As Featured

Below are some press and media features including articles highlighting Melissa's Listings and her contributions to industry related stories.


The One Thing That Can Make or Break How People Feel About Your House

[published july 31st, 2019: contributor to article written By Kelsey Ogletree,]

Considering the time and energy homeowners put toward making their house look great (particularly if they're trying to sell), many make the critical mistake of neglecting another one of our senses that can be far more powerful: smell.

Even if you’ve decorated or staged your home perfectly, if potential buyers walk in and detect an unpleasant odor, they could skedaddle fast. Good scents, on the other hand, entice them to linger.

Focus on essentials

[Tip #1]: Melissa Okabe recommends fresh, neutral scents such as lemon or lavender, to add to a high-quality diffuser such as this one from West Elm. (It will be a gadget you use long after you sell your home, too.)

If you don’t want to invest in a diffuser, you can use essential oils in a few other ways.

[Tip #2] Tried-and-true candles can make a room feel peaceful, as well as fill it with a pleasant scent—provided the scent isn't overpowering.

Jacobs loves Apotheke’s bamboo three-wick candle, while Los Angeles–based real estate agent Melissa Okabe always turns to Diptyque’s baies candle, which smells fresh and fruity.

Light the candle 10 to 15 minutes before the open house begins and, of course, keep it in a well-ventilated area away from anything flammable.


Real Estate Pros Reveal 3 Common Landscaping Mistakes


Curb appeal is a big deal in real estate, and great landscapes can help get potential buyers to the front door. But real estate pros say they repeatedly see how landscapes can turn off would-be buyers.

Real estate professionals recently revealed to Apartment Therapy some of the top landscaping mistakes they most often see, including:

1. Planting trees too close to the home.

Homeowners may not realize how big a tree will grow as it matures and plant it too near the property. “Plant them several feet away from your home so their limbs won’t rub against your home,” Melissa Okabe, a real estate professional at Alta Properties in Los Angeles, told Apartment Therapy. “Overhanging limbs can also damage the roof, and spreading roots might damage the foundation.”


7 Landscaping Mistakes Real Estate Agents See All the Time

[Published june 25th, 2019, contributor, online real estate focused magazine]

You may not have a green thumb, but that’s no reason to let your yard become an eyesore. Not only will maintaining your lot keep your neighbors happy, landscaping can actually also help boost your home’s value.

But where do you start? I asked real estate agents nationwide for the gardening gaffes they see most. Here, the seven most common mistakes to avoid.

7. Installing elaborate water fountains, koi ponds, and oversized pools

“Water features in landscaping can be calming and soothing but they can also be high maintenance. Also, in terms of resale value, a buyer may take a look at the landscaping and get turned off by the perceived high cost of maintenance.”

- Melissa Okabe


9 Advantages to Selling with an Agent

[June 24th 2019: Contributor, Best Company, Mortgage Blog]

There’s no dancing around it: tech is disrupting the real estate industry. 

In general, it’s a no-brainer to work with an agent on the buyer’s side where you’re not paying a commission. But if you’re a seller, you have other options, and it can be a difficult choice. 

Using AI and online database, startups like Open Listings, Opendoor, and Homiepresent alternatives to the traditional options of selling your home by paying an agent a set commission or going through the For Sale by Owner (FSBO) process without support. 

So are real estate agents on their way to becoming obsolete? 

Our panel of agents and other real estate professionals say “no way” — that just because you can sell your house without an agent — doesn’t mean you should

Here are 9 advantages to working with a real estate agent:

Buyer vetting

Melissa Okabe, Real Estate Agent, Alta Properties
"Do you know what to look for in an offer? Hint: It's not just about the price offered on your home. Your realtor can discern a qualified offer or buyer from an unqualified one by carefully reviewing all aspects of the Residential Purchase Agreement and Buyer's Financial Package (proof of funds, FICO, pre-approval letter) with you, highlighting any contingencies (ex: contingent on buyer's sale of current property), type of loan and what that means for you as the seller, talking to the buyer's lender for further explanation as needed, and assisting you with disclosures such as the TDS, SPQ, etc. which are expected to be provided to the buyer at time of escrow." …..

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10 Expert Tips on How to Be a Successful Real Estate Agent

[June 21st, 2019 : Contributor, G2 Learning Hub Business-to-Business Blog]

Real estate agents are more than just good salespeople.

They also have to be strong marketers, savvy negotiators, and possess expert knowledge of a market that is constantly changing. In the ultra-competitive real estate industry, it’s going to take a lot for an agent to stand out above the rest.

So, what does it really take to be successful? What should you know if you're just starting out? For this article, we asked ten real estate professionals to weigh on what it takes to see success in the real estate business.

Tips for success as a real estate agent

When you’re just starting out as a real estate agent, the thought of building up an entire career and client base from scratch can seem daunting. For advice, we turned to ten real estate professionals who have already built prosperous careers in the field to share their best tips for success.

Here’s what they had to say:

Create a personal brand online

“My first tip is to create a custom, branded website. When clients Google you, what's the first thing they see? Make sure it’s a professional, sharp website that highlights your story, active listings, testimonials, social media contacts, and more. Your website may be the first impression a potential client gets of you, so you want to make sure it’s a good one. My second tip is to use social media to further build your brand. Social media is a great tool you can use to provide value to your client base. Give them a glimpse of who you are, what you represent, and the local area you specialize in.”

Melissa Okabe, Real Estate Agent at Alta Properties

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Conversations with the Inspiring Melissa Okabe - Feature Interview

[june 24th, 2019: voyage la feature interview]

Let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
One moment I’ve experienced that I hope others can learn from is the following: Early into the first year of my career, I attended a national real estate summit, a 4-day boot camp, and networking event to learn from the best and incorporate new skills and top practices into my business. By the 2nd day, I felt pumped and made a solid list of action items I was ready to incorporate. On day three, there was a moment when audience members spoke out loud about the progress they’ve made through since last year, the number of transactions closed, and GCI earned. It was inspiring to hear these agents’ success, but as many others continued to share their stellar numbers, I began comparing my production and questioning if I was really made for this business- how can I possibly be competitive? Do I have what it takes? (At the time, I was just starting out, and the numbers these agents were talking about felt very out of reach) Thankfully, my support system reminded me that everyone starts somewhere and that even though I may not be at that level right now, it’s not impossible, rather simply, a not yet. Finally, what each of us brings to the table is unique and special, so there’s no comparison of one journey to another person’s results.

For young women beginning their careers: Whether you are getting into real estate or starting your career in another industry, my advice would be….


#GirlBoss: Redefining What a Boss Looks Like

[March 21st, 2019] Voyage LA, interview

We had the honor of connecting with many of the best and brightest female leaders from in and around the city and we asked them our question of the month: What is the best advice you have for someone who feels like they are facing insurmountable odds.

We encourage you to check out the female leaders we’ve highlighted below, follow them on social media if you find their work or story interesting and most importantly do your part to #fightstereotypes.


“As entrepreneurs we will inevitably come across many challenges on our path to achieving our dream. However, I believe mindset is everything & those challenges often get hold of us mostly due to our own doubts/ fears. Here are some of the things I do (inspired by a Tony Robbins conference I attended) when I feel faced with a perceived challenge… “

Carol Roth business unplugged blog

The Best Tips for Getting and Using Testimonials in Business

[july 2019, contributor, online business magazine]

Nothing can boost your business’s credibility quite like testimonials from real customers can. However, actually getting those testimonials can be a real challenge, not to mention knowing how to use them effectively to garner more business. So, we have asked the contributor network of business owners, experts, advisors and entrepreneurs to share what they think are the best tips for getting and using business testimonials. Their answers are presented below in no particular order.

“A Picture is Worth 1000 Words”

My best tip for getting and using testimonials:

Sending a polite, direct email request “Testimonial for website” seems to work best for me. After doing a great job on their real estate transactions, clients normally happily oblige.

Using testimonials:
Re-purpose this great content across your website, social media, email marketing. For those that aren’t camera shy, I try to capture a photo together in front of their new home to go along with the written testimonial.

Thanks to: Melissa Okabe of Alta Properties.


[August 7th, 2018] contributor, APARTMENTTHERAPY.COM

Neighbors:  "Be observant about your potential neighbors in the building and across the street," says Melissa Okabe, a real estate agent at Alta Properties . "Notice the noise levels, how tidy the buildings are being kept, and what the atmosphere is at night to gain insight on the neighborhood."

Rare Luxury Senior Condo for Sale in DTLA: Ownership Opportunity in Coveted, Historic Los Angeles Neighborhood of Little Tokyo

[July 12th, 2018] Benzinga- Press hit

"This property is especially interesting because it is the only Luxury Senior Housing of this type in Little Tokyo. Other properties available for seniors 55+ in the Downtown Los Angeles vicinity either fall into low-income housing or retirement homes. Teramachi Homes is neither of the above, instead offering luxurious accomodations to active adult residents 55+, in convenient proximity to the cultural, culinary, and festive atmosphere of historic Little Tokyo where Japanese-American culture is celebrated." - Melissa Okabe, DRE #02036508, Co-Listing Agent, Alta Properties

Rare Luxury Senior Condo for Sale in DTLA: Ownership Opportunity in Coveted, Historic Los Angeles Neighborhood of Little Tokyo

[july 12th, 2018] PR.COM - press release

Los Angeles, CA, July 12, 2018 --( Alta Properties lists Luxury Senior Condo Unit for Sale in Teramachi Homes, located at 267 S. San Pedro Street #201, Los Angeles CA 90012 - presenting buyers with a rare opportunity to own in the only active adult (55+) luxury condominium complex in historic Little Tokyo, the epicenter of Asian-American culture in Downtown Los Angeles.

The subject property for sale is a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, second floor, corner unit condo with over 1400 sf of living space, handicap accessible bathrooms, walk-in closet, en-suite master bathroom, laundry room, 2 full length balconies.

Located at the cross streets of S. San Pedro St. & 3rd St., amenities for residents of Teramachi Homes (267 S. San Pedro Street, Los Angeles CA 90012) include 24-hour Security, Two-Story Community Lounge/ Recreation Room With Fully Equipped Kitchen, Fitness Center, Central Outdoor Courtyard With Koi Ponds, Indoor-Outdoor Pool & Spa, and Gated Garage Parking With Video Monitoring.