Frequently Asked Questions
Aren’t all management companies the same... What makes your company different?
Professional Property Management covers a wide range of services and can differ greatly from company to company. Some management companies provide only basic bookkeeping services and financial reporting while others do periodic on-site inspections and assist on-site managers with decision making. At First Commercial Property, we take a very hands-on approach to property management. We visit the properties regularly and work closely with the owners, residents, and on-site managers to continually improve the quality and value of our communities. We aggressively market and fill vacancies, manage construction projects, and advise owners on finance, tax, and investment issues making us an entirely unique, full-service property management company. We understand the needs of owners because we are multifamily residential owners ourselves. We provide a clear and concise fee structure that is easy to understand and will not nickel-and-dime you with extra fees.
How do you deal with vacancies?
Every empty lot or apartment unit represents lost income that can never be recovered. Some vacancy is unavoidable; tenants move out or, in some cases, need to be removed for the betterment of the community. Sometimes homes need to be remodeled or even be removed and replaced with newer homes. Every turnover takes time and costs money. Every vacancy is a unique opportunity to increase value. We are the most aggressive company in the Northwest at filling vacancies. We are vigilant at pro-actively retaining good homes within your community and turning over apartment units quickly and efficiently. We have longtime relationships with Brokers and agents who are local to your property, know your market, are familiar with our objectives, and are engaged in marketing homes. We have a track record of performance that gives us an advantage with contractors, realtors, lenders, and governmental agencies. We know where and how to advertise to get results.
What about the learning curve, and getting up-to-speed on my community?
First Commercial Property's staff is comprised of experienced team members with over 75 years of experience managing communities in the northwest. There’s a good chance we’ve seen it all and are already well versed with your community and the geographic market it is within. As experienced, tenured professionals, we are 1,000% confident that a seamless transition of your community will be achieved.
Is there any benefit to waiting until Year's End to make the switch?
First Commercial Property uses industry-leading accounting software utilized by a majority of management firms that has allowed for a seamless transition of accounting in most scenarios. Additionally, when a change in management occurs during the year, our Accounting Department merges your prior set of reports within the reports generated by our firm. This has helped put our clients' (and their CPAs') minds at ease. We do this at no added expense.
Why am I paying extra fees for filling vacancies?
Although other firms charge steep fees for finding mobile homes, filling vacancies, and then paying commissions on the eventual sales of the homes, First Commercial does not. Simply put, it's just part of our ongoing job description as Professional Property Managers to fill vacancies efficiently with quality homes and Residents. We do not participate in commissions nor will we ever charge our clients “finders fees” or anything else surrounding this crucial part of preserving a community’s value. Similarly, we do not charge extra fees for hiring and training new managers, reviewing leases, rewriting the Rules & Regulations, or the myriad of other tasks you want and need from your property management company.
Will we still need to manage construction projects ourselves?
We have years of experience managing construction projects across the Northwest. We have supervised major infrastructure projects: road and utility improvements, conversions from septic to sewer, sub-metering of utilities, and landscaping upgrades. We supervise turnovers, renovations, repairs and improvements: from the replacement of siding, decks, windows, and roofing to updating electrical, water and sewer lines, and septic systems. Every project is unique and requires some degree of oversight. We monitor projects carefully and keep you fully informed from inception to completion.
What about major capital expenditures? Will I still be involved in decision-making?
After careful analysis of your property, we may make recommendations regarding deferred maintenance and capital expenditures. This is done in the context of annual operating budgets. Decisions are made and implemented with your approval. We obtain bids from licensed and bonded, third party vendors, and oversee the projects from beginning to end.
How do I cancel my current management contract?
Frequently, management firms have different generations of Management Agreements. Most are outdated and have fallen into a month-to-month arrangement calling for between 30-60 days written notice for cancellation. Offering the Two Months free has helped alleviate our newest clients concerns. It should be noted that we are available to start managing your community immediately even while you are waiting for your current management firm's existing term to end. We are completely flexible and available to speak with you at further length on this issue.
Do you handle legal issues with tenants?
Landlord-Tenant laws are complex, constantly changing, and differ from state to state. Keeping leases and Rules & Regulations up-to-date and keeping on-site Managers properly trained is a critical component in minimizing a Landlord’s liability. We do regular, scheduled training sessions with on-site Managers to keep them educated and fully informed. We work diligently to identify areas of potential liability and take proactive measures to avoid legal disputes before they occur. When legal disputes are unavoidable, we work with a team of lawyers who specialize in Landlord-Tenant issues.
Can I still set the rental rate for my units after I sign up?
We do annual rent surveys to determine the market rental rates in other communities in your area. This takes into account the size of the community, vacancies, condition, amenities, and age restrictions in order to determine the most appropriate and competitive rental rates for your community. Ultimately, the decision is yours. We work with you to help you make informed decisions that we will then implement. Our goal is to maximize your property's income by retaining satisfied Residents who recognize the value of living in your community. This philosophy helps avoid loss of rent due to vacancy and minimizes unnecessary turnover expenses.
Won’t I lose my on-site staff if I switch firms?
No. Management firms supervise on-site staff, but you and your community ownership pay their payroll, housing, utilities, bonuses, etc. We will not make any changes to on-site staff unless you specifically direct us otherwise.
If I’m not happy with your management services, can I cancel the contract?
We pride ourselves on having exceptional customer service and a deep knowledge of the industry. This service comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are not entirely satisfied with the service you are receiving from First Commercial Property, you may cancel your management contract with our firm at any time.
What if I’m planning to sell my property?
Not only is First Commercial Property a full-service property management company, but we are a full-service brokerage company as well. If you are thinking of selling, we can assess your property and give you a comprehensive market evaluation. We will identify issues that need to be addressed prior to sale and help position your property in the marketplace to ensure you receive its full potential value. We know what buyers are looking for, what questions they will ask, and what problems they will most likely uncover. Professional management can dramatically improve the quality of your community and the value of your property.
4616 25TH AVENUE NE #701 SEATTLE, WA 98105
16869 SW 65TH AVENUE #221 LAKE OSWEGO, OR 97035
TEL 206.985.7275 | FAX 206.985.3876 | TOLL-FREE 844.985.7275
© 2015 First Commercial Property Corporation
First Commercial Property Corp. and the properties it manages, do not accept comprehensive reusable tenant screening reports.