PREPARE YOUR PROPERTY FOR MARKET– When selling a multi-family apartment building or a single family residential home for clients I recommend a few basic steps. Remove the clutter, paint and clean the property including any tree work or exterior landscaping. First impressions are the most important along with curb appeal and location.
FOR COMMERCIAL OFFICE SPACE THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX– Turn a large vacant area into a pleasant work environment by renting office furniture. If the owners have moved their business to another location ask them to leave some cabinetry and office furniture to enhance the property for showing.
MULTI-FAMILY UNITS – When 100% occupied and subject to inspection take a video and walk the property to show interior and exterior amenities. If there is a vacant unit it may be important to stage so a perspective buyer can visualize how they can market as a future rental.
PROPERTY INSPECTIONS – Allows the sellers to be realistic about their property in determining a price that will sell and the buyer knows what they are purchasing allowing for a successful close of escrow with very few surprises.
PRICE YOU’RE LISTING TO SELL –It is extremely important to understand sales comparisons in your area. In addition, knowing any costs associated with termite damage from the property inspection reports and obsolescence or deferred maintenance all are important factors when determining a price to market your property.
OFFER DATES STILL SUCCESSFUL – I believe for my sellers the aggressive marketing strategy for an Offer Date is still very effective. Often this strategy is very effective because buyers and agents will preview the property sooner than later. Especially on residential properties you can create a large Open House frenzy. When a home is priced correctly and shows well you can still get multiple offers.
REQUIRE ALL BUYERS TO BE PRE-APPROVED AND READY TO CLOSE– This is a crucial point in any successful close of escrow, a strong buyer with a strong deposit is often more important and the highest price offer.
PERSONALLY ASSIST WITH THE WALK THROUGH FOR A BUYER OR SELLER OF A MULTI-FAMILY APARTMENT BUILDING– It is extremely important to explain or answer any questions that a potential buyer will have during this process of the transaction. I recommend that if an owner is not the hands on manager they should make sure the person who knows the property is present to answer any questions from the buyers.
BROKER EITHER REPRESENTING THE BUYER OR SELLER– It is extremely important to be present at the escrow signing to answer any questions and to see that all questions are answered by the escrow company as well so your clients can close escrow on time.
Simple ways I have helped assist clients turn their extra commercial space into DOLLARS$.
As a professional Real Estate Broker, I am always assisting my Clients by reviewing their lease space and or business space and advising them in concepts that will bring in extra cash flow.
One example is a client who owns their own building and runs their daily business from that location. On a recent visit to the client I observed that there was valuable space that
was not being utilized. I pointed out that with minimal construction costs and refiguring the space I could lease that space to a potential tenant. I recommend that we meet with a contractor who can provide a proposal and my client can determine if they want to make the changes and lease their space.
Often times the construction costs are minimal compared to the additional cash flow they will receive when I lease their space. The positive results for my clients have been on many occasions a minimum of a three-year lease rental with a three-year option.
Another success story is seeing a clients operation and commenting that one employee’s office was only being used at a quarter of the entire office space. In further talking with my client I determined that much of the employee’s work is in the warehouse and he needs to walk back and fourth across the building. By simply building an office in the mezzanine area over the warehouse, adding stairs and a window the employee can oversee the warehouse operation and be more accessible to the other employees.
The benefits to my client are a more efficient workflow. Once again I leased out the entire extra office space and my client has income from a new three-year lease with a three-year option.
As my clients professional Real Estate Broker I need to be creative, a problem solver and always thinking out of the box. These success stories are a “win win” for everyone.
Why are some professionals successful and always have clients who refer them to friends, family and business associates. The answer is very simple because they go out of the nine dots and perform what they say they will accomplish and in the end their clients are extremely happy.
This is true in Real Estate or any other services where customer satisfaction is extremely important. In Real Estate you must always be professional and have a team of experts who can accomplish one main goal and that is a Successful Close of Escrow for your clients.
The experience needs to be easy for your clients by having your team at the escrow company, the mortgage company, inspection companies all meeting their respective deadlines.
Your availability and easy access to answering all of your clients questions is the key to meeting their exceptions.
I am always pleased to hear from my clients that they had a great experience because often times they hear that purchasing and selling a property can be a hassle.
The most rewarding feeling for me is when a potential client calls to discuss selling, purchasing or exchanging their property because they have been recommended by one of my clients because they had such a positive experience.
I always make sure that my First Time Buyers understand the importance in reading and understanding all the reports, their deadlines for contingency removals and the importance in meeting all required deadlines in the contract because it is extremely important that they understand the entire process.
I have also had great experiences working with other agents on transactions and because of my expertise and successful close of escrows; they refer me to their clients when they need my expertise in an area or for a specific type of property.
I am extremely fortunate because I have a passion for Real Estate and enjoy every minute in helping my clients achieve their Real Estate goals and they tell other friends, family and associates.
When representing the seller, buyer or lessee in a real estate transaction it is often very important to work with the planning department in a particular city that the property is located to investigate and understand if any issues or problems will occur after the transaction.
It is always a good idea when in doubt to verify if any permits etc. have been recorded if a seller does not have that type of records available. I have found when these questions are asked that the personnel in the city-planning department are extremely knowledgeable.
When a client goes for their business permit they should always advise that department what, how and where they will conduct their business.
A few examples that have protected my clients in the past are as follows.
On a new lease the Lessor wanted to lease to a dance company giving lessons and who had a requirement for client parking. It was important for us to advise the Lessee that they needed to check with the city planning department and in this particular situation and in fact a conditional use permit and a variance permit were required by the planning department. We then wrote the lease with the necessary time frames to get the permits.
Another situation came about while helping a client with an FHA loan and the particular property they were interested in had a garage conversion. The end result was by obtaining the permits that showed the garage had permits with approvals by the city, the property was then approved with the additional living space.
Another important part of having a client work with the city planning department was a situation where a client was purchasing a duplex and wanted to remodel and add on to the property. Before purchasing the property we checked once again with the planning department only to find out that there was a percentage of building to land restriction.
My client was able to advise the architect and make the addition within the city guidelines.
My experience is that you always want to check when in doubt to make sure the client is aware of their options and this way any issues can be addressed prior to the close of escrow.
There are certain criteria and steps to follow when renting apartments when the economy is strong as well as in transition.
Stay in contact with your tenants when leases are coming up and ask them if they will be renewing their lease. If they were planning to move you would arrange with them to schedule their initial move-out date usually two weeks prior to the actual move out date.
At that time you would decide if you are just painting and cleaning the apartment home. If you as the owner want to add amenities or upgrades you would start to schedule the vendors ahead of time and upon the day of move-out they are ready to go. Any new appliances, window coverings etc.can be purchased ahead of time.
Two great ideas that are fairly reasonable and add value is built-in ovens and new lighting. Dishwashers may be more costly but usually will get a higher rent and in a difficult market will set you apart from the competition.
Having vendors as part of a professional team allows you to quickly turn units and rent the units with very little loss of rents. These vendors are familiar with your paint colors, the type of appliances, and upgrades to bathrooms such as new vanities, lighting and have everything down to a science to turn the apartment quickly and efficiently.
If the apartment is going to just be cleaned, painted and floors cleaned you can have the apartment ready in one to two days. The next step is to pre-market the unit prior to move out and test the market at your new rental rate. If you get calls great, if not you can always lower the price within the two weeks.
Internet sites are very successful and allow you to post all the data with amenities and pictures that also help pre-sell units. Floor plans if available are very helpful to show area and square footage. These are very common asked questions by potential tenants.
Another very successful approach to showing the unit once it is vacant is to advertise a tour date and time and ask that they call to confirm.
These steps work and you just stay with the plan on every rental.
When a friend asked the other day, what are your best memories of the Fourth of July? My reply came very easy as I drifted back over the decades to my early childhood.
The celebrations were at a local park called Blackberry Farm in Cupertino. We would spend hours in the pool, playing games where I would always win a free Italian Salami. Then came the best part when families would just sit for hours on the picnic tables talking and enjoying each other while a few would BBQ. At the end of the day we went home and then the neighbors would all meet in the streets with fireworks and sparklers.
As the years passed the traditions stayed the same and sometimes the location would change. From Cupertino we went to Palo Alto and the years passed and soon we were old enough to enjoy our own celebrations.
The fireworks were always great on Clear Lake, California and after boating and skiing we would stay at Konocti Harbor Inn and have BBQ’s once again.
Traditions of fire works and BBQ’s always stayed the most important traditions. As the children grew up we made a new family tradition to go to Reno, Nevada and just watch the downtown hotels send off the beautiful display of fireworks from their rooftops. All celebrating another year of our country’s traditions.
Our venue once again changed with the event of sports and All Star Tournaments that always were played on the Fourth of July. So once again as the generation before us had had their special BBQ’s with family and friends, we too now celebrated with our baseball families. The kids played in the pool, shot hoops and had fun while the adults cooked a great BBQ for them.
I think that traditions make our country special and I’m sure everyone has their own special memories.
There are various stages in people’s lives. For many it is reflecting back on their first home purchase and their business career starting and then building a life for their family.
As the year’s pass and the empty nester have children that either go off to college or have graduated from college and have moved out on their own,
Now this generation of Baby Boomers is now apart of a new sub-group called “Empty Nesters.” Their new life will often include a shift of life style and priorities. This often will affect their real estate properties.
Many of my clients have decided to retire and begin traveling and therefore a large home is no longer required or wanted and they choose other alternatives for their real estate holdings. They often sell their personal residence and many have purchased investment properties that provide an income stream.
Another scenario is that they would like to help out their children and believe investments in multi-family apartment buildings provides a good niche. They can rent one of the units to their children while renting the others to help pay the mortgage or property taxes.
For others they might be on a fixed income and want to sell their personal home and decide to buy a duplex that offers them a home with little up keep in a great area and they can rent the other unit for added income. Often when clients retire they might want to sell their business and possibly their commercial office or warehouse property. Leasing is also a great option if they do not want to sell their commercial property and they can get a favorable lease.
There are so many alternatives for the empty nesters shift of life style that will impact their need to purchase, sell, or lease their personal, investment and commercial properties.
As a professional Real Estate Broker it is extremely rewarding when clients ask for my assistance in finding them alternative properties so they can embark on this new journey in their life.
In a recession or boom real estate market be assured that income property in an excellent location that is accessible to a university campus will demand higher rent.
In addition remember that professors, graduate students, doctors and engineers many international PhD students will need to place themselves and their families in apartments while attending universities in the Bay Area.
Apartment complexes both on and near a campus with locations that are accessible by city transportation will be a determining factor in the decision by a very qualified group of people who will be in the rental market.
Of course it is the responsibility of the property management company to provide the maintenance to turn the unit to be up to date with amenities, clean and ready to meet the high expectations of a very educated clientele.
Take in consideration the phenomena that has hit the California University Campuses with the dread of budget cuts. Along with the economic down turn it was amazing to visualize the rental frenzie that I personally experienced a few weeks back.
Students here at a local university were scrabbling to find apartment housing just days prior to school starting thus causing a supply and demand issue. One of high demand and not enough supply.
Literally people were approaching others and asking if they needed a roommate and were willing to pay the price.
With the tight job market students are staying in school longer as well as many in the work force realizing they too need to return for higher education. In addition to impacted universities here in California our rental units will continue to be in high demand.
Remember when looking at rental markets close to major universities compare those rents from others in the immediate area. Location is always key in the purchase of real estate and true of mutli-family investment properties.
Graditude, smiles and excitement for your client who has just closed escrow and is moving into their new home is the reward every real estate professional feels in a job well done.
After getting to know your client or clients it is very important to really understand, listen and often help them to understand the other person’s requirements for their new home. For example one may want an easy commute while the other person wants a certain type of living preference.
The process is one where you as their professional real estate broker become the manager or even the coach as with the manager of a sports athletic team. You will bring all the players together to execute the plan and ultimately the clients will decide and choose their home that fits their requirements.
They will appreciate your expertise in showing them homes that fit their criteria and providing information regarding locations. Once that decision is made to make an offer on their new property that is when you must become the facilitator helping and assisting with the inspections, working with escrow and helping them to have their pre approval letter from their mortgage broker.
The difference of winning or losing the home often can be the direct result of the real estates professional working and coordinating all the efforts of escrow, property inspectors and following up with the client and mortgage broker to make sure the loan approval process is meeting contract dates.
Statistics are very important in analyzing most decisions. The expertise of a professional real estate broker or agent closing escrow and closing on time is a very important goal and one I always take very seriously.
The important thing to remember whether it is your first home purchase or second look back to that purchase and remember it may have not been the perfect house for size but it was perfect when you made that house a home. It will define your tastes motivate you to work hard and be proud to call it home and most of all you build your dreams and future while living in that home.
My personal advice is to choose wisely on the location and your life style requirements.
That is why we real estate professionals have a smile on our face as well and experience the ultimate thrill for a job well done.