Phone: 310-729-6573
Email: martin@martinfeinberg.com

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Free Carnival Marks National Disability Awareness Month in Culver City

Image is a group of colorful stick people surrounding two in wheelchairs.Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, notes that this month is Culver City’s annual Disability Awareness Month.  To help mark the occasion there will be a carnival on Sunday, October 21stfrom noon to 3:30 p.m.  The carnival is free and will be held at the Culver City Senior Center at 4095 Overland Ave. in Culver City.

The Culver City Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department are organizing the carnival.  It is being funded through sponsorships from the Culver City Exchange Club and the Culver City Senior Citizens Association Inc.

Other event partners include Culver City’s Disability Advisory Committee and the Culver City Neighborhood Girl Scouts.

The event is free for all, whether they live within the Culver City Real Estate area or not, but anyone who wants to go is required to RSVP beforehand.  This will help event organizers ensure that there are adequate amounts of food, prizes, and craft supplies for all who attend.

Martin Feinberg, Realtor, encourages all who desire to attend the event to call (310) 253-6707 to confirm their plans to join in the fun at the carnival. Perspective attendees should RSVP as soon as possible, but especially before the day of the event.

Carnival activities include the popular Giddy-Up Ranch petting zoo, carnival game booths, a karaoke stage, a photo booth, community-resource tables, a quiet activity room and an arts-and-crafts area.  Free hot dogs, burgers, pizza, cotton candy, and popcorn will be served at the event.

There will also be a clown in attendance to make balloon animals for the kids.

In honor of Disability Awareness Month, all activities have been specifically designed to be accessible to children and older people of all abilities.

National Disability Awareness Month traces its origins back to 1945, when Congress declared the first week in October “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.  In 1988 Congress expanded that week to include the whole month of October and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Image is a group of people, including some with disabilities, silhouetted against a blue background.

The Great California ShakeOut is Happening in Culver City this Thursday

Image is a crack in the asphalt.With the recent devastation caused by Hurricanes Michael and Florence, Martin Feinberg, Realtor is reminded that the Culver City Real Estate area is in the middle of earthquake country.  Understanding what to do when an earthquake occurs can greatly increase a person’s ability to survive when it happens.  This is why the Great California ShakeOut was created.

The Great California ShakeOut is held annually on the third Thursday of October, coinciding with the ShakeOut International Day of Action.  The self-led drill will begin this Thursday October 18 at 10:18 and will provide an opportunity for area residents to practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.”

In the event of an earthquake, Culver City first responders advise citizens to:

  • DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees

This position helps keep a person from being knocked down and also allows them to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.

  • COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand

If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, a person should crawl underneath it for shelter. If no shelter is nearby, crawling next to an interior wall (away from windows) is another option.  Either way, it is important that people remain ontheir knees, bending over to protect vital organs.

  • HOLD ON until shaking stops

While under shelter a person should hold on to it with one hand while being ready to move with the shelter if it shifts.  In the absence of a shelter, a person should hold on to their head and neck with both arms and hands.

For those residents that wish to participate in Thursday’s 14thAnnual Community-Wide Disaster Drill, which is a separate event from the Great California ShakeOut, they can:

  • Practice Drop, Cover, Hold On at 7:00 p.m.
  • Activate your family disaster plan and ensure that everyone is “OK.”
  • Place your OK sign in a window or area that is visible from the public right-of-way. If you don’t have an OK sign, feel free to download and print one or make one yourself.

The Culver City Fire Department will practice activating their earthquake disaster plan. This entails simulating that a large scale earthquake has occurred, conducting internal assessments of each fire station and apparatus, relaying internal damage assessment information to the on duty Battalion Chief and then driving through pre-designated disaster evaluation routes.

For more information on the Great California shakeout go online to: https://www.culvercity.org/Home/Components/News/News/2846/722

Image is an ambulance bay in a hospital.

Property Managers can Boost Owner Profits without Increasing Rent

Image is a picture of an arrow going up to signify increased profits.Many property managers and rental property owners believe that increasing rent rates is the only way to improve profits at a property.  Experienced property managers like Martin Feinberg understand though that too frequent rent increases can cause a spike in vacancy rates and quickly eat up any intended profits the rent hike might provide.

Before resorting to rent increases on properties, property managers need to first make sure they are getting the optimal price for the units they manage.  When that has been achieved, property managers can then consider these three profit-boosting ideas.

  1. Upcharge for Amenities

One way that property managers can increase profits is by allowing renters to purchase some amenities a la carte. For popular amenities, it may be possible to actually gather more revenues this way than by bundling the offerings with the rent.

Property managers can also consider an upcharge for some of the following amenities: Nest or other smart home thermostats, on-site storage, covered parking, car wash, dog wash and play area, bike storage, recycling service, and trash valet.

Another option is to charge for group classes at an onsite fitness center, as research suggests that 76 percent of consumers ages 18-29 are likely to participate in gym-type activities such group fitness classes.

  1. Powerful Partnerships

Forming a partnership with local dog walkers, massage therapists, bike repair shops, cleaning services, laundry delivery, and the local gym is another way for property managers to boost profits.

Such partnerships can be a win-win for everyone.  Property manager recommendations can bring customers to the local businesses while their businesses offer value-add (read: revenue-add) services to your property.

  1. Reduce Overhead

If a property manager has been with the same vendors and insurers for years, it’s could be time to get new price quotes and see if more competitive deals are possible.

Image is pink piggy bank against a pink background.Landscaping and maintenance is typically a good opportunity for cost savings. Revisiting a property’s watering system alone can be a good way to save money. Repair broken rain sensors and settings and identifying leaks as well as spouts that are damaged can add up to big savings in the long run.

Also, some older properties were designed before native landscaping became popular. Their grasses, shrubs, and plants may require higher maintenance than necessary. Replacing these design elements can offer savings in maintenance and watering over time.

Los Angeles Real Estate Investors Club Holding Vendors Expo Tonight

Image is a sign advertising the vendor expo.Martin Feinberg, Realtor, reminds interested Culver City real estate investors of today’s special “Vendors Expo” that will take place before the Los Angeles Real Estate Investors Club’s monthly meeting.  The Vendors Expo will be open from 6:30 to 7:30 pm.   The general Real Estate Investor’s Club meeting will begin at 7:30.

The Los Angeles Real Estate Investors Club was founded in 1996 by Phyllis Rockower and is the oldest and largest investor club in California. The Club’s mission is to “provide real estate investment education, networking, and mentoring to real estate investors in Los Angeles County.”

According to the investor’s club online information, “We will have over 30 different vendors with all of the real estate services you will need to become a successful investor, including private lenders, title companies, escrow companies, building suppliers, title insurance reps, home inspectors, hard money lenders, out-of-state investment opportunities, insurance agents, credit repair consultants, staging companies, and much MUCH more! So come early, meet and greet, and expand your “Dream Team” of real estate professionals that are eager to help you succeed.”

Tonight’s Vendor Expo will take place in the Olympic Collection at 11301 West Olympic Blvd in the 3rdfloor ballroom, in Los Angeles.

Local listing agent Martin Feinberg notes that the Vendor’s Expo is free to attended, as are all investment club general meetings.  Free parking is also available across the street from the venue, in the parking structure behind Starbucks.  Underground parking is available in the Olympic Collection for $8 per car.

Those who are interested in attending either the Vendor’s Expo or the Los Angeles Real Estate Investors Club meeting should RSVP at www.LAREIC.com.

For those who are interested in offering real estate services that would be helpful to investor members and would like a vendor table at the next Vendors Expo should contact Lloyd Segal for availability and cost. Lloyd can be reached by calling 310-409-8310 or by email at lloydsegal@msn.com.

For further information, click here. 

Image is a picture of a clock with stacks of coins in front of it, representing time and money investments.

Culver City Fire Department Spreads the word about Fire Prevention Week

Image is of two firefighters holding a hose and standing in front of a fire.Martin Feinberg, Realtor, notes that Fire Prevention Week runs this year from October 7 to October 13.  The Culver City Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association to help get the word out.

According to the safety certification company Underwriters Laboratories, newer homes can burn eight times faster than houses built a generation earlier.  The study found that the synthetic materials so often used for construction now release energy faster than natural materials.  Decades ago it could take a fire almost 30 minutes to consume an entire room from floor to ceiling.  Now, it takes less than four.  In a normal home fire, occupants could have as little as one or two minutes after the smoke alarm sounds to get out safely.

Fire Prevention Week is about helping people learn how to use that minute or two wisely.  It takes planning and practice; there is no winging it and hoping for the best as that’s how fire tragedies occur.

NFPA statistics show that the number of U.S. home fires has been steadily declining over the past few decades. However, the death rate during home fires is going up.  From 1980 to 2016, deaths due to home fires have increased 10%.

“These numbers show that while we’ve made significant progress in teaching people how to prevent fires from happening, there’s still much more work to do in terms of educating the public about how to protect themselves in the event of one,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of outreach and advocacy.

“This is particularly critical given the increased speed at which today’s home fires grow and spread.”

This year’s campaign highlights three simple steps people can take to help quickly and safely escape a fire:

  • Look for places where a fire could start.
  • Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm.
  • Plot two ways out of every room.

Image is a cartoon picture of a boy with the words "Look, listen, learn, be aware fire can happen anywhere" next to him.While NFPA and the Culver City Fire Department are focusing on home fires within the Culver City Real Estate area during Fire Prevention Week, these fire-safety messages apply to virtually anywhere.

Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go. Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, encourages people to always know where the available exits are.  Citizens should always be aware of potential hazards and have a plan of action in case an emergency occurs.

Understanding what Renters Really want from their Property Managers

Image is a sign that says service.Professional property managers such as Martin Feinberg spend a good deal of time looking for ways to boost tenant retention rates. Understanding what renters really want is one way to keep renters happy, and most studies show that what they want is authentic, personalized customer service. Happy tenants who feel respected and valued are more likely to stay in their units long-term and long-term tenants mean more profit for rental property owners and less hassle for property managers.

Studies show that 60% of renters are already planning on relocating with the next 12 months as they are moving in to a new unit.  Paying attention to what a renter wants on the day they are moving in is one way to help increase the length of time the renter will stay.

Here are three things property managers should consider at closing to help increase tenant retention:

Ask Renters About Their Needs And Expectations

If a leasing team is willing to ask tenants what amenities and community characteristics are most important to them—from in-unit laundry equipment to high-end appliances—tenants will answer.  Property managers should ask current residents what they like most about their current living arrangement as well as what improvements would convince them to renew the lease when the time comes.

Provide Communication Options That Complement Renters’ Lifestyles

Property managers should understand which communication options their tenants prefer.  Leasing teams can ask new residents if they prefer paper, email, text, or tenant portal notices and updates as part of the welcome home interview.  This can help convince tenants to stay when the time comes to consider extending a lease.

If a property manager has tenants who were never asked about their preferred communication options, a simple tenant survey can quickly get the job done.  Using a form that is easy to fill out and anonymous will usually generate more returns, and more accurate responses.

Creating a pre-move-in questionnaire, and using a follow-up questionnaire for when the tenant has been living in the unit for a couple of months, can help property managers to identify ways a property is meeting renter expectations.  They can also help managers find ways to improve community experiences.

Once You Know What Renters Want, Act

When property managers understand what their tenants and perspective tenants want, they should be prepared to respond.

Take survey results seriously and track responses. Utilize technology to enhance customer service by using online maintenance requests and streamline efficient communication. This will make it easier for everyone on the team to focus on developing good customer service strategies. And good customer service is very likely to boost retention rates.

Image is a chalkboard with the words service, quality, efficiency, reliability, and customer written in chalk around the picture of a person.

Culver City Fire Marshal Mike Nagy Loses Battle with Pancreatic Cancer

Martin Feinberg, Realtor, was sad to learn that Michael “Mike” Nagy, a longtime fixture in Culver City’s firefighting community, passed away from cancer on Sept. 18. He was 52 and died with Susan Preletz, his wife of 12 years, by his side.

Mike Nagy was a Battalion Chief with the Culver City Fire Department and last served as Fire Marshal in the Culver City Real Estate area.  He was born in Hollywood and graduated from Loyola High School.  He was also a United States Air Force veteran and an alumnus of University of Redlands.

In addition to wife Susan, Mike Nagy is survived by his sister Nina (Nagy) Galanti and her husband, Dan; nieces Catherine and Elizabeth; in-laws Dave and Carol Preletz; brother-in-law Mark Preletz; sister in-law Karen Frank, her husband Steve and daughter Emily; and his beloved dog, Sophie.  His parents preceded him in death.

According to his obituary, family and friends remember Mike “for his sense of humor, a sensitive spirit, and endless generosity. He was a respected leader for the City of Culver City.”

Over the course of his long career, Mike Nagy served in the Air Force as a firefighter, was a dedicated first-responder with the Culver City Fire Department, a firefighter, paramedic, engineer, captain, battalion chief, and eventually fire marshal.

Local listing agent Martin Feinberg knows that Mike will be greatly missed by many family members, fellow firefighters, friends and neighbors.

Mike Nagy’s family said in a written statement, “Life without him is unthinkable, and yet we will continue to honor him with the hope of one day living up to his legacy of light, humor, generosity and love.

A memorial service was held on Friday, Sept. 28, at the American Martyrs Church, 700 15th St., Manhattan Beach.

For those who wish to honor Mike, the Nagy family suggests making a memorial gift to advance pancreatic cancer research at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Donations may be sent to the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation, Attn: Melissa Brody, 8-950 Factor Building Box 951780, Los Angeles 90095-1780. Donors should note that their gift is in memory of Mike Nagy.

Visit http://www.cancer.ucla.edu/MikeNagy for more details.

Kustaa Comes to Culver City and Brings Cheese and Wine Bar with It

Image is two open faced sandwiches on a board with figs from Kustaa.Martin Feinberg, Realtor, is excited to learn that a new spot to score cheese, wine and more has come to the Culver City Real Estate area.  Kustaa, located at 12954 W. Washington Blvd. in Culver City, is a fresh new addition to the city.

Kustaa is part cheese shop, part wine bar and part specialty food market.  It is the product of an international partnership between Tina Bonfils, who is Swedish/Colombian, and Yon Idiart, who is French/Basque.

According to the Kustaa company website, “You can stop by in the morning for a handmade croissant or enjoy an array of our cheese forward sandwiches and daily plates. Our cheese mongers will help you select the perfect cheese to savor, or we can create a custom platter for your next event. You can also pick up gourmet groceries, a bottle of Spanish olive oil or candle for the perfect hostess gift. We have a wide selection of wines available and will assist you in procuring the perfect pairing for your dinner party.”

Kustaa has been popular with patrons so far, with a five-star rating out of four reviews on Yelp.

Sandee W. wrote, “Wowza! I am so happy for this new and cute little business that just opened in Culver City. What a great way to end a day of work, with a nice selection of wine and cheese.”

Mark F. added, “Great large patio — quaint and super chill.   Great tunes, wines, cheeses, charcuterie and desserts! … All without breaking the bank.”

Image is a salad from Kustaa.Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, notes that Kustaa is open all day and provides a wide array of menu options, from fresh pastries in the morning to sandwiches and tapas throughout the day and evening.

Kustaa is open from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. It is closed on Mondays.

Three Customer Service Skills to Improve Tenant Satisfaction

Image is of two nondescript people shaking hands inside a blue circle, meant to convey customer service.Whether a property manager is managing a couple single-family homes or a group of multi-unit properties, property management is a full time job.  Professional property managers are busy. They have to deal with hundreds of issues every week—from unit repairs to knowing state and federal laws—all while protecting the investment of the property owners they work for.  With everything that a property manager must do every day, sometimes tenant satisfaction can be overlooked.  Professional property managers must understand however that they are not doing tenants a favor by renting to them.  Tenants are an important aspect of their business and keeping tenants happy can have a huge impact on the success of their business.

Tenants are not typical business customers, and neither do they qualify for the “customer is always right” idiom of other customer service industries, but tenants do deserve to be treated with respect and their satisfaction does matter.

Professional property managers must build positive relationships with their tenants from the first conversation, through the rental process, and hopefully into long-term tenancy.  In fact, a positive relationship with a tenant should continue long after they have moved on, as tenants often provide recommendations for future tenants after they vacate a property.

Customer Service Skills to Improve Tenant Relations

There are three things that good property managers such as Martin Feinberg will do to help tenant satisfaction.  They are:

  1.  Listen. Active listening is an important skill in customer service.  Property managers must understand their tenants’ comments and concerns before they can provide valuable feedback and solutions.
  2. Communicate. Fast service is valued in every industry today.  Even when property managers cannot provide a solution or answer immediately, they should always acknowledge a tenant’s needs as soon as possible.  Tenants always appreciate being kept in the loop about the status of their concern.
  3. Accommodate. Property managers must provide solutions to their tenants’ needs.  It’s easy to get frustrated about late payments and damage to a property that could have been avoided through preventive maintenance.  Professional property managers will provide tenant access to convenient bill pay options and easy ways to submit work orders to help make everything as simple and easy as possible for everyone involved.

When property managers take a moment to remember that their tenants are as much their customers as their owners are, tenant satisfaction will improve.  A positive tenant relationship leads to long-term tenants and fewer vacancies, which is a win for both the property manager and the property owner who they represent.

Image is a customer satisfaction meter with the arrow pointing at a smiley face.

Mr. Bone’s Pumpkin Patch is Coming to Culver City October 5th

Image is of a pumpkin patch.Halloween is only a few weeks away and Martin Feinberg, Realtor, is looking forward to the festivities. One of the Los Angeles area’s best-loved Halloween traditions is Mr. Bone’s Pumpkin Patch.

Mr. Bone’s Pumpkin Patch was founded in 1987 and is a Culver City Real Estate area favorite.  It is a family-owned and operated business that believes in the importance of mingling farm and city life.  Mr. Bone’s also loves celebrating the magic of Halloween.

According to the Mr. Bone’s website:

“LA’s iconic and beloved pumpkin patch, Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch, will be open for its 31st season from October 5-30, 2018.  The celebrity and family-favorite Mr. Bones patch will be hosted in Culver City for the third consecutive year, and welcomes ghosts and ghouls of all ages to come and trick or treat yo’ self this Halloween season.

“The Culver City patch will feature their famous Pumpkin Village, a boo-tique filled with Halloween favorites, a VIP area, incredible activities for all ages including multiple bounce houses and a petting zoo, food trucks and a robust roster of live entertainment to create magical memories for the whole family #SquadGhouls.”

Besides offering all of the normal tried and true Halloween events, Mr. Bone’s Pumpkin Patch will also have a master carver on site at the end of October.

Nick Petronzio will be available to create personalized jack o’ lantern masterpieces from pumpkins of all sizes—nothing is too big or too small.  Corporate logos are also possible.

Mr. Bone’s Pumpkin Patch will be open Sunday through Thursday from 9 am to 8 pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 9 am to 9 pm.  This year’s patch will be located at 10100 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232.

Local listing agent Martin Feinberg notes that the patch will be closed on Monday October 15.  Check out Mr. Bone’s website for more information.

Image is a Halloween banner.