Diamond Certified Company Report

Optimum Realty & Financial Services

Diamond Certified Company Report

Optimum Realty & Financial Services

Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i
Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 95 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Audrey S.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

1 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are very thorough, very attentive to their clients, and they will answer any questions. They are patient and they will make their clients understand what is going on and they ask to make sure the client understands what is going on.

The overall attentiveness, I liked that. When I ask people for help, I expect that they are available at any moment and it didn't bother them for me to worry and they told me they would take care of everything and we would get through it. They include themselves with me and they don't leave me hanging.

Eva W.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

2 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

That I would recommend them to try to see if they like it, I highly recommend them.

I liked that they offered me the things that I needed and they assisted me throughout the entire transaction.

Lakida J.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

3 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I have told a couple of my friends about them. I felt very comfortable and she gave me a lot of options for homes. I had a great experience. I would use Vanessa again.

They are very patient and very resourceful for information.

Read All 95 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

Jane E. Brown, MBA, GRI, Broker

Optimum Realty & Financial Services is a full-service real estate agency that serves residential and commercial clients in San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. In addition to facilitating property sales and purchases, the company works closely with clients to acquire the best mortgage and refinancing loans to fit their budgets. Its bilingual agents are trained to implement industry-best sales and marketing tools such as MLS listings, staging, print and direct advertising, and Web exposure.

Owner Jane Brown says Optimum Realty & Financial Services rates high in customer satisfaction because every client is treated like family—with respect and integrity. “We place a lot of emphasis on making sure each client understands the selling, buying or loan process and then receives frequent communication from the agent so they can be kept abreast of the transaction. Our experienced and knowledgeable agents always keep the client’s best interest at heart by making sure they’re aware of pitfalls, advantages, and opportunities.” 

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COMPANY REPORT NAVIGATION

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON Optimum Realty & Financial Services

COMPANY CONTACT
Service AREA

San Francisco
San Mateo County
Alameda County
Contra Costa County
Sacramento County

SERVICES PERFORMED

Real Estate Sales
Mortgage Loans
Reverse Mortgages

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON Optimum Realty & Financial Services

Company Profile

Optimum Realty & Financial Services is a full-service real estate agency that serves residential and commercial clients in San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. In addition to facilitating property sales and purchases, the company works closely with clients to acquire the best mortgage and refinancing loans to fit their budgets. Its bilingual agents are trained to implement industry-best sales and marketing tools such as MLS listings, staging, print and direct advertising, and Web exposure.

Owner Jane Brown says Optimum Realty & Financial Services rates high in customer satisfaction because every client is treated like family—with respect and integrity. “We place a lot of emphasis on making sure each client understands the selling, buying or loan process and then receives frequent communication from the agent so they can be kept abreast of the transaction. Our experienced and knowledgeable agents always keep the client’s best interest at heart by making sure they’re aware of pitfalls, advantages, and opportunities.” 

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Company Philosophy

"Our goal is to always exceed our customers' expectations. We consider every transaction an opportunity to educate the client on an often-confusing process. We look for ways to make things happen, and no matter how complicated the transaction, we never give up. Our reputation for being perseverant, trustworthy, and patient is the reason people return to us and refer us again and again."

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Comparative Summary

Maintaining customer satisfaction is a crucial aspect of any business, but it’s even more important for real estate brokers that have earned the prestigious Diamond Certified award. For Optimum Realty & Financial Services, the key to achieving and maintaining customer satisfaction is treating every client like family, regardless of the size of their real estate transaction. “We always have our clients’ best interests at heart,” says owner Jane Brown. “We think about what’s best for them and treat them with sincerity and integrity.”

Optimum Realty & Financial Services has been providing a wide range of real estate services for residential clients throughout San Francisco since 1991. In addition to facilitating property sales and purchases, the company offers mortgage and refinancing loans to fit a variety of budgets, and its bilingual agents are trained to implement cutting-edge sales and marketing tools such as MLS listings, home staging, print and direct advertising, and internet exposure. “Our agents live throughout California, so we can service a wider population of sellers and buyers,” adds Ms. Brown.

Unlike real estate brokers that de-emphasize the importance of educating clients about real estate basics, Optimum Realty & Financial Services makes sure its clients understand every step of the property buying and selling process. “We want our clients to have the knowledge to make informed decisions that benefit their specific situations,” says Ms. Brown. “Instead of talking at them, we teach them. It makes for a more rewarding experience.”

Another distinguishing feature of Optimum Realty & Financial Services is its ability to provide a variety of supplementary real estate services, including property sales assistance and financial support. Ms. Brown says this comprehensive approach greatly benefits her clients by allowing them to hire one company to handle all their real estate issues. “We’re a one-stop shop. If a person is interested in buying, we can provide the loan as well as the property. If a person is having problems making their mortgage payment, we provide free loan modification services. If a lender doesn’t approve payment modifications, we can even do short sales so the client doesn’t experience foreclosure.”

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Industry Info

Present your home in move-in condition to attract attention from potential buyers. In a time when many homes are on the market, you need an advantage that will attract buyers to your property and make it stand out. To present your house so it’s appealing to a wide range of buyers (which ultimately leads to a faster sale), consider the following tips:

Fix major problems. You’ll need to disclose all major flaws at the time your property is listed for sale, so it’s best to preemptively fix a cracked foundation or leaky roof to keep the value of your home as high as possible. “Nobody wants to buy a house that leaks when it rains,” says Jane Brown, owner of Optimum Realty & Financial Services in San Francisco. “Install a new roof if you have the money, but don’t put more into the repairs than you can recoup. In a down economy, you want to ensure you’ll make back all the money you put into fixing the house.”

Don’t forget curb appeal. Potential homebuyers may not even bother to look inside a house if it doesn’t look appealing from the outside. To increase curb appeal, step outside and evaluate your house the same way potential buyers will. Walk to the end of your driveway or stand across the street. Pretend you’re looking at your house for the first time. What’s your first impression? What are the home’s best features? What are its least appealing features? Note the most positive features and accentuate them by performing the following upgrades:

• Pressure wash dirty exterior areas, including siding, decks, porches, sidewalks and the driveway.
• Repaint chipped, peeling or faded paint on the house, doors and window frames.
• Mow the lawn, trim back large bushes and trees, edge sidewalks, remove unwanted plants and weeds from landscaped and paved areas, rake up leaves and dead grass, and plant fresh flowers in flowerbeds and window boxes.
• Clean out gutters and wash windows.
• Store unwanted or overwhelming yard ornaments.
• Add inexpensive but impactful items such as low voltage outdoor lighting, decorative light fixtures or lamps, potted plants or new landscaping elements, doorknobs and hardware.

Consider staging. If you’ve moved out of your house while it’s on the market, it can be smart to hire a staging company. These firms will fill your empty home with neutral furniture and décor, which gives potential buyers a better feel for the house’s possibilities. If you’re still living in the home, you can still use staging to your advantage. “Go through your home and do little things that make it more appealing,” advises Ms. Brown. “It can be as simple as repositioning or adding bed pillows to make a room look more comfortable and inviting. A plant or flower arrangement on the table adds a special touch. Even putting out color coordinated towels can draw in buyers.”

Here are some other staging tips to consider:

• Remove personal items such as photographs and family heirlooms. You want potential buyers to see themselves living in the home, and the presence of your personal items can complicate that.
• De-clutter your home as much as possible. Remove excess books and magazines, clear off bulletin boards and refrigerator doors, and remove bottles and jars from kitchen and bathroom shelves.
• Buyers will open cabinets and closets, so remember to organize and clean behind closed doors. Alphabetize spice jars, neatly stack dishes in cupboards, and organize linen cabinets and closets.
• Visually increase floor space and storage room by removing extra furniture items from rooms, taking out half the clothes from closets, and cleaning out pantries and storage areas.
• If you’re planning to take curtain rods, draperies, appliances, light fixtures, yard ornaments or other decorative items when you move, remove them before potential buyers visit to avoid confusion.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does my house need to be in move-in condition before I sell it?

A: For the most part, buyers are looking for homes that are in move-in condition. If you know you’re going to be selling your home, put yourself in a buyer’s shoes. What would make your home look more beautiful? Consider re-painting the interior and exterior with neutral colors. Think about refinishing your floors or remodeling your kitchen. All these things will add value to your home and make it sell quicker.

Q: Can you help me stage my home?

A: Absolutely. We work with a company that stages homes so they get noticed by buyers. Homeowners aren’t always aware of the importance of staging their houses—people have an emotional response to your home when it shows beautifully, so it’s crucial to make the first impact with a potential buyer as positive as possible.

Q: How long will it take to sell my home?

A: The selling process really depends on the property, so it’s difficult to give an accurate estimate. First, we have to decide what type of buyer would be interested in your property. Then we determine the percentage of buyers that would have an interest. We’ll do our best to sell your home as quickly as possible. In today’s market, the median number of days for a single family home to close is 41. That means an equal number of homes have closed after more than 41 days as less than 41 days.

Q: Do I have to move out of my home when I put it on the market?

A: Not necessarily. Staging is easier when you’re not living in the home, but if that’s not feasible, we’ll work with you to make the property as attractive as possible to potential buyers.

Q: Do I have to disclose problems with my home before I sell it?

A: If your home has a serious defect, it’s in your best interest to disclose it—if you don’t, the buyer might come back, acknowledge you knew about the problem and follow through with legal action.

Q: How do I determine the value of the property I’m selling?

A: Whenever we determine the value of a property, the first thing we do is pull a ‘property profile,’ which gives us important information about when the property was built, its square footage, etc. Then we look for comparable sales in the same neighborhood sold within the last six months that are no more than 10 years older or younger than your property, and where the size of the square footage is no more than 25 percent larger or smaller than your property. Finally, we determine the value by taking all the above parameters into account, as well as the condition of the comparable sales compared to your property.

Q: How do I decide where to start looking for a new home?

A: Where do you currently live? Do you like the neighborhood? Can you identify other neighborhoods that you’d like as well? Once we get a feel for your preferences, we’ll look at your financial situation and recommend the best locations.

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SELECTED PHOTOS FROM Optimum Realty & Financial Services

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM Jane Brown

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE

Jane Brown: Both Sides of the Coin

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN FRANCISCO – In real estate, the sales process is typically coordinated between two distinct parties—a realtor and a lender—often within a somewhat turbulent dynamic. When Jane Brown first entered the industry, she saw how stressful this could make the process for clients caught in the middle and knew there had to be a better way. Eventually, she hit upon the idea of bringing the two aspects of realty and finance together under one roof. “When I founded my business, we were a financial company that dealt with residential loans, but it wasn’t long before I added a real estate division,” she explains. “The fact that I was able to handle both sides of the coin for real estate clients was a pretty unique thing at the time.”

Today, as owner of Optimum Realty & Financial Services, Jane says her dual enterprise continues to benefit sellers and buyers alike. “In addition to the convenience of one-stop shopping, handling both aspects allows me to have full control of every transaction. If there’s ever a problem with a loan, I don’t have to hunt down the lender—I know exactly what’s going on and what needs to happen next.”

Jane began her career as a math teacher, but her ultimate goal was always to go into business for herself—an ambition inspired by her father’s example. After obtaining her MBA in Finance, she occupied consecutive positions as an international banking representative and a corporate manager before founding Optimum Realty & Financial Services in 1991. Thirteen years later, Jane says her favorite part of running her business continues to be meeting and working with clients. “You can’t be successful if you don’t develop relationships with people, and that’s definitely something I enjoy. The fact that there are so many different types of people here in San Francisco makes it even more enjoyable.”

Originally born in Staunton, Virginia, Jane lived in Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Indiana before finally settling in San Francisco, where she’s lived for 38 years with her husband, the Reverend Amos Brown. In addition to its recreational variety, Jane says she appreciates the city’s cultural diversity. “I feel that cultural integration and acceptance are the only things that will bring about peace in the world, and San Francisco is one of the few places where you can truly get to know people of many different cultures.”

Outside of work, Jane’s favorite pastimes are traveling and conducting family genealogy research—both of which have actually coincided. “In my research, I’ve been able to trace my heritage back to Africa, and I actually had the opportunity to visit the land of my ancestors,” she explains. In addition, Jane says she has developed an increased interest in health and wellness, having experienced firsthand the benefits of a recent change in diet. “I became a vegan about two years ago, and I’ve since done a lot of research on natural health remedies. So many of our nation’s health issues have to do with the food we eat, so I find it very fascinating to learn about and experience the impact of dietary alternatives.”

When asked the first thing she’d do if she could retire tomorrow, Jane says she’d spend more time researching her genealogy and visiting the land of her heritage. “I’d take my grandchildren to Africa so they could see where their ancestors came from. I’m just waiting for them to get a little bit older so they can truly appreciate the trip.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What were you most known for in high school?
A: Music—I used to study voice and sing.

Q: What’s your favorite fruit?
A: Fuji apples. They’re always sweet, and you can prepare them in so many different ways.

Q: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
A: The first trip I took to Africa. It was truly a gift to have the opportunity to visit and experience the land of my ancestors.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Old coins.

Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: Either Christmas or Thanksgiving because I get to see my family, and we have so much fun when we get together.

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Expert articles
  • Preparing Your Home for Sale with Cosmetic Upgrades

    SAN FRANCISCO — Before listing your home for sale, it’s always a good idea to make cosmetic upgrades that will enhance its appeal. After determining how much you’re willing to invest in this process, go through your home and decide where upgrades are needed most, as well as which upgrades will provide the most value for your budget.

    One common thing to consider is wallpaper. Quite often, home sellers don’t realize that the wallpaper they’ve had for several decades needs to be upgraded to reflect more modern tastes. A second major item to consider is flooring. In some cases, rather than pay for an expensive carpet replacement, a homeowner may opt to remove the carpet altogether and instead refinish the underlying hardwood floors.

    There are also smaller, less expensive ways to spruce up the look of your home for sale, such as upgrading doorknobs or installing new curtains. You should also consider making minor cosmetic upgrades to fixtures and appliances. For example, if the colors of your stove and oven don’t match, have a restoration specialist repaint them to give your kitchen a sleek, uniform look.

    Ultimately, by determining your budget and prioritizing cosmetic upgrades, you’ll be able to get the most out of your home investment.

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Expert video tip
  • Video: Renovations to Help Your Home Sell

    Complete Video Transcription:

    SAN FRANCISCO — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re planning on selling your home, you’ll want to consider some cosmetic changes to help it stand out to potential buyers. Today, we’re in San Francisco with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Jane Brown of Optimum Realty and Financial Services to learn more.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Jane Brown: You know, when I first see a home that a client would like for me to list, one of the first things we do is we go through the home and we try to determine what small changes can be made that would make your home more appealing to a potential buyer. Now, many times, people don’t realize that when you’ve lived with wallpaper for so many years, that that may not be in the taste of the buyer. This particular home actually had wallpaper on the living room, dining room, and the kitchen. And so one of the things we did was to remove the wallpaper.

    A second item has to do with the flooring. I could see that there was hardwood flooring under the carpet which was here. Even if you don’t have a lot of money, there are just little things you can even do in the kitchen to spruce it up. You can change the knobs on the doors, which we didn’t have to do in this kitchen because there weren’t knobs. But one of the things that we did do, the stove in this kitchen didn’t look too well. I understand it functioned well, but it didn’t look too well. And so basically, we just took the front of the stove apart and took it to a specialist who did some new powder-coating. And in doing so, we were able to match it with the oven that was there.

    And so there are little things you can do. Flooring, many times will not be so costly, and this particular instance, we decided not to do the flooring because it was outside of the budget. But you start with what needs to be done. You then determine from the client how much money they are willing to spend and then you decide what you can do.

    Host, Sarah Rutan: To learn more from local top-rated companies, visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at experts.diamondcertified.org.

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Optimum Realty & Financial Services WEBSITE AND EXTERNAL FEED
  • Optimum Realty & Financial Services SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS
Diamond Certified RATINGS ON Optimum Realty & Financial Services
Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i

Each surveyed customer was asked, “If you needed any helpful expertise, did this company provide that expertise?” To calculate this score, total “Yes” responses were divided by total responses (excluding those that stated they hadn’t needed any expertise).

Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 95 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i
Optimum Realty & Financial Services : Average 9.1 out of 10 based on 95 unique customer surveys of customer satisfaction.

Audrey S.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

1 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are very thorough, very attentive to their clients, and they will answer any questions. They are patient and they will make their clients understand what is going on and they ask to make sure the client understands what is going on.

The overall attentiveness, I liked that. When I ask people for help, I expect that they are available at any moment and it didn't bother them for me to worry and they told me they would take care of everything and we would get through it. They include themselves with me and they don't leave me hanging.

Lakida J.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

2 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I have told a couple of my friends about them. I felt very comfortable and she gave me a lot of options for homes. I had a great experience. I would use Vanessa again.

They are very patient and very resourceful for information.

Travis W.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

3 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were really good and easy to work with.

They were really easy to work with and they made the process really easy.

Eva W.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

4 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

That I would recommend them to try to see if they like it, I highly recommend them.

I liked that they offered me the things that I needed and they assisted me throughout the entire transaction.

Sharian S.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

5 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would tell them I would feel confident and assured that they were in good hands.

I felt comfortable talking about my finances. I felt that they were working for me.

Billie W.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

6 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I have been referred.

She is thorough.

Annie D.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

7 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would tell them they are very good and dependable.

It would have to be their honesty.

David W.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

8 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Excellent brief

Very good customer care

Dwight J.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

9 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are very professional.

I like the fact that she had all the answers to my questions when we sold our house.

Glendora S.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

10 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Make sure to use them.

They were very patient with me.

Hubeline J.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

11 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would tell anyone not to worry about it and Jane makes you feel comfortable. There wasn't anything I was left in the dark about and it was as if a 5-year old could understand it.

The personalized service, I could call anytime and there were no specific hours. Jane got the best money possible and gave the house a certain charm.

M. B. C.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

12 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Their commitment to the client they represent

The personal relationship between the agent and myself, they had good communication and she stayed in touch. She worked very hard and diligently.

Deena W.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

13 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They exceeded my expectations.

Availability

Eileen C.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

14 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are very honest and have high integrity. They are very professional.

Whatever they stated they would do, they did. They were very knowledgeable about the real estate market.

Mary J.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

15 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Reliable, punctual, very satisfactory work, and very professional

Jane was very cordial and she went out of her way to do things that she didn't necessarily have to do to get the job done. She went above and beyond my expectations.

Woldu K.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

16 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Jane abides by the law and follows the rules.

Jane is the best at what she does. She is very knowledgeable and very smart.

Dorothy W.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

17 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Use Ms. Brown.

It was good for me. She is like a member of my family.

Charles P.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

18 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Jane is so meticulous. She takes the time and she is persistent in finalizing the matter. I have used her services several times in the past. She is the first one I would call.

Gebre G.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

19 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

She's more than wonderful. She's everything that's good. She's like a mother.

Jose R.

VERIFIED Optimum Realty & Financial Services CUSTOMER

20 of 95

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I like her professionalism. I have been doing business with them for years.

Read All 95 Survey Responses at Ratings View