What Really Makes Millennial Buyers Different From Their Parents

by Chris Long

Working with a younger clientele these days? By adapting to these generational traits, you’ll be ready for the influx of millennial buyers.

Though they may be late bloomers compared to their parents, millennials now buy more homes than any other demographic, accounting for 32% of buyers and 68% of first-time homeowners. Like earlier generations, however, they approach real estate with unique needs and expectations, and realtors need to adapt to them to better appeal to this increasingly important demographic. Here are four key traits of today’s millennial home buyers:

Independent Researchers

Millennials are more likely than any other generation to do their own research before contacting a real estate agent. With smartphones, laptops, and tablets at their disposal, millennials can quickly narrow down what they want in a home — or a real estate agent — by researching local options online. Millennials want to engage with attractive, user-friendly websites, preferably one that allows them to search through available properties before they ever contact an agent.

Digital Natives

It goes without saying that millennials live online, and especially on social media, but you might not know that they also search for real estate there. In addition to traditional channels, young buyers regularly browse Facebook and Instagram to find new listings. A strong social media presence — complete with professional-quality images — can help you attract clients you might not otherwise reach.

Realtors also need to hop on the video bandwagon as soon as they can; 80% of millennials use video to inform a purchase, and homes are no different. Offering video tours or 3D walkthroughs of your property will generate more interest than photos alone.

On-the-Go Buyers

Older buyers may prefer to communicate with realtors over the phone, but millennials expect to interface with streamlined, mobile-first solutions. Agents and brokerages should focus on digitizing listings, paperwork, and payments to ensure that the process is as seamless as possible from initial research to escrow.

Real estate professionals must also ensure that their websites are mobile-friendly. More than half of younger buyers use their mobile phone to search for their home, and 31 percent of millennials found it there. Make sure that you also list on major real estate apps like Trulia to take advantage of the migration to mobile and capture buyers at a number of touchpoints.

Eager for Professional Advice

For all their differences, millennials — like every generation before them — value the opinion of an experienced real estate professional when it comes down to the nuts and bolts of negotiation. They factor honesty and trustworthiness highly in their assessment of a real estate agent, and will often work with the same agent multiple times if they had a positive experience. If you take time to understand young buyers’ needs and answer their questions, you’ll build trust and hopefully a long-term partnership.

Though millennials may be changing the tools of the trade, the core of the realtor-client relationship remains the same. Connecting with younger buyers and understanding their needs can make all the difference as they search for their next home.

St. Louis Rebuilds After Brick Rustling

Thanks to public and private investment, St. Louis is beginning to counter decades of architectural damage — but the fight isn’t over yet.

If you want to see history of St. Louis, look no further than its architecture. St. Louis brick has defined the character of the city and has been used to construct some of the city’s most striking structures, including the Wainwright Building and the Sheldon Concert Hall. These bricks reflect a strength and elegance that continues to shine forth today.

Unfortunately, the very qualities that attract so many people to St. Louis’ bricks have also encouraged theft. A history of brick theft, or “rustling” has left swaths of the city in a state of decay. It raises the question: how did brick rustling become so widespread, and how will St. Louis rebuild?

Supply to Meet Demand

St. Louis brick has long been admired for its beauty, quality, and durability. After the fire of 1849, city officials passed an ordinance prohibiting flammable wood frames. Since stone was too expensive, St. Louis turned to its rich clay deposits and its brick industry flourished. Demand for St. Louis’ striking red brick soon grew outside the Midwest, and manufacturers regularly exported to Southern states including Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Louisiana. At its peak, St. Louis had more than 100 brick factories.

But by the 1960s, a mass exodus from St. Louis was set in motion and many of the city’s graceful brick buildings were abandoned. Migration hit North St. Louis especially hard, leaving thousands of lots across the region vacant. The issue was exacerbated in 2003, when a developer purchased hundreds of parcels of land — including more than 150 historic buildings — and simply left them empty. By 2010, St. Louis had more than 8,000 abandoned properties and over 11,000 vacant lots.

These vacant — and often neglected — buildings soon became targets for theft, especially after the Great Recession. Rather than steal copper or other metals, brick thieves, or “rustlers,” pillage abandoned properties and sell the bricks for up to $260 per pallet to brickyards, who then send them down south to meet the ever-present demand. Brick rustlers have resorted to extreme tactics to harvest brick, even setting buildings on fire to loosen the mortar.

While rustling has become less common as the economy’s recovered, North St. Louis still suffers from its consequences. Constant vandalism has defaced some houses, left others uninhabitable, and even reduced certain properties to rubble. Over a short period of time, whole buildings disappeared, razed to their foundations. Many of these structures could have been renovated and restored, but they’re now irreparably damaged.

The Vanishing City Returns

Though it’s tempting to blame the loss of these buildings on brick rustlers or the brickyards that resell stolen materials, the core of the problem runs deeper than that. As architectural historian Michael Allen notes, “[brick rustlers] are taking advantage of a condition that already exists. They don’t create the abandonment.”

Thankfully, large-scale brick rustling has all but dried up. Until recently, the only penalty a rustler risked was a small fine for attempted demolition without a permit. In recent years, however, St. Louis has begun to crack down on brickyards that sell illegal material, denying rustlers their primary revenue source. Some of the city’s aldermen have proposed legislative solutions ranging from heavier fines to restricting the hours that brickyards can operate. But the damage from brick rustling has already been done — neighborhood residents and developers must now decide how to revitalize areas that are missing large swaths of their architectural fabric.

In many cases, St. Louisans have taken it upon themselves to restore their communities. In Old North St. Louis, for example, the Old North Restoration Group has worked since 1981 to repair the area’s historic structures, investing millions to restore historic brick homes instead of replacing them. Their work was recognized by the EPA in 2011, when the organization won National Award for Smart Growth Achievement.

Enough people have taken our city’s bricks — it’s up to developers and community members to reclaim these buildings as our own. With more restoration projects that combine grassroots efforts, private investment, and public support, St. Louis could soon find itself with a wealth of beautiful buildings to house the next generation of residents.

Virtual Realty: 5 Reasons to View Properties with VR

Samsung Gear VR

CC image courtesy of Maurizio Pesce on Flickr

by Chris Long

VR isn’t a far-off future in real estate — it’s happening now. Our top five reasons to choose a brokerage that offers VR listings:

First time homebuyers don’t often associate real estate transactions with speed or efficiency. Dozens of steps — from research to showings to financial evaluations — separate a prospective buyer from their offer.

Buying a home will always take time, but new technology is beginning to condense the overwhelming property vetting process. Virtual reality, or VR, can play an important role in the early stages of research, helping buyers narrow down their list of properties and eliminating unnecessary in-person visits. A brokerage that uses VR can also spend less time at showings and more time with their clients.

Need more reasons to love VR? We have five:

1. View properties anytime, anywhere.

Finding the right home or investment property can be exhausting. Weeks of showings — often at far-flung corners of a city or state — can easily wear even the most enthusiastic buyer down. Virtual reality provides an attractive alternative to this grueling process. With 3D walkthroughs, you can view properties from the comfort of your home or office, on your own terms. You can even view homes or apartments from your mobile phone or tablet.

2. An efficient buying — and selling — experience

There’s nothing quite like viewing a home in person, but some tours just feel like a waste of time. VR drastically reduces the amount of legwork by helping you spot immediate deal-breakers in the properties you’re considering. When you don’t have to visit every single house on your list, you can quickly identify a few top choices. VR also helps your broker by reducing the number of properties they have to physically show, giving them more time to find you the perfect property.

3. Get the full picture.

In the early stages of any real estate transaction, buyers and renters come across spaces that don’t quite live up to the beautiful wide-angle photographs posted online. Certain attributes of a space — like the depth of a room or the layout of an apartment — can be hard to convey through still images. VR provides a dynamic tour experience where true-to-life renderings or panoramic photographs are woven into a cohesive floor plan. Better yet, you can zoom in and out of the 3D images to get a sense of what a unit really looks like. Some VR platforms even allow you to view a 3D floor plan from above.

4. Make a house feel like a home

An empty room is a blank canvas, but the right virtual staging technology — and an eye for design — can completely recontextualize a space. Realtors can either pre-stage a virtual rendering of a home or apartment, or you can do it yourself by taking photos and using apps to overlay furniture. You may discover during staging that the living room you loved so much falls flat when you add furniture, or that the questionable breakfast nook is actually the highlight of a home. Virtual staging can also replace staging in the actual unit; even if you tour an empty apartment, you’ll have a mental picture of its furnished state.

5. The potential for greatness

The best reason to view properties with VR? The technology will only get better with time. Some companies now create 3D “model homes” of units that haven’t been finished yet, allowing investors to get a taste of what a finished property will look like before construction even begins.

The industry is also excited about the potential for virtual commerce. Those handy staging applications? They may soon become furniture stores where you can choose custom pieces for your new home. Buyers can also look forward to choosing upgrades — like granite counters or hardwood floors — within a virtual tour before they break ground on their new home.

In an industry that’s slow to adopt new technology, VR is a giant leap forward for real estate. A brokerage that offers 3D renderings of their listings can lead you to your dream home or apartment while saving you time, money, and energy during the buying process.

Technology and Property Management: Here’s What Brokers Need to Know

by Chris Long

Real estate isn’t a paper-driven industry anymore — new virtual solutions are changing the way that smart brokerages do business.

New developments in real estate technology bode well for the industry as a whole. A thoughtful approach to innovation can cut costs, improve efficiency, and increase profitability across a brokerage. New tech also appeals to millennial buyers and investors, who have grown up communicating, managing their finances, and strengthening social ties over their laptops and smartphones. Whether your company is just dipping its toes into technology, or works on the cutting edge, you should ensure that you’re taking advantage of the best that the real estate industry has to offer.

New Technology for a New Generation

Virtual Reality
Virtual reality technology has reached the point where it can be distributed to potential buyers across the globe, even without a headset. With 3-D renderings of their properties easily available online, brokers can give clients a better view into a unit or property without losing valuable time traveling from showing to showing. Investors can determine and pay more attention to the properties they’re interested in, and quickly move on from those that don’t meet their needs. Families can even begin to imagine what their lives might look like inside a home or apartment by arranging furniture within the virtual space.

Digital Payments
Though a majority of brokerages use digital payment technology to facilitate purchases, many still opt to collect paper rent checks from tenants every month. Modern brokerages should consider online payment portals for renters, which speed up the payment process, offer powerful security protocols, and eliminate costly check processing fees. Most importantly, they allow renters to pay their rent from anywhere they like at anytime by simply opening an app on their phone, making it easier than ever to connect with management and greatly reducing the risk of late rent and delinquency.

Cloud-Based Management Platforms
Real estate has historically required hours worth of manual data entry for each transaction, but thankfully that’s no longer necessary. Cloud-based property management software allows managers to handle everything from unit vacancies to maintenance within a single intuitive interface that’s compatible with any computer or smartphone. Whether you manage one or multiple property types, these platforms can accommodate your needs. The result? Less time spent on administrative work and more time spent on client relationships.

Although brokers and property managers should be excited and inspired by these advances, they must consider a number of factors when it comes to implementation. The real estate industry is slow to change, and solutions will need to appeal to all generations and all locations, domestic and international. Additionally, brokers will have to determine the appropriate balance between technology and human interaction.

Investing in Universal Solutions

As technology becomes more prevalent in the property management and leasing space, brokers need to consider whether the solutions they choose benefit a broad spectrum of users. Most millennials entered the working world with mobile and cloud-based software as a given, and they expect that the companies they work with will have those technologies available.

But for older buyers and agents — who must adapt to a major cultural shift within their industry — new technology can inspire resistance, confusion, or even fear. To accommodate this gap in knowledge and experience, brokers must prioritize ease-of-use when evaluating new platforms.

Finding the technology that works for your business and your clientele takes time and effort. Don’t be tempted to automatically choose the first solution that crosses your desk. Instead, survey your employees and your clients to assess their needs, then pick the option that works best. Some millennial clients may engage with your interface exclusively through phones or tablets, so it’s crucial that your programs are optimized for mobile performance. Technology that can’t run well on mobile could deter buyers and tenants looking for a seamless experience on their devices.

Once you’ve chosen your technology, make sure to invest in training programs so that your agents know what tools are available to them and how these tools apply to their business. Remember that innovation is a cycle, and that better options may arise as you scale your business or as new technology comes onto the market.

Augmenting Human Capability

Nearly all service industries are experiencing a shift toward automation, which inevitably raises the uneasy question of whether workers will be replaced. In the case of real estate, I bet not. Technology may take over data entry, but no machine can navigate the subtleties of negotiating a purchase or investment. As with accounting or law, real estate requires highly specific expertise that only comes with decades of working in this business.

But real estate agents also serve another purpose: navigating the emotional consequences of investment. No matter how much machines facilitate it, a real estate transaction is between people who each have hopes and goals for the outcome. Only a human agent can assure a buyer that they’re making the right choice, or console a client if they don’t make a sale.

Interpersonal relationships are the cornerstone of real estate, and technology should never replace human interaction. But we don’t have to fear its growing role in the industry either — these solutions help us appeal to a new generation of buyers and do our jobs more efficiently. When implemented properly, new technology simplifies day-to-day administrative tasks and fosters better relationships between agents, managers, and clients.

In Our Radius: Touring Tower Grove

By Arcanophile – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21077039

 

by Leigh Maibes

For those looking to buy a home, this historic community in southwest St. Louis combines natural beauty with some of the city’s best restaurants and cultural events.

The Tower Grove neighborhood in St. Louis is one of the city’s most vibrant and diverse communities. Though the Tower Grove area is technically split into two neighborhoods — Tower Grove South and Tower Grove East — they share a thriving commercial district along South Grand Boulevard. The area has lots to offer first-time buyers who want proximity to nature without sacrificing culture or convenience.

 

A Tasty, Multicultural Food Scene

Tower Grove’s food offerings, specifically on South Grand, are unparalleled by anything else in the city. In fact, the area was recently named St. Louis’ best restaurant neighborhood after nine of its restaurants topped the St. Louis Dispatch’s list of the city’s 100 greatest eateries. Residents can indulge in a Flying Pig — slow-roasted pork shoulder with egg, fried garlic, and plenty of Sriracha — from Guerrilla Street Food or savory lentils with spongy injera bread at Meskerem Ethiopian. Ever-changing but always delicious, Tower Grove’s food is a reflection of the neighborhood’s diverse inhabitants.

 

Tower Grove Park

Tower Grove Park was looking especially lovely this morning 📷@emkewl5

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At the center of this bustling neighborhood is Tower Grove Park. Dedicated in 1868, the park is nearly as old as the city itself and is now an integral aspect of life in Tower Grove. The park serves as a recreational space for locals, as well as a refuge from the urban frenzy; visitors can take their pick of trails, meadows, flowerbeds, playgrounds, tennis courts, and athletic fields to visit and use.

Additionally, the park hosts educational and cultural activities throughout the year, including the Summer Children’s Concert Series, lectures, art exhibits, and even a dog parade for charity called Strut Your Mutt. The variety and frequency of these events means that locals and visitors alike will surely find something that interests them.

 

Tower Grove Farmer’s Market

Every Saturday from mid-April through November, dozens of farmers and other vendors from across Missouri and Illinois gather in Tower Grove Park for its Farmer’s Market. Residents can choose from local produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, and more! The market also provides an opportunity for local craftspeople to show off their work, and shoppers can browse everything from candles to compost. A full list of vendors is available on the market website, so you can even scope out the stalls you’d like to visit in advance.

 

Stray Dog Theater

It's band day! #straydogspringawakening @kevpin_schneider @martylmusic @gofitgolden @jenbuchheit

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A centerpiece of Tower Grove is the Stray Dog Theatre, a theater company dedicated to the performing arts and community service. The unusual name hearkens back to a Russian café where great artists and thinkers gathered to share their work and enjoy entertainment, and Stray Dog works to carry on that spirit in its performances today. The group hosts six shows per season in the historic Tower Grove Abbey, a hundred-year-old church with striking stained glass windows and resonant acoustics. In addition to professional-caliber productions, the company runs youth classes year-round and regularly participates in community-focused fundraising events.

 

Tower Grove East Historic District

Love the colors!

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Architecture buffs will enjoy the Tower Grove East Historic District, which provides a glimpse into St. Louis’ past. Though most buildings in the area were constructed between 1890 and 1920, a select few predate the CIvil War. The neighborhood is a prime example of a “streetcar suburb,” featuring commercial buildings with cast-iron storefronts and plate-glass windows. Residential properties range from smaller “shotgun houses” to elaborate Italianate and Second Empire mansions. The district’s significance was formally acknowledged in 2013, when it joined the National Register of Historic Places. Thanks to this designation, the neighborhood will continue to marvel those who visit during a Saturday stroll.

 

International District

Whip it . . #photography #festivalofnations #festivalofnationsstl #dance #mexico #festival #festivalfashion #color

A post shared by Allison Marie (@allisonmz_design) on

South Grand, Tower Grove’s main shopping street, has rightfully earned its other moniker: the St. Louis International District. Since 2001, the South Grand Cultural Alliance has worked to foster relationships between local businesses and the arts. This has culminated in a number of annual cultural events, held in nearby Ritz Park. But the street’s largest celebration of diversity is the Festival of Nations, a multicultural event that features more than 40 ethnic food stalls, dancing, music, and arts and crafts. Attendees can also shop the World Bazaar, which features a wide array of global gifts.

 

Missouri Botanical Garden

TFW you can’t decide which is prettier: the plant or the pollinator. #inbloom 📷: Lisa DeLorenzo Hager

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Though not technically within the bounds of Tower Grove, the Missouri Botanical Garden lies adjacent to Tower Grove Park and must not be missed. Founded nearly 160 years ago, the 79-acre Garden acts a research site, education center, and event space for the St. Louis community, as well as a prime tourist attraction. Notable highlights include the orchid collection — one of the largest and finest in the United States — and the Climatron®, the first geodesic dome to be used as a greenhouse. The Garden regularly updates its exhibits and holds a number of events throughout the year, so there’s always something new to see!

Tower Grove offers delicious food, tranquil escapes, and a rich cultural history. If this sounds up your alley, get in touch with one of our agents for a tour.

In Our Radius: A Walk Down Cherokee Street

By Leigh Maibes

Cherokee Street

An eclectic mix of St. Louis’ past and present, Cherokee Street is home to the city’s artistic renaissance.

Cherokee Street has been a busy shopping district since the 19th century, but scores of artists, writers, and other creators have set up shop in this historic neighborhood over the past ten years. The result: a community that strikes a winning balance between tradition and innovation, where the minds sculpting St. Louis’ future reside amongst reminders of the street’s rich history.

Renters or buyers looking to immerse themselves in a creative culture should strongly consider Cherokee Street as an option. Need convincing? Learn more about this unique neighborhood:

 

A Mexican Cultural Mecca

Hoy es día de mini tacos: de barbacoa, pollo y pastor!

Posted by Taqueria El Torito – Authentic Mexican Food on Thursday, August 31, 2017

 

Cherokee Street is revered all over town for its authentically delicious Mexican restaurants. In fact, a section of the street was recently dedicated as “Calle Cherokee” to recognize Latino residents’ contributions to the area since the 1980s.

Stop by Chaparritos for Torta Tuesdays, where you can enjoy a classic Mexican sandwich for just $5. Larger groups may prefer Taqueria El Torito, celebrated for its vibrant dining room, spacious patio, and delectable dishes.

 

Cinco de Mayo


In keeping with tradition, Cherokee Street’s Latino community stages a spirited festival every Cinco de Mayo to celebrate their heritage, as well as the neighborhood’s diverse and talented artistic community. Attendees enjoy featured performances that reflect the multicultural backgrounds of the area’s artists and residents while partaking in authentic Mexican food and drink. Cinco de Mayo coincides with the People’s Joy Parade, a celebration of spring weather and the prevailing sense of creativity that makes Cherokee Street unique.

 

Cherokee Antique Row

Lined with graceful mansions, vintage clothing stores, and cozy restaurants, Cherokee Antique Row offers a charming slice of St. Louis’ past. Though this six-block stretch of Cherokee Street is well-known for antiques, locals and tourists alike also visit to check out the specialty shops full of local goods, as well as the historic architecture.

Consider taking a tour of the Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion, one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in the entire city, before enjoying a meal and a cool drink at one of the Row’s many cafes. The annual Cherokee-Lemp History Walk features free historical tours of the street, trolley rides, and book signings by local authors.

“We do our best to connect our community with the city’s French and Spanish heritage,” says Ted Atwood, the Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion’s board president. “We incentivise local residents to visit and hold events in our space, in part to demonstrate that this history belongs to them, too.”

 

Cherokee Street Jazz Crawl

#nevermore2014 #cherokeestreetjazzcrawl #melt #lindyhop

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The Cherokee Street Jazz Crawl is the neighborhood’s contribution to the Nevermore Jazz Ball, St. Louis’ annual celebration of jazz. In the midst of four days of live music, the street’s bars and restaurants host performances, community dance lessons, and local business showcases. Unlike the Nevermore ball, the Crawl is free and open to the public, so residents and visitors can easily jump in, hear some music, or take a class.

 

Earthbound Beer

New digs, new beers! More taps! We totally opened in our new place today! 🎊

A post shared by Earthbound Beer (@earthboundbeer) on

This adventurous local brewery regularly offers eight to ten beers on tap, and their names — like “Tax Evader Double IPA” and “Chicken and Waffles Blonde” — vary as much as their flavor profiles. Though the company started small, the team realized after three months that they quickly needed to grow.

Owners Stuart Keating, Rebecca Schranz, and Jeff Siddons took it upon themselves to transform the old Cherokee Brewery stock house into a modern, multi-story brewery and taproom. The new facility, which opened in September 2017, combines historic architecture with delicious beer and eats.

 

The Luminary

A incubator for local talent, the Luminary is committed to exhibiting St. Louis’ most original and thought-provoking artists. The organization describes itself as “a physical site that opens onto a larger cultural and conceptual space,” a gallery that challenges visitors’ (and fellow artists’) ideas and expectations of art with groundbreaking projects. The Luminary has much to offer for local artists looking to be pushed by other creative minds.

 

STL Style House

Founded by brothers Jeff and Randy Vines in 2001, this local t-shirt shop has grown from a basement operation to a cornerstone of Cherokee Street. The store offers unique print-to-order tees featuring St. Louis neighborhoods and landmarks in a variety of styles. Buyers can also order custom merchandise by submitting orders through their website.

 

Mesa Home

A Mesa Home #tbt …the night we opened… 📷: @agile1 #mesahome #thrift #cherokeestreet #stl

A post shared by Mesa Home (@mesa_home) on

Offering customers everything from necklaces to cat toys, this small retailer defines itself by its commitment to local vendors. While it takes its inventory from fair-trade partners throughout the world, it frequently hosts pop-ups featuring handcrafted products from local jewelers and designers. Its warm environment and friendly staff make it the perfect place to find something special for your new home.

 

Vista Ramen

Since its opening in 2016, Vista Ramen has become, as the Riverfront Times puts it, “one of St. Louis’ most exciting new restaurants.“ Chef Chris Bork’s unique interpretation of ramen transcends the humble origins of this staple Japanese dish; he pulls flavors from a number of other cuisines to create something memorable. The restaurant offers many other dishes besides ramen, including a standout smoked scallop plate with pickled beets. Housed in a sleekly modern space, Vista Ramen dares residents to expand their palates and their perceptions of what ramen can be.

Cherokee Street offers a rich cultural experience like nowhere else in St. Louis. To learn more about this neighborhood, contact one of our expert agents today.

In Our Radius: A Spotlight on the Grove

by Leigh Maibes

 

Since the 1980s, continued community investment has turned The Grove into a thriving cultural center. Here are some of our favorite neighborhood highlights.

Once a thriving commercial district, The Grove, which encompasses a section of Manchester Avenue and the surrounding area, has experienced a true renaissance since a period of decline in the 1960s. Residents — and especially the LGBTQ community —- have since worked one storefront at a time to reinvent The Grove as a major cultural destination. The neighborhood is now known for its welcoming atmosphere, delicious food, and vibrant nightlife.

If you’re searching for your first apartment or home, The Grove presents an unmatched combination of convenience and cool. The following list is just a small sample of what the neighborhood has to offer:

 

Grove Fest

 

#Repost @grovefeststl (@get_repost) ・・・ 2017 Grove Fest lineup!

A post shared by The Grove STL (@thegrovestl) on

Every October, local residents hold the beloved Grove Fest, celebrating their community with food and drink from local restaurants, live music, and a variety of street performances. Throughout the day, local artists and vendors display and sell their works as visitors contribute to the paint-by-numbers mural, a popular local tradition. Even if you’re new to the neighborhood, you’ll feel right at home here.

 

The Grove Criterium

 

#belikecasey

A post shared by Peder Hulse (@thegrovecrit) on

Though it’s only an hour long, the Grove Criterium cycling race is one of the neighborhood’s summer highlights. Hundreds of St. Louis’ best cyclists pack the streets for the race, hoping to break through the crowd and emerge victorious. Spectators watch as competitors quickly overtake each other, making it impossible to determine the victor until the very end. If you’re not an avid cyclist but still want to participate, there’s a far tamer 2K race around the same track in the early morning.

 

The Transgender Memorial Garden

 

Community art project in process

A post shared by Trans Memorial Garden (@stltransgarden) on

The Transgender Memorial Garden opened in 2015 and stands as the country’s first memorial to transgender victims of violence. Since its dedication, the garden has become a rallying ground for the city’s LGBTQ community, hosting regular gatherings and vigils. Neighborhood residents can get involved by volunteering or simply joining the drop-in yoga classes on Saturdays. Graced with trees and plants native to Missouri — including perennial wildflowers that attract butterflies — the garden is a peaceful and welcoming sanctuary for all.

 

The Gramophone

 

Famous for its generous portions and excellent live music, the Gramophone is widely regarded as one of the city’s best spots for late-night eats. Adventurous eaters and drinkers can tackle its savory sandwiches such as the Mississippi Nights Club or towering drinks like the Bloody Island, a Bloody Mary topped with half of a homemade roast beef sandwich. Others can enjoy a game of darts and pool while watching their friends feast.

 

HandleBar

 

Locals come to HandleBar for its wide selection of craft beers, Russian-influenced cuisine, and weekly dance parties. It’s especially popular with members of St. Louis’ tight-knit cycling community, who enjoy stopping by for a refreshing lager or two after a long ride. Residents looking for an entertaining evening can also drop in for Drag Bingo — yes, it’s bingo with drag queens — on Wednesdays.

 

The Monocle

 

The Monocle isn’t your typical nightclub. Billing itself as “an all-inclusive classy dive bar,” this modern-day speakeasy offers quality cocktails, the finest jazz in the city, and captivating cabaret every night from Thursday to Sunday. With a wide selection of beers and wines to boot, there’s something here for everyone.

 

City Greens Market

 

This nonprofit grocery store is changing how St. Louis eats by sourcing and selling local, healthy, and affordable food. City Greens runs on a co-op model, which allows them to sell produce at its wholesale cost while covering overhead expenses with membership fees. Its sliding scale for these fees ensures that the store can stay in business while granting access to lower-income households and individuals. The market also runs a community garden, where it hosts cooking classes for children and adults.

Now’s the time to move in and take advantage of everything The Grove has to offer. Contact one of our real estate specialists today and start the search for your next home!

Real Estate Brokerages and Technology: The Future can be now with the right brokerage

 

If you could change a real estate transaction to make it easier, faster and more profitable, what would you do? If you’re like most people, you’d want a way to knock people’s socks off when they see your home on the internet. In addition, you’d eliminate all the paperwork. That may sound a bit futuristic, but you can step into the future now, if you work with the right brokerage!

Listings Come to Life in the Future

As a seller, wouldn’t it be great if you could give interested buyers an internet tour of your home in 3D? That ability would really make your home stand out in the marketplace and get you offers at your home’s top market value – or even beyond!

Using a service like Matterport brings the future to you today. Matterport technology allows your agent to create a 3D showcase of your home. Its unique “dollhouse” view gives homebuyers a unique sense of your home and property.

As a buyer, have you ever passed up a piece of clothing because it didn’t “speak” to you on the hangar? If you’re buying a home, you don’t want to miss an opportunity to see a home that doesn’t impress in photos, but is just what you’re looking for when you see it in real life – or in a 3D tour. Whether you’re buying or selling, this new type of technology brings you many advantages.

There are Ways to Simplify Paperwork

Can you eliminate the paperwork? Even in the future, that won’t be possible. A real estate transaction is a complex legal process. There are forms that must be used to stay in compliance with state and local regulations. Even making a simple offer on a home requires the completion of a legal contract.

What you can do, if you work with the right brokerage, is eliminate the paper part of the paperwork. For example, there is a technology called Dotloop. When you and the real estate agents and brokers involved in a real estate transaction use Dotloop, you can kiss the paper goodbye.

Dotloop is an online service that provides a central location for all the paperwork needed to complete a real estate transaction.

  • The standard parts of the many documents involved in the transaction can be filled in and waiting for you in the Dotloop workspace. That saves you and your agent time and frustration.
  • You and your agent can edit the saved documents to tailor them to your transaction.
  • You can sign the documents with a secure electronic signature.
  • You can share the documents with anyone else involved in the transaction who has access to the workspace.

Dotloop eliminates the need for faxing documents or sending them overnight in cases when one of the parties is out of town. In fact, the documents can be accessed and managed from anywhere that has an Internet connection. The days of tattered purchase contracts that have gone through several offers and counter offers are now a thing of the past.

For example, if your agent is busy at a closing, they can still submit an offer for you on their phone during a break. If you’re on vacation, you can still answer a counter offer, which may just be the difference between buying the home of your dreams or losing it to someone else.

Real Estate Technology is Evolving

Other technology trends will help and amaze you. You can buy a home from the other side of the world when you have access to a virtual reality tour – it’s just like being there. Drones are being used to show you the grounds around a home for sale and introduce you to your new neighborhood.

And, these technologies are just the tip of the iceberg. For those who are taking advantage of new real estate technology as it comes along, the future looks very bright!

The Benefits of an All-Inclusive Brokerage

The Benefits of an All-Inclusive Brokerage

It’s an exciting time to be a real estate investor in St. Louis. The real estate market is hot and that typically means that more people will be renting. However, there are many issues you must address in order to be profitable. Working with an all-inclusive brokerage will help you reach your goals.

What Is an All-Inclusive Brokerage?

An all-inclusive brokerage is one that can address all aspects of a real estate investor’s requirements:

  • Buying and selling investment properties
  • Completing renovations
  • Marketing properties to potential tenants
  • Evaluating and selecting tenants
  • Processing rent payments
  • Managing maintenance requests
  • Completing maintenance tasks

What Can an All-Inclusive Brokerage Do for Me?

If you wanted to purchase a car, you wouldn’t want to buy the body from one company, the engine from another and the transmission from a third. It would take too much time, and you’d always wonder if all the pieces were going to work well together.

The same thing is true when you choose a brokerage. Here are just a few of the benefits of working with one brokerage that is responsible for the success of every aspect of your investment process.

1. You work with a company that understands you

You don’t need to explain your requirements multiple times. The advisors you work with understand your budget, the profitability you’re seeking, the type of risk you’re willing to take, the type of tenants you’re comfortable with and more.

For example, if you’re planning to add new properties to your portfolio, the brokerage can be looking for you even when you’re not actively looking. You’ll know about investments that meet your requirements as soon as they enter the market.

You’ll receive the best possible service because the brokerage is intimately familiar with your goals and existing investments. Your advisors won’t waste your time looking at properties that don’t enhance your holdings or renting to tenants who don’t match your criteria.

2. There’s no finger pointing

When your real estate, property management and construction advisors work closely together and are responsible for your investments from cradle to grave, there can be no finger pointing.

The maintenance team won’t be able to blame the property manager for losing a maintenance request. Furthermore, the rental agent won’t be able to rent to marginally qualified tenants because they have no responsibility for minimizing turnover.

If you look at a property that needs renovation, you’ll know exactly what needs to be done. Your brokerage will be able to evaluate the property and provide a recommendation that they know will work because they’ll be the ones doing the work.

3. Your investments will be more profitable

An all-inclusive brokerage can help ensure that your investments are profitable. For example:

  • You’ll get the best advice to find great deals on the type of investment property that meets your requirements.
  • You’ll feel comfortable acquiring a “fixer-upper” because you’ll know the renovations will be done right.
  • You’ll achieve higher tenant satisfaction and greater retention, because maintenance will be a breeze.

4. You’ll be able to take advantage of the current real estate market in St. Louis

There’s never a bad time to be a real estate investor. However, according to the statistics published by the St. Louis Association of REALTORS®, this is a prime market for investors. It may be a good time to sell an asset since the average sales price for properties is up eight percent over last year. In addition, the market only has three to four months’ supply of inventory, meaning that rentals will be at a premium.

An all-inclusive brokerage is your best choice because it can provide the in-depth expertise you need at every stage of your real estate investment process. Further, you’ll know that everything related to your investments will work together seamlessly, which means more profit for you.

Turn-Key Investment Opportunity in St. Louis

Three Homes, All Occupied, Offered Individually or as a Package Deal!

The St. Louis real estate market has tons of incredible investment opportunities. Don’t believe us? Check out this package currently offered at $119,000. Gross rents of $2,225/mo. All three homes are occupied and professional property management makes this a no-brainer. Check out the details here.

8731 Ezra Dr.    3620 Marvin Ave.    2927 Lincoln Ave.