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Who Can Benefit from Lifestyle Planning?

Written By Alisha Chen

With the increase in Lifestyle Planning sessions, I would like to provide this content in advance to help you better understand why I’ve developed Lifestyle Planning.  It is easier to share my own personal story.  My parents came to the U.S. with borrowed funds to purchase airline tickets and $1,000 in total assets.  My parents did not have money for us to be tutored in Taiwan before coming to the U.S., so I learned ABC’s once I was here in the U.S.  There were no ESL classes then.  So, I sat in the same class as all the other students and had no idea what they were talking about for 3-4 years.

Because I did not understand what was being taught in school, I did not know there was homework to do each day.  My grades were barely passing because my “Asian high math abilities” prevented me from failing each grading period.  I remember being published in several local newspapers since 5th grade for the art pieces I was able to draw.  I was being interviewed, but I had no clue what they were saying and there was no one capable of translating for me.

The reason why I wanted to share the hardship that I had to encounter is to encourage others who may have a tough time integrating into a new culture, new language, new environment, and new life in another country.  That was a big step for my family and me.  So, if I can be where I am today, you can too!

Somehow, I learned English little by little and graduated from High School and College.  As a new college graduate from getting my Bachelor of Science as a Registered Nurse, I soon realized that a very large portion of my income went to pay for Federal and State income tax.  Having a six-digit gross income, which was higher than average college graduates, left me with very little after-tax withholdings.

I started to seriously wonder how anyone can really survive in the United States.  Yes, I was making approximately 3 times more gross income than my relatives living in Taiwan, but I ended up netting lower than many of them.  “There must be something wrong”, I thought to myself.

I started to ask people around me, but many people responded, “that’s how it is”.  I was not satisfied with that response.  There seem to be many other people who are very well-to-do.  I can clearly see that.  But how can they do that?  I started to ask more detailed questions, but most people were not willing to share their personal financial information with me.  I don’t blame them since that is a very sensitive topic.  But still, I like to solve my problems of grossing well but netting small.

It is through working for various businesses and attending numerous events that I started gathering little pieces of gold nuggets.  Even though those work positions and events really have nothing to do with wealth building, but since my mind was determined to find solutions that would work for me without losing myself.

The more I know, the more I don’t want to follow the mainstream majority.  I did not like the concept of “the more you spend, the more you get to deduct”.  I wanted to net and save money to live the lifestyle that I desired.  I wanted to live a balanced life.  I know I can’t count on anyone else but myself to make it happen.  I knew I did not want to have a “poor/challenging retirement years”.  It was after being a business owner that my knowledge and experience greatly helped me understand how to achieve my goals.

One of the most common complaints I get from my clients is that their CPA does not educate them on how to net well.  For the past 21 years, I’ve received the most requests for good CPAs and attorneys to refer them.  Unfortunately, I have not found them yet, through my interviews with many.

My Lifestyle Planning is for everyone who desires to gross well and net well.  I’ve helped over a few thousand people in my career and not one is exactly the same.  I have clients from starting to understand how to break their spending habits to multi-million-dollar business owners who have over 20+ properties.  But one common response from all of them after my Lifestyle Planning session is:  “I wished I had met you years ago.  I could have net so much more!”

The requirement for my Lifestyle Planning session is simple.  You need to be honest and truthful.  Don’t worry about what you say may sound awkward.  After helping over a few thousand people and learning about where they have been in life and where they like to be, I don’t think anything can surprise me.  It is fine if you don’t want to answer some of the questions, but just understand I cannot help you in the best possible way if I don’t know how to help you navigate there.  As long as you are not planning to harm others, the rest probably will not surprise me.  One of the most valuable assets is that I may share with you better ways or directions.  It is up to you to make choices in life, but most of the time, my clients most appreciate my honest feedback and advice which they too agree is better than their own.

The Lifestyle Planning is customized for you.  My purpose is to use my knowledge and experiences to help you get there.  If you are ready to start your Lifestyle Planning, please feel free to contact me for an appointment.

So far, my youngest client is 8 years old and the eldest client is 71.

Contact Alisha today for your real estate needs – 949.229.5987

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The Truth About the Real Estate Industry #04

The TRUTH ABOUT THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY #04

15.  Like-mindedness – What we appreciate is often what we cherish. There are reasons why some people purchase Kia cars versus Lexus versus BMW or Mercedes Benz.  Kia car buyers are usually looking for immediate affordability, which means durability and resale value are usually not there.  There also tend to be more problems with these lower-quality cars during ownership.  Lexus car buyers usually seek durability, dependability, not many repairs needed, and a medium level of status and comfort while the re-sale value is quite good.  BMW or Mercedes Benz buyers usually seek to present a higher status and collusion protection, but the cost of maintenance and repair parts are more frequently needed and usually, costs are very high (a higher % cost goes to branding than quality).  Like real estate, various clients seek various types of agents/brokers.  The cost of these agents/brokers also often reflects the type of services that the clients desire. Using the above car examples often best reflects an easier way for my clients to understand the difference.  If you are going to 99 Cent Store to purchase items, you expect low quality that does not last long.  But if you are selling or purchasing a high-priced item like real estate, experienced clients understand the importance of legal responsibilities, value, information, and especially, the experience of the agents or brokers to help navigate them through the process.

16.  Client Protection & Honesty – The purpose of “Can you Handle the Truth Series” is to provide some basic information to our clients so they are aware of the events that occur often so we can better plan the process. Although these articles are only a small part of what we encounter as real estate professionals, they provide a good idea of the challenges of communicating in advance.  This is the only way to minimize any surprises after the fact.  While there is no perfect property for each client, it is the agreement to purchase an asset for a certain agreed value.  In terms of real estate, the experience of agents and brokers in providing honest and truthful information weighs over 75% of any real estate transaction.  Experience can only be obtained by hands-on and personal encounters of each transaction, situation, and response by as many as possible.  While paper documents are more “standard” and less customized for each client’s goals and situations, experience is the key to best-guiding clients.  One property may be OK for a client, but another may be better.  Knowing the difference is key to setting apart professional agents or brokers from standard ones.  Hiring the right real estate professional is equivalent to hiring a good attorney.  It is that important when you are performing one of the highest purchases in your lifetime!

17.  Conclusion – Lots of “undoing” of laws, guidelines, and structures needs to be performed at the government and association level.  At the same time, there are immediate changes that residents and professionals can support as sustainable mutual benefits.  Imagine that ethical, knowledgeable, experienced agent/broker who is committed to a real estate client and who is loyal and fully cooperative!  Let’s be honest, would you allocate quality time to uncommitted individuals?  The level of commitment and degree of attention given are reciprocated mutually for a pleasant transaction to take place.  This is a very simple concept, but most people don’t take the time to understand it, which results in unnecessary problems.  More than 50% of time-wasting is eliminated when loyalty is devoted, mutual benefit is rewarded, and the entire transaction reaches bilateral promises and goals.  Energy and effort can be placed towards getting the best possible outcome for our clients, which makes quality services (not quantity) possible. Everyone desires this outcome.  Therefore, it is time that the U.S. learns from third-world countries to go back to the basics of being an enticing human being first to see a win-win result!  The best solution is to research and interview each other to ensure a good fit.  Sign an exclusive agreement to work with each other.  Treat others as how they prefer to be treated without violating ethics and principles to transform communities and industries one person or family at a time.  Whether we deliberately seek to influence others, each person usually impacts another directly or indirectly through engagements.  Choosing positive, sustainable actions and gestures will create a pleasant culture in every relationship and career that we all desire.

Contact Alisha today for your real estate needs – 949.229.5987

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Wealth Building 101

Wealth Building 101

Being in the field of real estate for over 20 years, I have seen lots of changes.  The more the market and economy are volatile, the more people seek to invest in tangible assets as a means of passive income-producing avenue.

Various countries have their own culture, trends, preferences, geographical capabilities, resources, and legal structures.  These usually establish the foundation of ideal income-producing methods.  In the United States, however, despite the drastic changes in its history, the tax structure and living standards are still among the most desirable in the world.

These deep-rooted factors often attract legal residents to invest in tangible real estate for themselves as well as for income-producing properties.  Real estate investing may not be for everyone since it is a more ideal long-term investment.  Those who like the excitement of “high-rollers” and “fast-moving” liquid earns may not prefer their money to be tied up in a real estate property.

While no one can guarantee which method is better, it all comes down to individual and organizational preferences, comfort levels, and goals.  Just like all investments, investors need to know when to do what and how to leverage financial and lifestyle benefit goals.

When the real estate market is priced high, it may not be ideal for the majority to be purchasing properties.  However, there are still others whose numbers make sense for their current tax year situation or even for their future retirement goals.  Investments are all about numbers and goals.

Many of the business owners I’ve encountered would have doubled or even tripled their assets if they had utilized my lifestyle planning consultation.  Yes, sometimes what you don’t know might place you at a disadvantage and the clock cannot be turned back.  However, the good news is that can be changed for the better.

With the current demands of our society, having a full-time job often requires a majority of our energy to be competitive and perform well.  That means we don’t have the means of where and who to trust for wise wealth-building avenues in the meantime.  One of the most common responses I have received from my clients is “I wished I had known you and this information earlier.  I would have accumulated much more wealth than merely working with my two hands.”

Lifestyle planning consultation is not only for those who have the funds readily available; but for those who are getting there also.  Investing of any type requires advanced planning.  Knowing your financial numbers, preferences, capabilities, goals, and requirements to get there is a part of the process.

As the stock market has been volatile and as for now, no clear visibility as a means of investment at this time, there are many other investments or protections that can be made or prepared for.  Less risky investments often need more time to prepare for.  The earlier an individual or organization has a clear understanding of their requirements to get there, the faster and easier it is to build his/her wealth.

Wealth building needs to be in your own hands.  With the many changes in the world, no one can seek your best interest than yourself.  For more information, please visit the Lifestyle Planning page and then contact Alisha today to start your wealth-building process 949.229.5987

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The Truth About the Real Estate Industry #03

The TRUTH ABOUT THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY #03

10. MLS Challenges – Not all agents belong to an MLS board because it costs quite heavily each year to be a member of an MLS board. The reason why agents would pay to belong is to work with quality agents who will have a Code of Ethics and more professional support to assist our clients.  However, the MLS too has shifted more and more towards self-interest rather than their first established purpose and promise.  For example, as a listing agent, we are not allowed to include our own branding or information on the photos that we ourselves pay for.  Many agents can save a lot of money by not using professionally taken photos when listing a property for sale.  Those of us that do, are then penalized if we include our logo, name, or information on the very photo that we, ourselves pay for.  When inquired why?  The reason is that the buyer agent would not be able to generate income if the listing agent’s contact information was in the photo.  Does that make any ethical or logical sense?  As a listing agent, when we pay for marketing materials to benefit our clients, at the same time, we are paying fees to the MLS for the purpose of upholding professionalism and fair practices.  However, it is the same Association that is demanding unfair practices.  Again, the more agents that are members of the MLS Association, the more they have funds for themselves.  Their priority is no longer the Code of Ethics and Fair Practices while they demand and financially penalize agents who do their job by seeking the best interest of their clients.  The reason for marketing is to #1 benefit their clients and #2 to brand and promote themselves.  There are more unethical guidelines like this that we agents and brokers are faced with.  While working diligently and professionally for our clients, at the same time, we need to be dealing with the MLS who we pay to belong does not make sense.  Real Estate clients need to know as our hands and feet are tied by these Associations sometimes.  Yes, belonging to an MLS Association has benefits, however, there are also unreasonable guidelines we must abide by.  MLS Association has shifted its original purpose and promise.  If this is not corrected soon, they too will not be sustainable with the current technology platforms out there.

11. Zillow Agent Reviews – Since Zillow has become one of the top nationwide platforms for seeking real estate properties for sale or lease, many consumers also utilize Zillow Agent Reviews. While some of the Agent Reviews seem to be legitimate, I’ve come to realize that many high-number reviews are not what people think.  In 2023, from my listings and offers, I’ve seen one completed real estate transaction with more than 5 people taking on Zillow Agent Review Credits.  What’s so crazy about it is that all 5+ of these people are from different Brokerages!  So, imagine you are not the main agent involved in the transaction, but able to take credit for each of the closed transactions, how fast can your Zillow Agent Review grow?  5X faster than everyone else!  In addition, there are many agents working for multiple Brokers.  So, the same agent in one transaction can be under one Brokerage and another transaction can be under a Brokerage at the same time.  The legal liabilities of this type of practice are very high while deceiving the consumers who are actually hands-on performing the transaction.  Since many Brokerages are involved, how is the responsibility shared with the clients?

12. Brokerage In-House Escrow – One of the main purposes of all service providers is to protect their own clients’ information and serve the clients to the best of their interest. However, in California, Real Estate Brokerages are allowed to have in-house escrows.  Over the years, there have been more and more Real Estate Brokerages that have in-house escrows.  There are much fewer requirements and oversight to an in-house escrow than a third-party, stand-alone escrow.  In 2022 and 2023, I encountered countless buyer offers I made not selected due to the listing agent requiring me to use their in-house escrow.  Even when I suggested the option for them to select a stand-alone, third-party escrow of their choice, they rejected it.  Many of these rejected offers are from large brand-name real estate brokerages.  Many of them are the ones producing the most transactions and income.  I really wonder if their own sellers know about them rejecting good, strong offers only because the listing agent demands to use their in-house escrow.  By using their in-house escrow, the Brokerage or Agents also gain additional income from the transaction.  In my opinion, California should not allow Real Estate Brokerages to have in-house escrows.  Imagine both sides of client information are fully disclosed to the other side.  If a Brokerage or agent would rather reject a good, strong offer because our client does not want to use their in-house escrow, what else might that Brokerage or Agent use the client’s information?  In New York, Escrows are required to be conducted by licensed Attorneys.  This is a much more secure and professional way than the way California is allowing open violations to potentially occur.

13. Petition and Suggestions – For over 20 years, I have taken time to share what I have learned to various leadership and organizations in hopes of improving and solving unreasonable or unethical issues to seek my client’s best interests. However, most of the efforts were wasted.  Most people do not want to hear their “deficiencies” by responding in a way that “brushes underneath the rug”.  The only way things can be better is by knowing what the problems are so we can develop solutions to improve and resolve them.  If we only focus on what is tolerable, then the deficiencies will worsen… dragging other areas with it eventually to a level that will be extremely difficult to change without extreme pain.  Graduated as a Registered Nurse, I like preventative measures instead of waiting until stage 4 cancer is realized.  With a counseling experience background, things can only be improved when we are willing to talk about our deficiencies for the purpose of getting better.  Without this basic desire, the greatest counselor in the world cannot utilize his or her abilities to help others get there.  Optimism can only be accomplished by seeking truth and reality so that there is hope for a better future.

14. Quality of Leadership – The quality of leadership is extremely important. The culture of an organization is closely reflected by the staff and representatives.  Most people would hire the type of persons they deem “acceptable”.  As part of leadership requirements, knowing every individual’s conduct is a must for the well-being of an organization.  How people behave and respond is directly or indirectly allowed by the leadership team.  The majority are usually accepted, and the minority are usually rejected.  However, many times, it is the concept of the majority that often causes problems.  Instead of focusing on what is the majority, we should have been following the concept of quality and the right ways.  For example, we cannot deny that “microwave” is convenient and fast (majority), however, the invisible side of it is that microwave causes more health issues in the long run and is rid of a majority of nutrients that the food originally offered.  Yes, it fills the hunger but starves the inner body of its needed daily nutrients.  Can we see that?    So, what are the consequences?  Faster deterioration of the organs, lack of self-producing needed hormones, increased synthetic medicine, increased negative side effects, working harder and longer to pay for the health issues we’ve created, cause more pollution with our synthetic solutions, cause climate changes as clearly manifested now with reduced water, increased heat, decreased soil natural nutrients.  Yes, what looks fast and simple can result in all of these and many more long-term issues.  Not having quality leadership is the same way.  Do we have “microwave” leaders, or do we have the root of the problem visionary leaders?  From my encounters, I’ve seen many leaders who should not be in leadership positions and those who are not in leadership positions should be.  True leaders are required to be minorities who seek the difficult road to travel, but the right ones.  However, minority-minded people are usually rejected.

Contact Alisha today for your real estate needs – 949.229.5987

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The Truth About the Real Estate Industry #02

The TRUTH ABOUT THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY #02

  1. True Real Estate Professional is NOT Easy – There are many things that need the attention of real estate professionals. I have closed thousands of transactions and not one is exactly the same.
    • A)  Interviewing Like-Mindedness – Just as a real estate client seeking a good real estate professional, good real estate professionals also only accept reasonable and cooperative clients. However, the process of searching for one often takes a lot of time, effort, and even pain.  Many clients believe agents are getting paid too much for such an easy job.  Well, first of all, agents/brokers risk his/her life daily out in the field meeting or serving new people not knowing who they are first.  There are too many examples of agents/brokers being robbed or killed performing tasks.  I remember as a new agent, some people pretend to be foreign investors only to use new agents to provide free transportation to places.  Even more, times when men pretend to be real estate buyers only to meet me and ask me out.  Most recent times, service providers and contractors pretend to be renters only to meet with me and ask me for business to give them.  How then can agents/brokers trust people without a true client representation agreement?  These are only a few examples mentioned and have to do with the ethical conduct of people.  All these encounters do cost time and money.  Therefore, there is a lot more to this industry than most people realize.
    • B)  Taking time to understand client needs – is the most important before putting any actions into seeking financial and property needs.  One property may be perfect for one but not for another.  One type of timing may be great for one but not for another.  One type of loan product may be good for one but not for another.  Sometimes there is only one decision maker involved and other times there can be a group of 10 people’s input involved.  I find myself taking on as a family counselor more times than being a broker.  The ability to speak the language that balances all decision-makers cannot be learned from any book but via real-life experiences.  Unless a certain level of acceptance is agreed upon, there will not be any success in a transaction.
    • C)  Financial Readiness – Without obtaining a full picture of a client’s financial capabilities first, we will all be wasting time looking at properties without knowing if a real estate client has the capability to finance a certain property. Different people also have different lifestyles and goals.  While one planning may be good for some, it may not be good for another.  Some clients also require a non-standard type of loan for their circumstances.
    • D)  Title Issues – Various title problems can come up and experienced real estate professionals need to know how to deal with them before, during, and after the transaction.
    • E)  Disclosures – It is important to know about the factors of a property as much as possible which may affect the value, health, and safety of the buyers. Disclosures are approximately 80% of a transaction and are growing in the number of documents as years go by.
    • F)  Compliance with Laws – Laws change often and can be several times a year. Most laws are established due to repeated conflicts.  Other times are due to being politically driven which may contradict common sense.  Knowledgeable professionals can best assist clients to minimize legal conflicts.
    • G)  80% of Unprofessional Agents in the Field – For the past 20 years, I have encountered approximately 80% of agents categorized as “Unprofessional”. I am embarrassed to say that I am not proud of being labeled as an “Agent/Broker”.  Another 15% of my encounters as “standard/acceptable” and less than 5% of the agents are labeled as “preferred/desirable/professionals”.  Quality is also reflected in the pattern of cities and counties.  For example, from my own experiences, LA County usually has the worst agents with all types of unethical conduct, Orange County usually has better quality agents and San Bernardino County usually has a mid-range level of agents in terms of ethics and knowledge.  I have educated my client sellers regarding screening agents first and offers second.  Since we are not allowed to contact the cooperating agent’s client, that means the conduct of the cooperating agent will be the most important aspect of a successful, pleasant, miserable, and even harmful transaction process.  With the deterioration of buyer agent quality year after year, buyer’s commission has also declined as a result of listing agents often needing to “clean up” after the buyer agent’s unprofessionalism.  As a listing agent, I would say for the past 20 years, I had to step in as a secretary for the buyer’s agent in order to successfully close a transaction.  While I, myself pay a secretary/assistant to conduct my own tasks.  Obviously, this does not make sense.  Since the Department of Real Estate and the National Association of Realtors have not made much progress in promoting professional quality as a system structure, professional agents/brokers can only seek other solutions in the meantime for the sake of our clients.
    • H)  Above mentioned are only approximately 30% of challenges and difficulties in the field of real estate. It will take hours for me to state them.  In short, the current structure of the real estate field promotes unprofessionalism, inexperienced/temporary agents, unsustainable long-term careers, disloyal parties, and increased legal disputes.  As a result, good agents and brokers are becoming rare and almost distinct.  The interesting thing is that everyone (both clients and professionals) desires quality and loyalty; however, the current system makes it extremely difficult to get there; while third-world countries such as Taiwan rarely have these problems.
  1. License Revoked/Suspended/Disciplinary Actions – There are thousands of people and/or entities with their licenses revoked, suspended, and disciplined due to various reasons. Usually, it takes quite a few repeated serious offenses to get negative license consequences.  There are many more that are still out doing business in various unethical or illegal ways.  Just like any career or job out there, interviewing and hiring people is an extensive job itself.  Clients should perform research, and interviews before hiring.  The good news nowadays is that we have websites and technology to use, making it so much easier to get to know people before hiring them.
  2. United States Real Estate Market Standard versus Other Countries – Many Asian countries that are labeled as third-world countries actually have much better real estate systems than the U.S. Take Taiwan, for example, a seller or landlord researches a real estate brokerage and agent to list with.  Each seller/landlord and each buyer/tenant hire his/her own agent to work with.  The commission is paid by each side of the client according to the level of knowledge, services, experience, etc.  There is not much need for “ethical” courses.  Each agent naturally represents his/her client in the best possible way to earn the commission.  In addition, it is standard for every client to turn in his/her financial proof before agents offer any type of service.  A deposit and payment agreement is signed prior to any type of service being given.  This is a win-win for everyone.  Real estate clients are committed to the selected agent/brokerage.  At the same time, the real estate agent/brokerage is committed to the client.  No party wastes time or plays games.  Everyone understands the seriousness of getting the job done right.  However, in the U.S., the way the system is structured encourages disloyalty, wastes time, and discounts agents to compensate for quality, professionalism, knowledge, and experience.  This system discourages the desire for quality professionals…and what is left gradually are the substandard agents/brokers in this field.  Those who are more capable and ethical gradually seek other types of focuses and careers.  Since the good ones have to constantly do the jobs of the less knowledgeable and ethical cooperative agents while getting paid the same.  It is like doing twice the number of jobs and getting paid for one.  After a while, both financial and mental results are highly unsustainable.  Can you blame them?
The article continues with “The Truth About the Real Estate Industry #03” Contact Alisha today for your real estate needs – 949.229.5987
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Residential Rental Trends

Residential Rental Trends

COVID has affected many people and businesses both in positive and negative ways.  One of the major changes in the residential rental market has occurred during this time and the side effects are still being encountered.  While many laws are being changed in the rental market, especially in Los Angeles County, the results are also now being manifested as a result.

The purpose of many residential rental home laws has changed due to the major economic effects of medium and large organizations being involved in real estate such as Blackrock, Zillow, Redfin, etc.  When large organizations are involved in the selling and purchase of real estate, they obtain control of the market prices and set the trends.  In addition, many reputable or sizable organizations have started to support and advocate for real estate REITS.

From an individual perspective, anything that helps them gain earnings is a good thing.  However, little do most individuals understand that his/her own investment may be contributing to his/her future dilemma.  As I have explained this to my clients and investors for many years, they understand the effects, and most of them, if not all of them, have rejected the REITS investment offers.

Whether or not a person decides to invest in a certain opportunity is an individual choice.  However, the most important aspect of any investment is knowing the pros and cons.  Experience and factual statistics are some of the most important aspects of any expertise versus knowledge from books.  That is a drastic difference between common sense and popular trends.  Often, the majority is not ideal.

Usually, things are not seen for many years until the consequences become evident.  Now we are seeing the devastating losses of investors who have placed money on REITS.  Blackrock, Zillow, Redfin, etc. are all now under serious financial consequences.  The business of real estate has proven to still be an expert professional field.

With the rise in property taxes, home insurance, HOA fees, and repair & remodeling costs, property owners are forced to increase rent.  While it might be true that some of the property owners increase rental prices drastically without doing much property maintenance, all of my property management clients have agreed to perform reasonable property maintenance for our tenants.  As a result, it is not true that all property owners are greedy.

Most of the changes in rental law are geared towards discouraging organizations, entities, or owners who own many properties in the same area to prevent control of the real estate market.  This is a needed and desirable intervention by the government.  However, some of the laws may also produce side effects for individual investors.  In the long run, a healthier and more affordable housing market would be possible if the correct measures are sustained.

In the meantime, rental property owners are now seeking more professional, knowledgeable, and experienced property managers to help them manage their investment properties.  The quality of tenants is now more requested by property owners who offer better property conditions for rent.

The biggest problems in my 20 years of property management experience are the ethics, character, and behavior of renters.  Just about every conflict can be traced back to the ethics and character of a person.  How a property is maintained depends on the care and cooperation of tenants.

As the changes in law continue, more properties are being sold to owner-occupied buyers and fewer rental properties are available.  The more issues property owners have with tenants, the more likely they are to sell the property.  Thus, making rental properties more desirable and needed.

The purpose of rental properties is to accommodate both the needs of tenants as well as property owners in a mutually reasonable and fair manner.  Tenants seek to have a decent property to reside in within their budget.  Property owners seek to have a net gain to prepare for their retirement years.  When tenants are diligently taking care of the property, that lowers the property maintenance costs, and more likely the property owners will continue to renew their lease at lower than market prices.

When tenants produce unethical, unreasonable, uncooperative, behavioral issues, the high maintenance of this tenant in terms of time, energy, and costs makes the purpose of rental property undesirable.  While the U.S. tax laws and lifestyle still offer real estate investment to be strong for legal residents.  The key rests on whether the property owner can find a dependable and capable property manager to perform as a mediator between them and the tenants.  The goals of property owners are simple, the number of investments needs to make sense.  That means the quality of tenants is very important.

Although people may change over time, the mutual benefit concept remains the same.  Each party needs to do their part as agreed.  The purpose of the property manager is to seek a mutual win-win for all parties by ensuring everyone keeps their promises and respect.

Over 20 years, Alisha’s team has not encountered eviction needs.  Even though no one can guarantee the conduct and attitude of a person, we perform a more diligent tenant screening process than average.  At the same time, we respond to our tenants faster and more effectively than most.  We also provide clear accounting records to our property owners so they can gain the highest tax benefits.

If you desire to obtain income properties or already have income properties and are seeking stress-free professional property management assistance, contact Alisha today!  949.229.5987

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Financial Distress Solution: Short Sale for Property Owners

Short Sale for Property Owners

Sometimes, the unanticipated happens in life and we face decisions to make to overcome challenges.  What makes it difficult for most people is not knowing what to do and how to go about doing that.  From my past 20+ years of experience, history has proven that those who make immediate decisions to lessen obligations the right way are able to recover faster and sometimes even better than before.  Those who delay in seeking proper solutions have been shown to endure longer tribulations and domino effects of deeper financial challenges in just about all areas of life.  One of the Financial distress solutions is to perform a short sale.

  1. What is a Short Sale? A short sale in the field of real estate is selling a property for less than the amount owed on the current owner’s outstanding mortgage amount.
  2. Why would someone do a short Sale? A short sale is usually a sign of a financially distressed property owner who needs to sell the property before the lender completes a foreclosure process.  Short Sales are also more common when the value of the homes drops below the previously purchased prices due to personal, local, state, national, or global economic reasons.
  3. What is the benefit of a Short Sale? For the property owner, the financial consequences of a short sale may be less severe than a foreclosure for both the property owner and the lender.  For a property buyer, a short sale can be a good opportunity if approached cautiously.  For the lender, a legitimate and reasonable price and term can cut down on the lender’s costs and losses in a foreclosure process.
  4. How would a Short Sale impact my Credit Report? Typically, a short sale record is impacted in a shorter period than a foreclosure.  Also, if you want to purchase a home in the future, most future lenders will see a short sale more positively than a foreclosure.  To most lenders, a short sale means the property owner has the desire to cooperate with the lender to cut down their losses.  Whereas most foreclosures are seen as less than cooperative efforts given to resolve the financial issues for both parties.
  5. Are all Short Sales successful?   The lender must approve the short sale.  A common reason why lenders may not approve a short sale is due to fraud activities, offer price and terms being significantly below the market value, and undisclosed non-arms length parties in the transaction.  Another factor is the lack of knowledge and experience with agents when performing a Short Sale.  In Alisha’s over 20 years of real estate experience, she has seen a high number of unsuccessful short-sale listings that end up as foreclosed properties due to the lack of knowledge and experience of agents.  Short Sales are NOT one of the listings that property owners should be gambling with less than experienced agents.  The consequences can be more prolonged and severe.  There is a great deal of knowledge, capabilities, and experience when performing a short sale within a designated timeline before foreclosure kicks in.
  6. How to increase the chances of Successful Short Sales? Alisha has encountered both fully cooperative property owners and prospective property owners seeking to take advantage of the lender’s timeline when conducting a short sale transaction.  Those who try to take advantage of the Short Sale process usually result in unsuccessful transactions and most of the time, enter into Foreclosure.  Short Sales typically take 3-4X amount of work and time to complete than a standard transaction.  There are a greater number of non-traditional challenges, tasks, knowledge, and experiences encountered in a Short Sale than in a standard sale.  Many times, even the Short Sale managers assigned to our transaction have little knowledge or experience in conducting a Short Sale.  Besides assisting the property owners, and pre-screening buyer offers, Alisha may need to educate and present more information to educate the lender’s Short Managers assigned to us as well.  This is a lot of work in one transaction  As a result, Alisha will only assist property owners who genuinely seek to lessen his/her own negative financial consequences while cooperating with the lenders to move on honestly and reasonably.
  7. What is Alisha’s knowledge and experience in Short Sales? Alisha has successfully closed 100% of her Short Sale listings in various parts of California!  She has also closed many more short sales representing buyers.  Alisha has past clients who have successfully completed a Short Sale listing with Alisha and were able to purchase multiple income-producing properties a few years later.  Clients who followed Alisha’s advice most closely were able to cut short the waiting time to become property owners again.  It took a few years of following diligent instructions from Alisha to build up their credit again while generating income and savings.  However, they are now proud property owners of multiple properties!
  8. I am a Real Estate Agent/Broker.  Can I hire you to conduct my Short Sale Negotiations? Yes.  Alisha has performed many short-sale negotiations for real estate agents and brokers in the past.  The requirement to successfully complete a short sale is cooperation from all parties…including real estate agents & brokers, clients, and service providers.  Each lender has its own Short-Sale process and requirements.  Many times, they are drastically different.  So knowing the process and requirements is crucial to successfully complete the transaction.  Alisha has so far closed 100% of Short Sale Negotiations for other cooperating real estate agents & brokers.
  9. Have Questions? Feel free to contact Alisha to go over your situation.  If you are in financial distress, don’t wait and delay any longer!  The sooner we help you resolve challenges, the faster you will be on your road to recovery!

Don’t delay!  Call Alisha today!  (949) 229-5987

Real estate is not just a career that Alisha enjoys, but also her passion and investment. She has used her real estate knowledge to help many others already; contact Alisha today and be on the road to recovery!  Please feel free to visit her Client Testimony page and see how many people Alisha has already helped and continues to help!

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The Truth About the Real Estate Industry #01

TRUTH ABOUT THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY #01

The field of real estate brokerage and agents by law and common sense should be one of the higher requirements and practice careers.  Some of the most valuable, personal, and confidential items are stored and displayed in homes.  Yet over 20 years in my real estate career, the basic agent property etiquette has been violated repeatedly.  In fact, this basic etiquette has gotten worse and worse each year.  This means a severe lack of ethics has been viewed as unimportant.  While the society in the U.S. industry has overemphasized creating conflicting laws and guidelines, not much has been done to teach children from a young age about common etiquette.  If we investigate the root of most problems in society and workplaces, the cause has been the deterioration of ethics disguised by many other branch issues such as knowledge, experience, communication, training, and degrees.

Common Issues Encountered

  1. Real Estate System – There are many real estate test-taking programs offering answers for test takers to memorize in order to pass the exam without understanding the contents.
  2. No need for transaction experience– Being in the real estate field for over 20 years, I am still in awe that the Department of Real Estate still does not require a designated amount of in-person and hands-on hours of training before giving a real estate license. Real estate purchase for most people, is one of the highest asset purchases but yet, I can’t believe how many agents and even brokerage owners can’t communicate with daily-level English skills.  How can they understand contracts?  The root of the problem is the real estate oversight which allowed a highly professional career to deteriorate to a lowly public reputation.  It shouldn’t be this way.  The fact is, the greater the quantity of people entering the field of real estate regardless of his/her level of quality actually benefits most of the salary or hourly paid real estate entities such as various Realtor Associations.  As a result, the entity that was supposed to protect the profession ended up harming the profession due to the conflict of interest.  If the entity staff is paid mostly by commission method, this issue would be easily resolved since it is in the best interest of the staff members to focus on the quality of the profession instead of quantity.  Offering classes to promote ethical conduct while the structure of the system is the opposite gets no sustainable results.  It is the system structure that needs to be replaced.  If 100% commission agents/brokers run the real estate oversight department, there would be a great improvement for the profession and industry.  However, the current entities that oversee the real estate industry constantly ask realtors for feedback without compensation.  To provide sufficient insight into actual welfare going on in the field requires a lot of time dedicated to writing or verbally explaining.  However, in a fast-moving society, we are all busy.  Who has a lot of time to constantly provide holistic feedback without compensation?  Therefore, while 1-2 things may improve, at the same time, 10-15 things are deteriorating for the worse.  How then, can anything be really changed for the better?  This concept is not new, it was the basic structure for America to rise above the world in as little as 150 years of inception.  Somewhere along the line, we have sidetracked the reason for a successful nation and started to deteriorate backward.  Truth and honesty are usually difficult to hear and accept.
  3. Part-time, temporary agents/brokers – Whenever the real estate market is “hot”, lots of people get a real estate license and start representing clients without any experience. When serious problems arise due to these inexperienced, unknowledgeable, and/or unethical agents, these clients find me, seeking to solve their problems.  Once the agents don’t know how to handle problems, they simply do not respond back to the clients anymore.  There is usually a reason why some Brokerages do not accept certain agents (quality).  At the same time, there are usually reasons why some Brokerages do accept these agents (quantity).  The more problems a client has experienced in the past, the more he/she learns the importance of a trustworthy and experienced agent/broker.  I get many calls for help when a transaction has already been closed.  From the stories I was told, most of the problems can be avoided during the transaction.  After a transaction is closed, usually, serious issues can only be handled with attorneys who will either decline the case or require upfront fees paid to take a case without guarantees of resolution.  As an experienced Broker, I can only be hired as a professional to provide information on the witness stand.  I had represented clients in small claims court that does not require an attorney license and so far, won all of the cases that I accepted to take on.
  4. Agents/Brokers do not read the MLS information in detail – Over 50% of agents/brokers call me to obtain information that has already been disclosed on the MLS. When I respond that they should have read the MLS diligently, they get angry and express how rude I am instead of being embarrassed by their own lack of professionalism.  There are lots of documents that need to be read, written, carried out, etc. for each transaction.  Being detailed and diligent is a requirement for this career.  Can you imagine how these agents would perform when a transaction is in escrow with this type of attitude and mentality?  Many times, the quality of real estate agents/brokers hired by the clients causes more problems in a transaction than anything else.  Especially clients who prefer agents/brokers who sugarcoat things instead of desiring honesty and truth.
  5. Usage of Supra Lockbox with CBS Code – Over 50% of agents don’t know how to enter CBS code into Supra lockboxes even though I’ve indicated on the MLS showing description “please make sure you know how to use CBS Code to open Supra Lockboxes”. Any agent who read that and did not know how to use it should ask his/her broker.  It only takes 5 minutes to learn it, but yet, over 50% of agents did not seek help prior to showing the property to their clients.  As a listing agent, I then get calls that the Supra lockbox does not work.  Most of the agents then fabricate the facts to their clients to avoid being embarrassed.  This is just an example of many other basic tasks that have to do with the mentality of work ethics.  Knowledge can be learned, but attitudes and mentality are a choice.
  6. Quality versus Quantity – When real estate clients do not perform a basic level of research and interview to hire the right agent/broker, ultimately, they suffer. With today’s online presence, it is easy to research agents and brokerages.  When a conversation takes place regarding whether a discount agent/broker is more important to a real estate client or an agent who is capable and seeks his/her best interest, just about everyone says quality.  What changes is when a real estate client encounters challenges that reveal the incapability of his/her agent/broker.  It is then that client expresses the required level of quality desired, not just “undefined quality”.  Typically, the larger the Brokerage, they rely on the quantity of agents, not quality.  Their concept is the more quantity of agents, the greater the income for the brokerage.  At the same time, the only way to deal with higher lawsuits caused by low quality of agents is by hiring their own attorney (grab what we can first and deal with problems later concept).  Smaller brokerages tend to focus more on the quality of transactions to prevent legal liabilities (doing things right from the start as much as possible).  Therefore, in my experience, I have better professional encounters with smaller brokerages.  Agents who are successful without being under a brand name entity most likely have individual capability.  Those who rely on highly advertised names usually have less capability.  Most of my clients can’t remember the name of the brokerage I was with before.  They just remember me.  When I notify them that I’ve changed brokerage, they can’t even recall what brokerage name I was under.  This is a good sign for any person to be labeled as professional and capable.  Many things in life are opposite of what the majority presents or says to rely on.
The article continues with “The Truth About the Real Estate Industry #02” Contact Alisha today for your real estate needs – 949.229.5987
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