Brian Setencich has a wealth of experience in private industry and government. As a General Manager of First Service Residential in San Francisco, he manages properties for landlords and residents alike. His company is also focused on managing homeowners’ associations for larger communities.
First Service Residential manages all aspects of taking care of residential and commercial developments. The company also manages the owner’s associations associated with the developments.
Setencich has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and Management. He graduated summa cum laude from California State University – Bakersfield. After college, he played professional basketball in Europe. Upon returning to the United States, he embarked on a fascinating career in government and private industry.
Brian Setencich was a City Councilman in Fresno, California. He later went on to represent his district in the California State Assembly. His government experience made it possible for him to succeed as the Operations Manager for the 911 Emergency Response Project for San Francisco. He helped to secure state funding for the project and supervised the procurement and installation of emergency communication equipment into all fire & police stations as well as all emergency response vehicles.
His volunteer and philanthropic experience benefitted the Children’s Hospital of Central California, where he has been involved in fundraising. Setencich is also involved in volunteering for various animal rescue organizations in the area.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
I have worked for First Service Residential for about four years. I was inspired to get into community property management because I had experience in commercial and governmental sectors.
How do you make money?
Our company manages commercial and residential owners associations. Commercial and residential developments create owners associations and hire our company to manage the physical property as well as the governing documents that are part of the associations.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
Our company was already established in the area before I started work there. I believe that it took a relatively short time to be profitable since there were few overhead costs associated with starting the business.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
Property management only makes money when the company has a broad portfolio of clients. The company made bold moves entering the Bay Area market to capture new business and has never looked back.
How did you get your first customer?
I have never doubted First Service Residential’s business model. Property management can be a profitable sector if the work is done correctly. It’s important that a company provide the best possible experience for the for the owners and residents. With attention to detail and conscientious business practices, we have become successful.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
My persistence in the face of adversity makes me successful. When I have had personal and professional difficulties, I have always bounced back because I believe in my skills. Above all, I have faith.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
My most satisfying moment was when I helped to secure funding for the 911 project in San Francisco. It required a lot of lobbying and a lot of legwork, but I had an excellent staff supporting me at all times. I enjoyed knowing that my work would benefit all residents of San Francisco and that it would encourage public safety.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
The San Francisco housing market continues to grow, and I know that our company will be at the forefront of property management in the area. I would like to see our business expand through securing more contracts with property owners. Whenever new construction goes up in our area, I want to be there with property management services at the ready.
What business books have inspired you?
Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferriss is a fascinating book. It is a collection of interviews with business leaders and entrepreneurs. I have found many pieces of business wisdom in this book, and I recommend it highly to all of my friends.
What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
It seems like a small thing, but our company recently purchased an all-new coffee machine for the office. It has increased productivity since our employees are less likely to waste time going out for coffee. Taking care of employees’ needs in this way lets them know that they are valued members of the staff.
What is your favorite business-related quote?
“Business is all about the customers: what the customer wants and what they get. Generally, every customer wants a product or service that solves their problem, is worth their money and is delivered with amazing customer service.” – Fabrizio Moreira