Woman Hiking

Lifestyle And Wellness Trends To Expect In 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has truly changed the way in which we run our everyday lives and take care of ourselves. While 2021 is looking a lot more hopeful with the release of multiple vaccines and a new administration running things in the White House, the pandemic is likely still going to drive trends within the next year in terms of how we live our lives and take care of ourselves. Here are some of the pandemic trends expected to be carried into 2021. 

Comfort Crafting: Whether you like knitting, painting, or even baking, creating something with your hands is always a satisfying feeling. The pandemic has given people the perfect excuse to finally explore any and all hobbies that they may have never had time to try in the past. Dayna Johnson is a trend expert working for Etsy who claims that “crafting and learning new skills in general serves as a form of self-care and grounding.”

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Meditation: It’s no surprise that a global health crisis paralleling an economic recession would cause some extreme feelings of stress and anxiety. For those who have always suffered with their mental health, or those who may be learning about their own anxiety for the first time this pandemic, this crisis has shown us all that taking care of ourselves needs to be a priority. Learning proper meditative practices, or any other activity that can help ease the daily stresses of living during a pandemic will likely carry out into the new year as we all start to navigate the uncharted territory of post-vaccination life. 

Outdoor Activities: If we think back to the beginning of this pandemic, Friluftsliv is a Norweigan concept that began trending when lockdowns were initially occuring last spring. The word translates to “free air life” and is explained as a deep appreciation for being outdoors and incorporating outdoor activities in your life. Utilizing whatever outdoor spaces one has at their home or taking advantage of whatever walking paths your town may have is an amazing way to safely get out of your house, and appreciate the world around you. 

Road Trips/Solo Travel: Travel has become the last thing on most of our minds within the past year, however, as the pandemic progressed, new and safe ways of travelling began emerging so that individuals could get out of their quarantine space and feel a certain sense of freedom. Road trips and solo vacations have grown in popularity this past year due to the fact that you don’t need to be around anyone else to do so. Solo travel has given people an excuse to truly appreciate their own company and remember what it’s like to fall in love with yourself and the world around you. 

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Going Green: Throughout their time in lockdown many individuals have realized that the world is actually enduring two global pandemics right now; Covid-19 and climate change. At this point it’s going to take true systemic change from our world leaders to really reverse all the damage that humans have done to the planet, however, many are spending their time at home figuring out ways that they can personally better the planet. Many are learning how to properly recycle, remove single-use plastic items from their homes, and reduce their overall carbon footprint. 

Interior Design: Since we’ve all been stuck at home for the past year, many of us have decided to redesign the spaces that we’ve been spending an indefinite amount of time in. Creating home offices, rearranging furniture, creating pieces of art to revamp a plain wall, painting rooms, building gardens, etc. have all been home improvement projects that interior design blogs have been discussing immensely within the past year. So many first time designers are taking to the internet and its multitude of tutorials and tips for freshening up their spaces and implementing more of their personal style into the spaces.

Remote Working: While this is less of a trend and more of a circumstantial activity, many companies and employers are seeing how successfully they can still run their companies in a remote setting, and are thus opting to remain remote as the world begins to reopen. Even large corporations like Facebook and Twitter have announced that their employees will now always have the option to work from home, or come into an office space once the pandemic becomes less of a threat, if they wish.

NYC Real Estate

New York City Luxury Real Estate Expected To Thrive In 2021

Based on New York City real estate’s last quarter of 2020, the luxury sector of the market is expecting to thrive in 2021. Sales of homes that cost more than $4 million increased slightly when compared to how they were selling this time in 2019; a surprising shift in the market considering we’re currently in the worst phase of the Covid-19 pandemic yet. 

Donna Olshan is the president of luxury real estate broker Olshan Realty who claims this increase is partially due to “a demand that was never met because we lost the most important real estate quarter to the pandemic – the spring. The upward tick also occurred because most of these sales are [to] New Yorkers, or from the New York metro area, betting on the home team. They are getting Covid-19 discounts, they’re looking at the long-term prospects of New York, and they’re buying.”

Jonathan Miller is the president and chief executive officer of Miller Samuel appraisers who thinks that NYC will see a major uptick in sales in 2021 because while many made the move to the suburbs during the pandemic, that craze will soon be over as the world begins to reopen. 

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“The way I think of the suburbs is that they had their moment. The ‘fleeing the city’ narrative is already extremely dated. While suburban sales are still up year over year, it’s just no longer a rocket ship of growth.” Miller also believes that this over-saturation of individuals in these suburbs are going to drive those markets way up, along with the prices of property. “And the jump in pricing, largely caused by what I would call panic buying—where people left the city out of fear—that was front end-loaded, and I don’t see a compelling reason why that [price growth] can be sustainable.”

Olshan believes that Brooklyn in general will stay as hot on the market as it has been; the pandemic hasn’t really impacted the real estate in the borough. “Luxury” real estate in Brooklyn is also much “cheaper” when compared to what’s considered luxury on the Upper East Side. Any home over $2 million in Brooklyn is considered luxury, which according to Miller is the main reason the area is so popular. 

“Brooklyn is certainly accelerating, and I don’t see any reason for that to stop I mean a million dollars buys you more space, and once you get into that luxury sector, that value grows quite a bit.”

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Foreign buyers investing in luxury New York City properties throughout the pandemic have certainly helped keep the industry, and economy, afloat, however, this has also caused the pricing to increase exponentially, and considering we’re in the middle of one of the worst economic disasters in US history, less American investors are likely to purchase these properties. 

In Manhattan this will especially be an issue considering how large the luxury condominium market is now in the borough, which Miller describes as being “burdened with a tremendous amount of supply.” 

“In 2020 we had 8.7 years of sellout, meaning it would take 8.7 years to sell all unsold Manhattan new-development condos. That is likely to drop to 7.2 years in 2021, because there’s an anticipated decline of new products coming into the market. Plus, additional sales will occur as buyers are drawn by discounted pricing. I think in 2021 we’ll see a continued drop in price trends.”

The next few months will be determined by how well the economy is able to recover with the new Covdi-19 economic relief packages, as well as how the country begins to recover with the rollout of two vaccines. 

Father & Daughter Cooking

Fun And Creative Things To Do During Lockdown

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact our planet many of us have taken to the internet to jump on new lifestyle trends that we can implement into our own quarantine lives. Many of these trends are birthed on social media apps and are fleeting, while others make a lasting impact that will continue on into the future. 

For example, living room music festivals took over when the world initially went into lockdown. People were disappointed as they watched all their favorite singers, Broadway plays, museums, and other cultural venues shut down one-by-one as the pandemic worsened, so they brought them all to their own homes. 

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With concerts specifically, there have been a multitude of artists that have put on virtual live performances via their Instagram stories and other social media platforms. Others have gotten creative and found full recordings of their favorite artists past concert performances and thrown their own mini-festival in their home. Festival playlists on streaming services such as Spotify or Apple Music also make it easy for you and your quarantine buddies to jam out at any time. 

In the same regard people have been clearing out their yards and taking advantage of whatever outdoor spaces they have to host small, socially distanced, gatherings with their closest friends. Anyone who has a front, side, or backyard has likely already taken advantage of it within the past six months, however, there’s still some summer left, so spruce up the space by ordering some cheap twinkly lights online, setting out some candles, pillows, and blankets for when it gets cooler in the evening, and set up a separate food and beverage area that promotes everyone getting their own dish and cup. 

Digital happy hours have also become an amazing trend for those of us who have friends who are either immunocompromised, or live far so they can’t attend an outdoor social distance kickback. Platforms like Zoom and Google Hangouts make it easy to connect with as many people as you want, so many are opting to continue their weekly “going out” traditions with their friends, in a much more intimate and digitized way. 

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If you live in an area with public parks or other spaces that can promote distancing yourself from others, have a picnic with a couple of friends. Everyone can bring their own blanket to sit on to ensure that they’re remaining six feet apart, as well as their own food. If you want to get more creative, have everyone attending be responsible for one aspect of the meal and have them package it in separate bags so that when you arrive, you can simply exchange the bags and have a full meal right in front of you. 

Many have also taken this time to work on some new life skills/hobbies such as cooking, home renovation, knitting, exercising, and more. Take an afternoon and write out a list of life goals and things you want to accomplish, then go down the list and find the smaller goals and create subcategories of things to do to help you reach that goal. For example, if you want to learn how to make an entire five-course meal, start by looking up how to make simple and easy appetizers and work your way through the meal. Give yourself time to perfect your new craft, after all, we have a lot of that to kill. 

Finally, to circle back living room festivals, many have also opted to take advantage of the internet’s thousands of virtual tours and events that some of the worlds biggest cultural institutions have set up to entertain everyone in quarantine. For example, Google Arts and Culture has set up an online resource that lists thousands of virtual tours, concerts, upcoming events, etc. that anyone can “attend” from the comfort of their own homes.

TikTok on Screen

TikTok To Host Month-Long Virtual Fashion Event 

This time of year is typically when Fashion Weeks all over the world would be starting. Some cities are finding virtual or socially distanced alternatives to keep the shows from being fully cancelled, while some other unlikely platforms are creating their own fashion events for those stuck at home. Recently, social media platform TikTok announced they would be hosting their own fashion month as a “digital innovation aimed at rivaling the physical fashion weeks.” 

TikTok is competing with the likes of Instagram, the social media app mainly known for sharing fashionable content. The month-long event will begin this Friday, September 18th, and will end on October 8th. The shows are projected to feature a variety of hashtags and live videos from designer labels such as Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, Alice and Olivia, and more. Users can simply open TikTok and scroll through a variety of hashtags and show titles to see some of their favorite designers, and even some new unheard of ones. 

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Many industries have begun using TikTok in general to promote their work/business as the platform has grown monumentally within the past year alone. Jessica Schiffer is the contributing editor of Vogue Business who recently spoke with the media about why bigger industry names were hesitant at first to use the app. 

“I think fashion labels were unsure of TikTok’s marketing potential. The lack of stylization probably seemed antithetical to fashion, which loves the polished confines of platforms like Instagram.”

However, this past summer the fashion industry was completely flipped on its head, like the rest of the world, with the Covid-19 pandemic. Without the normal retail advertising and in-person promotions that can propel a brand into mainstream success, many labels found themselves struggling. 

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The idea of online shopping has obviously taken over within the past few years, however, now brands are realizing it has to account for a majority of their advertising, selling, and distribution. Brands began releasing short artsy minute-long clips as a replacement for real-life fashion events, and eventually TikTok began creating fashion trends and launching them into the mainstream faster than ever before. 

Some examples of the fashion movements that have gained billions of views on the app include the cottagecore aesthetic, a hashtag that has gained over 3 billion views, and the more dark-sided Dark Academia goth aesthetic; which has gained over 61 million views. CeCe Vu is the fashion content partnership leader at TikTok who recently released a statement about their fashion month and why the platform is so beneficial for artists and creators. 

“We’ve seen the fashion industry reinvent what luxury fashion means to culture and society through TikTok by bringing fashion into the homes of our community during quarantine. TikTok is where authenticity meets creativity and people are genuinely comfortable sharing their true selves.”

About 70% of all TikTok users are 13-24 years old, which at first was seen as a negative in regards to fashion marketing, however, these kids are also teaching their parents how to use the app and indirectly influencing them on their purchases. TikTok hopes their fashion event will be no different, and older generations will embrace the future of fashion technology and all it has to offer.


Top Fashion Trends Of 2019

Every year, trends in fashion shift and evolve. Modernization in terms of clothing and fashion is an industry that runs the world and the way in which people choose to present themselves. While some aspects of the industry remain rather timeless, there’s always something new and “in season” that anyone with an Instagram account has seen and wants to own for themselves. This expands beyond just what’s hot off the runway from Paris Fashion Week, we’re talking about what high schoolers are wearing, business individuals, stay at home parents, etc. Fashion is known to break barriers and demographics; there is no one specific type of person who can wear black jeans, knee-high boots, wide-brim hats, etc. 

Every year, Google compiles a list of “most searched for” terms, and they include a multitude of categories regarding style and fashion trends from the past year. In 2018, the Duchesses, and vintage royal fashion in general, dominated the search lists with more refined, classically European styles. This year, however, the trends show a massive amount of diversity in terms of style icons, trends, looks, and outfit inspirations. Many of which are inspired by icons for the younger generations. 

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Speaking of younger generations, the top trending searched for celebrity styles this year involved the looks of Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, and Kylie Jenner, all young women under the age of 26 inspiring hundreds of thousands of individuals fashion choices. Eilish was the number one search and understandably so. The 17 year old singer/songwriter brings her alternative and darkly rooted musical style into her fashion as well. She’s known for wearing over-sized designer clothing with bold patterns/colors, massive amounts of chain link jewelry and diamonds, as well as classic sneakers to complete the looks. Ariana Grande coined her signature over-sized sweatshirt with designer boots look, and Kylie Jenner brings the monochromatic high end sleek looks from the runway into her casual everyday attire. Over-sized clothing and monochromatic ensembles seem to be a common trend throughout these threads. 

In terms of outfit inspiration, the top Google searches revealed that social media has had a major impact in defining style trends this year. The top searches included EGirl/Eboy outfits,VSCO girl outfits, White jeans/Fila/Champion/biker short outfits. If you are unaware of what an Eboy or VSCO girl is, they’re both brands of “personality” based on the social media apps Tik Tok and VSCO. Eboy’s and girls are the modern day “scene” or goth kids but with a major Billie Eilish twist. Black clothing, heavy silver jewelry, haircuts parted down the middle, and dangly earrings. The Eboy is the modern day Magcon boy that birthed internet celebrities like Nash Grier, Cameron Dallas, and Shawn Mendes. VSCO girl’s have a brand that, style wise, is stereotyped by leggings, baggy crew-necks, simple scrunchies, and a puka shell necklace accompanied by a hydro flask water bottle to accessorize.  The other outfit inspirations stem from the growing love of street wear pieces that have become widely popularized within the last five years. 

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For the top searches for “fashion style” in 2019, the list doesn’t stray that far from the outfit inspirations. VSCO and Eboy/girl style were on the list, as well as vintage, preppy, emo, and camp style’s. Vintage styling has long been popularized, with brands like Urban Outfitters who mainstream vintage looks with modern flares. Preppy and emo looks go along with the modern day trends that stem from social media exposure and celebrity wear. Camp is a rather surprising one for the list, however, it also makes perfect sense considering it was the theme of the Met Gala this year, sparking a major interest in the history behind camp and the true meaning of the word in terms of fashion.

Trends come and go, while some live to stand the test of time. Regardless of how much your personal style does or doesn’t fit into these categories, 2019 has taught us that fashion is forever changing and evolving into something new. So wear what makes you comfortable, and don’t be afraid to use Google as an inspiration.

Social Media

Social Media has Become an Essential Part of Any Real Estate Business

There’s no doubt that, for better or for worse, the explosion in popularity of social media has fundamentally transformed the way that human beings communicate with each other and conduct business, and the real estate industry is no exception to this rule. As such, a strong social media presence is absolutely necessary for any real estate enterprise in the modern era, and given the high level of competition, it can be difficult to figure out how to leverage social media to stand out from the crowd. As such, it is instructive to understand the various ways in which social media impacts the real estate market, as this serves as a guide for determining how best to manage social media accounts. No matter where you are in the world, your customers almost certainly use social media avidly, even when they are looking to buy homes or other properties. As such, this article will outline some of the key factors that separate a successful social media campaign from a failed one when it comes to real estate.

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Of course, one of the most important elements of a successful real estate business is marketing, and in the modern era social media provides perhaps the best vehicle for getting the word out about your real estate business. As homebuyers are more likely than ever to use the Internet to find their next home, it’s important to leverage this medium as a marketing opportunity. In a crowded and competitive business environment, it’s important to publish frequent social media posts, which combine quality content that is likely to engage readers with information about your brand to spread the word about your professional services. An essential component of this strategy is understanding your audience and tailoring your content to this target group; fortunately, most if not all major social media platforms provide businesses with analytical tools that offer insights about how your audience is engaging with your content, which you can use as a base for determining what direction to take your social media presence.

Additionally, social media is well known for its ability to help individuals network, both in a personal and a professional capacity. Indeed, social media companies thrive by taking advantage of the natural human desire to connect with other people by leveraging technology to optimize and streamline this process. As such, you should view the social media component of your business not only as a marketing tool but as the foundation of your professional network. Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn can be used not only to generate new leads, but to re-engage former customers by reaching out directly to them. Networking is also useful in the sense that it allows business owners to monitor the behaviors of their competitors, cluing them in to business trends and news and helping them to keep up with the competition.

As time passes, a generation of digital natives, who use social media as one of their primary means of communication, will become the prime home buying demographic.

Of course, any successful social media campaign will be incorporated deeply into one’s business model, but it shouldn’t be the only vehicle for outreach and marketing. Indeed, traditional marketing strategies like online advertisements can be combined with social media to optimize a business’s marketing efforts. Short videos can be shared on the web both directly in the form of ads like YouTube “pre-rolls” and posted on multiple social media accounts simultaneously, and there exist many useful software tools to streamline this process. One of the benefits of advertising via social media is that social media posts don’t require a substantial financial investment in the form of paying another company for advertising space; however, this traditional method of advertising is useful for reaching out to people who otherwise would not have learned about your business.

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Finally, social media can be used to drive traffic to your website, thus increasing the likelihood of winning clients. Quality social media posts will be shared organically by their audience, and assuming these posts direct viewers towards your website, viral posts can offer a tremendous benefit. This is why ensuring that social media posts maintain a high quality is essential, as accounts that churn out low-quality content are likely to be ignored and regarded as spam, at worst turning off potential clients. Another way to ensure that posts are more likely to be shared is by incorporating SEO friendly terminology, ensuring that posts show up more readily in search engine results.

As time passes, a generation of digital natives, who use social media as one of their primary means of communication, will become the prime home buying demographic. As such, it is becoming increasingly essential to master this form of communication with potential clients and competitors. Doing so could be the key to success in a rapidly evolving information landscape.

Real Estate

How the Real Estate Landscape Will Change in 2020

A widely anticipated industry report, entitled Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2020, was just released by the Urban Land Institute and Pwc. According to the report, while real estate economists’ views on economic growth in the US are moderate, the real estate market should remain steady through 2021. The conclusions of the report are based on a survey conducted in August of 41 economists and analysts at 32 leading real estate organizations, who, despite warning signs of an impending recession and an escalation of the U.S.-China trade war, were generally optimistic about the future of real estate.

That being said, the report stresses the importance of adaptability to change and discipline as necessary factors for the industry to be able to remain strong in the face of a possible economic downturn and potential decreases in real estate demand over the next few years. Although blame for the last major recession was placed in part on the real estate industry for reckless lending practices and fraudulent activity, the report suggests that a future recession wouldn’t be the fault of the real estate industry. Over the past ten years the property sector has become disciplined, the report says, and any warning signs about an economic dip relate to factors that the real estate industry does not control.

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According to the report, a dynamic perspective on real estate and a rethinking of growth strategies are necessary for the real estate industry to thrive, and real estate prospects are highest in the cities of Austin, Raleigh, Nashville, and Boston. As housing needs for Millennials and Baby Boomers continue to change, multifamily and single-family housing will be in increased demand, and office spaces, hotels, and retail locations are likely to see a decline.

The report also observes the effects of the housing affordability crisis, which has the most impact in cities where the cost of living is high, including Washington, D.C., Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose. Affordability is a problem not only for low-income households, but for the middle class as well, a section of the population which is rapidly shrinking as greater numbers of people fall into economic uncertainty. The effects of this crisis mean that multi-family households and co-habitation arrangements are likely to increase in popularity, changing the market somewhat.

Additionally, the report talks about the effects of climate change on real estate, and specifically points to the impact of extreme heat in urban areas. Rises in temperatures mean that cooling apartment buildings will become more expensive, and the threat of wildfires, droughts, and air pollution pose economic problems. Climate change is not the only cause of rises in extreme heat, the report claims, as increased urban development also contributes to the problem. For handling the problem, the report recommends the use of light-colored building materials and smart use of direct cooling from shade.

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As a result of difficulties with affordability, co-living is on the rise, not only for younger generations but for older ones as well. Though the trend is caused in large part by worsening economic conditions for most people, the report highlights the social benefits of co-living, which helps to create a sense of community among people, particularly in an age where technology has the power to make people feel more isolated.

The report claims the lifestyle enjoyed by young people in cities is spreading to suburban areas, which increasingly feature nightlife opportunities, and incorporate transit access, walkability, and abundant options for retail, restaurants, and recreations. As Baby Boomers are expected to live longer and stay more active than previous generations have, the implications for housing are positive. And as communities increasingly recognize the threat posed by environmental damage, they are developing a commitment to environmental and social principles including sustainable engineering and design and socially conscious business practices. 

As the federal government fails to update the country’s infrastructure, some individual states have announced a commitment to doing so instead, making them a more attractive opportunity for the real estate industry and laying the foundation for economic growth. Finally, the report finds that technology is having a strong impact throughout all types of property, as consumers increasingly demand technological solutions for productivity and efficiency.

On phone

New App, “Inspo Network,” Aims to be the Netflix of Lifestyle Brands

So much of how we see our lives these days is through the lens of our smartphones and the Internet. Social media has revolutionized how we conduct our relationships, and entertainment is forever changed by the advent of streaming media platforms like Youtube and Netflix. And when it comes to shopping, you can find nearly anything on Amazon, and as its supply and delivery network expands, the platform will continue to replace major retail locations as primary shopping destinations. Certainly, the tech industry provides ample opportunities for start-ups who are looking to introduce convenience and efficiency into the way we live our lives. Inspo Network, a Seattle start-up, intends to do just that.

The Inspo Network App, which gets its name from the slang term for an inspirational piece of clothing or other object, is an app available for iOS that partners with brands and content creators to sell clothing, beauty products, fitness products, and more. As the company’s primary revenue stream is in sales, the app essentially functions as a platform for advertising merchandise and streamlining the consumer purchasing experience. The app also allows users to save content for later, and even offers personalized recommendations based on the user’s browsing experience. Currently, the app has an average rating of 4.9/5 stars on the App Store, and user reviews applaud the app for being easy to use and visually appealing.

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The design of the app draws heavily from competing platforms like Instagram and Twitter, and presents users with a row of tabs at the bottom of the screen, offering features like viewing favorited images and discovering new channels. The app groups content into particular subcategories like clean beauty, makeup, and skincare, and is advertised as offering an alternative to “social media clutter” for browsing lifestyle-oriented products. As these products are often associated with celebrities or popular figures on social media, the shopping experience on Inspo Network is tightly integrated with these individuals, who can make money from the app by selling items featured in their content. Because the app functions as a platform for creators to showcase a premium line of products, the quality of the content posted via the app is fairly high across the board, differentiating the app from platforms where just anyone can share pictures and videos.

Though the app is relatively new, it faces fierce competition in the form of Instagram, which has recently rolled out a feature allowing high-profile members to sell products in a similar way. Amazon, too, has competed in this space with the Instagram-like Spark, which presented users with a feed populated with so-called “shoppable images.” What Inspo Network has going for it, then, is its focus on the shopping experience and the elimination of distractions normally associated with social media use, coupled with many of the same popular influencers who can be found on a multitude of platforms. Recently, Inspo Network has raised $3 million from venture capital firm Graycroft, which is on top of the $5.5 million the company raised from PSL ventures when it was founded.