Our topic today is the fees and services you encounter when choosing a property management company. We will be talking specifically about Santa Cruz and the local area because that’s my market, and what I am most familiar with.
If you are evaluating property management companies, you will find that most companies set their fees one of two ways. There are companies that will charge about 10 percent of your monthly rent for their services, and they will be all inclusive. You pay the one fee on a regular basis and you get everything that the property management company provides. Other companies, such as Portola Property Management, charge less on a monthly basis (our fee is 8 percent) but also charge a leasing fee. The leasing fee covers the cost of acquiring the tenant, showing the property, putting together the lease and getting the tenants moved in. Our rationale for this type of fee structure is that we are so good at what we do; your tenants will not leave. So, in the long run, you make more money because our monthly fees are lower.
Establishing this sort of fee structure also allows us to provide tenant placement services only, if that’s what you want. Some people like to manage their own property on a regular basis, but they are sick and tired of dealing with all the crazy people coming in from Craigslist to try and rent their property. We can handle the tenant placement for you, and then let you manage the rest. Not a lot of companies in Santa Cruz will do this, but we offer that service.
Remember that cheapest is not always best. Sometimes, you truly get what you pay for. You need to keep in mind there are a lot of overhead costs associated with managing a property. Those of you who have done this yourself know what I am talking about. If you have not done it yourself, consider what is involved when a maintenance call comes in late on a Friday afternoon before a long holiday weekend. Do you have a vendor who can go out there and handle the emergency? Property management companies do have these vendors, so you are paying for that value. Look at the full scope of services they provide. In most cases, you will find you are getting a great value for your dollar.
Some companies will give you a menu of services with their associated costs and allow you to pick and choose what you want to meet your needs. If you have any questions about choosing a property management company, or you would like more information on fees and services in property management, please contact us at Portola Property Management.