Brief history from C.E.O. and Founder Andrew Woodruff
In late 2008 I was about to put my newly renovated 3,300 sqft house in Denver on the market for $750,000. Then the market crashed and it was suddenly worth only $480,000. I couldn’t refinance, the bank wouldn’t answer my calls, and I (as a real estate broker who couldn’tsell any homes) was having trouble making ends meet. I basically had four options: Write a huge check at the closing table to cover the difference in my loan amount and the sale price (which I couldn’t afford). Try to do a short-sale (almost impossible). Let the home go into foreclosure. Or go bankrupt.
I decided to try something different. I thought: What if I lease my home and move somewhere less expensive until the crisis passed? So I called 10 property management companies. Two called me back. Both of them told me that no home in Denver had ever rented for over $2,000 per month and it wasn’t worth their time to come and see me. That was the old way of thinking. You rent an apartment until you save up enough money to buy a starter home. You don’t rent a luxury home. But things had changed, even though property management hadn’t. And I thought I saw an opportunity.
I thoroughly researched property management companies country-wide. I discovered that 50% of property managers in this country don’t use computers. They still use pen and paper. I discovered that they only returned phone calls, on average, 60% of the time. I found out that many of them have very hazy language in their contracts that allow them to charge pretty much anything they want for maintenance. I found that many of them charged an up-front fee. And I found that property management firms have more complaints with the Department of Regulatory Affairs than any other profession.
I wanted something better. So I built it… based on what I would want in a property management firm. I wrote our 15-point promise, and put together the most technologically advanced property management firm in the country. Woodruff Real Estate and Property Management opened on April 1, 2009. Three weeks later I leased our first property. My own. For well over $3,000 per month.
To date we have leased over 900 homes in the Denver Metro area. We opened in Naples Florida in 2014 and are expanding into the Miami / Ft. Lauderdale area in 2015. We will also be opening in the Chicago area in the summer of 2015.
It’s been almost 6 years since I leased my home. I love my tenants (it houses a neat holistic and health company called Nourished Health) and my house’s value has risen dramatically. I’m still underwater, but I’m getting closer and the market is getting stronger. And I might not sell. I have tenants paying my mortgage for me and I can write-off all the expenses.
The best part? In less than 6 years I’ve helped save 900 other families that were in the same situation as me.
If you want to wait to sell as the market appreciates, or are moving and don’t want to sell, or want to lease a luxury residence while you get to know the city, contact us. We can help. I promise (15 times).
And, of course, we also do typical real estate. We would be more than happy to help you buy or sell a home, even if it isn’t an investment property.