If you want some fantastic tips on how to make it in the real estate industry, check out this interview with Jenny Okhovat of Compass.
Jennifer "Jenny" Okhovat is a lifelong resident of Beverly Hills and a proud graduate of Beverly Hills High School and Cal State University Northridge. She became a licensed agent in early 2009 and quickly moved up the ranks to become one of the top agents at Compass' Sunset Strip office. She is currently rated in the top 1.5% of realtors in the United States as ranked by RealTrends and is the #1 Agent at Compass Sunset Strip.
Jenny works with a wide range of clients throughout Los Angeles. She has been a party to more than 100 leases during her career and has broken sales records for a number of properties, including the highest price for a single-family residence sold in West Hollywood West in all of 2019.
We asked Jenny a few questions about what it took for her to become a successful real estate entrepreneur and what advice she would give to others in the field.
I got into real estate at a young age. When I was in high school, I watched my father sell an investment property he owned and thought to myself that I could do a better job than the agent he hired. So when I turned 18, I decided to apply for my real estate license and began taking classes at a local community college.
My favorite part about what I do is that there are no two days, no two clients, and no two deals that are alike! Every situation is unique. While real estate can be a stressful industry, it is also so rewarding. On a daily basis, I help people make some of the biggest decisions of their lives.
A common myth about real estate is that the commissions are big (Thank you, reality TV for embellishing!) and that the job is very easy. Many people think we just throw a property online and it sells. They don’t see the number of hours that can go into cleaning, maintaining, and preparing a property for the market. They don’t see the heavy financial investment that agents make to sell or lease a property, and that sometimes you work very hard only for a client to decide they do not want to sell or lease after all.
One thing I wish I had known when I started in real estate is that you’re not really your own boss — and most definitely not really in the beginning. You are essentially hired by EVERYONE so you have multiple bosses. You must be a self-starter and have good time management skills!
Independent landlords should have good response times and systems in place for tenants who request repairs to the property.
One of the biggest mistakes I see landlords make is becoming too friendly with their tenants. I have seen so many landlords get taken advantage of, especially during the pandemic.
I think that the real estate industry will have many changes in the next five years. One of the biggest changes I think we will see is a lot of agents leaving the industry. I believe that when big TV shows such as Love It or List It, Million Dollar Listing, Selling Sunset, and Buying Beverly Hills came on, people thought that real estate was super glamorous and easy. After the first year or two, and especially in a shifting market (which we are in now), many agents come to realize that this work is harder than they expected!
The best advice I would give first-time landlords is to hire an experienced real estate agent who has extensive experience with leasing. In addition, it’s important to get familiar with local landlord/tenant laws or hire a property manager who is familiar.
Gary Keller - The Millionaire Real Estate Agent
Robert Kiyosawki - Rich Dad Poor Dad
Tom Hopkins - Mastering the Art of Selling Real Estate
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