Bill Russell is owner and operator of Keyrenter Property Management Solutions, what he calls “one of the few small territories” in the Keyrenter family, covering Waynesboro and Staunton, Virginia, and surrounding counties.
But his path to opening the business took a turn or two on the way.
After growing up in Michigan, and graduating from college there, Russell moved to the Shenandoah Valley and began an 11-year career in law enforcement, including working as an investigator with a sheriff’s department.
The Road to Keyrenter
“It was a long, interesting road,” Russell says. “I knew for a while it was time to develop my exit strategy from my previous career. I always wanted to run my own business, so I started looking into different opportunities. My dad, uncle, and others in my family had their own businesses, so I’d always been drawn to it.”
Russell had grown up around rental properties and even owned one himself. He talked with his uncle, who owns locations of Subway restaurants and other businesses in Michigan.
“We started talking about opening a property management business without a franchise, at first, but he led me into thinking about franchises,” Russell recalls. “He was a big fan of the franchise business model.”
So, Russell looked at many franchise concepts, from fast-food restaurants to hair salons and others in between. But, he circled back to a few property management franchises, eventually deciding that Keyrenter Property Management checked the right boxes.
“Keyrenter was always very responsive, and had a great team,” Russell says. “Any question I had, I could call them, and they’d answer it. I also got to know some of the other franchise owners. And the price was a little bit less than other franchises, and that helped.”
Freedom and Success
Within two months of launching his Keyrenter franchise, Russell was able to leave his job in law enforcement in January of 2019.
“Every month is a success story,” says Russell. “For the last four months in a row, we’ve beaten our revenue from the previous months. And the support Keyrenter gives has been amazing. Any time an issue comes up, I have 50 or 60 different people I can call to get help or opinions on things. It’s made things super-simple.”
As owner of his Keyrenter franchise, Russell says the work-life balance it allows is a great fit. It allows him to enjoy his family life with his wife and two young sons, as well as re-discover a favorite hobby.
“I got my pilot’s license in 2006, but I hadn’t flown in a long time,” he says. “About a year ago, I got back into it.”
Less than three years after buying a Keyrenter franchise, Russell is flying high.