How Property Management is Depicted in TV and Literature.....

Property Manager with Gibson Management Group, Ltd.

I've just finished Sue Grafton's T is for Trespass ....heroine Kinsey Millhone, sometime CA PI/process server/insurance investigator does some work for a landlord serving 3-pay or quit notices and after serving some delinquent tenants, she gets a call from the landlord advising her that the neighbor of the deadbeats has reported the residents appear to be leaving and he has to go to San Francisco. He asks Kinsey to arrange to do the CA mandated check-out inspection ....Kinsey responds "Look, Richard, I'm happy to help you out, but I'm not in the property management business. You should really hire a professional to handle things like this."

Landlord Richard responds "I could, kiddo, but you're much cheaper. A management company would take ten percent of the gross".

I won't spoil the rest of the story, suffice it to say, 10% is CHEAP for what the landlord has to ultimately lay out.

On The Real Housewives of Orange County this week, Jeanna and Vicki will argue about the delinquent tenant Jeanna put into Vicki's rental property. Both of these women are successful business women * Vicki has made millions in the insurance business and Jeanna is a Re/Max Top Producer and owner of several rental homes in upscale Coto in the OC.

While these storylines make good TV DRAMA and ENTERTAINING READING, they send the wrong message to the public regarding our profession.  When the emphasis is on the COST of professional property management and not the VALUE ADDED aspects that a professional property manager bring to their clients and residents in the equation, we all loose in the depiction.  


Wallace S. Gibson CPM * Over 40 years of professional property management experience to serve you.... ....finding your new rental home in Central Virginia just got easier!!  We are currently marketing properties for the spring/summer 2009 on our website

Posted by

Wallace S. Gibson is a Certified Property Manager with over 50 years of property management experience and expertise.  She maintains a specialized property management business in Central Virginia serving Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna and Louisa counties  


View our available Charlottesville, Albemarle and Lake Monticello rental homes online with photos and floor plans

" be a Virginian, either by Birth, Marriage, Adoption, or even on one's Mother's side, is an Introduction to any State in the Union, a Passport to any Foreign Country, and a Benediction from the Almighty God...." Anonymous


Comments (4)

Robert Machado
HomePointe Property Management, CRMC - Sacramento, CA
CPM MPM - Property Manager and Property Management

Good points Wallace.  I just watched "It's a Wonderful Life" and that movie is not too kind to property managers either.  But, a good manager with a service attitide can be quite successful and valued. Not every owner is a good property managment client, many owners paid too much for the property and cannot afford the property let alone the manager.

Dec 26, 2008 03:10 AM
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Bob - Real Housewives of OC Realtor put 2 deadbeat tenants into her clients' multi-million dollar Coto home and that has been a great storyline....lots of DRAMA.

I agree, proper vetting would-be clients comes with experience and age.  I set my company's goals by net # of new properties AND income increase and stick to my client/property guidelines which include my geographic footprint (distance from my office), curb appeal of the property since available properties are featured on the FIRST page of my website; and I want a minimum 2 year mgmt agreement with heavy fee if cancelled after first 12 months.


Dec 26, 2008 03:56 AM
American Apartment Owners Association
American Apartment Owners Association - Denver, CO

Really interesting topic.  You are a great writer - you should do a screenplay that sets the record straight! Kim/AAOA

Jan 03, 2009 08:42 AM
Diane Rice
Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL - Lansing, IL

Wallace, for sure we are depicted with not much value in literature and TV, but ALSO in our OWN industry!  The only reason our value has risen a few notches NOW is because of the need for our services!

There's much i could learn from YOU!  Thanks for this post!

Jan 07, 2009 10:39 AM