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Interview Features

Real Estate Tips From Japanese-American Investor Masashi Kawakami

Ann Alex
January 10, 2022
About Author

Masashi Kawakami, Certified Commercial Real Estate Member/ Certified Property Manager (CCIM/CPM) who invests in US real estate from Japan, is passionate about the industry and its workings. A former real estate division manager for MASSIVE SAPPORO Inc., Japan, he was recognized as Institute of Real Estate Manager's (IREM) 30 Under 30 in 2018. Currently, in pursuit of setting up a company and creating a website to recruit digital staging photos in Japan, Masashi says the best part of real estate is when a deal is closed and the property owner is satisfied. We had the opportunity to interview him recently and pick his brain on his thoughts about the industry. Read on to get insights and real estate tips from this investor who's adept at American-Japanese real estate.

Real Estate Tips from Investor Masashi Kawakami

Here are the top tips shared by Masashi.

1. For the people who don’t know you, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into real estate.

My father ran a construction and real estate business, which influenced me to enter the real estate industry. I studied urban planning when I was in college, and now I am working in asset management in Japan and the United States. I am also active as an asset manager and real estate investor in Japan and the United States.

2. What drives you in this profession?

I believe that the real estate business is the job of building a good city. This is a very exciting thing, trading big amounts of money and doing the work of putting it on the map. To build a city that will be loved by many of us for a long time, we need good buildings.

3. If you were to go back to the beginning of your real estate career, what would you do differently knowing what you do today?

I think I'll go the same way. I've been studying systematically, joining communities of successful people, and making connections.

4. What do you think are the top 3 skills an agent needs to have?

Community management skills, communication skills, and keeping the passion going. I need these three things.

5. How much does marketing matter in building a real estate practice? What are your go-to marketing tools?

I can not do the real estate business without knowing marketing. I believe that you need to base your real estate business on objective data and local data. In fact, we use many marketing tools. These include those published by private companies, university data, and national data.

6. How do you stay on top-of-mind with your existing and former client base? Any engagement tactics you can share?

My approach is basically the same for both potential and existing customers. I create one community and send out information on a regular basis to encourage interaction. I do both online networking and offline networking. If you want to make real estate transactions on a regular basis, you must always be connected to a large number of potential clients.

7. Who’s your favorite kind of client? Do you instinctively know who is worth spending your time on?

My favorite types of clients are real estate agents and real estate investors. I often deal with people who are professionals.

8. What is the biggest challenge you have faced in this business? How did you overcome it?

The most difficult part is when the investment plan does not go according to my hypothesis.

In such cases, the only thing to do is to analyze why things went wrong without running away, and to patiently negotiate with the problem.

9. What are your thoughts on virtual showings, virtual staging, and other incumbent technologies in real estate?

I feel that virtual showing is an area that needs to be expanded in the future. It is a necessary way to encourage customers’ imagination. Agents need to understand the technology because there are many situations that will require a faster, higher quality response and more competition.

10. How has COVID-19 impacted real estate and the way you do your business?

I have been able to meet people I never met before, thanks to the rapid progress of the business world online. Also, I am able to work more efficiently because I no longer have to spend time traveling.

11. Real estate isn’t a 9-5 job. How do you balance your personal and professional life?

I basically work online now, and spend less and less time to meet with people. This is thanks to the fact that I am now online. Basically, I manage my own schedule with a set amount of time off each week. Even if I take a vacation, I may do some PC work at my vacation place. I understand why I need to do it, so I don't hate it!

12. What advice would you give aspiring/ upcoming agents?

I believe that an agent has to be strong with numbers, with the market. The average transaction price in this area, the number of days in the market, etc. In many cases, we do not need salespeople who only appeal to emotions.

Also, the most important thing an agent needs is trust. I believe that trust is built through daily communication. This includes emails, the content and speed of texts, phone calls, etc.

An ambitious professional, Masashi Kawakami is a promising name in the industry. We hope his real estate tips and insights into Japan real estate help in your journey in the industry.

Click here to read our insightful feature with Michigan real estate agent Anita Beaman and stay tuned for more such interviews. Want to try out Styldod? Click here for a free trial.

Styldod is a design-tech company that aims to simplify real estate marketing and help agents present homes in their most favorable light online by reimagining and automating the listing photography process. Having begun as a virtual staging company, today, Styldod has affordable and best-in-class products and services for every facet of real estate marketing and photography. Styldod’s suite of services include virtual staging, image enhancements, floor plans, virtual renovation, 3D renders, 360 degree virtual tours, and Matterport virtual staging, to name a few. We're trusted by over 10,000 realtors from all over the US and from companies like ReMax, Coldwell Banker, Keller Williams. Know more about us at https://www.styldod.com.

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Ann Alex

Ann is a thriller-loving Economics major who chose to follow her passion for writing and became a Content Writer at Styldod. A big Jeffrey Archer fan, Ann loves books, films, and everything else that gets her creative juices flowing.