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By Neil Fjellestad | Property Manager in San Diego County, CA
  • FBS Property Management eNewsletter for Ventura County

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate in Ventura, Rentals in Ventura, Investment Properties in Ventura  |  April 4, 2013 3:59 PM  |  497 views  |  No comments
    Please take a quick look at what's new at FBS. Whether you are a renter by choice, an experienced independent rental owner or an interested real estate investor you will discover the value that our company's four decades of rental ownership, respected property management expertise and real estate investment advice can provide. We currently operate rental properties in 69 zip codes throughout the region.

  • Fjellestad (FBS) Pays Tribute to San Diego County Apartment Association (SDCAA)

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in Ventura, Rentals in Ventura, Investment Properties in Ventura  |  February 16, 2013 10:34 AM  |  719 views  |  No comments

    FBS operates rental properties in 69 zip codes throughout the region and has continuously provided comprehensive advisory and management services to independent rental owners for more than four decades. During this same period FBS has provided quality housing to thousands of renters that are treated as preferred customers. As industry leaders we are pleased to pay tribute to local, state and national associations that enhance and protect Rental Ownership as essential to the economic and social fabric of our neighborhoods. Please take a moment to regularly review what we have to say and what's happening at Fjellestad, Barrett & Short (FBS). Neil

  • Fjellestad in the News

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in Ventura, How To... in Ventura, Rental Basics in Ventura  |  May 24, 2012 10:15 AM  |  1,430 views  |  No comments

    Submitted by sdsu.edu/realestate and Published in their Spring 2012 Newsletter 

    The Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate, The Real Estate Society of SDSU, and working real estate professionals in San Diego County have joined forces to offer you a unique opportunity: Day 1.

    Day 1 consists of a series of workshops, held in the offices of various working professionals, where students can learn specific skills in the real estate realm. No lectures, no homework, no tests, no grades, no credit, no books, no tuition – just learning. Attendees get instruction from the professional on how to do a job, and then they do it. Sessions will be held once a month on a Saturday morning for 2 to 2.5 hours each. At the end of the workshop, the attendee will be able to perform a set of related tasks, and have one more contact in the industry.

    In the first two sessions last fall, students visited the offices of one of San Diego's premier retail brokers (Ron Pepper of Retail Insite) and a leading property investor and manager (Neil Fjellestad of Fjellestad Properties). Pepper let participants on a quest to identify the optimal San Diego locations for a real-world client of his, and then revealed the recommendations he had made to the chairman of that national retailer. Fjellestad, a former president of the San Diego County Apartment Association and a tech aficionado, exposed students to the latest improvements in property-management methodology and technology.

  • Rent Sense: Investor Mistakes Void Rental Owner Benefits

    Posted Under: Financing in Ventura, Agent2Agent in Ventura, Rental Basics in Ventura  |  May 19, 2012 8:53 AM  |  1,440 views  |  No comments

    By Neil Fjellestad and Chris De Marco
    FBS Property Management

    There are fundamental investment mistakes made by rental owners that can unravel the potential return and negate the inherent safety of the investment. These mistakes are compounded by poor property management. This combination generally translates into a bad rental experience for the tenant(s) as well.

    • Most businesses fail due to owners’ lack of sufficient capital and experience. Rental ownership (no matter the size of the property) is a business that starts off in trouble at purchase by obtaining maximum financing without sufficient down payment, inefficient attention to terms of the loan(s) like future debt servicing requirements (balloon payments and/or interest payment changes).
    • Leverage is a powerful investment benefit but must be controlled to keep the LTV (loan to value) within safe equity parameters that allow for optimum ROI and tax code advantage while buffering against economic downturns.
    • Property improvements, preventative repairs and ongoing maintenance routines are necessary parts of the financial planning as well.
    • Mistakes on establishment of competitive rent rates and lease terms create unnecessary vacancy and/or will substantially reduce actual rent collected.
    • Insufficient and/or inadequate marketing during the lease-up time (typical problem) increases the likelihood for bad tenant selection which can have a long-term negative effect on the property; financially and physically.
    • Inexperienced managers hesitate to utilize aggressive rent collection, effective negotiation and/or timely eviction to maintain revenue and preserve the property.
    • Failure to respond with businesslike customer service to renters' requests in order to maximize resident retention can be costly as well.
    • An experienced acquisition adviser/property manager is needed in the beginning. While a professional can have an impact at any point, most prefer to maximize the benefits of rental ownership for all the parties from the start.
  • Rent Sense: Preventative Legal is an Ongoing Requirement (part 6)

    Posted Under: Crime & Safety in Ventura, Agent2Agent in Ventura, Rental Basics in Ventura  |  April 28, 2012 10:43 AM  |  1,683 views  |  No comments

    I have asked Ted Kimball to regularly share some of his legal insights on important issues that arise in the ongoing operation of rental properties (single homes, individual condos and apartments). These responses should not be construed as legal advice until your specific circumstances are considered. Our Property Management firm has effectively utilized the legal counsel of KTS for years to keep ourselves and our rental owner clients out of trouble. We operate rental properties in 65 zip codes throughout the region. Neil

    1.  Question: There is a very loud tenant in the apartment building across the alley from our rental.  I have asked them to quiet down on numerous occasions and have even called the police. They keep playing their music late at night and into the wee hours of the morning. What else can we do?
    Answer: You should continue to contact the police when unreasonable disturbances occur and 
    consider contacting the owner of the property to inform him or her of the situation.The owner 
    may not be aware of the problem and is able to take legal steps to remedy the situation if the 
    loud tenant does not quiet down.
    2.  Question: After a lease expires and it is month-to-month, how much notice must a tenant give me in order to legally terminate the lease? He says one week. Is this true?
    Answer: In California, 30 days or 60 days written notice is required to terminate a month-to-month tenancy and can be served by either party at any time during the tenancy. If all of the 
    tenants have been in possession for one year or longer, you must serve a 60-day notice. Keep 
    in mind the tenant can also serve a 30-day notice notwithstanding how long they have resided in 
    the premises.
    3.  Question: Someone told me that if a resident is committing a crime on the premises they can be evicted in 3 days. I have never heard of this law and I currently rent to someone I suspect is dealing in drugs.  Can you tell me more about it? 

    Answer: California law does allow an owner or manager of rental property to serve a 3-day 
    notice to quit the premises based upon the commission of an illegal act on the property.  The 
    illegal conduct must, however, relate to the rented property. If your tenant was dealing with or 
    possessed illegal drugs on the premises, you could serve the 3-day notice. If the tenant failed 
    to quit, an unlawful detainer action could be filed in court to recover possession. 
  • Rent Sense: Is Month-to-Month Rental Best?

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in Ventura, Rental Basics in Ventura, Rent vs Buy in Ventura  |  April 27, 2012 10:32 AM  |  1,612 views  |  No comments

    By Neil Fjellestad & Chris De Marco

    FBS Property Management

    Some renters prefer a month-to-month rental agreement citing the high unemployment situation in San Diego or their personal current concerns about contractual commitment. It has always been our belief that a long term lease attracts and best serves qualified renters. The loss from reoccurring moving costs completely overshadows any benefit of remaining free to do so. We will consistently choose to retain our existing residents as their lease expires because the owner(s) will experience an interruption of rent and out-of-pocket costs connected to the turnover. So residents that have paid their rent on time and kept up the rental home will get preferential treatment at renewal.

    There could be a misperception that rents (like other goods and services) are trending down or might become subject to downward negotiation if they maintain a 30-day agreement. Quite the contrary is true when you take a closer look at the local rental economy. Due to projected supply and demand for well-located rental homes, condos and apartments rental rates will increase (2-3%) this year and (3-5%) in 2013.  

    Most rental owners are seeking to raise rents across the board in order to repay out-of-pocket expenses endured during the last several years and/or to accomplish repairs and improvements that they have deferred. As a month-to-month tenant you are not protected from multiple rent increases and owners will likely postpone requested maintenance until you move.

    Other rental owners are selling their primary homes at a loss and/or consolidating their property holdings to preserve equity and credit worthiness. In some cases, this results in vacating their rental properties in order to have a place to live themselves.  In addition, some local rental property owners are choosing to default on their rentals in order to try and save their primary residence.

    While an owner’s decisions can affect their credit, it often has a much greater affect on the renter(s) living in that home. Once a property is in foreclosure or it is given back to the bank a real estate company is hired to sell the home/property. It is often the decision to vacate the property as it is believed to be much easier to sell an empty property.

    By being on a long-term lease no one can decide to raise your rent because they feel like it. No one can ask you to vacate the property on a whim or with a short term notice. And most importantly, if a property is foreclosed upon, an agent/bank must either abide by the contract, authorizing you to live there through the duration of the lease, or must provide you with compensation if they want you to vacate. 

  • FBS Property Management in the News

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in Ventura  |  April 15, 2012 1:39 PM  |  1,443 views  |  No comments

    Fjellestad, Barrett & Short (FBS) adds a V.P.

    Chris De Marco- Principal/ Vice President

    Welcomes the arrival of Lucinda Garland, CPM; GRI as an additional Vice President -

    “Lucinda and I share a similar drive to be the best and to get the best from our team in order to meet goals for our clients and the expectations of our renters. We have worked together over the last 20 years on local industry projects as volunteers. These opportunities have given me a respect for her ethics along with her results. We’re pleased to offer her this opportunity and welcome her as a major contributor. We’ve enjoyed double-digit growth for several years and believe in our company’s future. “

    Lucinda Garland summarizes her new role as a FBS Vice President this way -

    “FBS enjoys a singular reputation within the real estate industry; a remarkable track record locally since 1972 for their real estate acquisition strategies including complete property management for independent rental owners. During the last 20 years they have quietly built a national reputation within the multi housing industry as well. As the company’s primary focus returns to San Diego they bring the enthusiasm, energy and drive of a new business. Their invitation to join their senior management team would seem to be the next logical step in my career as all my experience will be brought forward in this unique assignment.”

    Neil Fjellestad- Principal/ President

    Believing that Lucinda is a great fit for FBS, he adds -

    “She is experienced but still passionate about quality. I’m very excited for our “rising stars” that are investing their careers at FBS and are hungry to get to the next level. Our emphasis is on growth and now with the additional leadership (including San Diego County Apartment Association Board of Directors) and exclusive professional designations (Certified Property Manager and Graduate Realtors Institute) that Ms. Garland brings will create greater guidance to their daily organizational and decision- making skills. All this translates into better property management performance which benefits both our rental owner clients and our rental customers.”

    “FBS is one the region’s leading rental housing providers currently operating independent rental properties in 69 zip codes throughout San Diego.”

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