Best Practices For Apartment Showings

Property owners have to go through a lot to get an apartment ready to show. From purchasing the property, to renovations and cleaning, it’s a journey that even Frodo would wince at. With all that hard work behind you, it’s critical to not drop the ball on one of the most important details of all: showings. Showing an apartment to potential tenants seems like an easy endeavor, but there are plenty of ways to screw it up. You want the best tenant you can find and a lazy showing can often cause them to turn in the other direction. Even if the apartment sells itself, picky tenants can be turned off by a careless property manager. Here are my Ali Safavi Real Estate Tips for showing an apartment.

  1. The Meeting

Set up expectations in your favor, if you have a preliminary call to ask questions, don’t make it feel like an interview. Smile as you speak and talk in a level tone, focus on making it feel like a conversation. Being too serious or short can often come off as rude and dismissive. You also don’t want to come off as a used car salesman.

  1. The Arrival

As a rule of thumb, always arrive five minutes early to a showing, dressed professionally, with business cards ready to go. Prepare the home: turn on all lights, open all blinds, and I like to spray a fresh scented air freshener throughout the home. You want to make it feel inviting and most importantly – clean! Think Annett Benning from American Beauty. When the prospect arrives, greet them outside with a smile, handshake, your card and your name. Try not to give the appearance you are in a rush or that this is your 10thshowing that day.

  1. The Big Show

Remember, you are the ringmaster. You’re guiding them through this tour. It shouldn’t be a free for all or choose your own adventure. Your job is to walk them room by room, pointing out all the special little features that your unit offers, mentioning what utilities are included, the best restaurants nearby, and local attractions. Make sure to leave room for questions. Everyone is looking for something different, so make sure to engage them about their current home and why they’re moving, this will help you identify their specific desires and what they don’t want to see. When it comes to showings, one size doesn’t not fit all. Tailor your “sales pitch” to the buyer.

  1. The Close

At the completion of your showing, you should ask them if they’d like you to go over the process of securing the unit, and if they say yes, explain the process in detail, including all fees associated. Of course, don’t do this if you have reservations about the buyer. There are laws governing the reasons you can turn away an interested a buyer. Make sure you are fully aware of these before you start showing.

If you are moving on to the close, ask if they’d like to take a few minutes to discuss the home by themselves before they commit to a non-refundable deposit. If they seem like they’re ready to go, offer them the option to come to the office (if you have one) to lay down the depost.. If they are thinkers, hesitating and unsure of how to proceed, tell them to go home, sleep on it, talk about it, and they’ll hear from you the next day. Keep track of your leads and follow up every few days until you get a firm answer, positive or negative.

Showing properties requires you to be a sales person, share your passion for the property you are showing with the people walking through, there is nothing more attractive in sales than when someone believes in the product that they are selling.




Shopping For Rental Properties? Here’s What To Look For | Ali Safavi Real Estate

When looking for a rental property there are a number of things to consider: neighborhood, price, renovations, potential, etc. You want everything to be perfect, but perfect often comes at a high price. So instead we look for good enough. Most new purchases are going to come with a certain level of remodeling. So how do you decide what problems are okay and which ones are deal breakers?

The following Ali Safavi Real Estate list is a guide on what to look out for when shopping for rental properties. Each building is unique, and your skillset for renovations is unique. None of these are must-follows, but they will get you thinking in the right direction.

  1. Ali Safavi Real Estate: There’s Something Rotten

When you walk into a house, and it smells like an old sock, most of us have the impulse to turn around. Ironically, bad smells are one of the easiest problems to fix in a property but one of the things that drives away 99% of the competition. Bad smells are generally caused by one or more of a few things, none of which are difficult to solve:

  • Rotten Food
  • Pets
  • Water damage
  • Smoke damage
  • Old socks

Most of this list is fairly easy to fix. Finding an easy solution may allow you to get a good deal when others where too turned off to make an offer. One caveat is bad sewage. That’s a problem that could be rooted in plumbing issues, which can be a hassle you don’t want to take on.

  1. Ali Safavi Real Estate: Finding Profitability In The Bedroom

Everyone once in a while you’ll look at a home that is listed as a 2 bedrooms, but hidden inside is potential for more. Some homes, for some reason, have an entire room that is listed for storage or other odd purposes. Do you know an extra bedroom can add as much as $25,000 to the value of the home? This means if you see potential for an easy switch from room to bedroom, jump on it.

  1. Ali Safavi Real Estate: Don’t Be Turned Off By Ugly

You’ve likely heard the phrase “kitchens and baths sell houses,” and it’s not an exaggeration! If you walk into a home and the kitchen looks like a dilapidated version of a 1950s movie set, don’t be deterred. As we have written about before at Ali Safavi Real Estate, often a fresh coast of pain will do wonders in transforming old to look new.

There are also a number of affordable options for new countertops. You don’t have to break the bank to bring a fresh aesthetic to these areas. Especially in the age of Pinterest. Do some online browsing to get ideas, then set a budget and go hunting.

  1. The Bad Roof

Roofs are tricky business. We’ve written before than a bed roof is a sign to say “goodbye” to a property. It really comes down to what you are prepared to pay for long term benefit. A leaky roof is a problem and needs to be addressed immediately. The cost of renovation can reach upwards of $20,000. However, if you take the time to do some shopping, I’ve heard rates as low as $7,000.

The benefit to getting a property with a leaky roof is that many people, as we have suggested ourselves, will not purchase a property with a bad roof. This means you are probably able to get a pretty good price. If you’re able to lay out the money up front (and find a good contractor) the long term benefits will overshadow the short term payout. I wouldn’t suggest only looking for leaky roof properties, but just allow for that to not be an automatic no.

  1. Ali Safavi Real Estate: A Moldy Solution

If you have a leaky roof, chances are you will also have mold. If you don’t have proper ventilation in your bathroom, you probably will have mold there as well. Mold is a scary sight. Seeing mold is like seeing a spider, we want to run away from it (or is that just me)?

The thing about mold is that it can be both fixed and prevented. Replacing the roof will eliminate the moisture causing the mold in the ceiling. Having better ventilation in your bathroom will do the same. The only place where mold should be a major deterrent is in the basement. Mold down there can be a sign of a bad foundation – and that is a problem you don’t want to add to your list.

  1. Ali Safavi Real Estate: Hoarders

Hoarders are an issue I have personal experience with. I used to live next to one and could see into their unit. The smell was so bad that it would waft out of the window and into my apartment. For the longest time I thought there was hidden feces under my bed until I realized it was that apartment. When that lady finally moved out, it took movers three days to clear the until. The look on their faces said it all.

As unpleasant as it was, the fix was relatively simple. Hire some movers and they’ll take care of the junk. Hire a cleaning service and they’ll take care of the smell and any stains. Once those two jobs are done you have yourself a unit that is attractive and ready to sell. Don’t let junk scare you, unless it’s piling up in your own backyard.



Ali Safavi Real Estate Review | Alexis Balner

Alexis is regarded as one of the most liked and well-respected real estate agents in El Segundo.

Originally from New Jersey, Alexis went to Arizona State University and then moved to Southern California to start her career.

Alexis has spent the last ten years in real estate. She is the head agent at Balner & Co. and specializes in primary and secondary homes averaging $600,000. There are two main qualities that make her such a stellar SoCal realtor: negotiation and communication. With Alexis, it’s never about “selling.” She just wants to match the right person with the right opportunity. But, once you find that opportunity, she will do everything in her power to get the best price possible.

Learn more about Alexis at her website.

Ali Safavi Real Estate Review | Bruce Mitchelle

Bruce, a resident of Southern California for over 30 years, is an expert on real estate on the Westside of Los Angeles.

Through his experience, he has learned the in-and-outs of the real estate business and continued to push himself to be the best agent he can be.

Bruce believes that integrity and trust are the two most important parts of the Realtor Client relationship. He prides himself in offering his clients a personal service tailored to each of their individual needs.

A graduate of Texas Christian University and the Mortgage Banker’s Association School of Mortgage Banking at Stanford University, Bruce’s education has also covered all aspects of the Real Estate business including agency, ethics, property investing, disclosure, and negotiations.

There isn’t another agent like Bruce. He truly does live by the saying, “treat others the way you would like to be treated.”

Learn more about Bruce at his website.

Jon Polansky – Realtor

A graduate of UCLA and a resident of West LA for 27 years, Jon knows West LA real estate.

With over 10 years’ experience as a realtor specializing in Los Angeles areas like Century City, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Westwood and West Hollywood. Jon helps both buyers and sellers meet their real estate objectives. He has extensive knowledge of each of these communities and will work tirelessly on your behalf to make your next home buying or home selling experience a pleasant and successful one.

For buyers looking for homes or other real estate opportunities, Jon will work with you to find your ideal home and provide you with all of the necessary tools for finding the right property. He’s a great negotiator and will get the best possible deal for his clients with each and every real estate transaction.

Contact Jon at his Sotheby’s website.

Loraine Silver – Realtor

Loraine was born in South Africa and has lived in Santa Monica for over 25 years. She specializes in estate properties on the Westside, which includes Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Beverly Hills, and Venice.

What sets Loraine apart from the other top producers are her exceptional people skills. Ask any of her past clients and you will hear that she is always professional with a personal touch that translates into a very smooth, stress-free transaction. This is also evidenced in her repeat business, which is a reflection of her personalized service, ability to focus into the specific needs of her clients, and her insight into the important subtleties of a real estate transaction.

These skills, along with a thorough knowledge of the market place, dedicated responsiveness, and superb negotiation skills have made Loraine one of the top producers on the Westside.

Contact Loraine at her Partners Trust website.