Mark Ainley is the host of the Straight Up Chicago Investor Podcast and founding partner of GC Realty & Development. Though GC Realty & Development is a full service Chicago property management company, Mark works closely with “small portfolio” investors looking to buy investment properties without the headache that comes with managing them.
Though originally started as a commercial brokerage firm, their first listing was a “million dollar house,” representing both the sellers and the buyers. With their first commission bringing in $55,000, they decided they were in the luxury real estate market. Ironically, that would be the last luxury listing they’d get.
From there it was fate that would bring them into the business of property management. However, the path to building a successful firm would start a little rough for Mark.
“The first investment property I ever bought, before I got my real estate license, I did everything wrong. I put a bad tenant in there. I gave her a second chance. I didn't collect the full deposit upfront. I was driving over to the house collecting like $17 to $25 at a time. I did everything wrong and ended up having to file for eviction. I said at that point I am never managing a property again.”
It wasn’t until he was at the closing table, as a broker, when his client (who also happens to be an attorney) asked Mark to manage that very property.
“I said, Paul, you helped me get out of the worst thing I've ever done, why would you ask me? He said ‘I know you're smart enough that you're not going to do that again.’ I said, ‘Paul, I don't even know what to charge you.’ He's like, ‘I'll give you 50 bucks a month.’ ‘Paul, you're an attorney. You're gonna want a contract. So, at that point, GC property management was born. He (Paul) is still our first client. He still owns that one condo and we still use a modified version of that same management agreement.”
Mark’s typical investor client profile consists of one to six door properties and one to six total properties in their portfolio. Tune in as Mark shares real estate investor insights…