Overview & Credentials
What is the difference between a Broker, Agent, and Realtor?
In California, a Broker's license is required for property management and sales. A Broker has passed 8 courses (2 years of study), proven at least 2 years of experience, and passed a 4-hour state licensing exam. A Broker is accountable to the Department of Real Estate. A Broker can work on his or her own.
An agent has a Salesperson's license. A Salesperson's licensee has passed 3 courses, passed an exam, and must hang their license under a Broker.
A Realtor is not a license, but a subscription to the professional organization. If an agent/Broker has subscribed to the Association of Realtors, then can they can put "REALTOR®" after their name.
how is your company structured?
We are a California corporation that provides seamless services from leasing, property management, and sales, all under one roof and with local expertise from a network of independent contractors. We also maintain a paperless paper trail for our properties!
What credentials are required for property management?
California requires property managers to have or work under someone who holds a real estate Broker's license.
HOA management is similar to property management, except HOA management does not need to hold a Broker's license, since they are technically managing the association and not the property.
what types of properties do you work with?
Primarily single family homes, condo units, and multi-family properties of 15 units or less.
16+ units require an on-site manager and we do that as well, with varying arrangements.
Currently we mostly manage/lease/sell residential, some mixed use, and on occasion, commercial (office/retail).
where are the properties you manage?
Los Angeles, California. Mostly Santa Monica, Marina del Rey, Playa del Rey, Westchester, Mar Vista, Venice, Brentwood, Westwood, West Hollywood, Culver City, Mid-City, DTLA, Boyle Heights, Silverlake, Echo Park, Los Feliz, Leimert Park, Sherman Oaks, North Hollywood, Toluca Lake, Hollywood, El Segundo, and Redondo Beach.
We also manage property in San Diego and have a network there.
We have an affiliate in the San Francisco Bay Area and Palm Springs.
where do you advertise?
Our software syndicates to 83 of the most popular search sites on the Internet. We also post manually on Craigslist. We monitor our listings daily and refresh the ads. Properties above $10,000/month we will occasionally list on the MLS, but the Owner will then have to pay the Renter's agent a fee. Properties for sale are listed on the MLS.
How do you show?
It starts with pre-screening. We review the listing and details with the prospective resident and make sure the property fits their needs, and they meet the screening criteria. Then we set-up an in-person showing. We make sure the property is represented well with our excellent photography partners, and respond quickly to pre-screen and set up showings.
how do you screen prospective renters?
We collect their data through an application process and they must meet the criteria outlined in our agreement with you (proof of income, credit score) before we sign an agreement with them. We will also check the references they provide. If there is an anomaly or they don't quite meet the criteria, but they seem like viable prospects, we will present their application to you so you have the chance to make an exception and approve them.
will you tell me what you think the place needs and help me get it rent ready?
Sure! We can give our input based on experience and provide you with vendor referrals.
What is the payment schedule?
Upon signing, we collect an upfront deposit of usually $300-$500. Once the property is rented, we are paid the remaining leasing fee out of the first funds obtained from the renter.
where do you get your residential lease agreement?
A combination of standard industry templates, customized to your property, along with additional verbiage to streamline management and avoid conflicts, based on our experience.
can you provide leasing-only or management-only?
We usually provide both services as needed in a comprehensive agreement. On occasion if someone wants to self-manage we may do leasing-only, but we don't typically engage in a property that requires overlap with another Broker.
How quickly will you respond to us/our residents?
Usually within 1 business day, if not sooner.
What are your fees?
We have a chart below to give you an idea, but we customize our proposals for each property, taking into account the property location, size, and situation! We are upfront with our costs and bundle as much as possible, with no hidden fees. Our pricing is created based on the highest standard of service in the industry, with the intent that we are committed and on-call for that property.
how do you collect rent/dues?
Online. Our software allows one-time payments and auto-recurring payments, by (ACH) bank transfer. Credit/debit card is an option, with a convenience fee.
where do you keep the money?
In an FDIC-insured bank account under Keybox. We hold the security deposits and maintenance reserve, and publish reports every month to owner portals for full transparency of all transactions and balances. You're welcome to keep a separate account with extra reserves, but any money you'd like documented and tracked on your reports, you can keep in the account we hold for you.
How do you handle maintenance requests?
could you do periodic site visits / inspections?
Renters have rights to exclusive enjoyment which prevents the Landlord from coming onto the premises without a specific reason (maintenance or showing). However, we do move in/move out inspections when we lease. Upon request from the owner or HOA, we can arrange for periodic maintenance inspections as well, and can provide a video walk-through of the common area.
what is first right of refusal?
We are a licensed Brokerage. We never pressure our owners to sell. If the owner decides to sell while we are managing their property, we retain first right to represent the owner in the sale with a fee (typically 5%) that we'd split with the selling (buyer's) agent. The first right to represent doesn't apply to the homeowners within the HOAs we manage. In all cases, when we do represent a property owner in a sale, we arrange the transition from occupied to unoccupied, prepare it for the market, and will represent it properly and thoroughly. We also can connect the property with our network of high net-worth investors and individuals in the industry.
how do we transition to your services?
There's a set-up process, and we do charge a fee for that. We open a bank account for your property/association under Keybox, and provide you with a questionnaire to set up any current tenants/homeowners in the software, as well as recurring vendors, and familiarize ourselves with the property/association to move forward with confidence.
How are your vendors vetted?
We collect license and insurance information from vendors and maintain it in the software. We also collect their W-9s so that we can provide 1099s to vendors at the end of each year. We recommend them based on positive past experience with them and don't add a margin to their costs or collect any kind of referral bonus from them. We also defer to ownership/HOA as to whether the vendors' credentials are the right match.
HOW IS YOUR TEAM STRUCTURED?
A centralized network of independent contractors with the Broker at the helm. The Broker oversees all decisions/activity. Assistants are assigned behind-the-scenes to help the Broker with tasks as needed, all at the same email address and phone number so you're not deferred or rerouted. The property/HOA maintains its roster of recurring vendors and we refer alternatives as needed. We do not take any kick-backs or referral bonuses from vendors, so you can trust that we are helping you search for the best person at the best price.
Do you provide legal or accounting advice? What about collections or evictions?
We aren't lawyers and we aren't CPAs. Our reporting makes it easy to hand-off to your CPA at the end of the year. We will guide you to the appropriate, licensed professional in the industry. Beyond the initial notices for collections/evictions, and maintaining clear documentation, we will refer the case to a certified collections agency, debt collector, or eviction lawyer.
what is the payment schedule?
Upon signing, we collect a set-up fee to open a bank account for the property under Keybox and go through the set-up questionnaire to familiarize ourselves with the property. We collect a monthly fee for management out of the rents collected. For rentals, as long as rents are paid on-time by the renter, you'll see the owner distribution in your account by the 10th of the month. Everyone will receive the monthly statements and reports on their portals by the 10th of each month.
how long will it take for you to pay our bills?
We pay bills as soon as we receive them. For larger projects we send out immediately for approval. One of the reasons we're able to maintain our great relationships with reliable vendors is because we pay people on time. Along the same lines, we don't commission work unless we have the funds on hand.
for property management, who interacts with the HOA/neighbors?
We are the property owner's representative and facilitate communication between renters, the HOA, neighbors, and vendors, as needed.
will the residents contact me, as the property owner?
We do our best to represent the Property Owner so that direct contact is not necessary, and the line of communication with us remains clear, friendly yet professional. We use discretion when mentioning the "Property Owner," as such. We do not provide renters with the owner's name, and do not even gender-specific pronouns. The property owner is the "Property Owner."
How will you communicate with us?
We maintain one point of contact with the property owners/HOA Board for decisions and on-site tasks. Sometimes there are specific people on your team who spearhead certain initiatives or have expertise in certain fields that we may work with on those, but we leave internal communication to you and defer to our one point of contact. All homeowners/residents have an online resident portal where they can submit common area maintenance requests, and can contact us as needed to follow up on those maintenance requests or with any unforeseen technical help.
will you help us with budgeting, property taxes, reserve studies, elections, state filings, and meetings?
Property Owners: We'll remind you of RSO deadlines, and lease terms, but most property taxes and other required ownership documents are directly between you and the government agency. Our reporting is very conducive for CPAs so you can pass it along (or give them access to your portal). If you have any issues (especially if you're abroad) we can help you find the services you need (movers, storage, mail-forwarding, used item sale, etc.).
HOAS: We'll refer you to options for Inspector of Elections, Reserve Studies, etc. Those items should be handled by a specialized independent party. For the HOA's taxes, we provide our professional reporting to a CPA who will send you a self-addressed envelope for signature. For state filings, we guide you to be your own Agent for Service of Process; the appropriate forms and the Board member fills them out and mails them in. We can facilitate e-announcements for meetings. We don't typically attend meetings but may be able to provide a representative upon request for a fee to cover their time.