The Keyrenter Story
Here’s how a small real estate company diversified and changed the game of residential property management:
During the financial market crisis of 2007, Aaron Marshall, a successful Keller Williams broker built a team that specialized in banked owned, foreclosure and short sale properties. By positioning themselves ahead of the market trend, The Marshall Group successfully closed 96% of the 243 homes they listed along the Wasatch Front resulting in over $48 million in sales during 2009. They were successful enough to be recognized by the Wall Street Journal for two consecutive years as top 100 sales teams.
Alternatives for hard-to-sell homes
Aaron started buying hard-to-sell homes from clients looking to avoid foreclosure and other bad credit situations. Eventually he ended up with a handful of investment properties that facilitated the property management learning process. “It was impossible to find an existing property management company that could provide the services we needed at a reasonable cost and still meet the high expectations of our clients,” says Aaron. Consequently he and his business associate, Nate Tew, took over the management responsibilities.
They formed a partnership and opened Premier Management of Utah as an additional profit center. Aaron and Nate believe that negative tenant stories are a result of poor systems, lack of automation, software, expertise and poor customer service. Aaron said, “It’s not enough to find a good tenant for the property owner – you have to develop relationships with both parties and then be proactive in providing superior customer service.”
More properties with less people
In 2011 the business name was changed from Premier to Keyrenter Property Management and by the end of 2013 they represented around 350 property owners along the Wasatch Front. They provide services to over 700 people 24/7 with only seven employees. So, how is all of this possible?
Proprietary anti-chaos software
The owners claim that automation, technology and Keyrenter Franchise’s “anti-chaos” proprietary software allow them to manage far more properties with fewer people for less time and money. Keyrenter is “high-tech” as far as property management goes. Old industries can be slow to change but Keyrenter has vowed to stay ahead of the pack. “Internet and cloud based technology have changed the way savvy business owners do business. Keyrenter will change the game of property management and continue to evolve,” said Aaron.
Keyrenter’s commitment to time management through automation and technology is easily demonstrated through their local website. One example is the use of virtual tours. They are already popular in the real estate industry for houses sold through multiple listing sites but property management companies have been slow to implement the strategy. Keyrenter Franchise is a proponent because of the time and cost saving advantages.
Another example is the use of QR Codes to show properties. Quick response codes are barcodes that contain information accessible through a scanning device. When first applied to the real estate industry the concept didn’t really catch on in the U.S. but its popularity is growing again through the use of mobile applications and smart phones. There are many more mobile apps available today that make property management tasks easier and less consuming.
Time for life
Not everyone understands that they can snap a photo of a QR image posted on a Keyrenter rental sign and then gain access to a property. Tenants who are familiar with the concept know what to do with a QR Code when they see it. For those who don’t, Keyrenter Property Management makes video tours available, but both systems dramatically reduce the number of walk-through tours and the time spent by property managers to secure a lease agreement.
Automation and technology
According to reviews, Keyrenter clients and tenants are very comfortable with technology and appreciate the convenience of the automated systems in place. This is partially due to their age and lifestyle. Most are naturally attracted to Keyrenter through online search engines and social media sites such as Facebook and GooglePlus. It is all part of Keyrenter’s marketing strategy and it is definitely working.
Keyrenter’s integrated website serves many functions including lead generation. “Through the use of search engine optimization, PPC, social media, content writing, and other digital platforms, we’ve created a strong online presence and brand recognition. We’re able to attract property owners, investors and tenants.” According to Aaron and Nate, their online marketing strategy fuels their property management business and creates a plethora of multiple listing opportunities.
Rent Today – Buy Tomorrow
Nate says, “Part of our goal is to help all of our residents realize their financial goals through home ownership.” Keyrenter has a Rent Today – Buy Tomorrow program to assist tenants with their home purchase, offering free consultation and assistance with down payments. They also help owners sell rental properties and build real estate investment portfolios. Nate and Aaron both maintain active RE Broker licenses.
The partners are as diverse in their personalities as they are in the services they provide. Nate focuses on the daily operations of property management and customer service. Aaron’s attention is driven toward marketing, brand recognition and now franchising.
In a news release dated June 16, 2014 Keyrenter Franchise publicly announced their plans to expand. On the decision to franchise Aaron says, ”We’ve spent years engineering our systems and proven business model. It’s time to expand. Because real estate requires intense relationship building and knowledge of local markets, selling franchises and supporting owners is the best way to share our brand and grow our business.”
In addition to expansion through franchising, Keyrenter has vowed to remain at the forefront of technology. They are constantly on the lookout for new methods and applications to implement through their business model.