Root Realty Names New Director of Sales: Kevin Itima

Stepping into his 5th year at Root Realty, Kevin Itima has been promoted to Director of Sales! In his fourth year at Kevin had a break-out year. He generated $6,681,400 in sales. With $178,980 in leasing commissions, 102 completed leases, 844 showings! We sat down with Kevin to see what it was like to have such a busy year.

What is your focus at Root?

Apartment building sales in neighborhoods south of the south loop and north of downtown.

Why did you end up doing some leasing last year?

The opportunity arose in the office, and I felt like it was a great way to learn more about some of the things my buyers’ and sellers’ experience.

What was your most memorable sale this year?

8259 S May in Auburn Gresham. I spoke to the landlord on and off for over three years before he finally gave me the listing!

What are some takeaways from sales activity this year?

Well, there isn’t that much of a difference between the sale of a 500k building and a 2 million dollar building. With all the tools available to buyers to analyze deals, most buyers are pretty savvy regardless of price point.

I also saw firsthand how slight variations in net operating income could significantly impact valuation. For example, with an area with an average 6% cap rate, if the net operating income drops from 80k to 75k, that can drop 83k!

What did you learn from leasing?

With 844 showings, I felt like I had my own personal focus group. Renters are very particular right now. I think it has something to do with the lockdown. Now people are putting much more thought into if they will be comfortable in their rental because they will be spending more time in them than usual.

Any advice for landlords looking to sell?

Outside of using Root to sell their building! Well, landlords who would like to sell should start preparing 3-6 months out. Gather all relevant data (rents, expenses, major renovations), interview realtors, clean out the basement and common areas.

Any advice for landlords renting units?

Don’t be stubborn when it comes to change. If you haven’t updated your units and think they will keep renting at the same rate in the past, that’s not true. It doesn’t always take a heavy rehab small things like making sure there are similar light bulbs with the appropriate type

of lighting for the space. Or making sure it is deep cleaned once the unit is vacant helps out a lot.

All the third-party rental sites suggest listings for prospective tenants. Even the most uninformed renter knows exactly how far their dollar will go and will always pick the unit that gives them the most bang for their buck.