PRO focuses on Property Management
ALVAREZ/FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER Dale Beaver,
owner of First Choice Property Management
in Riverside at his offices in Riverside.
BY LESLIE BERKMAN The Press Enterprise STAFF
WRITER email@example.com Published: 06 March
2012 01:36 PM
In the quicksand of todays real estate market, Dale Beaver has found firm footing in property management. In 2001 Beaver left behind 27 years in the grocery business for a career in real estate. Within a short time he had developed a real estate sales and mortgage office that thrived with the Inland regions soaring home prices. Then came the bust in 2006 that forced Beaver to downsize and convinced him that a side business in property management he had founded a couple years earlier would become his main focus for the future! Currently serving Riverside, Corona, Moreno Valley, San Bernardino, Redlands, Temecula, ect. Inland Empire, basically Southern CA! When things went south and I was looking how to regroup, I really saw that property management was the business that survived through all this,
said Beaver. A graduate of La Sierra High School, Beaver says he has also learned from the school of hard knocks, but also tries to hasten his education and that of his staff by learning from business consultants, real estate pros and motivational speakers. The shelves in his office are full of books, DVDs and CDs he has devoured. I am still learning and I pass it on, he said. In the last three years, Beaver has seen his Riverside-based company, First Choice Management, expand from managing 104 homes at the end of 2009 to almost 300 properties at the end of 2011. The homes are concentrated mostly in Riverside and San Bernardino counties but some are scattered as far as Phoenix, Oceanside and Beverly Hills.
Q: Was your property
management business harmed at all by the economic
A: There was a
point when we were losing about as many properties
as we were picking up. Our customers were losing
houses or letting them go to foreclosure. That
went on through 2009. Then we hit a certain
point when we started inching forward. Investors
stepped in and wanted to start buying. Now every
month I get three to five more properties from
current clients who are buying more property.
Q: How do new clients find you?
A: They find us
on the Internet search engines, especially Yahoo
and Google. When they call us we have references
to back up what we say we do. Then they review
our leases and speak to our staff.
Q: What is the most important thing that
your company does?
A: The most important
thing is the application process for finding
tenants. I developed pretty much the whole process
and trained a guy who handles it. We have a
scoring system. We look at their FICO scores,
their job history, their rental history, what
kind of money they make and have saved, what
kind of debt they have. And we verify everything.
Q: What is your day like?
A: Today I was
working with my right-hand person on some accounting
and going over some rental applications she
had some questions about. Then I had to make
sure maintenance was done on some new properties
and I had to sign some lease renewals. Now I
need to do an inspection because the guy who
usually does them is gone for the week and people
are wanting to move in. It is a typical day
in which I wear many hats.
Q: What are you looking for when you
hire people to do property management?
A: This is not
a business anybody can do. You need to have
thick skin. You have people griping and complaining
all the time. Also everybody needs to be detail
oriented. Even my inspectors who go into the
field must look at every nook and cranny of
a house and point out what is wrong or right.
And we are looking for people who are very motivated
to work. The number one thing is that they want
to show up every day and learn and do their
best. Those people, believe it or not, are not
easy to find.
Q: What are the wages you offer?
A: Between $15
and $20 an hour. Maintenance people can earn
more if they work faster. Also full-time employees
within 90 days of starting get medical benefits.
And we offer an IRA and match employee contributions
up to a percentage.
Dale Beaver Company: First Choice Property Management
Age: 49 Number of employees: 13
Year company founded: 2004
Homes managed: about 300
LESLIE BERKMAN The Press Enterprise
STAFF WRITER firstname.lastname@example.org Published: 06 March
2012 01:36 PM