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Mat Zalk 1:48

my name is Mat Zalk. We have key renter in Tulsa, Oklahoma City and northwest Arkansas. We’re a property management business. I say we help our clients buy renovate and operate real estate assets.

Jeremy Weisz 1:58

How’d you get into this business?

Mat Zalk 2:01

You know, years ago, I was living in Dubai, I wasn’t paying income taxes. We had the foreign earned income exclusion. And my sister one day I saw her at my grandmother’s house for a family event. And she was interested in buying real estate. And I thought, well, I’m also interested in buying real estate. So we started buying started buying properties in Boulder, Colorado, back when they were a little bit cheaper than they are today. And then fast forward a few years, I moved back to the United States and found that the properties I was buying in Tulsa, Oklahoma where we were I was at the time or where I just moved to we’re not as expensive sophisticated and tenancy and everything else as they were in Colorado. So I was like I better have a management company to help manage these properties. And from there, you know, we grew the we grew the third party management business.

Jeremy Weisz 2:42

So what was the idea? Originally, you were buying them to rent them out not to flip them and sell them? Yeah, we

Mat Zalk 2:48

were buying hold investors. Personally, my sister and I are buyers buy and hold investors. And now all of our partners that are involved in any of the property ownership in Oklahoma or northwest Arkansas are all buying hold investors until actually December of last year of 2021. We’d never sold a property.

Jeremy Weisz 3:05

So tell me about the type of clients that you work with.

Mat Zalk 3:08

The our best clients are clients that are out of state and want to own property in Oklahoma or Arkansas, but don’t have the time. Or the capacity to handle the acquisition, the renovation and the management of those properties. So we have a bunch of local clients for sure that just don’t want to deal with the headache at all. But you know, we can add significantly more value in vendor network and relationships and, you know, in the tenanting of properties, etc. For people that are out of state realistically,

Jeremy Weisz 3:37

someone, they may be living in New York or California and they’re like, whoa, what can I get for my money in Tulsa and they start owning a bunch of properties. They’re

Mat Zalk 3:45

exactly I mean, they’re selling out of properties in California and Colorado and they go holy moly, I can exchange into 656 properties and Tulsa that cashflow pretty nicely. And I’ve got a team on the ground that can help me with renovations. So not only do I you know, our company will help with you know, a tenant has electrical issues. We need to change out of a breaker panel on the back of the house or, you know, basic stuff with H back when that When summer comes through and your system goes down for leaking Freon sorry, I guess. But like, we can also do gut renovations. I mean, we’ll pull permits and then actually do structural work, go up from you know, to the studs from the you know, from the foundation point and then put a roof on it, we’ll do everything.

Jeremy Weisz 4:23

We’re going to talk about a general contractor scenario like that in a second. But one of the most common questions you get someone’s like, you know, they’re thinking of working with you. What do they typically ask you?

Mat Zalk 4:33

Oh, it really runs the gamut. People call us and ask things like, Do you collect rent, which of course we do. That’s part and parcel of what we do. But people also want to know kind of where we get involved in how we get involved. So do you deal with administrative issues, tax issues? Sure. Do you guys handle tenant complaints? Sure. What how do I find a plumber if there’s an issue at the property with you know, I don’t know a galvanized pipe that gets old in his rusting whatever. Yeah, we can handle all that. And so mostly clients are prospective clients don’t have an idea of of like the general scope of what we do they want to know what that is and what that costs.

Jeremy Weisz 5:07

So basically, is there anything you don’t do? Because it sounds like you do pretty much everything. And imagine if someone’s off site, they’re in California, they don’t they don’t want to deal with it. They go, we want your company to handle everything. Is there anything you don’t do? You’re like, Yeah, this is not in our realm of expertise,

Mat Zalk 5:24

I would say we shy away from not doing things. So we’ll pay your mortgage, if you want us to do it, you will pay your property taxes, your insurance, anything that we can do to help ease your burden, we’re happy to do realistically, right? If there’s money in the account, we’re happy to pay the bills. But the

Jeremy Weisz 5:40

answer is like, yes. So like you do this? Yes. Because you have done this across so many places, so many properties,

Mat Zalk 5:46

right in our what we say is we’re helping clients build wealth while taking the headache out of real estate ownership. So if it takes the headache out of it, I’d rather cut a check from our system to directly to the Treasury Department or the county treasurer, then have one of our owners sit down, think, where’s the How much is that bill? Where’s that bill, pull it out of a drawer, open the checkbook, write a check, take a stamp, put it on an envelope, write the envelope, mail, and that sounds like a total waste of time for an owner. I’d rather that owner be focused on acquisition, how can I buy more properties, knowing that key owners handling all the back end stuff and it comes on a statement at the end of the year? You get a statement that you send to your tax preparer, your CPA, and that CPA knows Oh, you paid $1,800 in property tax. There it is. And you paid half in December and half in February right before the March deadline. So

Jeremy Weisz 6:27

and So what cities are you in now? What regions of someone’s like I have some properties there. I know someone. Where are you? So

Mat Zalk 6:34

we’re in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, and northwest Arkansas, that’s Rogers, Fayetteville, Bentonville, all the all the MSA of Northwest Arkansas, but we handle everything in Oklahoma City and everything in Tulsa. So all the MSA is.

Jeremy Weisz 6:47

So if someone I imagine some of these people own properties all over the United States, if they ask you for something in a different state, how does that work? Oh,

Mat Zalk 6:55

yeah. So we get calls all the time that says, hey, I’ve got a real issue. It has nothing to do with the properties in Tulsa. But let me ask you how you’d handle this. Sure, happy to provide advice and guidance. I mean, sometimes we get comments about our current property managers telling me that we can’t evict a tenant because of the following things. I don’t have expertise on the Cincinnati market, for example, but I can tell you what I do in Tulsa. And if that resonates, and you’re not violating any of the laws of Ohio, it’s probably a similar situation, right? There’s, there’s only so many ways you can you can navigate a situation with a tenant. But I would say that sounds ridiculous what your person what the person who’s telling you sounds ridiculous. I would kind of approach it this way. And they run off and say thank you very much. I’ll I’ll discuss it with them.

Jeremy Weisz 7:31

I’m sure you and your team and the people you work with. And you’ve advised people on tough conversations with tenants and especially during COVID. Are there any and I’m sure your advice would kind of transcend to spouses or business partners? What are some of the ways that you’ve coached people to work with tough tenants? Is there a tough tenant situation that sticks out? We don’t have to name names. But

Mat Zalk 7:54

I mean, I think generally speaking, generally speaking, have a firm having a firm line. And sticking to that line is the way to be. I mean, the conversations that I often have with tenants are, go something like, you know, the Smith family owns this property, they’ve invested hard earned money to provide a wonderful place for you to live. And in exchange, you pay rent. If you stop paying rent, they stopped being able to invest in properties and you stop having a house to to call home. They don’t run a charity, they’re running a business. If you would like help with a charity, I have plenty of resources to give you for charity help. But that’s not what this is. If you’d like to go to an Oklahoma, it’s restore hope. There’s Oklahoma community cares partners, I can I can introduce you to the right people. But that’s not what this is. That’s not what the Smith family is providing. They’re running a business, and then their business product is providing you a home and exchange, we’ve signed a lease contract that stipulates you will pay for to pay the rent on the home. So we can have multiple conversations where the conversation I’d like to have with you today is this is not a charity, I can advise you on where to go for charity work, we have a ton of conversations like that what we don’t have is a ton of what we don’t have often is, you know, I’m not paying rent because the roof has been leaking for six months. That’s not the way we operate as a company. So as part of a as an anecdote, as part of a Goldstar landlord program that we’re part of in Oklahoma, we have to go to mediation prior to doing evictions, we’d have no problem doing mediation because oftentimes mediation results in a tenant saying, Well, I’ve been complaining about this for years, and I haven’t paid rent because this hasn’t been fixed. In our case. It’s never like that. It’s not like my HP has been out for its summer, it’s 105 degrees outside and you haven’t provided cooling power for me for two weeks. It just doesn’t work like that. So we’re happy to go to mediation and say, Why aren’t you paying rent? It’s never one of those reasons, but the offense some something far sillier.

Jeremy Weisz 9:29

So general contractor there was a situation and where you got the general contractor involved in one of the properties.

Mat Zalk 9:36

Yeah, so we have Seth Rice on our team who’s if you ever watch this, this is a great a great, great person, a great general contractor. I used to do all the general contracting work myself and clients loved it because we could take a product from we take a house in any condition, they would hand us the keys in any condition and we would make it work for him turned into a really nice property that we’d rent and you know, it’d be successful for them on a cash flow basis. Last summer, a client handed 64 units to us and like a single Drop in 25 of them needed to be renovated. So I was overwhelmed. I was floundering in everyday work and I hired Seth to do the majority of this work and I was handling he handles all of it, but that our clients know that we can take a property in any condition and make it a beautiful home we had a property that a client of ours dropped on us he never should have bought it he acknowledges he never should have bought it. It was I mean if you can imagine a decrepit home this was this was it structurally was sound but you know had had a terrible if you can imagine a craftsman style home had a blocking a kind of a facade that was blocked so every time you walked into the every time you approach the front door, you were worried whether you know somebody was hiding behind it was gonna jump out and kill you, for example. So we had to tear that thing down, rebuilt the steps when inside took down walls at an added beautiful, huge open concept kitchen turn to a third bedroom that had multiple entrances shut off one of them made an entrance into the bathroom so it was on suite now. I mean, just did a fantastic renovation got $1,200 in rent, which for a property that he bought for, you know, 40 and added 52 at $90,000 is a fantastic rent rate. He’s thrilled he didn’t have to lift a finger all he had to do is fund the account. He’s absolutely thrilled. I didn’t see the property when it’s you know, in the in the interim I just saw and it’s completed phase and it’s in its infancy and it’s been its primary phase, and I was absolutely blown away. So you know, I see a lot of renovation projects and that’s what I love to do historically because you can see it from you know, you accept an idea and then you you you deliver on it you execute it’s just a great feeling to see it kind of come to fruition and now that I’ve got Seth doing that doing that work he you know, on a daily basis he does it he’s got the design concepts and the kind of the thoughts and the execution minded focus of you know, actually delivering that product but it’s, you know, from a client perspective sitting in Colorado, he wants to invest money, he wants to earn a return but he doesn’t necessarily have the contractors to do the work and he doesn’t have any he doesn’t have the expertise this gentleman actually runs a technology business he doesn’t have the expertise to to know where you should take down a wall where it’s structural where it you know, where you need to reinforce whatever else so he’s just

Jeremy Weisz 11:53

tickled and now commands much higher rent Yeah,

Mat Zalk 11:56

for sure. And we just in general we you know, we’re commanding the highest rent in any any given neighborhood after a renovation that said those

Jeremy Weisz 12:03

amazing so tell people where can they find your company? What’s the website? Yeah, so

Mat Zalk 12:07

we’re key renter Tulsa, Oklahoma City and key runner Arkansas.

Jeremy Weisz 12:11

Check it Check it out live from GLC you my god