Stairway to Seven
7 Fundamental Principles Guiding Rancho Plaza Realty
Across the U.S. there are literally thousands of property management companies, ranging from national operators to small tech savvy startups. Trying to select the right property management company can be difficult given the myriad options. To help investors select the right property management company, here are seven core principles that exist at Rancho Plaza Realty (and should exist with any company worth considering):
- Geographical Expertise
- Property Management Expertise
- People Skills
- Technology Forward
- Being Firm
Property managers do many things, but more than anything, they are required to communicate. Whether communicating with tenants, owners (landlords), general contractors, maintenance personnel, utility companies, or city offices, property managers are essentially in the communication business. Effective communication (listening and speaking) can be the difference between a good investment and a bad one. Most property managers must multitask constantly while adhering to regulatory requirements, and other critical timelines. If you can’t communicate, these necessary tasks will fester and become larger until finally there’s a major problem. The result: an unhappy tenant or investment gone bad for an owner. Rancho Plaza Realty strives daily to communicate properly and effectively: we answer the phone; we return calls and emails promptly; we keep all our clients and vendors up to date; and we have systems in place to ensure all of this happens timely.
A property manager could have the best software, process and education, but if they know very little about the geography of their rental property, it will be a struggle to effectively manage that rental. Imagine working in Los Angeles but having a rental property to manage in San Francisco. For the most part, you can coordinate much of the management with a computer, but ultimately, the tenant, owner or vendor may need your local expertise to help keep the owner’s investment on track. What’s more, annual inspections and maintenance of a rental property are key to a successful long-term investment and happy tenants, which is difficult if you aren’t local. If you are unfamiliar with an area or simply not connected in that local community, managing a property will eventually become a headache for everyone involved. Rancho Plaza Realty prides itself of being experts of Riverside County, with more than 75 years of combined living and working experience, and a large database of local vendors. We are used to distant landlords as most of our investor clients do not reside within 90 miles of the rental property we manage for that investor, and they appreciate our local expertise in helping them keep their property rented and stress free.
Property Management Expertise
Like most industries, the disciplines of real estate and property management change constantly. Whether the market shifts from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market, or new real estate laws are put into place, a professional property manager stays educated, informed and experienced. Rancho Plaza Realty does just that in a couple of ways. One, we engage the law firm Tyler & Bursch (prestigious Southern California law firm) to help us with staff “lunch and learns” and regular regulatory meetings ensuring we are up to date on real estate, property management, tenant rights, compliance, rent control and landlord requirement laws. Two, our property managers are trusted by the local Realtor association (SCRAR) as we help this organization with property management topics such as: educating new property management companies with best practices and helpful tips, compliance topics, and best practices when handling issues with tenants, landlords and property managers. Our knowledge and expertise are not only valued by our client’s, but it’s also valued to other professional organizations in need of deep property management experience and wisdom.
With rental activity, maintenance issues, vacancies, tenant showings, and rent collection, there are many tasks asked of a property management company. It’s important to make sure that a property management company is sufficiently staffed and organized making it easier to manage of all these tasks appropriately. Rancho Plaza Realty ensures our staff is very comfortable with real estate related databases, spreadsheets and project management tools (technology in general). Additionally, Rancho Plaza Realty has several departments all working in concert so that any one person is not overwhelmed helping us stay organized.
If half of a property manager’s time is spent on contracts and forms, the other half is spent dealing with people. Whether showing property, meeting with maintenance professionals, or servicing existing clients, being comfortable with people is critical to a property managers’ success. Interpersonal communication is the process by which people exchange information, feelings, and meaning through verbal and nonverbal messages (face to face communication). There is a certain level of training and experience required to properly manage people. Rancho Plaza Realty staff are vibrant, social, understanding and confident interpersonal communicators. As a result, we save our investors countless hours of unnecessary management issues while keeping them informed on the material topics that matter most.
Technology can be a mixed bag: one-part blessing and one-part frustration. If used effectively, technology can improve the quality of work while reducing the number of hours worked. When selecting a property management software, Rancho Plaza Realty interviewed several different companies, finally landing on Appfolio. AppFolio’s all-in-one, completely mobile software allows property managers to more effectively market, automate, and grow their business at scale. With features to support the modern residential property manager, this software can get more done in less time, leaving Rancho Plaza Realty more time to focus on engaging with tenants, owners, and investors to deliver the best possible customer experience. As they say, it’s okay to love your software. This allows us to accomplish more in a shorter period of time, the result of which is full service property management services at fair prices.
Property management can be a tough industry. Property management companies must screen tenants, collect payments, and keep vendors and contractors on track. A good property manager should have a big smile and nerves of steel as unpleasant conversations happen daily. Rancho Plaza Realty focuses on doing what’s right and doing it on time. We are okay with having difficult conversations about money owed or timelines that need to be reinforced. Being firm is not an option, it’s a requirement. If you want to know more how our firm can benefit you, please do not hesitate to contact us at (951) 723-1333.