Voepel PM and Bridge Turnkey

23 Replies

Hi Guys,

I am analyzing properties that are offered at Bridge. The trouble I am having is that the PM is not managed by Bridge but by Voepel. I've heard positive things about them but they are all rather vague. Has anyone used Voepel for their Kansas City Property Management? How are their communications? How are their maintenance fees? Has turnover been high? Has their communication during a turnover been good and suffice?  What happens when theirs an issue? Are their arguments between Bridge and Voepel about who's responsible for what?

Also, for those that bought Bridge, how accurate are their insurance numbers? They seem to be using a standard rate from the two proformas I've seen and I want to know if they are realistic numbers or not.

Thanks everyone.

I haven't personally been to a Bridge rehabbed house, but they generally have a good reputation. For Voepel, haven't used them either, but check out their reviews on google. Not bad for a PM. Let me know if you want referrals for other PMs. ​

I have not been to a Bridge house or seen their numbers.  I have sold them several houses last year in their quest go buy 100 houses.  Their pictures of renovated houses on Facebook are pretty

Nor have I used Voepel, but I have read good comments about them here on BP.

Lets throw some others into the mix:  There are a lot of turnkey providers in Kansas City - And you can probably search Turn Key and Kansas City here on BP forums and find several discussions.  

Some companies I have mentioned before:

Nick McKinnis and his team at McKinnis Real Estate don't do huge volume, but the do help you BRRRR houses and the numbers I see them using look good. In turn they manage for you and will manage properties that you bring, you don't have to buy theirs. And he has been around for a long time.

I can speak as a tenant of Home Rental Services, that has been in business for a long time, they were my landlord a few years ago.  They don't manage low end or urban core and they don't act as buyers or sellers agents, they just manage, but they can take your numbers, and your proformas and be your boots on the ground to make sure what you buy is a good project.  They work with you and your Realtor.

And we have a new team at MAREI last year:  Michael & Michele Belman with M & M Property Pros.  They help find, renovate and rent up and then manage.  I have no feedback other than comments I see on Facebook.  Maybe someone on this thread has feedback for you.

@Wei Jie Yang I have two properties being managed by Voepel and purchased one property through Nathan and his team at Bridge last year.  Just passing the 12 month mark with Voepel, but I have been pleased with their professionalism and communication/reporting.  They have been very pro-active through the process of lease renewal as well.  So far so good, but my experience is limited to one lease cycle and haven't been through any turnover.  

In regards to Bridge, I have been happy thus far with my purchase.  Don't trust ProForma numbers provided by anyone, do your best due diligence and if the numbers make sense for your goals, pull the trigger.  Call a local insurance agent or two and get estimates for the properties listed by Bridge (or anyone for that matter).  I wasn't able to find any landlord policies with broad perils coverage for the ProForma estimates.  Pull the assessor's parcel map for the property and "trust but verify" that the taxes are correct.  

Long story long, I would give both companies a favorable referral.  Feel free to shoot over any additional questions you may have.  Happy to share. 

@Wei Jie Yang

I have used Voepel for the past 2 years to manage 16 units for me. So far I have been very happy with them and found that they strive to be professional and to do a good job for their owners. 

As for Nathan Brooks/Bridge I have not met them or bought anything through them.  I have heard they are good and do nice looking renovations. As with any provider though it's good to never blindly trust  & to do all your own research with areas and home inspections, home values etc. 

Disclosure: Owner

@Wei Jie Yang we are excited to work with you! And excited for your first property.

Also appreciate everyone else jumping into the conversation. We do our VERY best to take care of every single client. We aren't always perfect, but we always do the right thing... make things right.

Appreciate you @Andrew Korver @Kim Tucker @Jake Riordan  

We take our opportunity, our business, and clients ... seriously. And seriously, real estate is AWESOME .. and just thankful we get to help clients everyday build wealth through it.

@Nathan Brooks I am relatively new to the scene, and closed my first deal in January on a triplex. I’ve been looking for deal 2 since, and have been considering a Bridge turnkey property. I’ve read mostly positive reviews here and there on the forums, as well as your responses to them which is cool to see. One thing I noticed being stated is that your goal is to get things right, but if you don’t, to make it right for the customer. Can you share a specific instance where you got something wrong, whether it be a bad property, bad numbers, etc, and then tell us what steps you took to correct it?

Disclosure: Owner

@Irvin Chen absolutely. There have been moments when a tenant moved out early and we helped in that transition. Or the early days when we sold properties without a tenant placed prior to close we would cover rent for a client. If we had missed the rent rate we would help there as well. It's not about ONE deal ... it's always about how we always always do the right thing for our clients. Love to chat with you more anyway we can help.

Originally posted by @Andrew Korver :

@Wei Jie Yang I have two properties being managed by Voepel and purchased one property through Nathan and his team at Bridge last year.  Just passing the 12 month mark with Voepel, but I have been pleased with their professionalism and communication/reporting.  They have been very pro-active through the process of lease renewal as well.  So far so good, but my experience is limited to one lease cycle and haven't been through any turnover.  

In regards to Bridge, I have been happy thus far with my purchase.  Don't trust ProForma numbers provided by anyone, do your best due diligence and if the numbers make sense for your goals, pull the trigger.  Call a local insurance agent or two and get estimates for the properties listed by Bridge (or anyone for that matter).  I wasn't able to find any landlord policies with broad perils coverage for the ProForma estimates.  Pull the assessor's parcel map for the property and "trust but verify" that the taxes are correct.  

Nathan is a good man and  a very good family man..  

I just wanted to comment on the tax's for the audience.. I am not sure if were you bought there is homeowner exemptions.. but I do see this sometimes .. were a buyer checks the tax's and does not realize that the rate is ONLY for owner occ.. and the second they buy it they lose the exemption.. and the tax's double the next year or so..  Us West coast folks CA OR WA does not have homeowner exemptions tax rate is the tax rate.. so that's a little pearl when you go shopping.. and agree on insurance.. you can buy cheap insurance that makes your cash flow look good.. but if you have a claim you may not like the cheap company.. :)

@Andrew Korver @Kim Tucker @Jake Riordan Thank you for your help and suggestions!

@Jay Hinrichs   Thank you for mentioning this. I am still researching multiple markets and couldn't for the life of me understand why I saw some tax years jump or decrease 2x what it was the previous year.  I don't believe there is such a thing in NY (at least not in the 5 Boroughs anyway) so I was completely unaware of this.

@Nathan Brooks Does KC Kansas or MO have this sort of homeowner tax exemption?  I'm not going to stop my purchasing even if there is of course, I would like to know for my future calculations.

Originally posted by @Wei Jie Yang :

@Andrew Korver @Kim Tucker @Jake Riordan Thank you for your help and suggestions!

@Jay Hinrichs  Thank you for mentioning this. I am still researching multiple markets and couldn't for the life of me understand why I saw some tax years jump or decrease 2x what it was the previous year.  I don't believe there is such a thing in NY (at least not in the 5 Boroughs anyway) so I was completely unaware of this.

@Nathan Brooks Does KC Kansas or MO have this sort of homeowner tax exemption?  I'm not going to stop my purchasing even if there is of course, I would like to know for my future calculations.

 just something that is easily checked off your due diligence.  However important to know when folks are buying with minimum down payments and expecting a certain cash flow.. if you run your tax's at 75 a month and next thing you know they are 150  your two hundred just dropped to 125k.. A lot of folks that invest in Texas will see their tax's raise dramatically after purchase.. other states is the homeowner expemption.. two I know off the top of my head are Mississippi and South Carolina.

@Wei Jie Yang I bought 2 places through Bridge and am a big fan.  The 10 year replacement came up during inspection on my first place and they replaced the furnace after they did the rest of the rehab.  Having the independent inspector makes this legit and not something to be scared of.  Agree with above on pricing/pro-formas.  I don't use theirs, I put in my own numbers here on the BP calcs.

Voepel has been great so far as well along with sharing expected rental rates on other purchases.  They have 4 doors for me and are marketing for 1 right now.  You don't HAVE to use them for your PM so feel free to shop around.

As for Nathan - what you see is what you get.  Awesome guy and doing great things with Bridge.  Rockstar.  

Can't find cash flow numbers around us!  A triplex around the corner from me in Norwalk sold for 480 and will need lots of work and will rent for probably around 3-3.5k all in.  Plus our high taxes!  No thanks.

@Wei Jie Yang Thanks for bringing this topic up! I've just learned about Bridge through the BP Podcast and think it might be a good fit for me.

@Nathan Brooks I'm a bit caught up in analysis paralysis (going on my 4th year). My real hang up has been that I work overseas and only really get back to the U.S. every year or two. I had been looking in one midwest market because of family nearby, and started to build my team. But now that family may be moving from that area, there is no real reason to buy there. It seems that Bridge may be a good way to get my first "door" and get into real estate investing.

Following! Great info, gang! Thanks to all who have contributed!

@Wei Jie Yang , please keep us posted on how things go as you close and progress. Would love to see the play-by-play like you did with Memphis Invest if you're up for it! Very little here on BP about Voepel.

Cheers!

Eric

Disclosure: Owner

@David Boley lets go brother! We can definitely help ... and here's the great part. We will talk through it with you and just make sure you are setup for success. I love that you've taken the time to analyze and make sure you are ready to go... and sure shows you have a lot of patience to make sure you have the right thing.  I'll shoot you a DM sir!

Closed today finally! This one dragged out for weeks due to some mistiming, but as a result I received a better product. Bridge was AMAZING in their quickness to respond to ANY issue. I might buy again from them real soon if Voepel works out.

Now I am waiting on Voepel to tell me what I need to do on my end. This transition is something I'm a bit worried over, just because this is the first time when the turnkey company isn't the PM company. That being said, apparently a tenant has been found and will be moving in two weeks.

Word of warning(not really the right word for it) Bridge does hire a inspection company to do the third party inspection for you. You WILL be charged for it during the close. So don't hire another third party once they already did it because you will be paying double on the inspection criteria. Same thing with tenant placement. Bridge will charge the 50% tenant placement fee that Voepel charges during the close.

@Wei Jie Yang

Thanks so much for documenting your experience; particularly as there is so little written here on BP about Voepel. 

Did Bridge give you the opportunity to pick the third-party inspector? Seems to be a conflict of interest if they choose.

With regard to the tenant placement: not sure I'm clear - are you saying that 100% of the first month's rent is gone? (50% to Voepel and 50% to Bridge??)

@eric chase I'm not sure. I assumed It was just Voepels fee. As far as inspectors go, Idk. The one I picked out already had the inspection done already, but they always use the same inspector, and it's a very large third party one at that so I hope theres no weird collusion type of situation going on. 

Great so far. Every (tiny) issue that has come up has been through miscommunication and were all resolved  by Bridge in a day or two. No complaints so far.

Unfortunately, for your sake and the community's sake I feel like I should say that we had a terrible experience with Voepel and would not recommend anyone hire them as their PM. 

Their communication was really poor; their maintenance costs were inflated (especially for KC); they have lots of "extra fees" for the property owners and the tenants (not good for retaining good tenants); the owner was shockingly unprofessional about disagreements between him and the turnkey provider who we bought the house from (not the guy you used) who placed us with Voepel (granted, I now think the turnkey guy does sloppy remodels and I wouldn't buy from him again); and their terrible mismanagement resulted one of our tenants demanding to be let out of their lease and threatening to sue because of unresponsive property management, which we knew nothing about until it was too late.

If there is a problem with a property it is very tough for the tenant to get in touch with the people needed to correct the problem. (see reviews on Yelp, Google, etc. which confirm this). Voepel's maintenance manager spent as little time as possible to address issues, did not follow up to make sure things were fixed, and when I followed up to get an update was told us things were resolved. Meanwhile the tenant tried many times to contact maintenance and get the issues resolved. The tenant finally gave up and wanted out of their lease. 

When I tried to talk with the owner of Voepel about the problem, assuming that he was unaware of how badly his staff had mismanaged the house, I was subject to the most unprofessional diatribe that I've ever experienced. He screamed at me, and literally said that Voepel is not in the business of taking care of maintenance issues, they just collect rent checks! Two minutes later we got an email stating that Voepel was no longer our PM, even though that was a breach of the contract. Before using Voepel we had always managed our own local properties, and our dealings with Voepel cost us more time and money than any self-management ever has. In contrast, dealings with our PM in other long-distance markets where we own rentals have been nearly hassle-free. I would have given Voepel the benefit of the doubt that many of their challenges were because they are new and growing too fast, and some of their staff were in positions above their capabilities, but that doesn't excuse the horrible behavior of the owner. A company culture starts at the top and it appears Voepel is more interested in making maximum short term profit instead of providing a good service at a fair rate and retaining long term customers.

Sorry, but I'd suggest that you be very wary of doing business with Voepel. Proactively check in regularly and do not assume that they are taking care of things, ask for a complete list of their fees, keep very good records of communications, etc. Check into other PMs so that you have one in mind in case your relationship with Voepel sours. I wish you good luck. 

Wow, I just looked up Voepel on Yelp, Yahoo reviews, etc. and this accreditation revocation from the Better Business Bureau about says it all!

ACCREDITATION REVOCATION

On 08/09/2018 this business's accreditation in the BBB was revoked by the BBB's Board of Directors due to its failure to adhere to the BBB requirement that Accredited Businesses meet and abide by the following standards:

6. Address marketplace disputes quickly, professionally, and in good faith.

6A. Promptly respond to all complaints forwarded by BBB by:

  1. Resolving the complaint directly with the complainant and notifying BBB, or
  2. Providing BBB with a response that BBB determines:
    • is professional,
    • addresses all of the issues raised by the complainant,
    • includes appropriate evidence and documents supporting the business' position, and
    • explains why any relief sought by the complainant cannot or should not be granted.

As for buying a house to rent out in the KC market, here, taxes are taxes.  The only time you might see a huge jump is if you buy a brand new house - taxes on a brand new house are taxed at the land lot price until it is actually occupied.

So, for example, you buy a brand new house in Raymore (a lot of investors are doing this) with the taxes listed, get it rented out for the $1800 to $2000 a month they rent for and then find taxes go from say $400 to $2000.

And if you buy commercial - I owned a commercial property for 10 years, when we bought it the taxes were $5,000, and as the city improved the area, they suddenly jumped to $12,000, so owning our own office made sense at $5,000 in a taxes a year, but at $12,000, we could rent something for much less.

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