ST. GEORGE — With the explosive growth that the city of St. George is experiencing, it is little wonder that industries associated with the increase in population are considering bringing their business to town.
Property Managment Inc. based in Lehi has its eyes set on establishing franchise opportunities for the right individuals to manage the needs of property owners and their tenants in Southern Utah.
Company President Danessa Itaya said as a franchisor that specializes in property management of short term and long term rentals such as vacation units, as well as residential and commercial properties and homeowner associations, there is a tremendous need in St. George to provide services in order to keep up with growth.
“We are actively marketing in St. George,” Itaya said. “We are working to attract and find the right candidate there to open St. George. We anticipate putting two businesses there.”
Property Management Inc. has approximately 250 franchises across the United States with a strong following of franchisees in Utah.
When asked why St. George, Itaya said the answer is simple: it’s about the opportunities.
“For us, we tend to have operations in areas that have quite a bit of growth, and St. George is one of those markets,” she said. “Because of (the) city’s growth, the weather and its location to national parks, what we find is that it’s the perfect place to establish a couple of franchises.”
With a franchise in already established in Cedar City, it is a natural extension to target the city of St. George for a potential business.
Although a lot of what a property manager does is conducted over the telephone or internet, there will be a brick and mortar presence.
Typically the franchisee is a husband and wife team, but depending on how fast they grow, they could be expected to hire between two and five employees within the first year.
Property Management projects opening a local franchise in January.
Itaya says she anticipates some challenges along the way.
“The biggest one this is making sure we have good, solid tenants, but also marketing the properties well before the lease is up,” Itaya said. “The name of the game is to keep each property leased.”
Along with finding the right tenants, another challenge is convincing the owners to purchase additional homeowners insurance to cover items like plumbing, hot water heaters, dishwashers and air conditioning units. Homeowners tend to penny-pinch when a big-ticket item such as a refrigerator needs repair or replacement. Appliances and HVAC units typically are not covered under normal homeowners’ insurance.
Supplemental coverage is a wise investment, Itaya added.
“It’s about trying to help the owner understand when they need to invest in their property, whether it’s supplemental insurance or upgrading appliances, maybe maintenance to their home,” she said. “It’s sometimes difficult to convince them by taking these steps they can command a higher rent on their home.”
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