San Francisco Property Management FAQs

Frequently asked questions about choosing and working with a property management company.

Why should I use a professional property management company?

It can be tempting to attempt to manage your own investment properties. After all, who knows better your goals and ambitions for your property than you? But, professional property management has many benefits that you may not yet even realize. Professional property managers are experts in seeking out and creating efficiencies that ultimately save you money while increasing the value of your investment property. Property managers are also licensed professionals who have formal training in the legal and financial intricacies of dealing with tenants, lease agreements, security deposits and financial reporting. Finally, using a property manager means that you don’t need to spend your time collecting rent, finding new tenants or responding to maintenance requests.

What factors should I consider when choosing one property manager over another?

Trust
For most people a rental property is their single largest asset and represents a potential source of college funding for children or a safe and secure income stream in retirement. Why anyone would leave the management of this asset to someone they didn’t implicitly trust is simply beyond our comprehension.

Vision and Values
Again, for most people a rental property represents their single largest asset. As a rental property owner, you should look for someone who shares your vision for your property, be it to keep rents as high as possible, reduce turn over, make capital improvements that will lead to even higher rental income, or even focusing on the acquisition of additional rental properties. Regardless of your goals, you should look for a property manager who shares your vision and values, and will work diligently every month to earn their fee by staying on top of any maintenance, tenant, safety or other issues which may arise, while still holding on to and working to meet your broader vision for your property.

“One Stop” Service
Part of the reason for hiring a professional property management company is to reduce your time and stress. So, don’t settle for a management company that can only do part of the job. You’ll just find yourself running around managing your management company. Many of our property owners live overseas and rely upon us to handle all of their rental/ investment property needs, be it something simple like finding a new gardener, to something more complex like roof replacement or kitchen/ bathroom renovations. Thanks to our experience and expertise, you can rely on Five Star Property Management to handle all of your wants and needs.

Knowledge of and compliance with local, city, state, and federal housing laws.
Far too often we have heard horror stories of rental property owners who were faced with double or triple-digit dollar amount lawsuits because they relied on the advice of a property manager who did not understand (or worse yet, chose to ignore!) the many varied and complex rules and regulations which surround the managing rental property.

Simple things are important. For example, an annual inspection should be performed by your property management company in order to catch little issues before they turn into big issues. Additionally, care should be taken that all tenant security deposits and all client funds are dealt with in a proper and legal manner, such as the paying of interest on tenant security deposits in San Francisco, and ensuring that all client funds are maintained in properly protected and titled trust accounts.

Reliability
Property owners need to know that they can rely on their property management company to always look out for their best interest. Property owners should also know that any requests or questions they may have are promptly and honestly answered. Lastly, property owners should know that their property manager is always available, 24/7, 365 days a year.

How will Five Star decide whether to take on my property management?

After you contact Five Star to request property management services, one of the Five Star Property Management co-founders will personally visit your property to assess the condition of the unit(s), meet any existing tenants and make note of any other items that may affect our decision to accept the management of your property. Ideally, you, as the owner, will accompany us on this site visit so that you are able to immediately point put out any additional information about the property that might present an issue now or in the future. The great part about a personal site visit is that we have the opportunity to point out simple improvements that can dramatically increase the rental price of your property!

How do I switch property management companies?

Once you decide to change from your current property management company to Five Star Property Management, the process is actually very simple. Just call your existing property management company and let them know that you no longer wish to do business with them. At this time you will also need to request that your existing property management company send you all keys to the property, as well as any maintenance reserves or security deposit funds. That’s all there is to it.

For more information about Burlingame Property Management, please visit our educational blog page.