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>>> March 06, 2012 01:36 PM
REAL ESTATE: Riverside PRO focuses on Property Management
PAUL 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 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 downturn?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Title: owner
Age: 49 Number of employees: 13
Year company founded: 2004
City: Riverside
Homes managed: about 300

BY LESLIE BERKMAN The Press Enterprise
STAFF WRITER Published: 06 March 2012 01:36 PM

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