Marin Property Management Blog

You Inherited a House – Now What? Consider Renting Before Selling

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Recently, we have received a lot of calls from people who are inheriting a family home. In many cases, parents or family members have passed on, moved into assisted living facilities, or chosen to downsize from a large house. There’s often an emotional attachment to the home, and it can be difficult to sell it right away. There may not be a lot of expenses with the mortgage, so you may be wondering if you should hang onto it for a few years and rent it out for tax purposes. 

Making Your Property Rent-Ready: Property Code Requirements 

Give us a call, and I can come out to meet you and go through the property. I’ll make some recommendations on what should be done to bring it into rent-ready condition. We’ll have to talk about having the proper number of smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, changing the locks, and handling a few other things that are required to prepare your home as a rental. 

Attracting the Best Tenants: Upgrades and Updates 

I can also offer some advice on upgrades. You might want to put in granite or quartz countertops, which have come down in price a lot, and will help you get a better rental return. With the flooring, we’re steering away from carpet because we only get 5 to 10 years of life out of carpets. Engineered wood or laminate flooring lasts longer and is easier to maintain. It’s worth getting a quote for both. Tenants seem to prefer hardwood or laminate flooring, and it’s also more durable for pets

Calculating Your Rental Range 

We’ll tour through the home and spend up to an hour together, talking about your property. Then, I’ll also give you some numbers on what the rents will be, how the competition looks, and what you can expect in terms of costs associated with your property. You can feel better educated on the rental option, and decide what to do with that family property. 

Contact us at PRANDI Property Management for help with the home you’ve inherited. We’d be happy to talk about your residence.

Who is PRANDI Property Management and Why Should You Work with Us

Sunday, June 24, 2018

I’m Melissa Prandi, the president and CEO of PRANDI Property Management. We’re located in Marin County, which is just north of San Francisco, over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Marin County Property Management Roots

I was born and raised in Marin County, and I’ve lived here my entire life. I got started in property management over 35 years ago, which is hard to believe. I began as a receptionist, and started learning about property management, and then became a property manager for five years.

I went out on maternity leave on a Wednesday, did a little grocery shopping on Thursday, and on Friday, went into labor at 10 minutes before 8:00 in the morning while crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. It wasn’t easy. I got to the hospital at 8:00, had my son at 10 minutes to 9:00 that morning, and went home the same day.

On Monday morning, the phone rang and it was the owners of the company I had been working for. They told me they were going to sell the company, and I could either buy it or be out of a job. I thought about it for a nanosecond, and bought the company. I put a playpen in my office, and found myself with two babies: a brand new property management company and a brand new infant.

Growing PRANDI Property Management

Fast forward to now, and we have grown the company quite a bit. We’re a family-owned business that’s community focused. We enjoy giving back. All of our staff are involved in giving back to the community. I especially love rotary clubs and being active. 

We pair quality tenants with quality homes. We’re a little different in that we exclusively handle single family residential homes. We manage anything you can live in, but we focus on the residential, and we work only in Marin County. We don’t buy and sell real estate; concentrating 100 percent on property management and leasing homes.

Lease-Only Services for Property Owners

Our services are comprehensive, and we know that the most important thing we can do is find a really good tenant for your property. If you don’t need full service management, we offer a service called Lease-Only. 

We come in and visit your property and talk about the value of your rental home. Then, we let you know what your competition is in the market. We recommend a price and some changes that might put your property in the perfect, rentable condition. That’s our Lease-Only start. Then, we market the home. My son Matt is a professional photographer, so we get the best photos to market your property.

Placing the Best Tenants

Finding the best tenant we can for your investment is what we do.
We will take care of all the legal paperwork, which is more complex than it was when I started in this industry. We qualify the tenant, we do the background and screening, review it with you, and agree that we have the best tenant for your property. Then, we do all the lease documents and the addenda. 
We get the property ready for move-in and provide a full move-in condition report. This shows what your property looked like when the tenants moved in. We expect them to return your property in the same condition that they received it, minus the general wear and tear.

We would love to work with you. Property management is our only business, so we’re focused and concentrated on what’s best for you. Please contact us at PRANDI Property Management, and we’ll talk about how to best rent your investment property.

Why Hire PRANDI Property Management to Manage Your Marin Rental Home

Monday, June 11, 2018

I’m Melissa Prandi, the owner and CEO of PRANDI Property Management. We are located in Marin County, which is just over the Golden Gate Bridge. I like to say it’s sandwiched between San Francisco and the Napa Valley. Today, we’re talking about why you should hire PRANDI Property Management.

The PRANDI Property Management Team: Designations and Certifications

The people in this company are really important to me. The PRANDI team is amazing, and I have a lot of longevity on my team. I have a strong relationship and have been actively involved in NARPM, which is the National Association of Residential Property Managers. I served on the national board for nine years, and held the national presidency in 2000 and 2001.

I’m proud of my designations. I have an RMP, which is a Residential Property Manager designation, and I also have an MPM, which is a Master Property Manager designation. 

I can’t do it all on my own. Christine Gooden works with me, and she also has her RMP and her MPM. She’s been with this company for over 17 years, and is one of our lead property managers. Then, I have my son. It’s always nice to work with family, and we’re family-owned and community-focused. Matt is a professional photographer, and he will come out and take pictures for your available rental. He is an RMP as well, and is continuing to take classes. He’s also active with the state organization – CALNARPM. 

We have a lot of strange laws in California, and a lot of people around the country aren’t sure how we got here. Several laws passed recently that require you to really look at hiring a professional property manager to protect yourself and your property.

The PRANDI Property Management Team: Resources and Expertise

We work in a team environment. When you hire us, you receive a team member who is a lead property manager with a lot of experience. You’ll also get an assistant as well as a maintenance coordinator. Everyone is cross trained so if someone is out, you have plenty of resources. 

We answer phones live, 24/7, and take care of emergency maintenance any time the phone rings.

Also important is that we carry credentials as a company. We are a Certified Residential Management Company; the only one in Marin County. That means we have gone through a detailed audit, so you know we are the cream of the crop. 

We’re the company to go to for experience, technology, continued education, and a staff that’s on the cutting edge of property management best practices.

The PRANDI Property Management Team: Online Portals

We have access to portals 24/7 as well. If you want to look at a bill and you’re an owner, you can see it online in your portal at any time. You’ll see the details on everything associated with your property, whether it’s plumbing, electrical, or anything pertaining to your home or tenant.

If you’re a tenant, you can pay rent online and access your portal to see if your lease is coming up for renewal. You can also see your history of maintenance requests. We keep outstanding records. 

Our financials are also amazing. Braden, our bookkeeper, is our team lead and has been with us for 13 years. She has a full time assistant, Shirley, and together they do all the bill paying, vendor payments, and they collect and deposit rent. As our investment client, everything is done for you online. Your monthly cash flow and owner drop goes right into your bank account. We send the money to you as soon as it’s available. 

PRANDI has been around a long time, and we’d love to be the company you choose to take care of your rental property. We’ll find quality tenants for your quality rental home. Contact us at PRANDI Property Management.

Should I Allow Pets in My Marin County Rental Home?

Monday, May 28, 2018

Pets versus no pets at your rental property is our topic today, and it’s a big question that we often get. I’ve been doing property management for 11 years, and my recommendation is to keep your pet process open. A smaller dog upon approval with an extra deposit is the best way to go.

Protecting Your Property from Pet Damage

We take all the precautions we can, and it starts with an extra deposit. This additional deposit can be upwards to two times the monthly rent. This protects you from any potential damage to your flooring or sheetrock. We also require renter’s insurance and area rugs. Those rugs should protect the hardwood floors, and that’s what owners are most concerned about when pets are in the home.

Insurance Concerns and Dangerous Breeds

We also ask for photos of the dog. This is to protect against any dangerous breeds that a tenant might be trying to move in. We don’t want to allow dogs like Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds. Your insurance company probably will not allow or cover those breeds. So, if your tenant tells us they have a Lab mix, and the picture looks like a Lab/Pit Bull mix, we’re going to stop that animal from being in your home.

Cats in a Rental Home

Cats can be more difficult. I have issues with cats and owners who have allergies. If our owners ever want to move back into the home and they’re allergic, it’s hard to get rid of the cat odor. Not a huge chunk of the market has cats, compared to dogs.

Vacancy Times and Pets

About 25 percent of the rental market has a dog. If we say no to dogs, that eliminates a large part of the market, and suddenly it’s harder to rent the home. So, the advantages of allowing dogs are that you can rent the property faster, get a higher rental amount, and the tenant tends to stay in the property longer. 

If you have any questions about pets or how to protect your rental property when you have tenants who own pets, please contact us at PRANDI Property Management. We’d be happy to talk to you further.

Can You Avoid a Bad Tenant? Advice for Marin County Landlords

Thursday, May 24, 2018

One of the most common questions we get from owners who are considering renting out their homes is, what will they do if their tenant doesn’t pay rent, or they have to evict that tenant?
At PRANDI Property Management, I have been doing this for 11 years, and I have only done one eviction during my time in this industry. Avoiding eviction has a lot to do with good tenant screening.

How to Find Good Tenants

To find good tenants who won’t need to be evicted, screen them well. We start, of course, with the credit report. We run credit on all applicants to make sure they have a good history of paying their bills on time. We want to be comfortable with their credit score, which should be in the high 600s or above.  

We also look at the applicant’s gross income. We want to see a household income that is at least three times the monthly rent. This will ensure the tenants have the ability to pay rent on a monthly basis. 

Finally, we talk to current and previous landlords. There are a few key questions that can tell us about the tenant’s performance: Did they get their deposit back? Were there any damages left behind, and did they take good care of the home? Would they rent to this person again? Where there any issues with pets?

Tenant Placement in Marin, California

Hiring PRANDI Property Management will alleviate your concerns about placing a bad tenant. We see more than qualified people moving here from San Francisco. Most of them are looking for a more permanent home, and Marin is unique. There are 26 school districts here, and several micro-climates.

Most tenants moving here will rent for a year and a half to two years. These are people with 800 credit scores, earning six figures a year. They have the ability to buy a home, but they want to rent before they spend millions on a property they will own. So, these are not your typical renters. They are highly qualified people looking to learn more about Marin before they buy.

If you have any questions about renting to tenants in Marin, please don’t hesitate to contact us at PRANDI Property Management. We’d be happy to help you through this process.

The PRANDI Journal | January 2014

Monday, January 6, 2014
This is our January 2014 Resident Newsletter "The PRANDI Journal" is sent to our residents on a quarterly basis. Simply click the image to enlarge the text.        

The PRANDI Journal | October 2013

Saturday, October 5, 2013
This is our October 2013 Resident Newsletter "The PRANDI Journal" is sent to our residents on a quarterly basis. Simply click the image to enlarge the text.        

New Client May-ONLY Spring Special

Monday, April 29, 2013
May-ONLY Spring Special! LIMITED time only ~ Promotion will end May 31st! All new clients who sign-up to use PRANDI Property Management’s Residential Leasing and Management Services during the month of May will pay half of one month’s rent as their leasing fee. Tell your friends about this great special offer! **This is for new clients who are signed in May. Leasing fees will be paid at the time of the new tenant’s move-in.

Accounting | In Review

Friday, February 1, 2013
It is a busy time of the year for the Accounting Department.  All of our 2012 Income and Expense Summaries have been posted to our owners’ account portals. We have also posted the Substitute Forms 1098 for owners with mortgages. 1099-MISC forms were mailed out by the 30th of January. We are currently looking at our tasks in February, where we will now turn our attention to preparing 592-B notices for owners who are non-residents of California. I hope you are enjoying the New Year! Reidun Waage Client Accounting Manager   Please feel free to embellish…

Thinking About Becoming a Landlord? Here Are Some Things You Might Not Know!

Thursday, December 27, 2012
Renting your property is a great idea. Placing tenants in your rental property while you're not using it can be a resourceful way to obtain some extra income [and basically have someone else pay the mortgage]! Many owners already know how involved the process of property management can be, and they are often willing to take on the day-to-day themselves--which is why we offer a Leasing Only service. But for those owners who live far away, or who don't quite understand how much work property management can be, it makes sense to hire a company like ours for our Full Time Management services. Here is a helpful article that all landlords should be aware of a look over before deciding if they want to manage their rental property on their own! --Cristy Boucher, CSS Broker Associate & Property Manager

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1321 Third Street
San Rafael, California 94901

(415) 482-9988

CalBRE Broker License #00980159


President & CEO

Melissa Prandi, RMP® MPM®, President & CEO of PRANDI Property Management, Inc., CRMC® and co-owner of PropertyADVANTAGE of Carlsbad, has been expertly matching quality tenants with quality homes with her professional PRANDI Staff for over 30 years. Melissa's enthusiasm and experience in the industry have led to a fulfilling and illustrious career. She not only manages many of Marin County's finest properties, but is also a nationwide motivational speaker, a sought-after teacher, and a community leader. An author of two industry-related books, "The Unofficial Guide to Managing Rental Property" and "The Idiot's Guide to: Success as a Property Manager", Melissa certainly proves her passion for excellence by sharing her vast knowledge of the field she loves so much with first-time landlords and experienced investors alike. In addition, Melissa was featured in the "Successful Property Managers" Volume 1 (she is one of twenty-five interviewed).

She is a past president of the National Association of Residential Property Managers and is proud of her company's elite CRMC® (Certified Residential Management Company) status. This title has been earned by fewer than thirty-five companies throughout the United States. Actively involved and committed to the community, Melissa serves on several non-profit boards. She is a member of the Central Advisory Board for Bank of Marin, was co-chair for Hospice by the Bay Foundation, and served for six years as the Director of Fair Housing of Marin. Melissa received the "Unsung Hero Award" for her dedication to equal housing opportunity in 2009.

Melissa works tirelessly with her team of committed employees to ensure that their client's residential investment properties run safely and smoothly while in their care. Because her companies do not buy or sell real estate, Melissa and her enthusiastic staff can concentrate on minimizing expenses and maximizing profits for property owners while taking care of tenant needs.

(415) 455-1370 | | BRE# 00980159



Vice President | Broker Associate | Property Manager & Leasing Agent

Matt Prandi Borries, was literally born into the business. Vice President of PRANDI Property Management, and son of Melissa Prandi, he earned his California Real Estate License in 2007 and has since earned his Broker's License. He works closely with the rest of the PRANDI staff, managing a diverse portfolio throughout all of Marin County.

Also an avid photographer, our marketing department utilizes Matt's professional wide-angle camera equipment to highlight the highly sought-after features each of our properties offer. Many of Matt's images have graced the walls of galleries around the county, and he is the talent behind all of our property marketing photos. Matt also enjoys meeting new people and loves to surf.

(415) 455-1373 | | BRE# 01787534



Senior Property Manager & Leasing Agent

Dana Sansing-Esquibel is a licensed Real Estate Agent who has been working with Melissa as a Property Manager and Leasing Agent for over 25 years. She grew up in San Anselmo and attended Brookside School, Drake High School, and College of Marin before transferring to California State University Chico earning her BA degree in Child Development.

Dana has seen a lot of growth and changes both in Marin and the company over the years. She is married to her husband, Rich, and they share their home with their loveable Norwich Terriers. Both she and Rich are very active in the American Kennel Club (AKC). They spend their free time breeding, raising and showing Norwich Terriers across the nation.

(415) 455-1371 | | BRE# 00911364



Senior Property Manager & Leasing Agent

Christine Goodin, MPM® has lived in Marin since 1976. She has been with PRANDI Property Management, Inc., CRMC® for over 10 years. A CA Licensed Real Estate Agent since 2004, Christine loves her job and to be challenged in the residential leasing and property management industry. She dedicates a lot of her time to NARPM® and working with the Rotary Club of Terra Linda.

Christine enjoys giving back to the community and has been lucky enough to have opportunities to travel all over the US (favorite place was Yellowstone) and Canada, as well as many international trips. She enjoys taking photos of all the beautiful things she sees around her while traveling the world, hiking Marin trails, or watching her nieces and nephews grow up. Christine has walked three marathons and two half marathons and can make the best cheesecake you've ever had!

(415) 455-1372 | | BRE# 01469325



Client Accounting Manager

Reidun Waage, joined the PRANDI staff 8 years ago and has lived in Marin for over 30 years. With her degree in Business and Accounting, Reidun is the right employee for the job. She is an expert when it comes to working the financial side for both owners and tenants, managing their ledgers and balancing their accounts.

Reidun also enjoys gardening, and is an enthusiastic antique-collector and jewelry-maker. A volunteer for three Marin County organizations (Ross Art and Garden Center, the Northgate Group and the San Anselmo Antique Dealers Association), Reidun is always interacting with our local communities and knows how to network a room!

(415) 455-1375 |



Assistant Property Manager

Roxie Mikolon, CSSSM a Marin County resident since 1959, joined the PRANDI team over 10 years ago. She regularly attends classes for various NARPM® and local Fair Housing events to stay up-to-date on all new laws and legislation. In fact, Roxie earned the first Certified Support Specialist (CSS?) designation in the Nation for her dedication to service in the property management industry, which she proudly accepted at a National Hawaii Conference.

Outside of the office, Roxie enjoys reading, watching movies, knitting, cooking and having friends over for back yard barbecues. Roxie is a member of the Goldenaires and enjoys the senior connection in Fairfax. She has two children and has celebrated over forty years with her husband, Joe. Between Roxie and Joe, they have five children and eleven grandchildren!

(415) 455-1380 |



Assistant Property Manager

Nikki Macias, is a Marin County native who grew up in Terra Linda, and has been with PRANDI for over 8 years. She works directly with clients, focusing on protecting owner investments by managing property maintenance, and accommodating resident's needs. She is actively working toward earning her Certified Support Specialist (CSSSM) designation through NARPM®.

Nikki is very family oriented and has raised two amazing sons. She enjoys hiking Marin's various outdoor trails, riding bikes and spending time in the sunshine. Nikki is our resident San Francisco Giant's baseball expert, and attends many games seasonally.

(415) 455-1374 |



Assistant Property Manager

Lisa Doughty, started at PRANDI over 3 years ago, where she began as an Office Administrator answering calls, greeting clients, and processing our invoices. She has been in the position of Assistant Property Manager since 2013, working closely with teammate Christine.

Born and raised in Yarmouth, Maine, Lisa has lived in many different places, including 7 states, and multiple countries. She has a background in other Executive Assistant/ Executive Secretary roles. She has two amazing children and loves animals, the outdoors, cooking and reading. Lisa's refreshing sense of humor certainly helps the staff get through their day!

(415) 455-1381 |



Customer Relations Manager

Tina Solval Gomez started working at PRANDI Property Management in early 2013. First hired as a receptionist, she was quickly promoted to assist the Bookkeeping Department due to her detailed organization skills and background in banking. She is currently in charge of PRANDI's Customer Relations, and is the go-to for all new clients when they initially contact the office. In fact, many owners meet her at the time of their consultation, or when they are first sending in their start-up paperwork. Tina's ability to work on any project - with a constant smile on her face - makes her a valuable asset to the team.

Originally from Granada Hills, CA, Tina lived in Mexico with her family for a short time as a child. After moving back part-way through grammar school, she spent most of her childhood in San Rafael. She has since moved to Richmond where she resides with her husband and four children. Tina loves Marin and loves learning and growing with the business and the rest of the PRANDI staff. She says her colleagues are wonderful and enjoys working in a "family business" that also cares about her family.

(415) 578-5107 |



Brand Marketing Specialist

Kaylee Carroll, Brand Marketing Specialist, has worked at PRANDI for over 6 years. She strives to keep PRANDI at the forefront of contemporary marketing practices and ensure that client's investment properties receive the most effective advertising that they deserve. Her work with the company has included strategic image-branding, marketing planning, as well as project execution in order to launch new campaigns throughout the county. Her marketing goal is to publicly deliver PRANDI's identity as the most experienced professional residential leasing and management company in Marin County.

Kaylee believes in giving back to the community, and has worked diligently in her personal life to raise money and awareness for various organizations and enjoys spending time with friends and family.

(415) 455-1385 |



Marketing & Business Development

Jeff Leidall joined the PRANDI Property Management team as a contract worker in 2012. His expertise in customer service, relationship building, client and inner-office communications, as well as project management (from his executive and leadership positions in the non-profit sector) has been a valuable addition to the staff. Jeff's current role is to help further develop the Client Services Division of PRANDI as well as assist with Business Development. He also has taken on a leadership role in helping to manage a large apartment complex in San Rafael while learning the "management" aspect of the business.

Jeff is a native Californian originally from Santa Cruz. He loves the outdoors and enjoys spending free-time visiting the ocean, beach, and the redwoods. He is an avid biker, and takes his beloved dog anywhere he can! Jeff is an advocate, volunteer and supporter for ecological, social service and justice causes.

(415) 578-5096 |



Administrative Assistant

Shirley Lopez-Cano, Administrative Assistant, joined the PRANDI team in April 2013. Besides answering and directing all incoming calls, she works closely with the Accounting Department entering invoices, uploading bills to owner portals as well as making sure all vendor and property insurance details are in order. With her background in Customer Service and her associated skill sets, Shirley supports the team with anything else they may need. In the process, she is also increasing her knowledge of the leasing and property management industry on a daily basis.

Shirley started working when she was 15, and by 17 had a full-time position while still putting herself through school in Marin. She married her high school sweet heart, and they now have 2 wonderful boys-ages 8 and 16 months. In her time outside of the office, Shirley enjoys running Marin trails, dancing, tutoring, reading and singing to her kids. "The smell of the early morning air is a great wakeup call when you have active boys like mine!" she says. Her family's love of soccer keeps her on her toes, since both her oldest son and her husband play on teams.

(415) 578-5073 |