Brian Setencich

Always be true to yourself. Be authentic and always be considerate to others.


Brian Setencich, General Manager with First Service Residential, has a deep connection to the San Francisco Bay Area. His broad experience in many business sectors as well as in local & State government has made him a valued member of the Bay Area community.

First Service Residential is a professional property management company that offers its services to high-quality communities around the Bay Area. The company manages homeowners’ associations (HOA) for both residential and commercial developments. In his capacity as General Manager, Setencich is responsible for many staff members and all aspects of the business. His experience in property development and facilities management gives him a strong background in the field.
Setencich has broad experience in government as well. He has been a City Councilman in Fresno, California as well as a CA State Assemblyman. He was also the Operations Manager of the 911 Emergency Response Project for San Francisco. He was involved in all aspects of this project, from funding to the installation of equipment in local and regional 911 call centers and emergency response locations.

Brian Setencich has been involved in fundraising for the Children’s Hospital of Central California. He is an animal lover who volunteers with rescue organizations. Outside the office, he exercises and played professional basketball in Europe after college.

Where did the idea for First Service Residential come from?

First Service Residential serves a need in the San Francisco housing market. While our company manages apartment communities, we are also involved in managing homeowners’ associations around the area.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I like to start my day with a run. Running helps to clear my mind and gives me a solid foundation for fitness. I spend my morning returning phone calls and emails. I also have meetings with my staff and set priorities for the day. Afternoons are generally for addressing new priorities that come up daily and making sure the community has everything it needs.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I bring ideas to life by collaborating with my coworkers. I believe that collaboration is the key to success. My staff always have great ideas to help the business run more efficiently.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Technological advances have made our work so much easier. I am especially excited by recent developments that allow property management companies to optimize energy consumption at our properties.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I try to minimize distractions as much as possible. I take breaks throughout the day, but when I’m working, I like get as much done as possible. I have a wonderful assistant that contributes immensely.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Always be true to yourself. Be authentic and always be considerate to others.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?

Do what you know to be right and don’t think or worry about the result.

As a business person, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I constantly examine my business practices to reduce the waste of time and money. Too often, business managers get complacent and let things slide just because that’s the way it has always been done.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

We are continually showing our prospective customers how much we could benefit their bottom line. This ties into my belief of healthy competition.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I believe that the senior care sector is poised to grow as the baby boomers begin to enter their golden years. I would suggest starting a senior care company that covers all aspects of helping seniors age in place.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I bought a new blender to make healthy smoothies. I’ve been able to make a delicious, healthy breakfast for myself each day, which helps my productivity.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

I use Todoist to make lists. I primarily use it at home and for personal tasks. I find that it makes the grind of getting things done much more fun. Plus, it keeps me on track and helps me maximize the time I can spend with my family.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I recently read “Principles” by Ray Dalio. It is a fascinating exploration of his management style. His principles of “radical truth” in the workplace are associated with greater transparency. And of course, the Bible.

What is your favorite quote?

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” – Steve Jobs

Key Learnings:

• Always push yourself to beat the competition. Focusing on competition makes your company strong.
• Collaboration with coworkers is the key to success.
• Minimize distractions to keep your workday running smoothly.


Brian Setencich on Linkedin: