Rent Sense: Help with Yelp

By: Neil Fjellestad and Chris De Marco
FBS Property Management

Help with Yelp

If you provide rental housing in this region especially during these economic times as a Rental Owner or Property Manager you must be aware that it is inherently a business open to criticism from its customers, suppliers and clients. As the messenger of difficult news, as the enforcer of demanding contracts, as the arbiter between circumstances and/persons calling for opposite resolution, as a fiduciary of private financial & credit information, and as the bill collector for the largest household expense it is natural to enjoy favor on one day and be perceived as a major source of frustration the next. Potential renters, industry suppliers and real estate investors can become a bit wary if they read only the Yelp reviews from those in the midst of a frustrating day. However, if such comments do not exist you must ask, why not?

Property Managers enjoy an interesting customer service role in the business community. Let’s take a look:

First of all, our clients are independent landlords and our customers are their tenants. Landlords and tenants rarely agree on much due to completely different points of view. There are a myriad of consumer laws and regulations that emphasize their differences while discouraging a common sense approach to resolution.

Second, most business has one or a handful of client and/or customer interactions intermittent over a considerable period of time. Our interactions happen at least monthly but often weekly or daily and our relationships go on regularly for years.

Third, Yelp creates a valuable interchange for customers spending a few dollars up to several hundred which represent a small percentage of that customer’s income. Expressing a personal opinion about a product or service can be a hobby for some while providing consumer guidance to others. However, rental customers pay from a third to over one half of their household income for the housing products and services we represent. Equally frustrated, rental owner clients see the reality of the cost and personal liability of their extended real estate ownership; often without substantial financial rewards. In our daily interactions with clients and customers we understand that a lot is at stake and it is natural to blame the messenger.

“Rent Sense” is an informative article for Rental Owners or those looking to become investment property owners. This insight is brought to you courtesy of Neil Fjellestad and Chris De Marco, President and Vice President of FBS Property Management in San Diego, CA. The goal of “Rent Sense” is to educate existing and perspective property investors on the Property Management field, the ever changing Real Estate regulations as well as the technology advances being made by our company and other industry leaders. We have been in business for over 40 years, cover 65 zip codes, over 700 single family homes and over 1,200 clients thus providing us with a variety of topics to discuss. Neil, Chris and the rest of the FBS team is available at 619-286-7600 or