Property Management Profession is practically RECESSION PROOF

Property Manager with Gibson Management Group, Ltd.

Having been an "evil fricking property manager for over forty fricking years" to paraphrase CHER.....I've been through several recessions, the tax reform act of 1986, the RTC and now this housing /foreclosure/lender thing I have learned - property managers can THRIVE in ALL forms of housing situations.

In the "good times" * investors buy for tax benefits and appreciation potential and need good property management services to insure their investment performs as expected.

In the "bad times" * reluctant homeowners needing to relocate seek a good property manager to lease and manage their unsold homes AND investors buy good rental properties at reduced prices for tax benefits and even MORE appreciation potential * again requiring management services to insure their investment performs as expected.

 If you view 2009 as the year of challenges and opportunities, you will do well.

Wallace S. Gibson CPM * over 40 years of property management experience to serve you.  Finding your new rental home in Central Virginia just got easier.... ....preview our available rental listings online

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 (12)

Northwest Indiana Executive Homes for Rent
Willems Property Management - Munster, IN

I agree 100% with you. Good market or Bad market, most of our property management clients are corporate relocation transfers. We see a lot of people getting transferred in and out of the Chicago job market.

Jan 10, 2009 11:51 PM
Leslie Prest
Leslie Prest, Prest Realty, Sales and Rentals in Payson, AZ - Payson, AZ
Owner, Assoc. Broker, Prest Realty, Payson,

Yeah, we've had a very good year, and are in a position to get much bigger in 2009 if we want to.

Jan 11, 2009 05:38 AM
Debbie Malone
Londeree's Real Estate & Property Management - Lynchburg, VA
From Lynchburg To The Lake (434) 546-0369

I agree, I think Property Management will do well in 2009. I certainly am banking on it since our daughter graduates in May! It will be interesting to see what offers she gets from the career fair in March.

Jan 16, 2009 04:21 PM
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Debbie - she will do well.  She should go to a LARGE metropolitan area like Charlotte or Atlanta and get GOOD training.  The FIRST VPI pm I ever met was Julie Tuelideski in Atlanta when she picked me up at Atlanta airport in her Lexus as I was teaching for two NARPM chapers in GA....she is so BRIGHT and in demand for her skills AND knowledge right out of college....the property management profession is extremely good for women as it allows us to use our time wisely as our time-demands * husband, family, community * dictates.

I am so fortunate I took this path 40+ years ago.

Jan 16, 2009 10:21 PM
Tony Sena
Shelter Realty, Inc - Henderson, NV
Broker/Property Manager

I am banking on this as well.  I am starting the property management division at our established real estate office.  I have been referring out 20-25 clients looking for property management every month from my website, I thought it was time to bring them in house.  I found a property manager with 17 years experience to run the division, so we are pretty excited to get started!  We are shooting for February 16th to be up and running.

Jan 17, 2009 04:08 PM
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Tony * If your new PM has resources such as website through national rental home site ( and PM software (PROMAS) and you get your systems up and running; this year should be very good.  Just be very careful using Realtor or RE franchise blessed property management forms.  I have always used my own lease form AND professional property management forms ( * PM agreement, application form, inspection report, etc.   I also have an arbitration clause in my PM agreement that cautions against filing suit or complaint before going to arbitration...several PMs have now copied the same clause.

Things I have learned in 40+ years.....

1.  NEVER respond to BBB complaint.  They are easy to file online and RARELY do anything toward resolving an issue AND your response is provided to the any "discovery" for court...keep their complaint and wait for a lawsuit.  PMs have more than enough bureaucratic oversight - federal, state, RE licensing, Realtor, etc. so that we do NOT need to encourage insertion of the BBB into our business.

2.  ALWAYS keep at least 2 copies of ALL property keys.  I task owners with providing 2 full sets and then I make copies with local locksmith and charge the owner.  Tenants ALWAYS get 2 sets, 1 stays in office file, 1 set go in a key box at the property (hidden) and I can make 1 entry key to HVAC service firm for spring/fall service.

3.   ALWAYS keep copies of inter/exterior property pictures - new appliances * take pictures; new paint or carpet * take pictures and label the pictures in folders by the year.

4.  DO NOT be afraid to hang up on irate customers/clients.  This was hard for me to get used to having been raised in the South.  IRATE callers are not going to listen to you and it wastes your time and encourages them....tell them you will hang up if they don't stop = yelling, cursing, etc. and if they don't * hang up.  If they call back with a more calm demeaner, don't mention hanging up; otherwise, ask them to e-mail you.

5.  NOT ALL Clients/Properties deserve your services * after a few years, you should outline a geographic area where you want to manage property AND types of properties and rental price ranges.  By eliminating remote properties, difficult to rent properties or difficult owners, you will allow MORE time to getting BETTER business.  Again, this was hard to learn and it is true.

6.  NEVER have departing residents bring garage door openers, key cards, pool passes, etc. to your office when they are departing.  Always have them left in kitchen draw or on kitchen counter at the property....having 5 garage door remotes on my desk a few years ago made me realize it would take me some time to find their right homes.  Had they been in the drawer/counter when I did the propert inspection, I could have just inventoried them.

7.  Next to good website and PM software, having GOOD vendors/service personnel are KEY.  Don't be shy, ask new property clients who is familiar with maintenance on their property and keep a list.  Find your "go to" first string service personnel and ALWAYS be on the lookout for back-up providers who have cel phones and e-mail access.  I LOVE vendors who e-mail me their invoices!!!

8. Consider providing Realtor Referral Fees for property referrals....Only 2 PMs in our area offer referrals * I pay $250 and the other PM pays $100 - needless to say, I get more referrals.  I send the referral check as soon as I get the property leased with a Thank You card to the referring Realtor.  My MLS rental listings have my Realtor Referral Fee policy in the AGENT NOTES which reimforces my policy.

9.  DO NOT BE AFRAID to utilize direct mail and farm areas for rental properties.  I've done this for the last 5 years and homeowner/investors who have received my mailings KEEP them and have called me years later when their property would not sell, they had to move for a job transfer, etc.

10.  Utilize FREE websites to advertise your business * Google, Yahoo, * all have free business listings.  Check these listings often and correct any incorrect information.  I have not paid for a print Yellow Page ad for 5 years - saved $600 to $1,000 annually.  As soon as you can eliminate this cost, do so as just like the print newspapers, they are going the way of the skate key and Datsun....Yes, I am aware that Paul McCartney was with a group before Wings!!!

Jan 17, 2009 11:29 PM
Tony Sena
Shelter Realty, Inc - Henderson, NV
Broker/Property Manager

Wow....Wallace thanks for all the tips, great stuff!!!!  Most of our business will come from my top ranking websites and the 150 agents within our office.  This will allow us to grow at a slow steady pace to ensure we are providing excellent service and allow us to really understand the rental market.

Jan 18, 2009 04:25 AM
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Tony * have your PM get with would-be client ASAP and make sure your policies and procedures are put in writing and provided to clients.  MOST problems will come from bogus information provided by RE agents who don't know enough to know they don't know enough and talk when they should be listening.

For over 30 years, I've used a 30 page Rental & Management proposal with copy of IRS Schedule E, Taxpayer ID request, Property Transition Guide (what client/property owners need to do) my latest (quarterly newsletter) and copy of my most recent blog entry....ALWAYS leave them with something in writing - not just your PM agreement.

Jan 18, 2009 06:09 AM
Kat Malone
Charlestown, MA

I'm not gonna lie, before this market disaster I loved the fact that I was going into property management. Now I REALLY LOVE my major/future field for the fact that I have four job offers sitting on the table even before our career fair, while my friends are scrambling to get just one offer. Though I think this year will be a bit challenging, it won't be nearly as bad as the single-family market. As our professors continually remind us- "You guys are going into a rough market but you're going to change it around." :) - Kat

Feb 10, 2009 01:04 PM
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Kudos Kat * 45 years ago I got into PM as the secretary for a large local developer who rented homes on large parcels of land he bought to UVA students...I then worked for a LARGE local multi-unit syndicator and that MULTI-UNIT experience has really helped me in ownership of 2 PM firms dealing with multi-unit and SFR properties...get ALL the multi unit experience you can * RE agents who segeway to PM with no multi-unit experience OFTEN do not have the knowledge, marketing expertise OR resident/people skills to be effective for their client property owners.

Property Management has been very, very good to me....I know your family is VERY PROUD of you.

Feb 10, 2009 10:24 PM
George You
Mission Sands Realty - San Diego, CA

Wallace, great tips!  I really like the BBB one, the garage and key one, the mls posting with your referral fee, actually all of them!  Thanks.

Feb 25, 2009 01:08 AM