Merit Real Estate is celebrating their 25th year of being in business and have big changes planned in the near future, according to Rodman Amiri, who works with his father Amir Amiri, Merit’s founder. These changes include building property as well as selling it. Today, Amir Amiri lists more properties in the South Bay than any other agent and has the largest inventory of brand new construction projects in the area. He has over 20 agents and most of them have been with him since he began Merit Real Estate in 1989. His son Rodman is excited about being brought into the family business.
“In addition to over two dozen residential units under construction spread out through Hermosa, Redondo, and Manhattan Beach,” says Rodman, “we are also working on our two single largest developments to date; a 13-unit townhouse-style apartment building in the city of Lomita, and a mixed-use project in Hawthorne.”
Rodman became interested in real estate not through watching his father’s business grow, but as a student at USC when he majored in Public Policy, Planning, and Development. “It was this that sparked my interest and enticed me to ask more questions and learn more from my father about his business,” he explains.
Though he found his interest in real estate independently, Rodman is grateful to be able to work with family. “I am lucky to have a great mentor constantly around to help me learn the business and get past new challenges. With every transaction comes a new, unpredictable challenge, and the best way to deal with that is with the guidance of someone with experience. The challenging part is reminding myself that he is a colleague with much more experience than me, and to be learned from. At times, I find myself thinking like a son, that his methods may be outdated, but I find that his experience usually proves me wrong in my doubts.”
Rodman’s specialty is Redondo Beach neighborhoods. He grew up in Redondo Beach and Merit Real Estate has always been based there, seen as a sort of neighborhood expert. “Each area in the South Bay has its own unique identity, but what we all have in common is the lifestyle. We are the best kept secret of LA…we have the LA scenery and weather, without the LA lifestyle. We move at our own pace, and embrace more of the laidback, beach lifestyle, contrary to what most would think of the LA area.”
Right now in Redondo Beach, the real estate business is constantly in flux: “Interest rates are all over the place. They have been going up and down unpredictably over the past couple months and that has led to a recent slowing of the market. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. In 2013, multiple offers on properties became the norm. Impulse buyers came out of the woodwork, as the cost of financing was at record lows. Now, the serious buyers who are still in the game regardless of rate fluctuations will be able to make a move on a property they want, and not have to deal with 10+ competing bidders, as was so common.”