Dan McKee, Keyrenter Property Management

Investing in Others

For Dan McKee, president of Knoxville’s Keyrenter Property Management, it’s important to be known as a man of his word, a good father, husband, and friend, and someone who helps make his community better.
Dan’s first experience with investment real estate was years ago when his mom and step-dad were selling ocean-front condominiums in Myrtle Beach. Later, he spent 15 years owning and self-managing a couple of his own investment properties while enjoying his previous full-time career. “That was a great experience for me,” he remarked. “There’s nothing else out there where the bank will loan you the money and then a tenant pays that loan for you. You can have an incredible asset appreciate over time for retirement.”
After 30+ years in radio sales and sales management, Dan decided he wanted to do property management full-time. In evaluating franchise options, he found that Keyrenter really stood out. “They’re the only people who talked about values,” he shared. “They have a great process in place, and their people are absolutely outstanding. Nationally, they manage more than 8,500 properties with less than a 1% eviction rate because their process is so solid. It was important to me to have all that backend support; I felt it would allow me to grow my business faster.”
For REALTORS, Dan offers a $300 referral and a return client guarantee. “I partner with agents; I don’t compete with them,” he explained. “I take care of their clients, and when the client is ready to sell or buy more, I refer them back to that agent. Also, I do a lot of free rental analysis reports for agents, anytime they have investors or a client who is trying to sell a house that might be a good investment property.”
In addition, Keyrenter offers five different guarantees for owners: 1) Leasing—they guarantee a signed lease within 30 days; 2) Service—owners can cancel at any time; 3) Tenant—if a tenant breaks a lease within the first six months, they’ll find another one for free; 4) Maintenance—things are fixed right the first time or they fix it for free; and 5) Pets—they’ll cover the first $1,000 in damages over and above the security deposit.
“Again, core values are big with Keyrenter,” Dan emphasized. “They’re all written out, beginning with ‘relationships first’ and ending with ‘do the right thing, period.’ Their focus on integrity is important to me; that’s something I’ve always lived by.”
Dan counts several people as influential in his career. “My father, for sure, and my brother,” he mentioned. “Another mentor and family friend, Jim Massey, was an accountant who invested in the companies he worked with; he built a great business for himself by partnering with his clients.”
Dan’s most rewarding moments are seeing the lightbulb go off in people’s minds when he helps them see what they can accomplish. “There are a lot of people just getting their first investment properties,” he said. “They’ve heard that owning real estate can be a great long-term investment and they want to know how to do it. I love being able to show them the path to get there and how they can often have cashflow from day one. I’ve also helped people lease their existing home, helping their debt-to-income ratio, so they can then buy their dream home.”
If Dan could have dinner with anyone, he would choose Ronald Reagan. “I had the honor of meeting him after he left office, and I was in absolute awe,” he shared. “He had such vision, and he was such a great communicator. I would love to soak up all of his life experience.”
Hiking the Appalachian Trail is on Dan’s bucket list—and he’s proud of his new hiking accomplishment: He just recently joined the 900-Mile Club, a group of less than 1,000 people who have hiked every trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Dan is a big John Grisham fan, and he loves country music, especially the Zac Brown Band. “Country music artists are hands-down the most genuine down-to-earth people,” he said. “They always pay it forward and help other artists along the way. I love that attitude of trying to lift people up.”
That’s Dan’s attitude, as well, and one reason he’s passionate about property management. “I love the impact I can make in people’s lives, helping them build their own wealth through real estate,” he said. “I think when we help other people then we get our own reward, too.”