SAN JOSE – Michelle Ford received an early education in the property management business, which gave her a jumpstart on a lucrative lifelong livelihood. “When I was growing up, my family acquired several rental properties,” she explains. “As we obtained more properties, we found we had a need for a management business, so my father decided to start his own. I started helping out with the business in high school, and little by little, my dad taught me about the different aspects of the industry.”
After graduating from high school, Michelle left her home in San Jose and took a job with a property management company in Sacramento. Not long after, she relocated again—this time to Las Vegas, where she had the opportunity to run her own property management business. After about six years in Vegas, Michelle received a proposition from her father. “He called and asked if I’d come join him at the family business, so I packed my bags and headed west,” she says.
Today, as president of Western Property Group Inc., Michelle says she enjoys working alongside her father, as well as living in her home city of San Jose. “I love it here—it’s a great place to live and the rental market is strong. With all the high-tech commerce we have, there’s a lot of need for rentals and plenty of great tenants, so it’s an ideal place for a company in our field.”
Outside of work, Michelle spends her time engaged in a variety of active hobbies and pastimes. “I enjoy working out, hiking and going out with friends,” she says. “I also love to travel. I went to Russia earlier this year and plan to go to Italy next year.” In addition to traveling on her own, Michelle enjoys going on trips with her whole family to destinations like Hawaii.
In regard to her life and career, Michelle espouses the importance of building relationships founded on trust. “I treat our property owners like friends and family,” she explains. “A lot of them have been with us for a long time, and they know they can trust us to take care of their assets like they’re our own. We’re not just trying to make a profit from the work we do—we’re trying to help our clients increase the long-term value of their properties.”