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.