Renting Santa Cruz Real Estate: How to Choose a Property Management Company

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 at 11:01pm.

You’ve decided to hire a property management company to handle your Santa Cruz real estate rental property.  Choosing a well-respected and well-run company is crucial to your success.  Here are seven tips to help you make a wise selection:

1. Phone then visit in person.  Make a list of all the companies you’re considering.  Phone them to ask a series of elimination questions such as how long they’ve been in business and if they are knowledgeable about the Santa Cruz real estate rental market.  If you’re still interested, make an appointment to visit in person. A personal visit gives you a better idea of how they conduct their business, and you can meet the people who will represent your interests.

2. Determine whether the company offers a comprehensive property management service or if the service is just a sideline for a Santa Cruz real estate office. Find out exactly who will manage your property and how long that person has been a property manager in this area.  Ask how many people are on the staff and what happens when someone is out sick.  Determine what services they offer and exactly how your property will be managed.

3. Clarify the tenant screening process.  You want a company that does thorough research to determine the applicant’s credit and rental history as well as his or her criminal background and past and present employment situations.  You also want a company that sends you a written report that backs up their reasons for recommending a prospective renter so you can make a well-informed final decision.

4. Pick a company that uses current technology.  From maintenance requests to online rent payment services, there are many online tools available for property management companies.  Hiring a company that offers services through their website is important in attracting and retaining the best tenants.

5. Ask for three client references.  Get names and contact information of current or recently past clients, preferably clients who had property similar to yours.  Talk with them to find out what they liked and disliked about working with the property management company.

6. Hire a company that has good relationships with tenants.  It’s important that the company managing your property gets along well with renters.  If renters like the company, it means they’re getting good service and are being treated well.  This reduces problems and renter turnover.

7. Select a company that gets your money into your account quickly.  Your rental money should be in your account as quickly as possible, and typically no later than the ninth day of each month.  That’s your money and should be in your bank account earning interest not in the property manager’s bank account.

Thinking of investing in Santa Cruz real estate for rental income?  I can help.  Give me a call today at 831-662-6522 or email me today at

For more information, please visit my website at

About Lauren Spencer

Award-Winning Santa Cruz REALTOR®

Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

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