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DSR Realty


Broker stretches real estate’s boundaries to create a niche

Source: Broker stretches real estate’s boundaries to create a niche – tribunedigital-chicagotribune

In a slow market, real estate professionals may need to become creative in order to make a buck. Two recent examples:

If you can’t sell your place, maybe you can rent it out (see our cover story next Sunday, Nov. 23).

But not all such rental arrangements have to be long-term. Farzan Setayesh, an associate broker with Sudler Sotheby’s International Realty in Chicago, took a look around at high-end spaces that were going unsold, and decided to help put them to work as party locations.

FOR THE RECORD – This story contains corrected material, published Nov. 23, 2008.

She’s begun a business that puts together party organizers and owners of luxe spaces who want to get more exposure to potential buyers. She’s also considering pitching the listings as locations for movies and modeling shoots.

“Since the market is slow, there are a lot of homes and penthouses that are unique that are just sitting on the market,” said Setayesh. “By having events, I can have a great presentation at the same time.”

Since she got the idea last August for the business, Chicago Unique Venues (chicagounique,) she has been shopping it around and so far has helped to locate one party for a doctors’ group in a house on the Gold Coast. She’s looking for additional spaces — upscale and unique ones.

“By having these events, the homeowners get exposure, and these companies [that rent for corporate parties] pay top dollar, which can help the owner to pay for marketing or other expenses,” she said. She estimates that the right residence for the right crowd can command $4,000 to $10,000 per event.

“These owners, well, they don’t really need the income, but it is something that they can put toward marketing costs,” she said.

What dad does

A Philadelphia real estate developer is selling what he bills as “the most realistic real-estate trading game ever,” a board game designed to sharpen financial skills by simulating potential real estate financial scenarios. Joel Harden, CEO of HFCD Corp., said he got the idea for the game, called Mogul, when trying to explain to his 11-year-old daughter what he does for a living.

The timing is interesting: The classic Monopoly game debuted during the Great Depression, though it probably wouldn’t have borne the equivalent price tag that Mogul carries, $99.99 (the price as published has been corrected in this text). On the other hand, Mogul joins another successful game in the price stratosphere: Real estate guru, author (“Rich Dad, Poor Dad”) and near-cult figure Robert Kiyosaki a few years ago created a successful board game called Cashflow 101 that retails for an arresting $195.

A bite outta crime

Want a little good news amid all this housing bloom? Mortgage fraud recently tapered off, according to the FraudBlogger Index published by online trade journal Its tracking found $1.1 billion in active criminal and civil cases of mortgage fraud in the third quarter of the year, compared with $1.7 billion in the second quarter.

Although Illinois claimed the No. 2 spot in the index’s “worst states” list of fraudulent activity in the second quarter, we dropped off its current Top 10 list.

Note that date

Yes, we know you have a lot to keep track of. November is National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, National Diabetes Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Awareness Month. And don’t forget that the month also has been designated to promote awareness of pet cancer, adoption and drugs. Oh, and in Ghana, it’s National Cultural Awareness Month.