At Home with Jennifer Petsu

Home is now more meaningful than ever. Home is a sanctuary, it’s where we find refuge, comfort, and our loved ones. And now it’s also the office, the gym, a school, playground, and more. From Los Angeles to the Bay Area, our agents are adapting their business to serve their clients like never before — from within their own homes. In this series, we take a closer look at a day in the life of our extraordinary Compass agents in the place they know best.


Q+A with Compass agent Jennifer Petsu

Living in Los Angeles is expensive and having more homes available in the community with an ADU as potential income is, in my opinion, key to the success of our city.”

Where’s home for you?

Mar Vista area of Los Angeles, California.

What hats are you wearing at home these days? (Example: real estate agent, parent, teacher, yogi, chef de cuisine, etc.)

Yes all of these!  

Tell us about a recent deal or client service. How did you/your clients overcome obstacles? What was the outcome?

I have spent the past few years working with Brookfield Residential helping to sell their luxury single family homes at The Collection in Playa Vista. I have recently acquired Taylor Morrison as a client, to sell their soon-to-come luxury homes in Playa Vista. Shelter-in-place created some challenges as many of the buyers are from out of town and could not view the homes in person. Making sure video, photography, websites, descriptions, virtual tours, and staging are all done at the highest level possible is key. Once you capture the buyer’s attention through your presentation online you then need to be available to do virtual walk-throughs. A buyer on one of my Brookfield homes purchased it without even setting foot in the home. The added challenge with Encore was that their homes will not be completed until the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021. I have drone video done of the construction site every month so potential buyers can watch the progress and get a better idea of home location, many of which have amazing bluff and park views. Since open houses have not been allowed, I have, over the past 2 months, had my signs put out every weekend promoting the new construction homes available in Playa Vista so that interested parties can call to schedule a private showing. The result of all these efforts has helped Brookfield sell all their homes besides two and three of Taylor Morrison’s Encore homes now are in escrow. 

Shelter-in-place created some challenges as many of the buyers are from out of town and could not view the homes in person… Once you capture the buyer’s attention through your presentation online you then need to be available to do virtual walk-throughs. A buyer on one of my Brookfield homes purchased it without even setting foot in the home.”

What is your favorite feature of your own home?

Its potential. We are just about to start a full remodel and wanted to keep as much of the original structure as possible. I really wanted an open, single level, floor plan with a floating fireplace, high ceilings, exposed beams, and an indoor/outdoor feel. Having a nice-sized lot allows us to add significant square footage and still be able to keep a nice outdoor space. The potential to add an ADU is also one of the most important features of the home. Having the ability to rent out an ADU for added income if necessary is extremely important. Living in Los Angeles is expensive and having more homes available in the community with an ADU as potential income is, in my opinion, key to the success of our city. I plan on documenting my remodel on Instagram so people can follow what it takes to go from A-Z in the process. I am lucky to have an exceptionally talented architect, Jeff Zbikowski principal at JZA Architecture, to help in this process. Coming together and collaborating with the design has been an easy process and his extensive knowledge in ADU law was an extra bonus. 

Give us a tour of your home office? Did you redesign or enhance due to Shelter-in-Place orders?

During SIP my home office was our dining room table. One side of the table was set up with my computer and the other side my 12-year-old son’s computer, his supplies, and schoolbooks. Homeschooling and working can be challenging at times, having an additional structure I can privately work at home will be key after remodel is complete. 

The first few years were difficult, but I tried to align myself with agents that were already successful in the business. The biggest turning point in my career was when the agent I was working with asked me to prepare a tour for a builder that wanted help pricing out their new Playa Vista community… I have now just listed my 17th $2M plus home with Brookfield and now only two homes are left to sell at The Collection.”

How did you find your way to your career in real estate? Why do you stay?

I became pregnant with my son and realized as a single mom I was going to need a career that allowed for a bit of freedom as well as potential for a good income. The first few years were difficult, but I tried to align myself with agents that were already successful in the business. The biggest turning point in my career was when the agent I was working with asked me to prepare a tour for a builder that wanted help pricing out their new Playa Vista community. I spent days putting together a tour from Manhattan Beach to Santa Monica. I basically ran the tour and at the end was given a gift card as a thank you. Other agents asked why I had spent so much time preparing this tour for a gift card. I felt it was a great opportunity for me to study the market and in the end would make me a better agent. My work paid off because a year or so later the builder called me to help with another tour. During my second tour with Brookfield executives and sales team, I was told they were thinking of hiring an agent to list some of their homes. I did not think much of it, but only a few months later I was asked to list one of their homes. I have just listed my 17th $2M plus home with Brookfield and now only two homes are left to sell at The Collection. It was due to my experience and successes with Brookfield Residential that I am now working with Taylor Morrison at Encore as well. I stay in real estate because I like it of course, but also it allows me freedom to spend time with my family and has allowed me to make a good living to support my son and be able to give back as well. 

Contact Jennifer Petsu

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