Most of us have just put away all our Thanksgiving leftovers, which means we are coming into San Francisco’s slow rental season. Today on the Gordon Property Management blog, we want to talk about pricing your apartment, your single-family home, or your condo in the next three months. From December through February and even into March of 2019, you need to be conscious of the market and the competition.

Rental Market Slowdowns in San Francisco and Nationwide

San Francisco is a great market, and we can always rent properties over the holidays and during the winter, but it’s usually a little slower. Now, we’re seeing that in San Francisco and nationally, the rental market is slowing down in general. At the last NARPM (National Association of Residential Property Managers) convention in San Diego this past October, there were property managers from all across the country talking about the slowdown in the rental market. Prices are coming down.

Property managers who also handle real estate sales reported that the sales market is slowing as well. Home builders nationwide are having to offer trips to Hawaii and other incentives to get consumers to buy homes. The rental market and the sales market aren’t always in sync, but a slowdown in one market certainly affects the other.

Rental Market Economics: Not Necessarily a Long-Term Slowdown

One of the most interesting workshops at the NARPM conference was put on by an economist from Zillow, who talked about the clear slowdown in the rental market. She said it isn’t necessarily long-term. Her graphs included data on San Francisco, and it clearly showed that 2015 was the peak of the rental market. That’s consistent with what we’ve experienced at Gordon Property Management. In 2015, there was a lack of supply, and lots of people were moving into San Francisco and looking for housing. Things changed in 2016, and we’ve had some ups and downs since then, but the overall trajectory has been a slow drop in rental prices.

Pricing Rental Properties Lower to Rent Them Quickly

Some estimates have said there’s been a 10 percent price drop in rents in the San Francisco area, which can vary by location and property type, but the drop has been significant. Recently, I spoke to some property management colleagues in Santa Rosa. There were horrible fires there a year ago and not enough housing was available, but now rental prices in the area are going down.

What does this mean for you? It means that if you have a vacancy in San Francisco over the next few months, you have to be price conscious. You won’t be able to ask what you were asking a year ago, and you definitely won’t earn what you earned two or three years ago.

Correctly Pricing your San Francisco Rental Property

At Gordon Property Management, we use a RentFax report to determine where to price a rental property. It’s very accurate and provides a range of where to properly price a property. It takes into consideration your square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms your property has, and its location. Where a property falls within the RentFax range is determined by its layout, and its amenities. Those homes with a more desirable layout in a great neighborhood will be priced at the higher end of the range than tired properties in the same neighborhood with a less desirable layout.

We believe in the data we get from RentFax. It has been consistently accurate, and we know that pricing a property too high in this market won’t get us anywhere. Whether you’re listing a property for rent with us or on your own, make sure you have reliable information on where your price should land. Check out Zillow or Craigslist and look at what comparable properties are renting for. Remember to look at the number of days on market. If you see a home that’s renting for $5,000, but it’s been on the market for 90 days, that’s not a comparable because no one wants it at that price. Be realistic and look at how your property compares to others.

Consider Property Upgrades in a Slow Market

Now is the time to upgrade because it will put you ahead of other properties. If your property is tired, if your paint or your floors or your appliances are old, or even just a bit tired, your property will remain vacant for longer and/or your rental price will be lower. It’s especially important to improve rent-controlled properties. You will could end up with your next tenant for a long time, and you don’t want a tenant who doesn’t care what the paint looks like. You don’t want a tenant who doesn’t care how the appliances work. That’s not a tenant who will take care of your property.

Many of our San Francisco tenants look for high-end properties. They make a lot of money, and they have high expectations. They won’t move into an apartment that doesn’t look great. All of the recent construction and additional inventory has brought prices down in San Francisco. Those new condos downtown are sleek, modern and have a lot of what today’s tenants want.

In the next three or four months, be careful how you price your property. I can’t tell you what the spring will look like, but right now, we’re facing a rather soft rental market.

If you need help with your San Francisco rental, please contact us at Gordon Property Management. We offer a free RentFax report, and we’d love to talk to you.

 

John recently joined Gordon Property Management’s maintenance team. He works with Alen in repairing and maintaining residential real estate for GPM’s clients.

Messages for John can be left with Nanette at (415) 554-8812 x 202 or by Email: maintenance@gpmsf.com

 

Nicole is our Receptionist & Assistant Property Manager who joined the team in January 2017. She communicates often with our tenants and provides support and assistance to them as well as to the other members of our office. Nicole is also in charge of the annual property surveys for our company making her very familiar with most GPM properties as well. This familiarity proves very useful when assisting Jasmine as part of the maintenance team.
Main Line: 415 554-8812 x210
Email: nicole@gpmsf.com

 

Jasmine Miller is the Maintenance Coordinator at Gordon Property Management. Jasmine has been with the company since 2015. She oversees all maintenance request for the properties we manage. Jasmine has completed the San Francisco Apartment Associations CCRM series.

Main line: 415 554-8812 x205
Direct Line: 415 625-0993
Email: jasmine@gpmsf.com

 

Alen is a talented Maintenance Technician with years of knowledge and experience repairing and maintaining residential real estate. Alen has been with Gordon Property Management since 2004.

Messages for Alen can be left with Nanette at (415) 554-8812 x 202 or by Email: maintenance@gpmsf.com

 

Ryan is our Bookkeeper. He handles all of the billing and rents received from tenants and assists with maintenance. Ryan has been with Gordon Property Management since 2012. Ryan has completed the San Francisco Apartment Association CCRM series.
Main Line: (415) 554-8812
Direct Line: (415) 728-0141
Email: ryan@gpmsf.com

 

Nanette BarrNanette is our Property Manager & Leasing Agent at Gordon Property Management. Nanette is a licensed California Real Estate Salesperson and has completed the San Francisco Apartment Associations CCRM series. Nanette has been with Gordon Property Management since 2005.
Main Line: (415) 554-8812 x 202
Direct Line: (415) 625-0992
Email: nanette@gpmsf.com
CA DRE License #01929355

 

Meghan joined Gordon Property Management in 2004 after working in the insurance industry for many years. Meghan is a licensed California Real Estate Broker and has completed the San Francisco Apartment Associations CCRM series. Call Meghan to discuss having your property professionally managed by Gordon Property Management.
Main Line: (415) 554-8812 x 204
Direct Line: (415) 625-0990
Email: meghan@gpmsf.com
CA DRE License #01780930

Stephanie Gordon
Stephanie Gordon is an active member of the Professional Property Management Association of San Francisco (PPMA), the San Francisco Apartment Association (SFAA), the California Apartment Association (CAA) and the National Association of Real Property Managers (NARPM). Stephanie was named the 2010 Property Manager of the Year by the San Francisco Apartment Association. This award was quite an honor and a fitting testimonial to her dedication and professionalism as a property manager. Stephanie received her Master’s Degree in Real Estate from Golden Gate University in 1986. Stephanie is a native San Franciscan and loves all things real estate related.

Main Line: (415) 554-8812 x 201
Direct Line: (415) 625-0989
Email: stephanie@gpmsf.com
CA DRE License #00874781

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RENT DUE: All rents are due on the first day of the month. Some of our leases have a grace period. Any rent not received by 5:00 PM on the last day of the grace period is considered late and will incur a late fee. Rents can be paid online, mailed to us, or dropped off at our office. There is a secure mail slot to the far right of our front door where rents can be dropped off 24/7.

LATE RENT: Any rent not received by 5:00 PM on the last day of the grace period (if any) is late and a late fee of 5% will be charged. Personal checks are not accepted after the 5th of the month. If your rent is late it must be paid with a cashier’s check or money order (payable to Gordon Property Management) and must include the late fee.

BOUNCED CHECKS: If your check is returned by the bank for non-sufficient funds, or for any reason, you will be charged a returned check fee of $40.00 PLUS the late fee of 5%. Replacement checks must be paid with a cashier’s check or money order and must include the NSF fee and the late fee. Personal checks will not be accepted by any tenant who has had two checks returned by the bank.

AUTOMATIC PAYMENTS: If you choose, you can arrange for an automatic payment with your bank. You can also make online rent payments via our Online Tenant Portal. Click here to PAY RENT ONLINE NOW.

MOVING OUT: You must give 30 days written notice of your intent to move out. Once we receive your notice we will send you a move out packet with information regarding the pre-move out inspection and cleaning instructions.

MAINTENANCE REQUESTS: All requests for maintenance and repairs must be made through the TENANT PORTAL. You must give us permission to use our keys for entry or you must be home to let the repair person in.

After business hours (evenings and weekends), we can only accommodate emergency repairs. These are generally limited to plumbing emergencies, and you will have to be home to meet the repair person. For after-hour emergencies please call the office (415 554-8812) and our answering service will be able to assist you.

PLUMBING: Gordon Property Management will cover the cost of most plumbing repairs. However, you should be aware that we do not cover the costs of repairs that are due to a tenants’ negligence or lack of care.

GARBAGE DISPOSALS: Gordon Property Management will not pay to clear jammed or frozen garbage disposals. This is the most common type of maintenance request and is almost always caused by misuse or overuse of the garbage disposal. They are delicate machines and are not intended to grind up many kinds of foods or a large volume of food. Use the garbage disposal at your own risk!

LOCKOUTS: If you lock yourself out of your apartment you will have to call a locksmith at your own expense.

EMERGENCY MAINTENANCE REQUESTS: For emergency repairs you may call the office at (415) 554-8812 and then follow up by completing the form or logging into the portal.

After hour emergencies please call our answering service at (415) 554-8812.

 

Completed Rental Application – EACH applicant over 18 years of age who will be residing in the unit must complete in its entirety and sign Gordon Property Management’s Application. You can complete an application online through our listings.

Provide Credit Check and Processing Fee – EACH applicant over 18 years of age who will be residing in the unit must provide a $35.00 non-refundable credit check and processing fee. Payment methods for this fee may be online, cash, check or money order made payable to Gordon Property Management. Credit check and processing fees are non-refundable. The amount charged covers the actual cost of the credit report, unlawful detainer (eviction) search, and/or other screening reports and the administrative costs to obtain, process and verify screening information.

Provide Income Documentation – Applicants can upload income verification or provide them to Gordon Property Management via fax, email or in person.

Income documentation includes copies of your most recent paystubs, offer letters or tax returns. We will not begin working on your application until we receive all of these items.

Qualifying For An Apartment

INCOME:
In order to rent an apartment or home from Gordon Property Management, applicants must be able to show that their monthly income is equal to or greater than 3 1/2 times the monthly rent. We consider all verifiable income of all applicants in the household. Self-employed persons may need to submit tax returns and/or bank statements. Students who are receiving parental support will need to have their parents qualify and sign a rent guarantee.

CREDIT REPORTS:
The credit report is one of several factors we use in evaluating a tenant. Although a high credit rating is preferable, we recognize that many potentially great tenants have had credit problems in the past. If your credit history is less than ideal, please tell us why.

REFERENCES:
We will contact your current and your former landlords for references. The rental reference is an extremely important factor in evaluating prospective tenants, so make sure your application includes accurate phone numbers for your current and former landlords.

PETS:
Some of our properties are willing to consider pets and some will not. If we are able to consider pets our ads will clearly state that pets are negotiable. Cats must be spayed or neutered, and in some cases, they must be indoor cats. Dogs must be at least two years old and we must be able to either meet the dog or get references for the dog. Read our pet agreement carefully and make sure you are willing to comply with the terms of the pet agreement.

SELECTION PROCESS:
Selecting a tenant from several qualified applicants is not easy. We use all of the above factors in combination to choose a tenant. We will offer the unit to the first qualified applicant to submit a complete application, with the following exceptions:

1) Applicants who offer over the asking price will be given priority consideration and applicants who offer less than the asking price will be considered after those offering full price or more.
2)An applicant without a pet may, in some cases, be offered a unit before an applicant with one.

Applications shall not be considered received until they are complete.

SIGNING A LEASE:
If you are selected for an apartment, you will have 48 hours from the time we offer you the apartment to sign the lease and pay the full security deposit. All leases are 12-month leases. The first month’s rent will be due at the start of the lease and before you are given keys to the apartment. Both the security deposit and the first months’ rent must be paid through our online application or paid with a cashier’s check or money order (payable to Gordon Property Management). All applicants will be required to obtain a renter’s insurance policy prior to occupancy. Smoking of tobacco products is prohibited on the entire property pursuant to Article 19F of the SF Health code. However, some prior rental agreements in building are not subject to this regulation.

EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY:
We do Business in Accordance with the Fair Housing Act. (The Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988).

IT SHALL BE ILLEGAL TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST ANY PERSON BECAUSE OF RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, SEX, (PHYSICAL OR MENTAL) DISABILITY, FAMILIAL STATUS (HAVING ONE OR MORE CHILDREN), OR NATIONAL ORIGIN

In the sale or rental of housing or residential lots
In advertising the sale or rental of housing
In the financing of housing
In the appraisal of housing
In the provision of real estate brokerage services
Blockbusting is illegal
Anyone who feels he or she has been discriminated against should send a complaint to:

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Assistant Secretary of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity

Washington, D.C. 20410

 

Jordan Rugg joined the GPM team in 2018 as Leasing Agent and all-around assistant.  After 5 years as a school teacher, Jordan decided it was time to join the family business (Jordan is the son of Founder Stephanie Gordon). 

Direct Line: (415) 742-8027
Email: jordan@gpmsf.com

 

Tierney enjoys working part time for GPM.  She works remotely helping us with administrative tasks and showing our rental listings on the weekends. 

Email: tierney@gpmsf.com