Friday, April 20, 2007

New Scottsdale Real Estate Website

I have accepted a paid review offer from ReviewMe.com, and found this Scottsdale Luxury Home site a pleasure to review. What a beautiful website!

Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tucson, and some other Arizona cities have become playgrounds for the mega rich and quite a few celebrities live there. If I'm not mistaken, I think a friend of mine who lives in Scottsdale told me that Paul McCartney had a beautiful ranch close by there. I have a realtor friend in Tucson that also is in the luxury home market, so this must be where the big boys like to play.



The homepage of ScottsdaleFineProperties.com is gorgeous. It really sets the mood for someone looking to find a paradise getaway. I like the dark background and more colorful look, instead of the oranges and browns that so many of the Arizona websites tend to incorporate in their look.

About ScottsdaleFineProperties
They have a very detailed page describing their services to sellers and buyers, which is impressive with the marketing services they describe. They will advertise these properties in the Wall Street Journal and some other important publications, as well as spending the dollars necessary to have virtual tours and other media representations for a listing seller.

In these days of so many websites for so many properties, marketing, virtual tours, beautiful large and detailed photos and slideshows are absolutely necessary, and buyers require them.
The little small MLS listings with a couple of photos and nothing much else will not inspire someone to buy a luxury property. It's very important to make a buyer "feel" the ambiance of a property. Also, the various kinds of media work together to market a luxury property in particular. It appears the company knows this and knows how to market their product.

Their MLS Search feature seems to be easy to use and well integrated. This is very important for a real estate website, and many of them are so complicated and full of bugs that it will run a potential "looker" to another site. This one seems to be quick yet powerful.

The Featured Properties page....WOW. Talk about some beautiful homes! They have the properties displayed in very eye-pleasing ways that almost demand the viewer to see these unbelievable houses.

Scottsdale Properties Screen Shot

They also have a "Luxury Showcase" page, which is even more detailed for their most important properties, and it has links to pages that describe each property in detail with beautiful LARGE photos to attract the buyer. I've been in this business a few years now, and one thing I have learned is how important these eye-candy photos are for selling a home or property. Even better, a nice fading slideshow with rooms and views would make those good pages really sing.

Scottsdale Properties Screen Shot

They have some pages for new construction and home developments, which is important, and a special page for Investors to contact certain agents that are specialized in that area.

This leaves a Client Login, their press articles, a special page for a builder that they must have an affiliate relationship with, a SMALL links page (keep it local and small, guys!) and a nice Site Map.

Overall, a very impressive and outstanding website for a very wealthy, high end real estate area such as Scottsdale. Great job!

As a last mention, since I do real estate marketing and SEO, I feel the need to touch on that aspect of the site.

A few tips...on the homepage, I personally would not be repeating "Scottsdale Fine Properties" more than once. I checked, and this is definately not a highly searched term (didn't even show at all). I think it might serve better to target the term "Scottsdale Luxury Homes" and use that term several times on many pages of the site...especially with headers. When bringing incoming links in, I would use that term, as well as Scottsdale Homes, Scottsdale Property, and perhaps Scottsdale Investment Property. Make the inside pages more closely aligned to each of these terms, and put them into some homepage text, linking to that inside page that corresponds to it.

Be careful to ALWAYS have "ALT tags" on all graphics...especially that banner at the top that links to your homepage...and something else very important....

Banish from all links to the homepage that extension of "index.html". You want all links to your homepage and from everywhere to point to your domain name alone. You will confuse the search engines by having an extra version of the homepage linked as "index" and possibly have your page rank steered to IT instead of to the domain name as it should be.

That's about it. A truly beautiful site that is a pleasure to view, and should be a great marketing tool for the company and its clients alike!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Myrtle Beach Condos For Sale

The condo market in Myrtle Beach is constantly changing. It's amazing to me how after the boom of the mid 2000's crashed down, the major players here have switched partners, switched companies, switched websites, and even switched careers.

Little by little I will be cleaning up this blog and removing dead links and company information that is no longer valid.  Until I have finished, if you are reading these blogs, be sure to pay attention to the dates.  Sorry if you run across something that is no longer useful or true.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Golf Course Condo News

Myrtle Beach is losing several of its golf courses to condo and home developments. At least the plans were to do it last year. I heard that Centex has stalled on the development of Rivergrand in the old Bay Tree Golf course in Little River, and may even have it up for sale. Then I heard CENTEX was bought out! Both are unsubstantiated rumors, but from good sources.

Island Green Golf Course in Surfside was upgraded and placed some condos instead of part of their greens last year. I haven't heard if they are selling well or not. Our market is very sluggish right now, although it's a very good time for buyers to get some very good deals such as Leasebacks and lowered prices. Many of last year's planned condo projects have been cancelled, and some of the preconstruction condos have investors scrambling to sell at much better prices than the original ones. I think land and single family home sales are still doing pretty good.
One in particular, Bay View Resort, has a couple of condos available from investors at prices from 2 years ago. This is a deal, too. Oceanfront, luxury, pools and all the amenities.

Actually, even the Myrtle Beach condos resales are still selling, since owners are not trying to get such high prices. We've always been half of what you'd pay for Florida or most of the other Atlantic coastal areas. And now if you're looking to buy a condo in Myrtle Beach or the Grand Strand, you'll get an even better deal.

Below is the latest press about the golf course condos at East Port. I'm sure there will be plenty more plans that stall out...

April 01. 2007 1:44 PM


Ruling stops developer from turning golf course into condos
The Associated Press

A ruling by a bankruptcy court judge has stopped a developer from turning at least part of a North Myrtle Beach golf course into condominiums.

Eastport Golf Club homeowners have been fighting the redevelopment for close to two years. Their lawyer said the ruling sets a precedent along the Grand Strand and should be a lesson to homeowners to check covenants and restrictions when faced with possible redevelopment.

"It's an important decision as far as I'm concerned. The only other community that attempted to stop (redevelopment of a golf course) is Deertrack. All other golf courses have just closed in our area," attorney Patrick O'Dea said.

Judge John E. Waites said residential redevelopment is not allowed by the homeowners' deed restrictions, which say the property is for "golf course use only."

The golf course is owned by Eastport Golf Club, Inc., which is owned by Charlotte, N.C., businessman Mel Graham. He is disappointed with the ruling.

"I am however, happy for the homeowners at Eastport if indeed this is the outcome the majority of the residents really wanted. I must add that I do not believe that the leadership at Eastport understands the negative impact this will ultimately have on their community," Graham said.

Graham original plan in late 2005 was to turn the golf course into 1,100 condos. He could do so because the course was losing money. The earlier this year, Graham filed the course in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and submitted a reorganization plan that would keep a smaller golf course but redevelop part of the property into 920 condos.

Now that he can't redevelop, Graham said he will attempt to sell the course. "Unfortunately, we do not know of any potential buyers at this time," he said.

An oversupply of golf courses has contributed to the closing of 16 other Strand courses for planned redevelopment since January 2005. Three courses at Bay Tree Plantation have closed within a few miles of Eastport, and at least two others intend to close nearby.

"There really isn't a market for selling these courses," said Rick Mendoza, attorney for Eastport Golf Club Inc. "It's going to remain closed."

Residents of the golf club are glad the condos won't be built and are waiting to see what happens next, Eastport Community Association president Don Metzger said.

"We're very encouraged that our community will be able to remain intact and continue as it now exists," Metzger said. "We hope that things can get back to normal."