James P. Knell

James P. Knell, founder of the SIMA Corporation, has background in venture real estate investments that spans more than 30 years. Initially focusing on residential properties throughout Santa Barbara, Mr. Knell later pursued long-term investments in commercial and retail properties and established the SIMA Corporation as a full-service real estate acquisition and management firm. In addition to managing an extensive portfolio of residential, retail, and hospitality properties spanning more than 3.8 million square feet, James P. Knell also oversees several third-party projects with an aggregate value of more than $600 million. Building on his experience in risk assessment and property ownership, he has also been instrumental in the recapitalization of more than 30 companies.


James P. Knell obtained his bachelor’s degree in education from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1974. As the current chairman of the SIMA Corporation, he continues to develop the organization’s portfolio of properties and cultivate partnerships with institutional investors.

Three Ways to Increase Property Value

Having begun his real estate career by acquiring residential properties in the Santa Barbara, California, area, Jim Knell now serves as the chairman of SIMA Corporation in Santa Barbara. As such, Jim Knell creates long-term plans to increase the value of his clients’ portfolios.


One way to increase the value of a property is to create additional living space. To do so, property owners do not necessarily need to construct a new room. By simply adding, changing, or rearranging furniture, they can devise what brokers refer to as a “bonus room.”

Another way to increase property value is to improve curb appeal. Many property owners spend thousands of dollars remodeling interiors, failing to attend to the exteriors. A new paint job or manicured lawn can add more appeal and value to a property, making it easier to sell.

Keeping the property fully functional with the help of an inspector also adds to its value. By identifying and addressing possible issues immediately, the property maintains its quality. Owners of a well-maintained property can command higher rents or a quicker, more profitable sale.

Three Ways to Avoid Bankruptcy

Jim Knell acts as the chairman of SIMA Corporation in Santa Barbara. He began this business by acquiring residential properties in the Santa Barbara area, and over time expanded into the recapitalization of distressed properties all over the United States. Through his company, Jim Knell also became a bankruptcy specialist.

Bankruptcy is defined as an individual or a company’s financial incapacity to pay off debt. Not only does it have an extremely negative effect on one’s credit rating, filing for bankruptcy is also complex and expensive. Here are some steps a person in financial difficulties may take to avoid bankruptcy:

1. Property sale - Individuals can liquidate some of their physical assets, such as cars, valuable collections, or property by selling them.

2. Credit counseling - Indebted individuals can negotiate with creditors for lower interest rates and extended periods of repayment. Sometimes creditors will even forgive a portion of the debt owed.

3. Income increase - If the debts are not too great, a feasible way of staying out of serious financial trouble is by earning more money. Income from a part-time job or freelance work can supplement regular income and make the difference between taking care of financial responsibilities and having to file for bankruptcy.

The World’s Largest Protective Reserve

Real estate entrepreneur James P. Knell is the founder and chairman of the SIMA umbrella group of companies headquartered in Santa Barbara, CA. Outside of his work, James P. Knell often travels from of his Santa Barbara home to engage in watersports all over the world. Beyond his enjoyment of the ocean, he also supports its conservation and preservation by contributing to a host of ocean environmental groups.


For individuals concerned with ocean conservation, good news came in August 2016, when President Barack Obama established the world’s largest protective reserve in conjunction with the National Park Service’s 100th Anniversary.

The reserve was originally created in 2006 by President George W. Bush and covered an area of 140,000 square miles. Now, the reserve has been enlarged to 582,578 square miles, spanning most of the uninhabited islands of northwestern Hawaii. The protected area is known as the Papahānaumokuāke Marine National Monument.

More than two times the size of Texas and bigger than all of the national parks put together, the reserve protects against mineral mining and commercial fishing. Subsistence fishing for local Hawaiian natives as well as recreational fishing will continue to be allowed.

The reserve protects more than 7,000 terrestrial and marine species as well as sea turtles, whales, and black coral.