Easier Self-Management With Rently Co-Founder Merrick Lackner

Jason Hartman uses this Flash Back Friday episode to focus on self-management. He discusses new technologies that are helping income property investors. To continue the discussion, he welcomes Merrick Lackner, Co-founder of Rently and Rently Keyless. Merrick talks about what goes behind transitioning your rentals into smart homes to give you more control over showings and maintenance. They discuss the cost of maintenance and repairs as well as how to minimize those costs.

Jason Hartman 0:00
From the initial market recommendation from yourself matures and if the property right through to the leasing process with the property manager, everyone has been just totally professional and the communication is excellent especially with being such a long distance away. Welcome to this week’s edition of flashback

Jason Hartman 0:16
Friday, your opportunity to get some good review by listening to episodes from the past that Jason is hand picked to help you today in the present and propel you into the future. Enjoy.

Announcer 0:30
Welcome to the creating wealth show with Jason Hartman. You’re about to learn a new slant on investing some exciting techniques and fresh new approaches to the world’s most historically proven asset class that will enable you to create more wealth and freedom than you ever thought possible. Jason is a genuine self made multi millionaire who’s actually been there and done it. He’s a successful investor, lender, developer and entrepreneur who’s owned properties in 11 states had hundreds of tenants and been involved in thousands of real estate transactions. This program will help you follow in Jason’s footsteps on the road to your financial independence day. You really can do it. And now here’s your host, Jason Hartman with the complete solution for real estate investors.

Jason Hartman 1:20
Welcome to the creating wealth Show episode number 815 815. This is your host, Jason Hartman, thank you so much for joining me today, as we talk about how to make self management easier, how to be the empowered investor, you know, that is one of our constant everlasting themes is empowering investors to take control of their financial future to take control of their investments. And in today’s episode, specifically to take control of the property management process. Yes, this may not be the holy grail for you, what we’re going to talk about Today, it may not be the answer for you, you may just want to continue with your traditional property management arrangement. And that is fine. Nothing wrong with that, as I always say, if you have a fantastic property manager, they are worth their weight in platinum. However, if you don’t, and you have a little bit of experience, or a lot of experience, a lot is better, or at least a medium amount, if maybe I shouldn’t have said a little bit. But if you have some experience, and you’ve learned a bit about the property management process, you may want to self manage your properties. And of course, in the Jason Hartman University membership that is different from Jay to Jason Hartman University live, which is an event we have their two things with that same name. Think about this, you know, we in the Jay Chou online program, we basically did a couple of the conference calls on self management and we’ve talked a lot about on the podcast over the years on different episodes in different aspects, and today is going to be one of those. And even if this isn’t the thing for you today, I want you to see the trend. Yes, the trend that is irreversible. It’s like freedom. It’s like democracy. Once these ideas spread, it’s really hard to put them back in the box. Okay, and that is what’s happening. The property management business is changing right before our very eyes. We are seeing all a cart property management, we are seeing self management of properties that people have never seen, that are nowhere near their home or their community that are long distance remote control management. And people successfully self managing or buying Allah carte services from real estate agents are property managers, and really having some very nice experiences and nice success with it. Again, this isn’t for everybody. But even if it’s not for you, or if it’s not for you yet, notice the trend, the trend line is clearly in favor of the empowered investor. And that is wonderful for all of us. Also, the trend line is in favor of higher returns on our property investments because the costs are going down the cost of management, and the ability to have this frictionless sort of seamless management experience, both for you as the owner, and for the tenants, it’s getting easier for them too. And this is going to increase our returns, because it is making the process more and more efficient through technology. So that’s what we’re talking about today. little note here before we dive into our guests from Renly today, I just got back from brunch, and why am I telling you this? Well, it’s kind of a unique brunch. I was at Tony Shay’s house. Yeah, you probably know who Tony He’s a famous CEO. He is the founder of Zappos, who is now a billionaire, and he’s redeveloping downtown Las Vegas. And I might say, doing a great job. From my perspective. He’s doing lots a really unique stuff. Our venture Alliance mastermind, I took them to the crazy seanie Fremont Street experience where we went zip lining a couple of weeks ago, when, when I hosted the venture Alliance mastermind group here in Las Vegas. And that was fun. It was some rather interesting people watching, I’ve gotta say, Tony Shay’s house, it’s really interesting here. I say his house now I had been to his condo several years ago with another mastermind group that I’m involved in. And we got the tour and Tony showed us around and showed us about the redevelopment he’s doing in downtown Las Vegas. But this time, he has moved he actually lives in a trailer park. Yes, the billionaire living in a trailer park. He’s a super interesting guy, and have this great brunch experience. That’s all Like a Burning Man, if you don’t know what Burning Man is just look it up, but kind of a Burning Man brunch experience, where he’s really into community and all these interesting different people were there and there’s a band playing and he just has a really interesting thing. And I actually came home I’m actually going back I came home to get cocoa, my dog, because it’s very dog friendly there. And there’s a bunch of dogs there. And so I thought I’d bring her back to it. And Tony has two llamas. Yes, a lot the animal llama. You know what a llama is, of course, two llamas wandering around there. So I thought it’d be very interesting for my little daughter, Coco, the dog to meet. You know, it’s just an interesting experience. So anyway, kind of interesting to hang out with someone who’s really changing the face of Las Vegas here in a very, very interesting way. He’s got some really unique ideas and you know, everyone sees the world from such a different perspective. We all do. There’s no right or wrong answer on this either. And Tony’s perspective is no question very, very unique. He developed this container park here in downtown Las Vegas and has just doing some really fascinating stuff. You know, he’s a real estate developer now after selling his company to Amazon for, I believe $1.6 billion is the number that comes to mind. I have not looked that up lately. So I could be wrong on that. But so interesting stuff. I just thought I’d share that with you. And let’s go ahead and dive in and hear from our guest, as we talked about self management, and be sure to check out Jason Hartman calm for properties resources, software, real estate tools. com as well for some handy dandy real estate analysis and tracking software for your investments. Combine that with what you’re going to hear from our guests, be co founder of rambley and I think this will be quite empowering for you as investors. Here we go.

Jason Hartman 8:00
It’s my pleasure to welcome Eric Lackner to the show he is the co founder of rent Lee, we’ve talked about their service and software before, and they are in this emerging new space that I think is phenomenal. You know, I say it’s an amazing time to be alive. It’s also an amazing time to be a real estate investor, especially an amazing time to be able to self manage your properties, or help push your managers into the high tech world and have some some greater technology to help them keep track of your properties and help you keep track of your properties and, and what’s going on there. So we’re going to talk about sort of two divisions of their company or two different offerings. One is called rent Lee, and one is called rent Li keyless. So let’s go ahead and dive into that. Merrick. Welcome. How are you?

Merrick Lackner 8:49
I’m doing well. Thank you so much for having me today. I appreciate it.

Jason Hartman 8:51
It’s a pleasure to have you. I love what you’re doing. I’m really excited about this new emerging area of tools. For real estate investors and for property managers, some of our investors like to self manage their properties, and their properties are all over the country. You know, they’re not necessarily local, they want to take advantage of markets that may make a lot more sense than the markets in which they live. You’re based in West LA where I grew up. And you know, a lot of our investors are in the Los Angeles area, but not all around the world. And, and they want to sometimes self manage their properties, sometimes have managers better manage their properties. So this service is for both. How did you come about founding Renly? Like, what

Merrick Lackner 9:35
was the need? What was the problem that you noticed? Sure, sure. So it actually started with an initial product. And I won’t go into too much detail that that we had conceived of Clark and myself, we but this was back in 2011 2012. When it wasn’t the you know, wasn’t the greatest market. It was really a renters market wasn’t the greatest market for managers. And we thought why not create a platform where a renter could say, hey, I’m moving to town, I’m looking for a two bedroom, two bath, I’ll put out a rental request and then owners managers could then go ahead and socially communicate bid on that potential request and place the tenant we very quickly found out after we invested some money and launched that product that we’re not going to affect massive a real change in the industry. So we went back to the drawing board, and really searched for a process that just needed enhancement that didn’t require radical change. We did a little testing in the video walkthrough. area. And that ultimately led us to self showing technology because we realized that it’s now possible for any renter to walk through a property once they register with their name, phone number and credit card, get a one time code to see the property on the isec lockbox and check in and have the manager notified in real time. And the idea you know, it came to mind when I moved up to UC Berkeley. I drove up there. I saw two properties that were held by one landlord I drove around town but I couldn’t get an appointment to see anything else. You know, even though I was driving around town for several hours and so connected all the dots having just gone through a product launch where we realized, hey, we’re not going to change, babe, you’re in the industry, we need to improve on a process, going through the video testing and then coming upon. We could use a smartphone to do this so easily. And so since then we never looked back. And it’s been full steam ahead. Yeah. Now, how many

Jason Hartman 11:22
users do you have of Renly, for example,

Merrick Lackner 11:24
so it’s grown a lot. There are definitely right now, two to 3 million renters and growing a year on our platform, you know, and we’re hoping to push to 10 to 20 million in the coming years.

Jason Hartman 11:36
Remember, you’re listening to flashback Friday. Our new episodes are published every Monday and Wednesday. Okay, so what do people need to do to start using it? And you know, how do they do that and what will the benefits be? Say for example, someone listening hasn’t property that is not close to their home. They you know, live in an overpriced market that makes no sense to invest in like, say they’re in California, for example. And they want to, they want to own properties in smarter places in maybe Tennessee or Georgia or Indiana or wherever, you know, any of these good linear markets where the cash flow is really good. You know, they’re they’re self managing their properties. And you know, if you told me years ago that this was possible, I would have said, You’re crazy, until it happened to me my accident and I’ve told the story on my podcast several times where I had a property in Texas, you know, it’s like 2000 miles away from me, I’d never seen the property, I’d never met the tenant, the manager got out of the business. I just was busy and I didn’t get around to hiring a new manager. The next you know, first of the month rolls around, I get a check. And a nice note from the tenant, hey, I guess there’s no manager, so I’ll send the check to you. I just continued with that relationship for many years, and it worked out great. And you know, since then, I’ve managed a lot of my properties self management wise. So with rent Lee, this basically helps you show the property right. But with Renly keyless, you could even add a greater level of, I guess control and peace of mind for not only yourself but the tenant, it’s a benefit to the tenant to offer them sort of a smart home. So feel free to blend those two together as long as nobody gets confused. But yeah, let me Yeah, let me blend those two together. So our lowest cost solution is a lockbox oriented solution, right? So if a renter, and it’s a great tool, you know, for you, for investors like you to be able to use technology to self manage efficiently and hit a real home run here. And what we do is we get fully integrated, and I’ll explain both the lock lock box and the key left side. But our lower cost solution is the lock box solution. And when you put a property on rattly, we’ll go ahead and we’ll market that out to all of the rental listing sites, and will also give you field signage that you can put out any renter that fees your marketing or sees the signage and then go ahead and register again with their name, phone number and credit card on the spot in real time. So you’re never losing a renter. This is tremendous because now everything’s so impulsive. renters want one of the properties now. So this allows them to register right now in real time and then they go up to the property and get a one time code after they’ve put their credit card on file and gone through the verification and ask the questions. They get up there, they can get to the property front door and they can get a one time entry access code to the lockbox so the lock boxes the lower cost solution that Renly offers. But now with technology evolving, we also offer a smart gate gateway hub and it has cellular and we manufactured it as well. We design the hardware, the firmware, the sath everything end to end. You can actually put in a smart keyless entry lock and a smart thermostat so that the check in is done on the keyless entry device. It doesn’t have to be a lockbox. These are more this is this you’re talking about it like you know this is a short term rental like an Airbnb type property. We have looked at that extensively and although it’s kind of fascinating we just don’t see that working very well the numbers the management intensity, the tax problems with it because the IRS wants to classify it as a hotel and you know, a lot of cities are attacking short term rentals and it’s just not an area we’ve got into but you know, for regular long term ain’t like annual tenants that sign a lease this rent Li keyless could be something that would offer you know, you as an investor a greater peace of mind but also allow you to maybe charge more rent because you’re offering a smart home. So let’s just make sure we make the distinction before we get too deep into this. So rent Lee is where you basically what do you do you sell an electronic lockbox to the investor or the property manager, right?

Merrick Lackner 15:53
And they the investor gets to lease the lockbox correct. Okay,

Merrick Lackner 15:57
they lease it.

Merrick Lackner 15:58
How much is it? It’s $30 There’s a month and it’s fully integrated with all marketing channels that a renter would potentially interact with.

Jason Hartman 16:05
Okay, you’re in West LA, the person listening has properties in several parts of the country you know, we tell them diversify into at least three markets not more than five. So they’ve got properties in say, Memphis, Little Rock and Indianapolis for example. And these properties need a lockbox so they can be shown what do they do? How do they get that lockbox from West LA to their properties in these different cities.

Merrick Lackner 16:30
So we can cover we actually probably have clients throughout the, you know the entire nation, we can drop ship, same day, any volume to any location. We can send it if your investors for example in Memphis, but they might have you know, a property in Virginia we could ship it either to Memphis or Virginia and work to coordinate with with with the client to go ahead and get the lockbox installed on the door. It takes one trip from somebody at one of your vendors. If you own a property if you’re an investor. You have the rehab Crew, you have your various contractors that do different work. It takes one setup point prior to leasing on the lockbox and then one visit to take the lockbox off and put it on another property wasn’t done and we work with our clients to orchestrate that we could drop ship

Jason Hartman 17:15
anywhere. So you can ship it, but an actual human needs to be in that market that’s going to go put it on the door right now maybe that human can actually be the existing tenant. And, folks, you’re not gonna believe this maybe, but you will not believe how helpful and cooperative your existing tenant that just gave you 30 days notice might be. It’s kind of amazing, really. And, and it could be, you know, and you’re probably if you’re a self manager, you’re probably going to do what I do. You’re going to either hire a traditional real estate agent or a property manager on an all a cart service basis where they will sit Do the lease up for you, they won’t manage the property meaning now you could hire them for that too but a lot of you like to self manage and you find it to be much more profitable and actually easier in many ways. Okay, where the the manager hired on an Allah carte basis to do basically one task lease up the property to a new tenant, or a real estate agent hired to do that one task not to collect the rent every month, you know, they can just send that to you will receive the rent the lockbox, put it on the door, go meet the existing tenant, say, Hey, you know, I’m going to be leasing the property. And you know, they need to, you know, get that tenant moved out, do a walkthrough inspection after they move to send you pictures, then you decide if you’re going to withhold any front thing from the security deposit or not. And then they start marketing the house for new tenants and showing the property and the rent the lockbox can really make their job a lot easier candidate.

Merrick Lackner 18:56
Absolutely. And by the way, that’s a great suggestion. Because there there are more and more managers now offering just lease up all a CART services. And those costs have come down as a result of the self showing technology that recently rolled out to market several years ago has has provided in terms of their convenience and being able to do it efficiently. So you could either have somebody close to hand or you can you can have a manager like you suggested 100%

Jason Hartman 19:22
Yeah, right. Okay. So with you know, I, this begs the question, tell us Don’t you hear any horror stories? You know, when How will insurance handle this? I mean, you know, gosh, you give someone access to the rent the lockbox, they’re a total stranger, they’re going over to this property at, you know, whatever our I guess you can limit the time they get access, probably you’re going to tell us that, but, you know, no one’s escorting them through the property. They’re just there themselves, won’t they? steal your stove? Or, you know, beat the house up. Do something bad or leave literate or, you know, clogged the toilet? I don’t know, you know, aren’t there some horror stories? That’s a great question because we’re moving into a time and lives there and be squatters?

Merrick Lackner 20:10
That’s a great question. Because the registration process is so intensive. It requires registering with your name, your phone number of valid credit card. During the registration process, we actually have a verification where we ensure that the registrant that is going to the property, we also have a sequence of questions, but then a new update that’s coming out. So it’s a pretty intensive process to go through and with the credit card on file and with the IP address down. We believe that you’re actually more protected being on our system because if anything ever happens at your property, you actually have credentials to go through and look through. But I can tell you with millions and millions of check ins Renly has been just continuing to grow because statistically the odds of something occurring are very, very low. And you know, rental scams have been out for a long have been going on for a long, long time. Prior to Being in business with all the measures that we take and continue to take, the system is very, very secure. Okay,

Jason Hartman 21:06
so tell us how it works mechanically just quickly go into that. And then we got to talk a little bit more about rently keyless. So you’ve got the lockbox on the house, okay,

Merrick Lackner 21:17
then what. So to actually get an access code as a prospective tenant, you’ve got to register on your mobile phone with your name, your phone number and a valid credit card. We check that credit card in real time. We also validate that it’s the person registering as well moving forward with the process upon arrival at the property to you have to be physically present. So you click a call me now button will then call you. You’ll then go through the instructions and then you’ll finally be able to be able to check in and also it here’s a here’s an interesting thing at the end of every single viewing that occurs on the remix system, we actually send out a survey to renters what you know, was the door lock when you arrived? Was it you know, was it lock when you left? How would you rate the question? as a condition of the property, did you like it? Did you not like it? And with an immense amount of survey feedback given by renters, I could tell you property managers actually end up finding and preventing bad things from happening as a result of all the goodwill, renters put into the system that, for example, there’s a leak on, you know, the second floor of your single family rental, you’re very, very, very likely to hear about that in a renter, renter survey feedback report, or if there’s a gas leak. So you know, actually, it’s, it’s, it’s interesting because managers benefit way more to the inverse, because they’re getting real time feedback on things that would tangibly affect them.

Jason Hartman 22:40
Yeah, you’re basically crowdsourcing feedback and you have better management of your rental leads and all that kind of stuff. But isn’t there sort of a lot of coordination back and forth to get tenants to, you know, they’ve got to download an app. They’ve got a, you know, they probably can’t figure out how it works. Sometimes. I mean, How do you, you know, for example, if you advertise your property on say Craigslist I’m not saying that’s the place to do it, but it’s an example right? Craigslist has a lot of traffic, you know, that’s, you know, decent place and a

Merrick Lackner 23:13
growing number of scams to these days.

Jason Hartman 23:17
Craigslist is not without its problems, okay? But anyway, it’s there and we all know it. So, you put your property up for lease, you advertise it wherever you advertise it, Zillow, Craigslist, whatever. What do you do? Like how do you tell the tenant that this is how they’re going to get access?

Merrick Lackner 23:34
Right? So the instructions are very thorough, there’s a link that the tenant can then open up, and that link will allow them to register, either over the web or on their smartphone. And it’s, it’s, again, it’s a very easy step by step process, where they register they get the instructions each step of the way, even when they’re checking in at the property. There’s, you know, a little bar that shows them as they’re moving forward in the process. So it’s all done on the on the cell phone and Going to your comment about having to download an app that you actually don’t have to download an app right now html5 interface will work just fine on any smart smartphone browser so the registration is seamless and very easy. Some some managers investors also back their self registration process that can occur automated through the web with the ability to issue codes remotely as well. So if you’re self managing a home and you happen to get an inbound call, you know from a great prospective tenant, and you want to issue them a code on the spot or register them to go during the hours that you’re allowing showings to occur you could do so as well. But it is very intuitive MTN

Jason Hartman 24:37
okay. So can you put this information right in your rental post on Zillow, Craigslist, whatever, you know, say hey, go by and take a look at you know, if you’re interested, go take a look at the house and and just it’s like automated, you don’t have to have any contact back and forth or do you need

Merrick Lackner 24:53
you got you got it. It’s all automated. And I think what you’re getting at is there’s an actually an individual link for every property that you have in the rental system that specific for that property in terms of registration. So, we do have a Craigslist HTML code that you can post right on the Craigslist and use that for posting out the Craigslist. All the and that’s because Craigslist is the only site that doesn’t just take a direct feed but we also have a direct feed to all of the other major rental listing sites like Zillow, Trulia hot pads, and that’s when a renter is interested in a specific property, they actually get the specific link to register for that property. And it can occur and and they put their name, their phone number, their credit card, if you go and then you can have the feedback up. I’ve got a renter who wants to apply for my property, and that’s the way we want it to be. We don’t want to, you know, have to have investors, owners managers heavily burdened along the way we want time focused on signing leases.

Jason Hartman 25:50
Okay, do you offer any other services like background checks or qualifying the tenant? I assume you’re about to tell me you’re thinking of getting into all that. If you’re not doing that already?

Merrick Lackner 25:59
Yeah. We actually we have we have, we have a smart matching program where you could where there’s certain qualifying questions that are asked before a tenant is approved to go forward with their self showing. So that’s an additional layer of qualification. Yeah, we actually do offer the ability to process rental applications through rattly as well. So you read my mind. Oh, Jason. Yeah. Okay. And do you charge any fees for that? or? Yeah, I mean, there’s the rental application in terms of the smart matching, there’s a small fee per property, and then a couple dollars and then for the rental application, you know, as well, depending on what what you’re looking for in the background check County, you know, criminal, etc. The rate does vary a little bit, but it’s in line with industry pricing for an application in the tenant pays for that, right? That’s correct. Okay,

Jason Hartman 26:48
so the only thing the owner pays is $30 per month. Are there any other to rent the lockbox, is there anything else?

Merrick Lackner 26:55
That’s correct. Yeah. Okay.

Jason Hartman 26:58
Just a reminder, you’re listening. flashback Friday. Our new episodes are published every Monday and every Wednesday. Okay, talk to us a little bit about Renly keyless real quick because that’s sort of a greater level of service as a smart home, if you will, where instead of having the lockbox that, you know, it has an electronic lock itself. And I think the technology on electronic locks has really been pretty slow to develop surprisingly. But it also does a lot of other things, you know, to make it a smart home. And interestingly, I want to just before you even dive into this, tell people that this does work on vacant houses because it does not require an internet connection. It has a cellular option. Now I don’t know if Is it is it a mesh net type of thing where it works on cellular and the internet if you have the Wi Fi setup in the house, or is it strictly cellular and then tell us all What it does,

Merrick Lackner 28:00
oh yeah, so it’s actually a tribe band. That means it’s got cellular, it’s got Wi Fi, it’s got Eastern and it’s the most advanced Smart Hub on the market in terms of smart home technology, especially for property management verticals. And the beauty of it is even when you don’t have Wi Fi, or Ethernet enabled, which is commonly enabled when the tenant moves into the property, you can 100% operate that smart home. All you need is power to be on it the property, the gateway gets plugged into the wall in a discreet location. Oftentimes in a closet. Many newer homes have an electric socket at the top. So you know, it’s not even within reaching distance. And through the cellular aspect. You can fully operate the home you can lock and unlock remotely, you could set thermostat schedules, I mean, it’s it’s it’s so beautiful. You go into the portal, you can click lock and in real time through cell towers that’s going to get communicated and the deadbolt will spin. And the same concept applies obviously when the renters checking into the property they can get yourself showing code rather than on a lockbox, they get that self showing code to the smart keyless entry lock. But like you said this this this is a much broader, much, much broader type of play here. It’s not just a lockbox for self show, there’s the ability to capture more upside and rent. Because your residents going to have a smart home when they move in, that they can control by other app, they can unlock and lock the door, they could give mama code to come into town. If they’re still at work, they can set their thermostat schedule, they can talk to Alexa and say, Alexa, turn off my main, you know, my main lighting. So there’s the upside in rent. But there’s also the ability to know from a security and energy utility management perspective, that you’ve got great control there. So if you’re an investor and you happen to have 20 homes located in disparate locations, you can hop into the portal, make sure that all assuming they’re all vacant, which with this technology, they won’t be for very long, but if you had 20 vacancies, you can log in and lock them all up remotely at night. You can make sure That the energy management is in line with what it should be. I mean, you don’t need the necessarily the air conditioning blasting all night, if nobody’s there, you go ahead and turn it off remotely. And there’s also monitors and sensors to if you want to add them that can alert you if there’s motion in the property or if a windows open, they’re not that expensive, that can be added to the property. And then a real great thing is if you own properties that are desperately located, you can put in water sensors, you can put in smoke and fire, smoke, smoke, carbon monoxide, fire alarm detectors as well. And if there’s a leak, for example, under a main think, while an investor who’s managing remotely will typically not know about until after the damage is done, once the leak starts right away, you might be in you know, in Tennessee, but your properties in Virginia or wherever you’re going to know right away. So it also gives you the ability to prevent and monitor prevent damage and monitor your property. So yeah, okay.

Jason Hartman 30:51
Okay, good. So how much does that cost to set that

Merrick Lackner 30:54
up? Sure. So you’re looking at it between 500 to 1002 per property, depending on What what you’re going to be installing Redmi Smart Hub gateways $240. Year locks, smart electronic locks can go from anywhere from 150 to 200, if you’re going on the high side in a thermostat, smart thermostat connected to the web is about 150. And then adding other accessories depending on, you know, the specific property aren’t that expensive the sensors, you know, 3040. And then it really all depends on what you want to add, but you’re looking at 500 to 1000 per property. So it’s a much it’s a much bigger investment than just spending $30 to lease the home. Again, the lockbox is a very low cost solution. But it is, again, there’s a greater capex expense that goes into the smart home system, but there’s also additional rationales for doing it beyond beyond just self showing.

Jason Hartman 31:48
Right. Okay, so and then there’s a monthly fee to because that’s a subscription service, right?

Merrick Lackner 31:54
Correct. So the monthly is $20 a month and that’s part of the monthly covers the cellular bandwidth that goes into communicating with your home that’s remotely located.

Jason Hartman 32:07
And that’s how much per month

Merrick Lackner 32:09
so that’s $20 per month. And as more volume is involved, it scales down more volume of properties you mean em, then the more the more units that you have on the system, the pricing just killed off.

Jason Hartman 32:21
Okay, so in other words, if someone has 10 properties, and they want to turn them into smart homes, basically, then they would pay probably less than $20 per month per property, right? And then they would have to buy the hardware and have it installed.

Merrick Lackner 32:36
I would say for sure for for lower volume, which could be anywhere in the dozens range, it’s it’s pretty much $20. It’s with enterprise level of scale where you might have hundreds of properties that it starts to scale down.

Jason Hartman 32:49
Okay, so 20 bucks a month per property and plus hardware and you’re thinking that like to sort of outfit I mean, it depends on the house, of course and what exact hardware You choose, but about $1,000 will do it, you think probably probably 600. Honestly, if you’re going for a basic package with a lock and thermostat, which is what most folks that are just getting started will end up doing, you know, lock thermostat and a couple of sensors. So you’re looking in the sixes, and that it doesn’t have alarm system to.

Merrick Lackner 33:20
Yeah, so we it has monitoring. And so if, you know, if somebody if motion is detected, or if a window opens, you’ll be alerted. It’s not integrated with like a security call center that would notify police. It’s a monitoring tool.

Jason Hartman 33:38
Yeah, but you’re notified?

Merrick Lackner 33:42
By Correct, correct. Got it?

Jason Hartman 33:44
Does the tenant get that access? Also, when a tenant moves into that property? Do they get the access as well as the owner and or manager to that door? Do they have to pay again?

Merrick Lackner 33:56
So you hit on a very key point here. I mean, the way that the Redmi system was built a built out for the lockboxes has enabled us to build out a system where if you’re an investor owner and you have 20 properties, you can invite your 20 different residents to use the smartphone on their app, right. And then when they move out, you can revoke the access and hand it off to the next tenant. And when it’s in Resident mode, we also have privacy mode that allows, you know, obviously, key activity logs to remain private for that resident as well, while the owner still in is insured, you know, corporate type controls that that are needed in terms of access and and so forth.

Jason Hartman 34:34
But yeah, I was going to ask you about that because I was concerned about the renters privacy and the liability that the owner might have, if, for example, you know, maybe they accidentally unlock the door, and the tenant is sleeping and someone comes in and murders them, right. Or something like that, you know, or robs them. I mean, that could be bad. I mean, look at owners still have keys to tenants properties. Most of the time, or the managers do, but most of the time, you know, the tenant can lock themselves inside when they’re home at least with a with a nother type of deadbolt. Tell us about that.

Merrick Lackner 35:11
Yeah, but you’re absolutely right. In terms of security. Privacy is a very, very important concern to us and ensuring the privacy of all the residents on our system is paramount. So does the hub is an individual hub that is used by an individual resident, it’s not shared by anybody. It’s on the Z wave protocol, which is the most established Smart Home protocol at CES. It was essentially proclaimed as the Smart Home protocols the future that’s why all the major locks that manufacturers now are all producing z wave enabled. So the privacy is there and many of the newest keyless entry locks also have the ability if you know you can go completely keyless, you can go Oh, the locks that have traditional keys. We have the safeguards in place to ensure the security of tenants once they move in on the on the protocol.

Jason Hartman 36:05
Okay, so the website you know Renly calm and Renly keyless calm. Those are pretty self evident. Is there anything else I didn’t ask you that you want to share with people?

Merrick Lackner 36:15
You know, I would definitely recommend that everybody check out Renly calm and rattly keyless calm it’s spelled Aryan try. Sometimes folks get confused and think it’s spelled like Bentley, but it’s just straight rdn try but I think we covered a lot of it. I mean, it’s it’s really an exciting time to go with technology, you could do so much more, so much more efficiently and really grow so fast if you’re willing to take the step and implement the tools as you know. So it’s an exciting time.

Jason Hartman 36:45
Yeah, it sure is. And I’ll just speak to that for a moment. We none of us know what technology is coming down the pipe. But we know the one thing we do know is that everything always gets better because it’s an amazing time to be able Live. And you know, one of the wonderful things about income property as an asset class, the most historically proven asset class in the world that I’m always talking about with my listeners. And in our seminar last weekend I talked about this too, is that you know, the great thing about it is you can buy the property today. And it’s almost like buying an option, because you don’t know what will be available in the future. But you know, there will be new, better opportunities in the future. So you acquire the asset today. And for example, if you have to pay cash for it, you know, you might have the opportunity to refinance it later and pull all your cash out and gain more leverage. And then you still own the asset. You know, you get the option to renegotiate the rent in the future, but you also have the option to take advantage of improving technology in the future. And look at folks, I think the writing is on the wall, we can all see where this is going. Technology is going to push the cost of property management down And make the whole process easier and more frictionless where you’re just going to have access to more tenants or greater tenant pool. And they’re going to have more frictionless access to see the properties without interacting with you or taking any of your time. And property management services are becoming all a cart. And that’s wonderful. And self management is now a possibility, because technology has made it so much easier. So it really is an amazing time to be alive. It’s an amazing time to be an income property investor. Merrick, I want to thank you for coming on the show and talking about the space because it’s, it’s really a great opportunity for people. So thanks for joining us. Thank you so much. I appreciate you having me. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for listening. Please be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss any episodes. Be sure to check out this shows specific website and our general website. Hartman. Mediacom for appropriate disclaimers and Terms of Service Remember that guest opinions are their own. And if you require specific legal or tax advice, or advice and any other specialized area, please consult an appropriate professional. And we also very much appreciate you reviewing the show. Please go to iTunes or Stitcher Radio or whatever platform you’re using and write a review for the show we would very much appreciate that. And be sure to make it official and subscribe so you do not miss any episodes. We look forward to seeing you on the next episode.

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