property management: It Pays to Keep an Eye Out For Better Technology~ - 09/17/09 08:30 AM
I did not think I was in the market for a new laser printer, but during a recent shopping trip to Costco, I decided to purchase a new HP Officejet 6500 Wireless Printer/Copier/Scanner/Fax.
 
I have a 6300 model from HP that has been a little workhorse for our small, service-based property management company over the past 3 years, but it always had a drawback-  the toner cost. The toner cartridges cost about $40 each, or I can get a combo pack at Costco with 2 black and 1 color cartridge for $75.00, not a bad deal at first glance. The … (1 comments)

property management: When Fiduciary Duty, Honesty & Fair Dealing Collide- Always Err on The Side of Doing What is Right~ - 08/20/09 06:11 AM
As a small Sacramento-based property manager for the past 16+ years, we have had the privilege to work with some of the very best Landlords in the area, from 1st time investors to seasoned real-estate professionals, people are coming (and staying) with our services due to a simple but stringent governing principle- We say what we do, then we actually do what we say. Our business is mostly word-of-mouth and the feedback has been overwhelmingly good. Our clients enjoy personalized services customized to their individual needs, grounded in the knowledge that they have first-hand access to a licensed Broker, without having … (4 comments)

property management: Landlord/Tenant Relations in Property Management- The 4 Types~ - 08/15/09 04:54 AM
As a professional residential property manager these past 16+ years, I have had my fair share of challenging scenarios. Most scenarios involving Landlord/Tenant relations fall into 4 possible categories:
1. Good Landlord/Good Tenant- My favorite scenario, and by far the most rewarding one to work with. The Landlord recognizes their responsibilities to the Tenant and the property, while the Tenant fully understands and adheres to the terms of the lease agreement.
2. Good Landlord/Bad Tenant- I would say I hate to work with these scenarios, but they tend to be a significant part of new incoming business (Client placed a tenant … (0 comments)

property management: Landlord's Learning Center- Cutting Your Losses- Evict Sooner Rather Than Later - 05/13/09 12:34 PM
Unlawful Detainer Actions (Evictions being the more commonly used term) are an unfortunate part of the Property Manager's job, and one that we hate to have to perform. In situations like these, the best that can be hoped for is a quick turnover with a minimum of damage, so here are a few pointers if you are a Landlord facing a possible Eviction with your tenant:
1. Do NOT make it personal. I have found over the past 16+ years as a property manager that the best approach one can take is a "sorrowful" one. As a Landlord, you are "sorry" … (5 comments)

property management: My Tenant Has Never Heard of "Small Nails", and It Cost Them... - 05/10/09 04:06 AM
We just pulled off a small miracle this week. Our tenants moved out of their home on Tuesday, we had the home painted Wednesday, cleaned Thursday, carpets cleaned Friday, and new tenants moved in Saturday morning. Even for professional property management, that is a pretty tight turnover.
What should have been a very easy turnover was complicated by our ex-tenants use of anchor, or "molly" bolts.
While it was evident that the home they lived in was kept quite nice over the past 18 months, we did not know the damage that was hiding under every wall hanging. The walls of … (5 comments)

property management: Thank Goodness, The Tenants Are Coming (and Staying) with ICPM - 05/08/09 01:41 PM
We are seeing a definite increase in call volume for all of our vacant rentals, as if someone turned on an imaginary switch somewhere. What started as a fairly slow week has turned into a dash to screen applicants, as we now have 6 vacancies ready to rent with applications on almost everything.
We continue to receive good positive feedback from applicants, telling us (without exception) that our rentals are far and away the cleanest and most well-maintained they have seen. After 16+ years in the business of property management, I have seen what passes for "habitable" in some landlord's minds, … (4 comments)

property management: Good, Better, or Best? Which Do You Think Your Clients Prefer? - 05/07/09 11:36 AM
As a property manager in the greater Sacramento area, we are often compared to other companies with differing philosophies on just how the job should be done. With over 16 years of management experience, I have had some time to consider how we want to be identified in the marketplace, so I have taken measured steps to insure our services meet or exceed our client's expectations. To demonstrate what I mean, we'll use a little excercise we like to call "Good, Better or Best" in relation to various aspects of property management and how different companies handle those aspects. Here goes...
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property management: 2nd Generation Referrals- The Mark of a Job Well Done~ - 05/06/09 01:01 PM
The market is right for buyers out there and we are reaping the benefits of providing exemplary service through the acquisition of new accounts via referral. These are not just any referrals. Instead, they are our absolutely favorite kind of new business- 2nd generation referrals.
In just the last 2 months, a former tenant of ours went on to become an investment property owner and signed up their rental with us in Antelope. Their reason? They stated: "We remembered how thorough you were on qualifying us for the rental, and how responsive you were throughout our tenancy, so we could think … (5 comments)

property management: Never Settle for "Good Enough" - 03/31/09 12:35 PM
As I sign up our latest new client, I pause to reflect on why they chose our company over our larger competitors. Month after month, our advertising budget is dwarfed by the monstrous amount of marketing money spent by larger companies, yet time and time again we come away with the new account after careful comparison of services and fee structures. But it is more than that...
In the end it was our old mainstay, customer service, that won the day on this occasion. The client, an investor with a home in West Sacramento, called around to several companies, yet ours … (5 comments)

property management: 2009...The Year of Hope and Change...What Exactly Does That Mean??? - 03/19/09 12:07 PM
I put it off as long as I could...the appointment with my CPA looms large on the horizon, only 10 days to go.
I know it is going to be bad..I just do not know exactly how bad. Unfortunately, I am pretty good with math, so I cannot delude myself with false consolations, telling myself "it'll all work out just fine".
Funny, when I was in my 20's, $100,000 seemed like such a large amount of money. Now staring down the tail end of 41, it all looks quite different.
We have a small property management company, nothing large by Sacramento … (5 comments)

property management: Housing Slump Means Industry-Wide Slowdown, But Small Businesses Survive - 03/17/09 12:00 PM
As a small, service based property management company serving the greater Sacramento area, we are often asked how our company is doing during these uncertain economic times.
While our new client acquisitions are somewhat lacking, they really are not doing any worse than same time last year. We continue to receive inquiries from prospective new clients, but most are looking for services to start in the late Spring or early Summer.
Historically, property management not only does well in a down sales market, it thrives. However, this market has impacted more than just the sales prices of homes, so we are … (3 comments)

property management: Franchise Tax Board Delays Implementation of Lousy Tax Law- Gone For Now But Look Out in 2010~ - 03/15/09 06:32 AM
The FTB has agreed to use 2009 as an educational year to get ready for full compliance in 2010. While this decision comes as a relief to small business owners like me, it is short-lived as we will be facing this issue again in 2010. Property Managers for out of state owners earning more than $1500 in a  calendar year are required to remit 7% of net proceeds to the state on a quarterly basis.
 
Unless we see shift in the political winds later this year, we will take steps to protect our clients from the effects of this tax … (2 comments)

property management: Landlord's Learning Center- The Perilous Pitfalls of Renting to Friends and Co-Workers - 03/15/09 06:03 AM
Recently an unhappy applicant posted their thoughts in a comment on our blog, so we thought it best to touch on an important subject that has or will impact many landlords- the decision to rent to a friend or co-worker.
Applicants Mr. & Mrs. "Smith" submitted applications to rent a home of ours in Elk Grove. Mr. "Smith" was a co-worker/friend of the owner, so certain concessions that would not normally be allowed were approved by the owner in order to make the move-in go as easy as possible on the applicants. The rent was reduced along with the pet deposit, … (2 comments)

property management: Get Your Greedy Hands Out of My Clients' Pockets! CA's Misguided Attempts at Securing More Revenue~ - 03/08/09 05:04 AM
3 down, 8 to go. 11 clients and approximately $1000/month in income is at stake, not monumental but significant for a small property management company like ours. CA  Franchise Tax Board has been playing around with the tax code, and it looks like our industry is next in line for their wrath.
The Franchise Tax Board enacted a revision to the tax code in February, retroactive to 1/1/09, making it the property manager's responsibility to withhold and remit 7% of rental payments sent to owners that reside out-of-state, and even more for those outside the U.S. Because there was little notice, … (3 comments)

property management: Shattering the Stereotype- Property Management is a 24-Hour/Day Job~ - 03/01/09 04:43 AM
Another rainy weekend here in Sacramento. The weekend was, by all accounts, supposed to be slow. My friends and family have this picture in their minds of property managers like me- usually it involves sitting with my feet up on a desk, greedily counting the rent money as it flows in, effortlessly and never-ending. If only that were the case....believe me, it's not. 
Property Management can and does have it's perks- we are not as dependent on a good sales market and typically thrive in a downward cycle, though we do feel the economic pinch when our owners and tenants are … (4 comments)

property management: Voicemail is Great...But Nothing Beats the Personal Touch and Novel Approach of Answering the Phone~ - 02/28/09 02:50 AM
We did it again. For the.....(pause while counting).....let's say "umpteenth" time, we managed to secure a fantastic applicant on one of our homes, even though ours was one of a dozen homes these people were calling on and we were NOT the cheapest rental.
How did we get the applicant over our competitors on Craigslist...what's our secret? It is nothing special, yet in this age of automation where everyone is so dependent on voice mail, perhaps it is somewhat unique. We answer the call. In this case, the caller was transferring here from the Bay Area, called on at least 12 … (5 comments)

property management: State of CA wants Property Managers to Act as TAX COLLECTORS - 02/26/09 03:56 AM
Has anyone else heard about this? The Franchise Tax Board has decided to revise a tax law effective 1/2009 making it a property manager's responsibility to collect and remit 7% of rents collected out-of-state landlords.
While there is some ambiguity in the explanation of the law as it pertains to residential tenants vs. commercial tenants, we are faced with a serious problem in that the law has one obvious loophole: If a landlord fires their property manager and collects the rent directly from the tenant, no withholding is required.
Fortunately, we are a small company that would only feel these effects … (1 comments)

property management: The Mystery of The Mauled Birch Tree - 02/24/09 12:59 PM
We have a small Sacramento-based management company serving the greater Sacramento region. I have been a property manager for over 16 years now (I started at 24, and am told 41 is young in property manager years). I love the variation that every day brings. New challenges, new laws to work with every year, it is anything but dull.
I am 3 days away from renting a home near Elk Grove. It has been a trying market out there, but we managed to find a well qualified tenant that is ready to move in. I went to the home yesterday just … (3 comments)

property management: Fair Housing- Does Anybody Still Not Understand This? - 02/23/09 12:59 PM
As a small, service based property management company serving the greater Sacramento area, we are always mindful of our clients' wishes, except to the extent when a client's wishes are in conflict with anti-discrimination laws.
Frankly, I am surprised just how often the question comes up, so we'll ask it again here:
How much say does the landlord have in the placement of the tenant?
The answer: It depends. If the tenant is being placed within a bedroom in the landlords home AND the landlord is still occupying the home while a portion of it is being rented (a sublet), then … (4 comments)

property management: Landlord's Learning Center- My Top Ten Things an Applicant Should NEVER Say...And WHY? - 02/21/09 05:39 AM
Fellow ActiveRain neighbors- This one is just for my own sanity, as it helps to list the things that slowly drive us just a little closer to crazy over the years. Maybe you can identify with one or more of these beauties, offered purely in jest (with a healthy dash of reality):
1. Reminding the property manager that "this is my 2nd call."
We return all business calls within 2 business hours, but this still comes up as impatient people (those whom the world clearly revolves around) will call at 11pm, then 6am, then 7am. Starting out crabby is never a … (3 comments)

 
Thomas R. Martin Broker/Owner ICPM, Property Management the way it SHOULD be. (Investors Choice Property Management)

Thomas R. Martin Broker/Owner ICPM

Property Management the way it SHOULD be.

Sacramento, CA

More about me…

Investors Choice Property Management

Address: 3017 Douglas Blvd. #300, Roseville, CA, 95661

Office: (916) 770-9707

Mobile: (916) 770-9707

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A well educated Landlord makes more informed decisions, which in turn makes them a quality client for an effective Property Manager like ICPM. Our blog is dedicated towards educating consumers and agents on the finer points of Property Management, while helping them to steer clear of pitfalls and poor business practices.


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