Property Management Case Studies

Helping San Francisco real estate investors maximize their investments

Nothing is more satisfying to us than improving the profits and operating efficiency for our property owners. Below you will find just a few recent examples of projects that we have managed or work that we have done that has resulted in an increase in the bottom line for our property owners.

Reinvesting property mangement savings to improve property and raise rents

Investment Property:Multi-unit investment property located in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Investment Goal:Reinvest savings realized by using Five Star Property Management to improve the property and increase rental income.
Solution:Because Five Star Property Management does not charge the traditional one month’s rent as a tenant placement fee, the owner was able to realize immediate savings by switching property management companies. After discussing investment goals with our team, the owner determined that the best use of that cost savings was reinvestment in his rental property. We helped the owner to choose an upgrade project that would make his rental property more attractive to renters and result in a higher rental price.
Results:The owner’s cost savings on tenant placement fees alone was more than enough to cover the cost repainting and refinishing a bathroom in one of the units. We managed the project to on-time completion and, as a result, the owner was able to quickly rent out the upgraded unit and enjoy an overall increase in his monthly rental income.

Help an owner improve rental income and stability with corporate relocation

Investment Property:Single-family home located in Foster City, California.
Investment Goal:Turn current residence into an income-generating investment property after consolidating living spaces post-marriage.
Solution:We worked with the home owner to re-position her residence as an ideal corporate relocation property, given its proximity to multiple major corporate headquarters. We helped the homeowner clean and prep her residence for consideration as a corporate relocation home, came up with a marketing plan that spoke to the needs of corporate executives, and engaged corporate relocation specialists to make the home available to corporate clients.
Results:We were successful in our efforts to reposition the property as a corporate relocation option, signing a deal 3 months ahead of schedule to use our client’s property as the new local residence for an executive of a well-known Fortune 500 company. By positioning the property for corporate relocation, rather than as a standard rental property, we were able to secure a monthly rental rate $600.00 over current standard market rent for the property — resulting in an extra $7,200.00 in gross rental income per year for our client.

Helping an international investor manage his California income property

Property Owner:Hong Kong based bank executive and part time real estate investor.
Investment Property: 16-unit apartment complex located near San Francisco.
Potential Issues:How to maintain control over your investment when you are 6 time zones and 3,000 miles away?
Solution:Utilize technology: Thanks to our secure Internet-based property management systems, we have ensured that this owner can stay in daily contact with our property management staff on a daily basis in order to deal with any potential issues that may arise. This property owner can now access all financial information related to his property, from rent rolls and bank deposits, to leases and invoices, online. We can also assign special “account executive” roles that allow his CPA, attorney or financial advisor to log in and review or advise on all activities.

Reporting: Thanks to our finance, tax and accounting backgrounds, preparing a detailed annual budget and accurate monthly financial reports such as balance sheets, rent rolls, income statements, and budget variance reports is a walk in the park! Additionally, we provide a comprehensive marketing and occupancy report that can be customized to meet the owner’s needs.

Special services: One of the biggest obstacles our international owners face is that they cannot easily visit their properties. To solve this problem, we are pioneers in providing our owners with an easy-to-watch video report that is shot by our property managers during their annual inspection visits. We then use our secure property management system to transmit this video (and photos) of repairs that might be needed, in order to obtain the necessary authorization from the property owner before making any such repairs. We then follow up with “before” and “after” photos as well as copies paid invoices.

Results:International property owners can rest easy knowing that we are taking care of their investment and keeping them abreast of any issues that may arise.

Help an owner save $20,000+ in utility bills

Investment Property:6-story building located in San Francisco, California..
Potential Issues:Excessive electricity consumption and very high utility bills which were eating into the owners bottom line.
Solution:We worked closely with the tenants and a public utility consultant to review energy consumption and evaluate any potential issues. During the interviews and site inspections, it was determined that a combination of factors (including older, non-energy efficient appliances, and several faulty utility meters), were conspiring to cause the large utility bills that the owner was running into.
Results:Replaced older non-energy efficient appliances with updated units (which also provided the owner with some nice tax rebates as well!), and worked with the utility company involved to recalculated the past years of incorrectly measured electricity consumption. Based on the corrections, more than $20,000 was reimbursed to the building owner! Not only that, but the building continues to realize ongoing savings.

Cleaning house to raise rents!

Investment Property:New client with a property located on the Peninsula.
Potential Issues:This property owner came to us exasperated over the continually high vacancy rates which they were experiencing. As if the high vacancy rates weren’t enough trouble, the owners were receiving significantly below-market rents as compared to similar properties in the neighborhood.
Solution:Have our experienced property managers conduct a detailed onsite inspection and assessment of the property. Our report indicated that one of the main issues was that the building was “unattractive and dirty” and did not offer an inviting presence to current or perspective tenants. By working closely with the owner and some of our trusted vendors, Five Star Property Management was able to improve the building frontage with new, low cost landscaping (including trees, shrubs, and other plantings), and a detailed deep cleaning, followed up by a low cost updating of the exterior and interior lighting of the building.
Results:Immediate improvement in tenant morale and feelings of safety. And within a matter of weeks we were able to lease the vacant units at market rents!

Going green to save some green

Investment Property:6-story residential apartment building in San Francisco.
Potential Issues:Above average waste disposal costs.
Solution:Getting tenants involved and implement a recycling/ composting program to “go green”.
Results:Cost savings of almost $1,000 per month on waste disposal costs! Also improved tenant morale as many tenants were very happy to be living in such a “green” building!