Aaron Marshall, co-founder and chief executive officer of Keyrenter Property Management.

The corner office is not where you will find Aaron Marshall.
The Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the national franchise Keyrenter
Property Management prefers to work in the middle of the action. His cubicle is
alongside the rest of his team at the company’s headquarters in Midvale, Utah. That’s
because Aaron wants his employees to know he’s always available to them.

“I oversee every department, from sales and marketing to
operations,” says Aaron. “I don’t micromanage. I try to train each member of my
staff for their job, and then let them make the decisions to get the job done.
But I’m right here if they have a question.”

Success Has Been a Long and Bumpy Road

Aaron got his real estate license in 2001 but wasn’t closing
many deals in those early days. Aaron and his wife struggled desperately to pay
the bills, and their young family was forced to rely on state welfare benefits
to put food on the table. “No one helped us, we did everything on our own,”
says Aaron. Then, things started looking up. “In 2003, I got my real estate
broker license, a new job, a home, and health insurance. For our family, that
was an amazing year!”

Another important year for Aaron was 2007; he bought his
first two rental properties and learned the hard way about the need for an
experienced professional property manager. Within weeks of closing on his
rental properties, the tenants got behind in their rent. “I didn’t know any
property managers. I had to figure out everything on my own and solve very
common problems that property managers deal with every day.” The experience made
Aaron realize that the lack of dependable professional property managers was a
real problem in the industry, and something he could capitalize on.

A Path for Professional Property Managers

Later that year, when a homeowner accidentally called his
real estate office looking for a property management team, Keyrenter was born.
“I don’t know anyone who got into the property management space on purpose, but
I saw it as the perfect way to combine my real estate experience with a career
that gives me more time with my family,” says Aaron. “I love real estate, but
don’t like working nights and weekends. Property management is more of a
lifestyle business. Most of the time, I can control my schedule so I can spend
more time with my wife and kids.”

Eager to add other revenue streams to his growing business
portfolio, Aaron decided to start a plumbing business in 2010. It seemed like a
good move because he was already a successful real estate broker, building his
own portfolio of rental properties, and Keyrenter was well on its way to
becoming the largest property management company in Utah. “In five months, I
lost $242,000,” says Aaron. “Some days it was very hard to go into the office.
I couldn’t share that burden with anyone but my wife.”

During some of his most difficult times, Aaron’s Latter-Day Saint
faith served as a guiding hand, and gave him strength when he began to doubt
himself. “There have been a few times when I was almost ready to close the
business. I went to the temple and prayed, and that helped center me, and kept
me focused on my journey. If I had not gone through the hard times, I would not
have had the emotional strength to survive the startup period when we decided
to franchise Keyrenter.”

Sharing his Experience

Aaron’s experience helps him mentor new franchisees. “The short
time period between when you start a business and when it becomes cash positive
can be difficult,” says Aaron. “I understand what they’re going through, and I
enjoy helping new franchisees build their businesses. It makes coming into work
every day a pleasure.”

In 2014, Keyrenter began franchising, and has quickly grown to 37 locations across 19 states, with tens of thousands of properties in the company’s portfolio. Aaron has set an aggressive pace for the future. By the end of 2020, Keyrenter anticipates expanding to 60 territories and 45 locations. Over the next five to eight years, Aaron plans to grow to 250 franchisees in the U.S. and Canada.

rental market is growing
, and the number of renters has been steadily
increasing since 2006. Aaron believes this trend will continue for the next
decade, pointing to a bright future for the Keyrenter brand. “I love where
we’re going and the opportunities that Keyrenter and real estate have for me,”
says Aaron.

does all the heavy lifting
of property management for its clients:

  • Screens and identifies quality tenants
  • Advertises properties online on more than 100
    sites to attract good tenants
  • Negotiates highest possible rents and reduces
    maintenance costs through comprehensive property analysis
  • Keeps owners up-to-date through online owner
    portal and email communications
  • Handles evictions when necessary, but less than
    1 percent of Keyrenter lease agreements end in eviction

Looking Ahead to the Future

Delivering great customer service is the foundation of
Keyrenter, and Aaron is always looking for an edge to stay ahead of the
competition. He’s working with a software development team to create a proprietary
software system
to streamline most property management needs and help all
Keyrenter offices run more efficiently. From showings and rental applications
to leases and repairs, his vision is to create a software system that all franchisees
will use to serve their clients better. Aaron would also like to license the
software to other professional property management businesses.

Through the twists and turns of his career, Aaron has always
remained focused on his family and his faith. He and his wife have been married
for 21 years and have three children ages 19, 17 and 13. They love to travel,
and one of Aaron’s favorite places to visit is Central America. He embraces the
relaxed culture and enjoys slowing down and enjoying quality time with his
family. He hopes to have a home there in the future, a place he will take great
pride in managing, personally.

Aaron contributes his experience through his podcast, “Cash Flow is King,” which focuses on interviews of successful entrepreneurs who focus on creating recurring monthly revenue streams. He also has a new book coming out, also titled “Cash Flow is King.” It focuses on two characters; his young self, who receives important real estate advice from his older and wiser self.