and beach volleyball players,” says Cynthia Hughes of Ocean Sotheby’s International Realty, who is listing the property for $6.995 million.
The distinctive features of this home consist of exquisite wood and marble floors, eight-foot high solid wood doors, ironwork fixture, imported stone from Mexico, architecturally designed ceilings, and custom crafted furnishings. Additionally, each bathroom is tiled in exotic marble and mosaics, and the walls are finished with Italian-inspired, hand-drawn paintings. No detail has been missed. “This home has an old world charm with a relaxed coastal feel,” says Hughes.
Outdoors, enjoy a heated infinity pool with adjacent spa and a grilling area for the perfect outdoor host.
“This home is perfect for anyone who wants to share their island living with family and friends,” says Hughes.
3 ocean watch photo courtesy of Haig Point; all others ©Dennis burnett photography
Daufuskie Island offers Southern charm and comfort that can only be found on an island with no bridges. Accessible by a 30-minute ferry ride, my journey to the Haig Point community began and ended with relaxation. Catching a glimpse of diving dolphins as I left the mainland behind was a warm welcome into the exclusive area. The sea island just off the coast of South Carolina, which is easily accessible from Savannah, is one that wholeheartedly embraces the easy pace of the Lowcountry.
“As soon as people step off the ferry they
typically fall in love with the island lifestyle,” says Lauren Hunt, the programming and communications manager at the private, member-owned Haig Point. “Their genuine commitment to the island is why they choose to build and live here.” Members welcomed me with open arms and shared the island’s charming attributes, all with similar stories of visiting and deciding to stay for the long haul.
If the 29-hole Rees Jones golf course, equestrian center, award-winning tennis facility, and beach club don’t entice you, the real estate will. It ranges in size and price, creating a diverse community with something to offer everyone. Haig Point goes beyond vacation and second homes. Permanent residents are enjoying the influx of younger residents. “More families under age 55 joined in the past three years than the previous 10 combined,” says Hunt. An island destination with no traffic — the island runs on electric golf carts — is an ideal opportunity for those hoping to enjoy a smaller, safer environment for their families.
Homesites for building your dream home and a collection of existing properties make up the variety of real estate within the current 270-home development. On the market for $2.995 million, 3 Ocean Watch in Haig Point was designed and built to the highest standards with stunning heart pine and woodwork soured from a 200-year-old house. Other properties range in price from the mid $300,000s to $3 million.
The island won’t be threatened by commercialization or overcrowding, due to building restrictions, according to Hunt. The community’s Architectural Review Board ensures the nature and integrity of the island remain intact alongside development. Across the water, Hilton Head Island is visible. “Hilton Head Island has 2 million visitors annually. That means easy accessibility to great restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. And with only an eight-minute commute, our hourly water taxi makes it easy to escape back to the solitude of Haig Point,” says Hunt.
3 Ocean Watch offers Calibogue Sound views.
Enjoy uncrowded, pristine beaches.
Haig Point offers a private Equestrian Center.
With a view of the beach and plenty of bedrooms, this Panama home is the oasis of your dreams.
On the idyllic island of Saboga, in the Las Perlas Archipelago in Panama, this three-level, five-bedroom, five-bath house is surrounded by tropical plants and trees and overlooks a gorgeous beach. “The islands that make up the archipelago are one of the very last undeveloped island chains in the world,” says listing agent Stephanie Villarreal of Your Panama Real Estate Connection.
Conveniently located, the island has a heliport, there is a daily ferry service to Isla Saboga from Panama City, and the neighboring island of Contadora has an airstrip.
The home, which comes fully furnished and is listed for $850,000 USD, was “custom built to provide the very best in island living,” says Villarreal.
The lower level of the house has two bedrooms, each of which are small studio apartments with full kitchens — and decks and patios overlook the beach just 26 steps below. “Perfectly situated, you can enjoy a perfect balance of indoor/outdoor living,” says Villarreal.
The main level has one master bedroom, kitchen and living room and a large open deck with a pergola overlooking the beach and ocean. From here, “you can enjoy the spectacular views of the beach and ocean,” says Villarreal. “Imagine waking up in the morning, sitting on the deck and enjoying coffee — listening to the birds.” Or at the end of the day, “enjoying a fresh coconut or cocktail —and watching the sun go down.”
The upper level of the house has two bedroom suites with a shared kitchen between them. Each upper bedroom suite has a deck overlooking the beach. “This beautiful house is a perfect fit for a family looking for a change or adventure — or is well suited for anyone wanting to start a sport-fishing lodge, as the area boasts some of the best sport-fishing and an abundance of marine life,” says Villarreal. “No matter where you are in the house or the property, there is no forgetting that you are on one of the most beautiful islands in Panama.”
For more information, visit the link here.
©istockphoto.com / ClaudioVentrella
While the pace of wealth creation may be slowing, the story now is how it’s spreading around the globe.
“The increasingly footloose nature of wealth.” That’s how global consultancy Knight Frank characterizes today’s trend in affluence. When it comes to real estate, all it takes is a quick look at the worldwide activity of major brands to see a clear illustration of this concept.
The locations of new affiliates of Sotheby’s International Realty in recent months include Oklahoma City, Arkansas and Kansas, along with Cyprus, Slovakia and Qatar. Qatar is the second location in the Middle East for Sotheby’s. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has extended its reach to global hubs, partnering with major firms in Europe and the Middle East. Now, they count Berlin, London, Milan, Madrid, Barcelona, Dubai and Frankfort in their network. Coldwell Banker has offices in 49 countries. Luxury Portfolio International, the luxury arm of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, has affiliates in more than 70 countries.
“The fact that the world is becoming smaller and smaller, the speed of information flow, and travel contribute to people’s interest in owning properties elsewhere, both for Americans and foreign nationals,” explains Joyce Rey, executive director, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury.
Markets may go through cycles and new partnerships emerge, but the foundation of global real estate hasn’t changed. “The luxury buyer understands that one of the best, if not the best, investments they can make is property,” explains Michael Jalbert, executive vice president, Global Field Operations for HSF Affiliates, the parent company of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.
Chatter regarding a potential recession might form a smokescreen, but wealth creation will continue to be a constant, according to Knight Frank’s annual Wealth Report, which forecasts a rise, over the next five years, of 22 percent in the number of individuals whose net worth exceeds $30 million, a group often classified as Ultra High Net Worth, UHNW. Over the next year, existing UHNW, especially in the U.S., expect their wealth to increase.
When Rey began her career in the 1970s, foreign buyers were a rarity, especially in Southern California. Today, she says, the percentage of foreign buyers purchasing ultra-luxury properties, those priced above $20 million, has remained pretty steady. “Usually it waffles between about 20 percent to 25 percent. And that hasn’t changed over the years.” For the first nine months of 2019, foreign buyers accounted for 31 percent of purchases of $20-million plus residences in Los Angeles’ tony west side.
Rey was one of the first to reach outside U.S. borders to forge connections. After the increase of Japanese buyers in 1980s, she traveled to Japan to meet one-on-one with agents and potential buyers. “I feel if a quarter of your buying population is foreign, you should be reaching out to the foreign market,” she says.
Bob Hurwitz, founder and president of the Hurwitz James Company (HJC), was also on the leading edge of the global outreach. “In the early 90s, I recognized that the buyers for my highest-priced properties were more and more often originating from overseas. This was actually before the Internet was even a reality for marketing purposes. As a result, I started focusing a significant percentage of my marketing to exposing my listings here in the states to affluent foreign buyers.” He also created a network of HJC representatives to promote his listings overseas. Currently, Hurwitz represents nearly $3 billion in luxury properties and developments worldwide.
Even those who work in the global arena today are occasionally surprised by the geographic diversity of investors and buyers. “One stat that recently jumped out at me is Aruba is home to 90-plus nationalities and ethnic groups, which I thought was fascinating,” shares Stephanie Anton, president of Luxury Portfolio International. “One of our affiliates there also pointed out that many of their buyers are coming from India.”
And this isn’t an isolated instance. Indian buyers are cropping up in many other primary and second-home locations, including Portugal. Among foreign buyers in the U.S., India ranks third after China and Canada. India is expected to lead the five-year growth in Asia’s ultra-high net worth population with a 39 percent increase, followed by the Philippines (38 percent) and China (35 percent).
Increasingly, the ultra-wealthy are not necessarily tied to one country or one region. Approximately, 26 percent plan to emigrate in the next year. Already, more than a third hold a second passport and 22 percent plan to buy outside their country of residence, according to Knight Frank.
However, 2018 saw only a marginal increase (0.8 percent) in the size of the ultra-wealthy population, which Wealth X describes as a “marked slowdown” from the year earlier. The combined net worth of the ultra-wealthy declined 1.7 percent, the first annual fall in three years, according to Wealth X. However, it’s important to view these changes in context, because 2017 saw dynamic wealth creation with double-digit growth in the number of ultra-wealthy and impressive gains in asset markets.
The global outlook this year is nuanced. Rising interest rates and the end of quantitative easing means we are reaching the end of super-charged returns on everything from classic cars to art and property, according to Knight Frank. Government policies continue to transition as some countries seek to attract wealth, with a record number offering citizenship and residency through policies regarding investment, while others restrict outflows of capital. Others, including Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK will continue to make it more difficult for wealthy non-residents to purchase properties.
Looking ahead, expectations are for slower price growth in key markets. But, as with any correction, a shift in values is an opportunity to which buyers respond, something that is already happening in London, where agents see a potential turnaround, particularly for higher-priced properties, underway.
“London’s general property market has experienced a slowdown and fall in housing prices. That said, the luxury property market is certainly bottoming out and we are experiencing buyers returning to the market, which is demonstrated by our revenues being up 146 percent year on year,” says Martin Bikhit, managing director at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kay & Co.
“Given all the uncertainty of Brexit, values in London have come down significantly. It’s a buyers’ market,” says Jalbert.
The exchange rate of the U.S. dollar to sterling makes the value equation even more appealing. “American buyers have been able to take advantage of savings up to 45 percent compared to the 2014 peak of the market. U.S. buyers believe that the market is going to spike post-Brexit and there is now an opportunity to buy competitively. Indeed, this is illustrated by the fact that American hedge funder Ken Griffin was the buyer behind two of London’s most expensive property transactions within the past year,” according to Bikhit, who calls this surge a “pre-Brexit boom.”
Hurwitz sees luxury penthouses in many traditional hot markets, including London, as good opportunities for buyers, since those prices have seen a big decline. Other recommendations in Europe include France as well as Tuscany, which, he says, has an appeal that transcends the strictly financial. “Finding something totally renovated in an authentic manner is key.”
A flat or pied-à-terre in Paris has become a rite of passage for Americans, says Anton, noting reports of particular interest coming from Silicon Valley. Paris is one of the bright spots in Europe, placing third on Knight Frank’s list of the
fastest-growing luxury markets.
“France and Italy are still two of our top locations and our offices are expanding in numbers and experiencing a very solid claim in the market,” says Craig Hogan, vice president, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury.
Berlin is Europe’s rising star. It has topped Urban Land Institute’s list of markets to watch in Europe for four years in a row, and currently ranks second after Madrid on rankings of the fastest-growing luxury real estate markets. Luxury residential here is a small but vibrant niche, with the number of privately owned apartments selling above 1 million euros growing by 17.5 percent from 2017 to 2018.
Stefan Schulze, COO, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Rubina Real Estate, says, “If Berlin succeeds in further expanding its potential in scientific and culture fields and remains one of the influential centers in Europe, it can be deemed certain that not only the number of premium new development projects but also the quality of luxury real estate will continue to grow sharply.”
Global Buyers in the U.S.
From the perspective of foreign buyers in the U.S., Hurwitz says, the market has changed multiple times over the last few years, fueled by factors as diverse as the attitude and oversight of a foreign buyer’s own government regarding money leaving their country, to crushing economic changes in their country of origin, to U.S. government restrictions on shell companies buying, to various others. Hurwitz says, “I still believe the U.S. is a safe bet and I am telling my clients to buy here.”
During the 12 months from April 2018 to March 2019, global purchases of U.S. properties fell sharply, with purchases declining by 36 percent. The dollar volume as well as the average price also declined. Rather than lack of interest from potential buyers, Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, cites what he calls “a confluence of factors — slower economic growth abroad, tighter capital controls in China, a stronger U.S. dollar and a low inventory of homes for sale.”
John Smaby, NAR president, adds, “There is still significant interest in U.S. properties across the globe, and the U.S. is still seen as a safe, secure place to invest.”
©istockphoto.com / _ultraforma_
©istockphoto.com / mammuth
©istockphoto.com / Givaga
©istockphoto.com / SeanPavonePhoto
Global Bright Spots
Along with real estate professionals from over 27 countries, Stephanie Anton recently returned from her company’s international conference in Athens. “It was thrilling to hear and see firsthand about so many bright spots in the market,” she says, including places where property markets were hard hit by political and financial turmoil during the recession. “One that was particularly obvious was our host city itself. The optimism of the Greek people was palpable.”
Both Spain and Portugal are seeing an influx of buyers and a surge in sales. Both suffered during the recession and are experiencing a strong turnaround.
“I think there is a sentiment of Europeans kind of holding their breath and waiting to see what happens with Brexit. But yet, there are also bright spots and the bright spots are more of those second-home markets because they’re lifestyle purchases. And so people are less concerned about the economic impact of Brexit because of making decisions on purchasing second or third homes,” Anton observes.
Some of the strongest luxury markets this year have been in resort locales. San Miguel de Allende continues to rank at the top of best cities and second-home destinations. “Our typical luxury buyers are investors looking for properties to take advantage of the lucrative vacation rental market, or shopping for their second or third vacation homes,” says Nancy Howze, with CDR San Miguel.
“Upscale consumers tend to have a broad world view,” says Jalbert. “They understand markets and are attracted to a range of places. Buyers in different parts of Europe are looking for a weather change, so it’s no surprise to see the resurgences of locations along Costa Del Sol and Portugal.” Jalbert adds that almost 100 percent of the luxury transactions in their eight offices in Portugal are from buyers outside the country. “It’s just an incredibly enchanted place where they have beautiful properties, but where there has also been significant investment in infrastructure,” he says.
One thing that has remained constant across the globe is the attitude of the elite regarding buying. Some of the highest sales in the last year can be tracked to global buyers, according to Hogan. “They will spend the money but need to know it’s a wise decision.”
Want to learn how to become the real estate industry’s go-to professional? Ryan Avery is the expert you’ve been looking for.
Emmy award-winning journalist, two-time best-selling author and world record holder, Ryan Avery, was announced as the keynote speaker at this April’s 18th Annual Luxury Real Estate Spring Retreat, where he’ll share his strategies on how to Go from A to THE® in luxury real estate.
Through effective storytelling techniques, Avery will encourage the audience to become the real estate industry’s go-to professionals by identifying what makes them different from their competition and transforming their communicating strategies, as well as their mindset.
“It is no longer acceptable to offer A product, A solution or even be A leader,” says Avery. “Today’s consumers, employees and followers want THE product, THE solution and THE leader to follow.”
At 25-years-old, Avery became the youngest World Champion of Public Speaking, after going up against over 300,000 contestants from 116 countries and winning the World Championship for Toastmasters International in 2012. Since then, he’s delivered more than 500 keynote speeches in over 30 countries around the globe.
The Spring Retreat will take place from April 19 to 22 at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in California.
Photo courtesy of Ryan Avery
Photo by Charles Roach / aloha films
Experts say it’s the perfect time to buy in Hawaii. But when isn’t it?
Aloha is much more than a salutation or expression of farewell in Hawaii. The “Aloha Spirit” is a way of life. This philosophy of mutual regard and compassion for others was a gift from native Hawaiians and is still practiced today to contribute to the overall experience on the islands.
The relaxed nature combined with pristine beaches, luxurious homes, and natural beauty make Hawaii a dream location for a second or permanent home.
“Oahu, known as ‘The Gathering Place,’ offers a wonderful combination of the amenities you would find in a vibrant metropolitan city as well as easy access to the tropical environment, including beaches, trails, and spectacular scenic ocean views,” according to Tracy Allen, the vice president and global luxury ambassador for Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties in Honolulu. The Hawaiian Islands are a true place for gathering, from outdoor enthusiasts to business professionals, with the surrounding Central Pacific Ocean offering added benefits for all.
“Oahu is truly magical in that it has all of the beauty of Hawaii while offering the ultimate lifestyle in paradise — outdoor activities, dining, and culture,” says Tracy Bradley, president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hawai’i Realty. Similarly, Dannette Andrews, at Oceanfront Sotheby’s International Realty, says, “moving to Kauai is a lifestyle choice for people who appreciate the natural beauty and laid back lifestyle.”
Ideally located at almost the mid-way point between the United States and Asia, Hawaii is an oasis with easy access to flights in both directions. Although, visitors may never want to leave the world-renown beaches, gentle waves for canoe surfing or the more extreme Pipeline, gorgeous waterfalls, hiking, ziplining, luxurious homes, and high-end restaurants. “Year-round we are able to surf, play tennis, hike, snorkel, sail, bike, and enjoy paradise,” says Bradley.
Whether buyers are relocating or hunting for a second home, “it’s the perfect time to buy,” says Andrews. “Luxury real estate on [Kauai] used to be considered anything over $1 million, but I would now say it’s pushing closer to $1.5 million. And the ultra-luxury for high-end gated estates start around $4 million and go up.” According to Allen, Oahu is one of the most diverse metropolitan areas in the U.S., with a strong influx of foreign buyers. “The leading foreign investing is still from Japan, followed by Canada and Korea. U.S. West Coast buyers are also a dominant force in our market and make up a large segment of our second-home buyer market.”
Hawaii Luxury Experts
Vice President, Global Luxury Ambassador
Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties
D. 808.593.6415 C. 808.927.6415
Tracy Bradley, R
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hawai’i Realty
Realtor (S), CRS, CLHMS
Oceanfront Sotheby’s International Realty
Located approximately 25 kilometers from Florence, this magnificent castle for sale occupies an incredibly dominant position and is without doubt one of the most spectacular castles found anywhere in Tuscany.
Named Torre Del Castellano, the exact origins of the castle are unknown however documents dating back to the 14th century note the castle within local records. It is believed to have been built around a watchtower, first with a signalling function and then as a garrison, hosting a small group of soldiers for the control of the major roads that linked Florence to Arezzo and Rome.
Throughout the centuries the castle increased its strategic importance as it was located on the southern borders of the Republic of Florence, in an area where the power of noble feudal families was still strong, and where they often took refuge during wars and disputes of the time.
The castle eventually lost its military function and was subsequently transformed into a manor house. As with many other former military buildings located in the countryside, it was later converted into a farm and at that time cellars and an oil mill were established in the basement. After a long period of dilapidation in the first half of the 20th century, the castle was restored by the current owners.
The main tower at a height of 30 metres offers absolutely breathtaking views over the surrounding countryside.
The property has all the characteristics to be transformed into a luxury boutique hotel or alternatively it could be used as a stunning private estate. This is a unique opportunity to purchase one of the most impressive castles currently on the market not just in Italy but throughout Europe.
Florence: 25 km
Arezzo: 50 km
Siena: 70 km
Florence: 40 km
Pisa: 110 km
Price: Price upon request
Interior: Living Space: Approximately 1,277 square meters
Cellar/Cantina: Approximately 434 square meters
Land: 9 hectares/22-plus acres
Chapel/Capella: Separate and included in this offering
For more information, contact:
Jean Mastagni, Broker Associate
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
36 Tiburon Boulevard
Mill Valley, CA 94941
Office: 415 381-7686
Cell: 415 310-7386
On tablescapes, in kitchens and baths, garden and great rooms, green seems to be having a moment.
Photo courtesy of marvin Windows and Doors
Extensive windows and doors link to greenery outside and bring nature inside.
©istockphoto.com / martinwimmer
Photo JORDAN STEAD / Amazon
Not too long ago, it was difficult to spy even a vestige of green in a room. Today, it’s almost impossible to find new interior scheme without a spark of green. “We’re seeing emerald green used on everything from walls to cabinetry to tile and even lighting,” observes Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams.
Green hues, especially deep vibrant shades, seem to be everywhere along with living greenery and plants. But rather than a fleeting color preference, the passion for green might also be the first sprouts, indications of a more transformative movement — biophilic design — edging into residential design and architecture.
Biophilia, according to consultants Terrapin Bright Green, refers to humankind’s innate biological connection with nature. Although social psychologist Eric Fromm first coined the phrase “biophilia,” the concept wasn’t popularized until the 1980s when biologist Edward O. Wilson took up the mantle. Biophilic design introduces natural elements, organic forms, light and water into the built environment. Research shows integrating natural elements increases productivity, enhances creativity and improves mental health. “We’re getting evidence-based design, especially in the healthcare industry, that just by having a view of the outside a patient recovers quicker and requires less medication and attention after surgery,” observes Miami designer B. Pila.
“The use of green in home interiors is picking up steam,” explains Stephanie Pierce, director of design for MasterBrand Cabinets. “There are a variety of shades cropping up today, particularly in the kitchen and bath from deep emeralds to soft sages and dark ivies. Deep, moody hues are making a bold impact on these spaces. The effect is as cozy as a warm blanket.”
“Touches of rich, verdant green can make it feel as though you’ve escaped to the outdoors and are soaking up the invigorating effects of nature — without even leaving your home,” shares Wadden.
“With the growing interest in wellbeing in all aspects of our lives, including the home, people are using nature-inspired lush greens to bring comfort into spaces,” explains Christine Marvin, director of corporate strategy and design at Marvin Windows and Doors. “Emerald green is a bold color that perfectly balances glamour with calmness, evoking a sense of relaxation and inspiration.”
Three spherical conservatories forested with more than 40,000 plants and trees allow Amazon employees to work while surrounded by nature.
Photo courtesy of sherwin-williams
Green, whether an accent or main course, is a mainstay on design menus.
Until recently, biophilic principles were utilized primarily in commercial structures, and the inclusion of nature — living plants, park-like oases, organic forms, natural materials including wood and stone, water and light — is revamping corporate settings including Amazon, Apple and Google. Last year, Amazon’s long-awaited biophilic project, The Spheres, opened on the site of its original headquarters. The three glass and steel domes are forested with more than 40,000 plants. Along with plants and a four-story-tall green wall, there are waterfalls, a river, walkways and meeting spaces. Hotels and other commercial spaces are implementing biophilic design practices but with more modest expressions.
For residential buildings, the addition of natural elements and connections with the outside has been an ongoing evolution, partially in response to consumer attitudes rather than a dedication to biophilia. Designers are just catching on. “Consumers are more educated in wanting healthier lifestyle choices,” says Angela Harris, creative director and principal of TRIO, an award-winning interior design firm in Denver.
Current residential design merges indoors and out, organic and humanmade, using visual and real connections. The integration of outdoor spaces is a response to consumer lifestyle demands, but the end result potentially delivers the cognitive, psychological and physiological benefits biophilia advocates tout.
“We’ve noticed an increase in demand for bigger windows over the past five years, as more people want to feel connected to the world around us while we’re indoors,” comments Marvin. “In a world that’s become fast paced and where our living and workspaces are merging, letting light in allows us to feel alive and connected to space outside our homes. Incorporating large windows into the home plays a significant role in achieving this ‘outdoors in’ feel and connecting to nature. We’re also seeing a pull towards large window walls, or many windows that are mulled together to create a wall of light that heightens the experience of light in a home.”
It may seem biophilia is just another quick moving fad, but more than one organization is promoting the concept and actively formulating certifications for buildings under the auspices of groups such as the International Living Future Institute, a Seattle-based nonprofit that encourages sustainable practices and wellness. In 2016, a cadre of architects, builders and researchers formed the Biophilic Design Initiative to further the movement. Biophilia is also part of the U.S. Green Building Council’s WELL Building Standard.
Whether or not biophilia will exert a long-term influence on design remains to be seen, but there is a good chance wellness and nature will be an important aspect of design’s new normal.
No matter how experienced, every real estate professional can benefit from training, and Tom Ferry is the gold standard in the industry.
Photo courtesy of Tom Ferry
Tom Ferry • 888.866.3377 • www.tomferry.com
Tiger Woods never stopped relying on a coach, and the most successful professionals in any field recognize the value of consistent training. Over the last decade, real estate has become such a dynamic, rapidly evolving industry that most agents are too busy chasing deals to capitalize on new trends and techniques that can make them more successful.
Tom Ferry, founder and CEO of Ferry International, specializes in coaching and training real estate agents through one-on-one counseling, experiential training events and online productivity products. Explaining that his specialty of motivating people is literally in his DNA, Ferry reports, “Most people were raised on milk and cookies. I was raised on Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy and my dad, Mike Ferry.” At 18 the younger Ferry joined the family business, learning everything from the ground up.
Acclaimed as charismatic and inspirational, Tom Ferry denies being naturally gifted, commenting, “When I first started out as a presenter, I was horrible.” He jests, “When somebody comes up to me and says, ‘I saw you back in ’93,’ I want to tell them ‘Oh, I’m sorry … I should probably give you a refund.’” Trained by renowned speech coach Ron Arden, Ferry developed his current style, reinforcing his belief that any skill can be taught. “There are no bad audiences, only unprepared presenters,” says Ferry, who enjoys both individual sessions and conference centers packed with 6,000 clients.
In his 30 years as a leading real estate coach, Ferry has perfected sales skills, marketing systems and team-building techniques that help agents not only succeed but dominate their markets. Ferry and his team have coached more than 30,000 agents, holding them accountable to fulfilling their greatness. “Today the key to any successful business is trust, and I help my clients scale trust,” states Ferry, who reports the best agents are keenly aware that closing deals and building a client base both depend on trust.
Insisting organizations sustain themselves through innovation, Ferry believes business professionals should reinvent themselves every 18 to 24 months. “At my large events, I deliver 20 to 100 strategies, techniques and marketing campaigns, but you need to pick the three that are right for you, your market and your maturity as a businessperson,” says Ferry. In his list of “superpowers” of successful real estate agents — items like effective negotiation, marketing and business development are naturally among them — the primary superpower is empathy, a quality that builds trust and relationships.
Addressing organizational philosophy, Ferry states, “Team leaders need to have the ability to transfer skills to maintain the continuity of the client experience.” He adds for emphasis, “I would never
invest in a company whose CEO had the attitude, ‘Nobody can do it better than me,’ because that’s a non-scalable business.” All of Ferry’s work is built on the premise: “The consumer deserves a higher quality real estate agent and experience.”
The Orange County, California-based Ferry enjoys investing in a wide range of companies, from technology to spirits, and sits on the board of directors of Miracles for Kids, a non-profit serving families with critically ill children. And while he enjoys golf, the coach admits to a healthy obsession with business, believing every person should identify his or her natural skills and pursue them with intensity.
“I want to coach, create, connect, and contribute,” says Tom Ferry, who is uniquely qualified to teach you to maximize your own skills and passions.