Are You Thinking Of Starting A Property Management Company In California?
There are a lot of things to consider before starting a property management business in the state of California. From legal requirements to how you will get clients and provide good service for the properties you will manage.
What are the main things you need to consider when getting started?
1- Property Management License In California
In California there are specific legal requirements for starting a property management company.
Is a real estate licence required to start a property management company in California?
Yes In California, many aspects of property management are considered a real estate activity under current California real estate licensing laws. A California real estate broker's license is required for any person that, being compensated, leases, rents, offers to lease or rent, or solicits listings of places for rent, or solicits for prospective tenants, or negotiates the sale, purchase or exchanges of leases on real property, or collects rents from real property, or improvements thereon. Contact the California Department of Real Estate for more information.
2- Choosing your Company Name
For branding purposes, you want to start off right by choosing a name that reflects what you are about as a company and its the first impression people will have with your company.
Uniqueness - Your brand name should set you apart from other California competitors so that people can easily differentiate your business from theirs. Check the availability of your desired name with the California Secretary of State to ensure you are unique.
Modern and Simple - Both your name and logo should be simple and easy to remember. You don't want to complicate things with the name and you don't want to make a crazy logo with too much going on or too much colors. Sometimes, less is better.
3- Get a property management website
To get found online by property owners and investors in California, you should make sure that you have the best property management website in your city. This ensures that you really stand out from your competition and make an amazing first impression that tells potential clients you are the company to work with.
Modern Design - If your site looks old and clunky, how do you expect your potential customers to trust you and your business? If your website is modern and fresh and incorporates all of the essential design and lead capture elements, you have a great foundation.
Trust and Lead Capture - Your new property management website needs to build trust with potential clients and be focused on generating property management leads.
4- Marketing and SEO
You have already thought about it. How will you get clients for your new business? In order to be found online by potential customers who are searching for your services you will need to have a focused marketing strategy that includes local SEO and pay-per-click (PPC). These strategies will ensure that owners and investors in California can find you online when they are searching for a manager.
SEO - To make sure that potential clients can find you online when they are searching for a manger in your city, you'll need an amazing SEO strategy. This includes both on-page and off-page SEO
Advertising - You should also strongly consider running online ads on Google. With Google ads, you pay for each click you get to your website (PPC). The ad you setup on Google will appear like a regular website in the search results, and you can choose what specific searches you want to appear for, to target property owners in California.
5- Your Management Style/Structure
Do you plan on being a one-man-show or being able to immediately hire staff members to help with the day-to-day property management and leasing tasks? There are different ways to structure your company and offer your services, and you will want to have an idea about this so you can present it to potential property owners as an advantage to them
Portfolio Style - In the portfolio style of property management, the property manager handles all aspects of day-to-day management for any properties they manage. They do the leasing, the advertising, handle calls, schedule repairs, etc. They also have direct communication with the property owner. This model is very personalized and provides a high level of intimate service, but a property manager can get burnt out more easily.
Departmental Style - In the departmental style of property management you would need different staff members to manage different things like leasing, maintenance, reception, etc. This can be an efficient style of a management company but typically it's not possible when starting a new company unless you have enough capital to support it.
6- Your Fees and Pricing
Your pricing/fee structure is yet another thing that will set your company apart from your competitors. Look at other companies in your area to get ideas about what is being offered in the California property management market.
Initial fees - You need to consider what your up-front fees will be. These would be things like a setup fee and leasing fee. Companies usually have varying options for this to differentiate themselves from others. Check out the companies in your area to see what they are offering to help you understand your unique value proposition in your market.
Monthly fees - Property management companies will usually offer either a percentage based management fee (ex 8% of monthly rent price) or a flat fee (ex $75 per month regardless of monthly rent price). You need to consider you own company and your competitors to determine what would be the best route for you and your company
7- Networking with Local Vendors
Property managers can get a lot of qualified leads from local vendors who work with home owners and landlords. For example: real estate agents, painters, plumbers, and handymen are all contractors who have a lot of connections with property owners. Networking with these vendors is a great way to get referrals for your company.