Thinking of Renting Real Estate?

Here are my quick 5 steps for renting a residential property

Residential rental market has definitely gotten a lot more competitive in the past year for many reasons:

Due to the scarcity of new homes on the market, increased price of homes (affecting rental price to also go up),  delay of new constructions due to supply chain delays, …etc.  

Existing tenants are being forced to accept higher rent, and new tenants are having a hard time finding new rental unit – and even when they find one, they are struggling to to get their applications accepted due to high competition.  

Residential rental price has gone up approximately 18% between 2021 and 2022 in Chicagoland, and the unforeseen economy and housing market is making potential new home sellers & buyers hesitant to make the move, which is not making the market in any better situation. 

I help my clients with not only finding rental properties, but also through the negotiation process to get his/her application accepted with my tips & advices in this competitive market. 

My Services For Renters

#1: Consultation

Understand client’s current state of living, timeline, budget and wish-list of the property. Review the basic requirements when applying for rental property and provide market insight.

#2: Search property

I will sign you up to start receiving the list of rental properties in the area based on your criteria, along with my suggested properties to for you to review and choose from.

#3 Go see properties

This is the fun part!  We will go look at properties together in the area that you have chosen. We may narrow down / update the criteria as we progress.

#4: Submit application

Once we decide on the property, we will submit the application along with credit/background check, employment verification documents and ID, (etc., whatever landlord requires as it differs by each landlords).  If there is competition, we may need to get creative – which I am here to help you with! 

#5: Sign the lease

Once your application is accepted, then all you need to do is get the keys and move in on the start date of lease. 

Have Questions About Renting?

Check out our FAQs for renting real estate in Chicago northwest suburbs.

Rental market has definitely gotten more competitive in the past year, making it harder for applicants to get his/her application accepted, as landlords are often receiving multiple applications at the same time.  What is most important to consider is that each landlord has different terms & conditions on the rental contract.  For example some landlords prefers short term (1 year, or month-to-month) lease, while others may prefer longer terms (like 2 years or 3 years).  These things should be checked by your real estate broker/agent, who should be able to give you some advices.  Another hurdle is that some landlords sets a minimum credit score required for the applicants, that could be as high as 800.  If in case your credit score is not satisfactory to the landlord’s minimum,  you may offer additional security deposit, or provide cash reserve statement to assure your financial credibility.  Again, each landlord is different so you just have to be creative and strategic – which I can help you with!

It really depends – and I am happy to run some numbers for you to determine what your mortgage payment will be, vs. your rent price. 

But what you have to know is that you are paying 100% of your rent to your landlord (= someone else), while you are able to build equity when you own a house.   Even though the mortgage interest rates seems high, you are still building equity on your home to increase your asset, while you are helping someone else build their asset by paying 100% rent.  

Pre-approval is a process which you will submit of your financial information and required information to a lender, who will provide you an estimate of affordable price of a home for you.   

This process supports you to get an indicator of your affordable price range of a home/mortgage, and make your home search process much efficient.  (You don’t want to waste your time looking at homes that you cannot afford)

It usually takes about 24 hours to obtain your pre-approval.  I do have list of recommended lenders that I provide to my clients, so that he/she can interview and choose.  

Real Estate broker, or real estate agent is a licensed professional who represents sellers or buyers in real estate transaction.  We are obligated to work under the 5 fiduciary duties –  Loyalty, Confidentiality, Disclosure, Obedience, Reasonable care and Accounting – to support our clients thru the real estate contract negotiation.  It is very important that you chose an agent/broker who is working in your best interest, and not theirs.  With that said, it is recommended that you interview your agent/broker prior to signing a contract. 

Real Estate commission fee is usually paid by seller’s side based on sale price of a home.  For rental transactions, it is most likely that the commission will be negotiated with the landlord side, so renter will not need to pay for it. 

Ready to Search for your New Home?

or, reach out for any questions

What My Rental Clients Have to Say


Thanks so much Lisa! You helped us find the perfect place in a very timely and professional manner and it was such a pleasure working with you!! Very responsive and always helpful, kind, and diligent with all our needs. Beyond impressed and satisfied!
by Dan C.
Lisa was extremely helpful helping me find a new home in a very tough market, keeping me updated on new listings and making herself available to tour properties around my schedule. She was always on top of all of the paperwork and communication which really helped the process along so I could focus on moving!
by Jeremy A.
All thanks to Lisa, she helped me found a very cozy place. If it wasn’t for her I would not have found a place of my own this quickly. She helped me by giving a great presentation with her colleague to get to know my expectations and standards. Not only that, she got me to believe and trust her through the whole process from start to end. Lisa was very responsive and quick with her actions. While we were communicating it did not felt like there was a barrier and was very comfortable. She really got to know what I wanted and put her foot through the door. With Lisa’s  enthusiastic energy, I can see the passion she has with her work and helping people find a place they call home. To anyone who is trying to find a place or a new home, Lisa Ogawa is the one to go.
by Ethan Chen
We met Lisa and it was a Blessing, she heard our inquiries about the home buying process, since it was our first time. She is a committed Real Estate Agent, her expertise, guidance and wisdom were throughout the entire process. We met Lisa with her team who is an open book and made feel at home as well, we felt their company along the way. We are very satisfied with her efforts and results! If you need a broker or an agent to find a home and feel guided within the entire process, don't look elsewhere. We would love to work with them again in the near future. Thank you Lisa.
Lisa is one of the best around ! She is very efficient , her work ethics standards are very high. Her referral are exceptional. My husband and I never felt more comfortable. Lisa never kept us out of the loop and made sure we get answers on a timely basis. She is definitely one of a kind . And we closed within 6 weeks!
by Tamara Longsworth
We worked with Lisa this summer to find our next rental and had an incredible experience. We have high standards and were having a difficult time finding quality rentals and Lisa pulled so many really excellent listings and spent so much time at showings with us the find the absolute perfect place. I could not have asked for a more professional and invested agent to work with!
by Hannah Zizza Stanfield

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