Jeff Piltch
Aug 8 · 3 min read
Knox is on a mission to turn owning rental property as easy as owning a share of MSFT or AMZN

The Opportunity

When it’s time to move, homeowners typically want to hold on to the home they already own because they know it will go up in value and produce positive cash flow. However, they don’t want to take on the burdens of getting the right insurance, finding tenants, collecting rent, figuring out the accounting and taxes, and maintaining the property. Many of us have that friend or know that person or are that person that wish they held onto that condo in Southie or Dorchester.

Solution

Knox solves all of these rental property ownership challenges with one product. Knox has introduced Frictionless Ownership, a comprehensive program for making rental property ownership insanely easy. Knox program features:

1. Home evaluation: Knox has built a proprietary, internally-facing tool to quickly analyze a home for profitability, income potential, and investment performance. Within a matter of seconds, Knox can determine whether a home will be accepted on to the Knox program.

2. Rent optimization: Once a home is in the Knox program, Knox’s proprietary rental pricing algorithm determines the optimal rental rate for the unit. Rentals are marketed on over 30 websites and Knox handles all showings, background and reference checks, and lease negotiations.

3. Marketing: Knox’s team helps you get great tenants fast. Knox handles showings to prospective tenants, takes professional pictures, and posts the property on search engines like Apartments.com and Zillow.

4. Property management and maintenance: Knox automates more of aspects of property management than any property management company, from rent collection to lease renewals. Knox also handles all maintenance calls, move-in and move-out logistics, and evictions.

5. Insurance: Knox identifies and selects the right insurance for both the income property owner and the renter.

6. Financing: Knox offers refinancing, home equity loans, mortgage payment management, and new home financing.

7. Accounting: With Knox, you’ll maximize tax benefits and write-offs. Knox takes care of all bill pay and reserve account management. Knox also prepares 1099s for the owners’ taxes, and sends a quarterly distribution to the owners.

Business Model

Knox keeps 10 percent of the rent collected. Knox also makes money as an insurance brokerage and as a mortgage brokerage.

Traction

Knox launched a pilot in Boston this spring, and has already signed up more than 20 properties. The company’s initial customers have been a great mix of young couples moving out of their first homes and retirement age people looking to downsize. The thing they all share is that they know their current homes are great investments and they don’t want to miss out on future value.

Founding Team

Dave Friedman, Knox co-founder and CEO, has more than 15 years of experience starting and leading technology companies in the real estate industry. Prior to Knox, Dave founded Boston Logic and served as the company’s CEO for more than a decade. At Boston Logic, he led the company in becoming a leading provider of real estate brokerage software. Dave sold Boston Logic in 2016, and continues to sit on the board. Boston Logic now operates under the name Propertybase.

Spencer Taylor, Knox’s co-founder and COO, is experienced in commercializing ideas from the ground up and building sustainable business models and brands. Prior to Knox Financial Spencer co-founded Evaptainers, maker of a mobile refrigeration technology to keep food fresher, longer using sun and water. He also co-founded LaunchT, a white label platform for crowdfunding and open innovation voting, and served as the company’s CEO for 5 years.

What They Need Help With

As far as hiring goes, if you want to join a fast-growing startup in the real estate industry, send them a note saying why you’d be a great fit for Knox. They’ll be hiring for many positions over the next year. Dave can be reached at dave@knoxfinancial.com.

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Covering early-stage ventures in New England before they’re funded.

Jeff Piltch

Written by

Born and raised in the Boston area. Love learning about new companies, business models, and ideas. You’ll usually find me at a Sox game or on the golf course.

The Buzz

The Buzz

Covering early-stage ventures in New England before they’re funded.

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