Picking an exceptional property management company in San Francisco can prove to be advantageous for a property owner, if they choose the right one. Owning property in San Francisco is a huge investment and choosing the right property management company should be your first priority.
San Francisco currently has over a 100 property management firms and each company can differ in what types of properties they manage. Some rental management companies deal exclusively with commercial property while others work with small and mid-sized residential multi-family properties.
At Gordon Property Management, founder and President Stephanie Gordon has over 25 years of experience and says there are a lot of great property managers in San Francisco. The rent laws in San Francisco are constantly changing so you want to pick a property manager that is plugged into the landlord community and is on top of the rules and regulations affecting property owners in San Francisco.
It is always helpful to get a referral from someone you trust, such as the real estate broker who sold you the property. Some real estate brokerages handle both sales and property management, but many times their property management division is the poor step child of the sales division. At Gordon Property Management in San Francisco, full service property management is the only service they offer – they can focus 100% on the needs of property owners.
Try to get a feel for the company’s reputation through their clients and even what other businesses might have to say about them. Although there are sites like Yelp that have multiple reviews of property management companies that are easily accessible, pay attention to who is writing the review. Is a disgruntled tenant complaining that they didn’t get all of their security deposit back? The deductions may be totally justifiable and the management company is acting appropriately on behalf of the landlord.
When searching for a property management company in San Francisco make sure you check their websites thoroughly and pay attention to how they advertise their vacant rentals. Marketing is important, so if they are not advertising with pictures or are not technology friendly find another company – there is no excuse for that in this day and age.
An up to date property management firm should allow tenants to pay their rent online, prospective tenants should be able to apply online, monthly owner reports should be available electronically and property owners should be able to have their distribution checks deposited automatically into their bank account through an ACH direct-deposit (if they so choose).
Most property management companies charge monthly fees based on the percentage of the rent they collect. San Francisco’s Gordon Property Management charges 6% of the rent collected, however they have a minimum monthly fee of $200 per month. In addition, most management companies charge a leasing fee whenever a unit is vacant and they have to fill the vacancy. Many companies have additional fees for additional services so it is wise to find out what is, and what is not, covered by the monthly management fee.
Size of the company is another important aspect to consider when choosing a property manager. Gordon Property Management is a mid-sized company with a large enough staff to handle the ups and downs of the management cycle yet small enough to offer personal attention to small property owners. Some property owners will prefer to go with a smaller management company where they feel they might get more personal attention. Others may prefer the larger companies- just be careful your property won’t get lost in the shuffle.
Stephanie Gordon highly recommends that you look for management companies who are affiliated with organizations such as the San Francisco Apartment Association and the Professional Property Managers Association of San
Francisco. Both of these organizations help educate property managers and landlords on best practices and how to deal with the rent control ordinance in San Francisco.
When a property manager takes the time to be involved with these trade associations it shows that they are dedicated to their practice and know how to protect landlords under the San Francisco rent control ordinance. Always ask your potential property manager if they’re involved with these two associations.