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Turning a Rental Property Into a Successful Business

Customer Profile: A Profitable Investment Business

Twenty years ago Michael Geis decided to invest in real estate as a side business to build equity and broaden his asset base. What began with refinancing his house and using the equity to make down payments on 4 rental homes, turned into a moonlighting business of buying, fixing, flipping and renting 25 properties over the years in and around Omaha, Nebraska.

He and his wife managed their rental properties for a few years, but as the business grew and Michael’s professional career demands increased they decided to hire a property management company.  After a bad experience, Michael turned to Real Property Management Heartland, and says, “It has been a day and night difference from my previous manager.  It was never good before. I didn’t know about issues with the properties, tenants would leave, and I learned later there was no communication with tenants.”

Currently Michael owns 5 single family homes and 1 duplex managed by Real Property Management Heartland in Omaha, Nebraska.  Sid Magill, owner, says “Michael is a concerned owner.  He wants what’s best for the tenants and truly cares about his tenants and his properties.  We’re here to help him achieve his goals.”

Michael’s motto is “to have the nicest looking house on that block,” and Michael and Sid’s team work together to uphold that motto.  According to Michael “Sid gets it.  He understands what I want and we’re really partners.  I’m a hands-on guy.  Sid’s team is very professional and communicates with me and my wife.”

Rental Property

Rental PropertyAs President and CEO of The Geis Group, which provides fundraising consulting and management, Michael travels 70% of the time and is not available or interested in taking calls about his rental properties. With his trust now in Real Property Management Heartland, Michael spends more time enjoying what he loves, like spending time with his grandchildren and restoring his 1949 pickup.

“Since Sid and his team at Real Property Management Heartland have been managing my properties I’ve seen a 15-20% uptick in rent, the quality of tenants is exponentially better, and people are staying longer.”

Michael’s advice to investment property owners?  “Buy right!  Everything can go wrong if you pay too much from the beginning.  Keep perspective… you’re not going to be living in the home so make good spending decisions.”

“Having Real Property Management engaged in managing Geis Properties is the best thing that’s happened to us since getting into the business nearly 20 years ago,” says Michael.  “Even with a little down turn, it has never been as volatile as the stock market.  I have positive cash flow, I’m building equity, and I’m achieving my goals.”

Michael Geis and family Rental Property

Michael Geis and family

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  1. Dan Beswick says:

    Michael,
    Congratulations, you have obviously made recent good decisions about how to care for tenants and your property they live in. In retirement, I have been fortunate in purchasing three homes over two years after the market turned down and now manage them myself. It was a good way to take ½ of my money out of the stock market and put the cash to work in hard assets. Protection against the wild market swings of this past week and get the 9% monthly return plus tax deferred capital appreciation when I decide to sell.
    The key for me has been selecting good tenants. Having been in the property management for the past 30 years is providing a secure retirement for me and my three generations of family. It looks like you are also on a similar path. Nice going.
    Tha Bez

    1. Thanks for your comment Dan! Sounds like you’re doing well in the rental biz, congrats! 🙂

  2. Michael Geis says:

    Dan,
    Thanks for your message! I really appreciate hearing from someone having similar success in real estate. Looks like you bought right and clearly have experience in property management to be able to do it yourself. My stock broker is on board with our real estate and refers to our rental income as our guaranteed income and other investments as non-guaranteed income. Continued success with your properties!

    1. Thanks Michael and good luck to you! Sounds like your stock broker is a good one 😉

  3. PGC Surat says:

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful information, i will be looking forward to your next post.

  4. What a terrific success story. Congratulations Michael.

    It appears that you made an early decision to treat “Owning Rental Property” as a separate, distinct, business. I can’t emphasize how critical this simple mindset change is to a property owner’s ultimate success in rental real estate.

    I frequently find myself coaching our clients into building out a “team” to aid them in managing the interface(s) between their rental business, their job, (or “traditional business”), and their personal finances: CPA’s, Investment Advisers, Attorneys, Insurance Agents, Real Estate Sales agents, and, (of course), a property manager :-).

    Again, congratulations on your success Michael.