Saturday, April 11, 2009

Local Property Management companies

This week, I contacted several property management companies about renting out my 2 bedroom 2 1/2 bath townhome. Their listing fees and services fluctuated dramatically.

The least expensive property manager charged 6% per month of the rental charges, but he was a crotchedy old guy who was trying to drive the rental price down dramatically. With his negativity on the phone I could just imagine how he would be with prospective renters, so I declined his services. I'll leave his name off this list to avoid any liabilities.

We also contacted Sierra Property Management. They took a look at the place and said that they would charge 10% and recommended that we reduce the price for a quick rental.

The best deal that we found was with Town 'N Country Property Management. They charge a 7% fee. They are a full service firm that will manage all maintenance, finances, and screen candidates for the monthly fee. The person that I dealt with was amazingly friendly and competent and she spend a full hour with us touring the property. She said that what we were asking for was fair for the property. Since we aren't in a huge rush to rent it out, we are starting at the full price, and if it doesn't rent out by the time the baby comes, (we need more room) we'll drop the price.

This exercise drives home the point that any time you search for a service or a commodity, be sure to get 3 quotes and then follow your gut. The least expensive option is not always the best one, but neither is the most expensive option.

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I'd love to hear what you have to say about saving money in Santa Barbara.