Castle property management closing down

8 Replies

Just got the email from Max.  Wow this sucks.  Closing the doors 2/9.  

@Andrew Halbert & @Brandon Foster - I'm not surprised. I let them manage one of my properties and they totally botched it. They used virtual assistants to handle customer relations. Their VA's had no idea what they were doing.

Have to second @Emilio Basa 's comment- They managed my properties for awhile and it ended in a train wreck of their creation. Have been watching them go downhill for a while. Pity- I think the principals had good intentions but a slick technology portal and interface cannot replace the day in day out grind of managing properties in Detroit. For that you have to be in the trenches feet first and slugging it out- something they had no idea how to do.

I was actually quite impressed with Max when speaking with him at a trade conference but from our conversation I wasn't mega confident they would ever make it. The whole approach of how they could build a better mousetrap in the property management space when none of them had any experience in real estate at all showed lots of naivete on their part. I applaud the effort but property management is not software, it's not VC's and angel investors and tech. It's in the trenches face to face dealing with people. I desperately want property management to jump into this century from a technology standpoint for sure but there are reasons some things are tried and true and it's because they have been tried and they truly work.

@Andrew Halbert @Robert Gilstrap this is Barry from Castle. I'm the Director of Business Development at the company - thanks so much for the kind words! 

@Saul L. @Emilio Basa we certainly made mistakes along the way. Like many managers in the area, we were not immune to the challenges of the market. Some of our mistakes we made were self-inflicted. Some were not. But I'm proud to say that we never shied away from owning up to our failures, regardless of whoever was actually at fault. We never played the blame game and always worked with our customers and tenants to find the best solution possible. If we had to do it over again we'd do many things differently. I hope you know that whatever mistakes we made on behalf of your investments they were always taken seriously, were always followed up on, and were always improved upon for future customers.

BiggerPockets has always been a place for investors, both seasoned and new, to seek advice on any number of real estate investment questions. It's always more productive when the platform is used for constructive feedback and advice, not simply a message board used for complaints. The latter assumes a company never improves nor takes its customers feedback seriously, and I can assure everyone that, while Castle was flawed, it was always strove to constantly improve.

In the spirit of constructive feedback, but more importantly investor learning and growth, I'd be happy to share my thoughts on real estate investment in Detroit with anyone that's interested. Detroit is a unique market. It's challenging. It's often oversold to investors. But it's a city I truly love. And it's a city I'm incredibly proud to have contributed to over the past three years. 

If you're an investor in Detroit, or you're thinking about investing in the city, feel free to DM me with any questions. My experience with Castle has allowed me to see the good and bad sides of real estate investing in the area. It has shown me the common mistakes investors make, the good/bad people/companies to partner with, and most importantly, the tremendous spirit and pride this city has. My feedback to you will be unbiased. I have no skin in the game. And it would be my pleasure to help in whatever way I can.

Finally, if you haven't been to Detroit before, please come visit. It will surprise you in many ways. Hopefully you'll fall in love with the city like I did. And maybe you'll even invest here in the future.

Thanks Barry,

I wish you guys the best.  Very sorry things didn't work out. Please make sure all your customers have full transparency through this transition.

Sad news. They were managing my properties for a few months but felt they had growing pains. I really liked their tech platform. 

For those looking for other PM companies, I would recommend Amin Realty. 

Castle was a good group of people that did things right. The continuation or stop of a business is not a reflection on the people behind it. They are good people and will do great things. I say that as a competitor to Castle in property management, but someone that can respect and appreciate property managers that have a good heart working in a VERY tough city. We manage homes in dozens of states and I guarantee you that if you took half the heart of the good folks at Castle and put in any of the other towns, they would crush it. The challenges of Detroit are unique, real, heartbreaking, pocket-busting, exhausting, sad, scary, life-threatening, bureaucratic craziness filled with love hope and despair. 20% CAP rates are not free my friends. It's hard to not experience wear and tear in that market. What balls for a couple 20 somethings to move there to make a difference.

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