Friday, February 19, 2016

Postlets was cool. - Renting and hunting for Apts has shifted again.

Postlets was cool.  I liked it.  It worked.

It did not try to over complicate the process of renting an apartment.

With this tool it would set up a standard formatted set of information and photos to share.  Then when you used it's tools would up load the data to other Rental listing sites.

Recently Zillow bought them out.

Major bummer.  Issues.  I've lost some great functions.

Postlets has gone the way of dodo bird by a bigger company eating it up and spitting out the bones.  The soul of a good process eaten up by the chinking larceny of another heavy handed company that leaves a lot of us wondering... What Happens Next.

Well luckily still works and is still good for basic listing. Their addition of maps is a really big improvement a year or two ago.  Had to add that to keep up with others like and more recently Nether are that good on their own.  Not much better is who has lost its luster with landlords (us housing providers) over the last couple of years.

Here is the lowdown on that. WestsideRentals had a complete lock on the Santa Monica area when the local daily newspaper the Outlook went out of business.  And the local landlords loathed to waste our time on the LA Times regardless of the price.  It was like this...
One little 3 or 4 line advert: $138 for a weekend run.
1000 phone calls on your answer machine
return 100 calls and set appointments
of the appointments maybe 5 to 10 show up to look.
Maybe one will return with a filled out application.

This math sucked.

So, We all (housing providers) eagerly gave the rental info to Westside Rentals for free. Then they sold the data to their clients, the prospective renters.  This worked.  We got pre-screened tenants that had a real vested interest and had PAID up front for the privilege to see our rentals.  The 10 appointments we set, got out 8 or 9 folks to show up, and of that, half were willing to apply!  Maybe even bid up the rents a little to get the better places.

This was great for a time.  Unfortunately like the Zillow getting too big for it's britches above, WestsideRentals has as well.  It has gone into competition with the very folks that gave it the free data it used to sell.  Not good.  Some of the bigger firms are no longer giving them the data first and some not at all.

So the craze that Craig's List started ... Online sales for free... Is back to Craig's List!

My rentals are up on there for a week before I break down to give it to Westside Rentals.

And maybe if needed to one of the other sites.  The quality of tenant from the various sites is still sucky. What amazing demanding whiny folks get on Zillow and Trulia is really a sad sack section of humanity.   I have little time left for that type of folk.

I need good Quality tenants.  Folks with a bit of brain between their ears and realize the contractual relationship of a housing provider is NOT to service you like a mommy or change your light bulbs or that flushing ear swabs is no big deal.  After all out of sight is out of mind. Right? Wrong. That will be an expensive clog you dim whit.

The Dim whits that think hitting the automatic email button on Zillow or Trulia or Westside Rentals or Hot Pads or RadPads or HOTIgloos or most any list is not going to actually help you find a good apartment.  It just shows that U'r too lazy to be a good tenant.   With one thumb tap you think it will be handed to you?  Bwaaahh Haaa Haaa  

If you are a tenant...  Or want to successfully become a tenant in a better apartment.  Read the advert.  Read all of it.  Yes we put enough info up to make it sorta telling.  There are clear clues.

  1.  Send an actual email that states when you are available to rent and
  2.  Tell the housing provider Why you want the unit.  
  3.  Include your phone number
  4.  maybe your email too   (Phone number is more important)
  5.  Then follow up with a call and actually Drive By the site.
Really do follow up I'll recognize the name if it is in my list of folks I have to call back and tell you what's up.

If your phone message says something useful like: 
"This is Name, I looked at the photos online and the apartment at 123 7th Street works for me. Please call me on 123-123-1234 or email me at  I drove the area and like it.  It is right for me because X,Y,Z.    I'm available to meet you on Saturday or maybe Tuesdays after noon. Thank you.  Again this is Name at 123-123-1234"

This is the first one called back.  This one leads in setting the day and time of my open house on the weekend.  X is likely I work for some firm nearby.  Y is likely statement that it is well within their budget. Z may be a feature or something that makes them a match. Telling me the phone number at the beginning is good.  Telling me the number a second time at the very end is Fantastic.

This is in there with all those calls that say "Is it available?" then rush the phone number making me (or some other housing providers) repeat the message 3 or more times to get that one breathless number you failed to articulate. ARGHHH 

Don't be that one if you want to rent from me.  We have to do business down the line for years to come if I rent to you.  You need to communicate clearly.  Fully.  

So Back to rental listings.  I'm going to brush up on my Craig's List Codes.  Some basic HTML formatting that they use.  I've lost my friendly Postlets helper to make easy the task of publishing the data the prospective tenant is looking for.

Fellow Housing Providers... the tip sheet is here

Monday, June 30, 2014

The last resort escape hatch was in jeopardy. News the Anti Ellis Bill is Dead

State lawmakers in Sacramento affect us so very much in Los Angeles and Santa Monica.

Hot News: The bill to stop the Ellis act is dead... for this year.  Sen. Mark Leno has halted his pursuit of state legislation that would undermine a landlord's right to leave the rental housing industry.

Leno, D-San Francisco, has given up on Senate Bill 1439 after its rejection in the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee last week. The bill took aim at the Ellis Act, a landmark 1985 law that bars local governments from making property owners stay in the apartment business.

Leno told the San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday that he'll probably try to resurrect the bill in 2015.  " I'm very committed to this,..." he said in the article.

The Housing and Community Development Committee voted down SB 1439 by a 4-3 vote on June 18, leaving little chance for Leno to keep the bill afloat this year. The bill would force many rental property owners in San Francisco to wait at least five years before removing their units from the market - even if losing money month after month.

While the bill would have applied only to San Francisco, it could have statewide ramifications. Los Angeles and Santa Monica has already expressed interest in pursuing legislation similar to SB 1439.

Before the Ellis Act, rent-controlled cities - Santa Monica in particular - were forcing landlords to stay in business, even if they were losing money or experiencing other hardships. The Ellis Act has blocked this type of government intrusion, providing a veritable escape hatch for owners who can no longer thrive - or even survive - in rent-controlled communities.  All the owner in California owe a debt of gratitude to The California Apartment Association (CAA) for their tireless work to defeat this bill.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

High end 2 bedroom 2 bath unit with Ocean Views

Fantastic unit just came available!   One of my very best.

AND I gust renovated the full kitchen with new Granite countertops and appliances.

Photos to follow.

This link is only good for the next 30 days ...


Nice views out the south facing windows and from the private balcony.
Top floor unit with high vaulted ceilings.
Laundry inside the Unit.
Big Kitchen area that is freshly renovated with...
 - New Granite
 - New sink and faucet
 - New Glass top cooktop and vent hood
 - New Oven and Microwave
 - New Dishwasher
 - New S S front Refrgerator
Fireplace in the Living Room.
Master bedroom with private bath.
Elevator access.
One parking space in the garage.
Oh and the new paint and carpet are colorful with a very warm and welcoming tone.  Must see this classy place to truly appreciate the quality!
 May go for more than asking price.  Best offer with a May 1st start will get it!

What did I leave out?


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Will it go up or down...

... That is the question. You and I both know you can not expect real estate to always be going up. but why expect it to always be going down once it turns?

We know it is Real Estate that is the basis of most significant wealth in the US of A.

Nice article at DSNews about the report just released yesterday (Tuesday 2-21-2012)

So this imply's we are at the beginning of the rebound.

It most likely is the type of info to really look hard at if you want to buy at the start of the upswing in real estate values. Call me to review your goals. I am sure we can find a property that can enrich you and give you financial security.

Income or rental properties. Not just the one single family home purchase. You need an income producing portfolio of real estate to protect you and secure your financial future.

This is where I can help.


Keith Lambert

Your Real Estate expert.
Happy to help in Anything RE related.

All Real Estate is Local. Deal with someone who knows the local market

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Single Family Home Rental Advice... My 2 Cents Worth

An extended family member from out of town asked a rental question. I'll share it here.

Susie and her husband are moving to a new city for work relocation. The house they have in San Diego County is down in todays market and they have very little equity left. But they put plenty of equity and sweat equity into this house. So selling at a loss is not a great thrill.

Therefore they want to hang on for the rebound in the market and rent it short term.

The dialog went like this:

Hey Keith-

Have a question for you. Is it better to rent to someone you know who would take excellent care of your home and take a little bit of a loss on a monthly basis OR make a couple hundred extra a month with someone you don't know?

I'm leaning toward the little bit of a loss situation but want your professional opionion!

Love ya!

And my Reply is:

You have to go by the seat of your pants on these situations.

In calling on the references (more than one!) the most important question I can ask of the previous landlords is "Would you rent to them again?"

The amount of damage and down time for repairs is really heavy if you select poorly. So past landlords are key.

You have one unit. One heavily invested home. If you are renting in the new town... Is the rent received (old place) higher than the rent paid (new place)? If so, it is a good thing.

My 2 cents.*


* Price charged is Zero. My liability is the same.
No legal advice given here. Emotional justifications and encouragement offered freely and with my best of intentions to make you feel better about a hard and difficult decision.

Her followup:

Thank you brother!! Appreciate your advice. ...

One point I like to make here is the number of Units matters. If you buy or happen to have just one (like Susie above) and a bad tenant messes up or leaves early you are down and left naked to pay the mortgage by yourself for as long as it takes to repair and re-rent. That can be very costly. If you have more units... 5 plus! Then you have less financial hardship as you fix and re-rent one.

so my advice... Get as many units in the investment property as you can afford! Or team up with a couple of others so you can buy and properly fund a bigger asset.

So call me if you are interested in buying or investing in performing real estate in the Los Angeles region where historically the rents have been strong and stable.


Keith Lambert

Monday, January 09, 2012

Visiting and need to see Los Angeles... Beach side option

OKay if you are coming to the area to search for a place you need a short term place....

If you are in the area and have family coming from out of town and you do not want them on your couch for days.

If you are a business transfer and want a week of good housing but not a boring hotel.

THEN the answer is the Venice Suites or Venice Breeze Suites.

You can find all the info on

Really cool to look out your windows and check out the serf on the beach. WiFi for the guests. And Venice Suites does include parking. A big deal in beach towns up and down the coast. Ask if parking is included. Many of the other places will say No.

Stay at the best. Right on Venice Beach for the views and fun hip feel.

IMHO. These are the best.


Friday, December 30, 2011

Merry and Happy - To all a good night. 2012 - Bring it on!

I think this is the best Holiday Card for this season.

Hopping you all had a nice holiday filled with family and love. Now as we look at the new year we turn to 20 12 with aspirations for a very profitable year.

I think the new year is going to be very good.


Snow Globe Los Angeles from All Cut Up Films on Vimeo.

Nice! Right?