Silicon Valley Property Management
Utilizing the services of a Professional Property Management Company in Silicon Valley relieves you from the burden of unexpected and untimely tenant and repair issues. It also provides you with a tested and true vendor team (via your property manager) to handle repair and maintenance issues at your home. Having an Silicon Valley Property Manager handling the details of managing your rental home allows you to focus your time and talents on other matters instead of worrying about your Silicon Valley rental property.
To which professional organizations do you belong?
Tri County Apartment Association (TAA) – Tri-County Apartment Association provides the very best landlord/tenant legal updates and information regarding changes in landlord/tenant laws. As members, you can rest assured that your property management team is up to date and aware of all important legal issues that affect you and your tenant.
Silicon Valley Association of Realtors (SILVAR) – As Realtors, we are able to place your home for lease in the Silicon Valley MLS (Multiple Listing Service), which is vital exposure, and we subscribe to the Realtor Code of Ethics and Professional Standards.
No matter which company you choose to manage your rental home in Silicon Valley, make sure you pick a property manager who is serious about the profession of property management. Many property managers operate as a sideline business or an afterthought to their sales business, and make no effort to stay educated or updated on landlord/tenant laws or current industry practices. It is a mistake to hire such a property manager in Silicon Valley.
Santa Clara County Association of Realtors (SCCAOR) - As members of both Realtor Associations we are able to place your home for lease in the Silicon Valley MLS (Multiple Listing Service), and market to expose your rentals to thousands of Realtors throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.
What is your style or philosophy of Property Management in Silicon Valley?
We believe that you hire a property manager to manage your rental home, not to assist you in managing it yourself. We offer a turnkey style of property management service which is most appreciated by those property owners who prefer to be "out of the loop" on all but the most important matters related to the management and leasing of the property.
We don’t pester you with small details, questions, information or "updates" about your property or tenants, except for those matters which will have a significant impact on your monthly cash flow. Instead, we simply take care of the things you have entrusted us to handle on your behalf.
What if I want to be informed to a greater degree than you’ve just outlined?
For some property owners, our system is not a good match, and we understand that. We are very up front about the fact that we don’t want you to hire us if you expect to be involved in minor details or decisions related to the management and leasing of your property. We simply haven’t designed our systems and procedures to accommodate that level of involvement by owners and would instead refer you to a property manager who accommodates the level of involvement you desire.
Under your "turnkey" system of property management, how informed then will I be about what’s going on with my property?
Our general rule is this; if something has happened, or is about to happen, that will disrupt your ordinary monthly cash proceeds by more than $500, we will let you know about it.
An example would be that we receive a 30-day notice from your tenant, and therefore a turnover, along with related expenses, is pending and we want you to be informed and prepared for it.
Another example would be that your A/C unit has failed during the middle of a hot summer; we’ve determined that the 12 year old compressor needs replacing and have initiated the work to replace it. We’ll call to let you know what has happened and the expected financial impact on the following month’s statement.
Finally, for new owners that seem a bit nervous, we do tend to break our own rule somewhat during the initial lease-up and make-ready maintenance process, as we bring your property into our system and attend to any initial details such as bringing the locks and smoke detectors up to code or curing any necessary repair or maintenance issues. We do want you to be comfortable working with us going forward, so the startup process may involve more communication, if you so desire, than is outlined above. You will settle in and become comfortable with us very quickly though, and after the initial period of getting started, we’ll revert to our normal routime and level of communication.
What type of rental properties do you manage in Silicon Valley?
We manage residential single family homes and duplexes that are in good to excellent condition. Another way to say it is; we manage safe, well maintained homes that attract good, quality renters.
What type of rental properties in Silicon Valley do you NOT handle?
- We don’t manage anything larger than a duplex, such as 4-plex properties or small apartments.
- We don’t manage commercial properties.
- We don’t manage properties with pools or hot tubs, due to liability and safety concerns.
- We don’t manage homes with chronic repair issues or conditions that might adversely affect the health or safety of an ordinary tenant. An example would be a home with a rotted 2nd story deck that an owner "can’t afford" to properly repair.
In which areas of Silicon Valley do you offer property management services?
Our team manages a portfolio of properties throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties which we do serve.
If you own multiple rental properties including some that are outside of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties call us to discuss whether we can handle your group of properties. We do sometimes make exceptions for the right properties and owners.
How do you determine the rent value of my home when it needs to be rented?
Each time your home comes up for rent, we will perform a market analysis to determine how much homes similar to yours have been renting for recently. Once we determine a starting value, we add or subtract based on the time of year, competition from other available homes for rent near yours, the condition of the property (older vs. newer carpet, age of appliances, floor plan, etc.), and other relevant market factors.
As a general rule, we believe it’s a good idea to price your rental property at or slightly below market value and get it rented quickly. Vacancy is your worst enemy and we work hard to prevent excess vacancy loss. Sometimes owners get hung up on trying to squeeze out a little extra rent, but we will council you against being too optimistic. For example, a home with a market rent of $1,195, if placed on the market for a more optimistic $1,250, only has to remain vacant about 2 weeks longer than it otherwise would have to completely erase the additional $660/yr. that the $1,250 would have achieved.
Additionally, we stay very tuned in to the rental market all across Silicon Valley. No other Silicon Valley property manager that we know of provides monthly sales market statistics like the ones we provide on our website.
How will your Silicon Valley property management company market our home when it needs to be rented to a new tenant?
Exposure and good photos are the name of the game.
We market your home for rent as follows:
- Sign in the yard
- Listed on the Silicon Valley MLS with good quality photos and full descriptions
- Listed on our website at www.Boyenga.com
- Advertised on www.Craigslist.org
- Advertised on www.Realtor.com
- Advertised on www.Postlets.com
- Advertised on www.ListHub.com, and other various affiliate websites (that receive listing feeds from Listhub, including Yahoo! Real Estate, AOL Real Estate, Trulia, Zillow.com, Google Maps, Cyberhomes, Oodle, Homefinder, Hotpads, + 16 more
How much security Deposit will you require from new tenants?
We stay within the customs of Silicon Valley and normally require about 100% of a full month’s rent.
Will you allow tenants to have pets in our property?
We would rather not. If we do, pets will be limited to 35 lbs each and a maximum of two total animals. We also prohibit certain aggressive breeds of dogs such as Pit Bulls and Rotweilers.
If you instruct us to market the home as a No Pets property, we are happy to do so, and will not allow pets at all. Or you can instruct us to allow cats only, or dogs only. Be aware that pets can cause damage beyond the normal pet deposit of $500 to $1,000 per animal. On the other hand, not accepting pets eliminates a lot of prospective renters, so the more restrictive the pet policy, the greater likelihood of a longer vacancy at lease-up.
The pet policy for your particular home is something we will discuss at greater length with you during our initial conversation.
Do you allow smoking in our Silicon Valley rental home?
No. We write into every lease, for every property we manage, a "no smoking" policy.
How will prospective tenants be screened and qualified by your property management company?
We require tenants to provide at least two years of good verifiable rental history (or proof of home ownership), good credit, and verifiable income at least 3 times the monthly rent. That’s it in a nutshell, but a lot more goes into the screening than just those three items.
We call the applicant’s current/previous landlords and ask about the applicant’s payment history, whether there were bounced checks, late payments, unauthorized roommates, pets, noise, damage, etc.
If the former landlord is a private home owner (instead of an apartment manager), we pull the County tax record to verify that the person listed as the landlord is in fact the owner of the former rental property.
We also run an MLS search on the tenant’s former addresses to see if there was any MLS sales or rental activity that contradicts the rental time frame listed on the application.
These two additional cross-checks alone have caught many bogus applicants in years past who might otherwise have slipped through a less rigorous screening process.
Additional Address Checks
We also pull a copy of the applicant’s driver’s license from a public database we subscribe to. This online driver’s license service shows the date of last renewal (which isn’t shown on the actual driver license). We compare that address and date to the most addresses and dates listed on the rental application.
The online driver license also allows us to click on the applicant’s driver license address and see all other driver licenses that have the same address listed. This sometimes reveals interesting results as we discover additional people (girlfriends, roommates) not listed on the application, with recent license renewal activity at the same address of the applicant. We then ask questions to clarify whether or not those individuals are planning to move in to the new rental property as well.
We perform the same address crosschecks against the addresses that appear on an applicant’s credit report.
We fax an employment verification form to employers, and ask the applicant for a recent check stub. Income must be at least three times the monthly rent to qualify.
Criminal Background, Eviction and Terrorist Database Search
We perform a California Criminal Background check on each applicant as well as an Eviction History search and Federal Terrorist Database search.
Most good applicants will sail through the screening process and be approved. Otherwise, the screening process may reveal "red flags" which we look into further. Commonly, an applicant may qualify based on income and rental history, but have poor credit. In some instances, if we think the applicant is a reasonable risk, we will offer them approval with additional security deposit equal to at least one month’s rent.
In all instances we are very thorough with our screening of tenants, probably moreso than many other property managers, and will never let an urgency to rent diminish our screening requirements.
Do you use a well written lease agreement that protects me and my property?
Yes. We use the most recently updated California Association of Realtors Residential Lease Agreement.
How strictly do you enforce the lease agreement after the tenant moves in?
We enforce the lease very strictly, including late fees, pet policy, unauthorized occupants, vehicle limits, HOA Rules, lease term, and all other terms and conditions of the lease agreement. If we become aware of a lease violation, the tenant promptly receives a violation notice and is required to cure the violation to avoid further action.
How does your Silicon Valley property management company handle repair requests from tenants?
All non-emergency repair requests are reported to us in writing, as required in the lease agreement. We strive to respond to and complete most ordinary repair requests in 3 business days or less.
Repairs and property condition issues offer the greatest opportunity for friction and ill will between landlords and tenants. A property manager walks the line between a tenant who wants things fixed ASAP, and an owner who is sensitive to repair expenses. We in fact want the tenant to enjoy a well maintained home in which everything functions as designed and intended. It’s to your advantage that this happens, as a happy tenant is more likely to remain in the property at renewal.
This is where the rubber hits the road on the "turnkey service" philosophy that was outlined above. If something in your home is legitimately broken, worn out or in need of repair, we are going to have it fixed or replaced without consulting with or informing you, so long as it falls within the $500 repair cap established in the property management agreement.
In many instances, we will quiz the tenant about the problem and attempt to solve it over the phone. This is commonly accomplished with problems such as tripped breakers or GFI outlets (reset breaker), malfunctioning garage openers (check the eyebeams), disposals (reset button), dishwashers (wall switch), HVAC (thermostat not set properly, filter door loose or intake blocked), etc.
This by the way is where we as a "small shop" can offer a more personal level of repair troubleshooting and diagnosis than a large property management company with an impersonal "repair pipeline" process. Essentially, before spending your money on a service call, we attempt to troubleshoot and solve the problem. Once it’s determined that a legitimate problem exists, and that a service call is needed, we send a vendor who we have probably been using for more than 10 years and whom we trust to take care of the problem.
How much of my money do you hold in reserve for repairs?
$500 is held in your account at all times, to be used if needed to pay for a repair after your rent proceeds have been dispersed.
Will you use my Home Warranty Company, such as American Home Shield?
No. We won’t use American Home Shield or any other Warranty Company as a "first responder" on any repair issues at your home.
If, as a property manager, I wanted to damage my reputation with as many tenants as possible by providing the lousiest repair service possible, I can’t think of a better way to accomplish that than by using American Home Shield on all service calls. They simply are not compatible with the level of service we demand of our vendors, and they don’t make the cut to be a member of our vendor team. We’ve been burned so many times in years past that we finally decided we’d had enough, and said "no more".
Nothing affects the reputation of a property management company more than the manner in which repairs are handled. Tenants judge us by almost no other measure. It therefore makes little sense to entrust vendors we don’t know, whom we have no relationship with or control over, with the reputation of our company and the relationship with your tenant. Instead, when repairs are needed, we will send our trusted vendors with whom established relationships exists, and they will provide the quality service we require in a professional and timely manner.
That said, if we determine through our own vendor that a covered mechanical item in your home has failed, or is in need of costly repair, we will endeavor to get American Home Shield, or whatever Home Warranty company you have, out to honor the warranty, provided that they accomplish the service call and repair in a timeframe and manner that is acceptable.
Will you use my brother-in-law to perform repairs, he’s fairly handy?
No, we only use our qualified vendors. We are not able for liability reasons to use your friends or relatives to perform work on your home unless they are in fact licensed vendors (see below).
Will you use my favorite Plumber, A/C Company, etc. each time a repair is needed?
We will be happy to invite them to join our vendor list, if they are qualified and insured, but we can’t promise that a specific vendor will be dispatched to your home for certain repairs.
What bills will you take care of getting paid for me, related to my rental property?
We will pay your recurring HOA dues, lawn service and any other bill or invoice generated as a result of repairs, utilities or other services to your property. We are not able to pay mortgage or insurance payments on your behalf.
When will I receive my owner statement and check each month?
Owner checks and statements are mailedbetween the 10th and 15th each month.
What are your fees for managing homes in Silicon Valley?
Management fee is 9% of the monthly rent collected, with an $125 per month minimum.
Leasing commission is 80% of one full month’s rent each time a new tenant is located, $1,000 minimum.
Renewal Fee is $125 flat charge each time a lease renewal is executed with an existing tenant.
What other fees or possible charges do I need to know about?
It’s rare that anything other than the three fees above are actually charged to one of our owners, but your management agreement will have some of the the following items listed.
If you lose a rent proceeds check, there is a $25 replacement fee (our charge to cancel the check at our bank)
We may charge for mailing/copy costs other than your regular monthly statement, such as if you want a copy of the tenant’s lease mailed to you, or we have to send certified mail to your tenant or provide a copy of a large HOA Rules document to your tenant.
All other fees are listed in the Sample Management Agreement linked below.
Do you charge a markup on maintenance invoices?
No, we do not mark up maintenance or repair invoices.
Do you charge a "setup" fee?
No, there is no setup fee, but we will need you to mail your repair holdback of $1000 to us along with the management agreement. If an existing tenant is in the property, we will need you to send the security deposit to be held in our deposit escrow account.
What type of Property Management Agreement will I be signing?
We use the California Association of Realtors Property Management Agreement along with some other forms as listed below.
- Sample Property Management Agreement
- Owner Notice of Property Condition
- W-9 Form
What is the process once I decide to have you manage my home?
We will visit your home to have a look, and if it meets our condition requirements, we will send you a management agreement and initiate the process of assuming management of your property.
If you have any questions not answered above, or wish to further discuss anything listed above, feel free to call the Boyenga Team ( Eric & Janelle) at (408)373-1660 or contact us online.
© 2019 MLSListings Inc. All rights reserved. Based on information from MLSListings MLS as of June 17th, 2019 at 6:40am PDT.
All data, including all measurements and calculations of area, is obtained from various sources and has not been, and will not be, verified by broker or MLS.
All information should be independently reviewed and verified for accuracy. Properties may or may not be listed by the office/agent presenting the information.