How does Knox Frictionless Ownership work?
Knox turns a home you own into an income property and a passive investment for you. We do the work. You sit back, collect income, and watch your investment grow. We take care of the rest. It really is that simple.
How much does it cost to put my home on the Knox Platform?
Knox charges a fixed percentage of the rent collected. We do not charge any additional fees such as rental commissions or maintenance markup. We’re happy to provide a quote for you.
How is Knox different from a traditional property manager?
What a property manager does:
A property manager is usually a maintenance company who will take issue calls from tenants when something is broken or they’re locked out. They may also collect rent, but not always. This, they’ll do for 4-8% depending on the company, the level of service, and the unit. Sometimes property managers are construction companies who also do fix-it work. Other times, they’re real estate brokerages with a few contractor/handyman relationships or a handyman on staff. Usually, they’ll either have their own employees do the fix-it work and charge you for the work at a premium rate or they’ll mark up a 3rd party’s rates every time they do a job in your unit.
In addition to a property manager, at the very least, you’ll need someone to rent the unit. They’ll charge 1 month’s rent to find you a tenant. They’ll charge this amount every time the unit turns over, no matter how long the tenant sticks around. This means they make more money when the unit has more turnover. Property owners know that turnover, and the possibility of vacancy, is just about the worst thing that can happen. Sometimes, the property manager and the rental agency are the same company. Some rental agents will claim that they can, “get the tenant to pay their fee.” In reality, when the tenant pays a fee, they’re willing to pay less rent. So, one way or another, the owner is paying.
What Knox does:
• All the books:
◦ Rent collection
◦ Reserve account management, no commingling of funds
◦ Pay all bills and expenses – mortgage, taxes, insurance, condo fee, etc
◦ Send you the net profits every 90 days
◦ Deliver a 1099 at the end of the year which makes it easy to file your taxes while making sure you deduct every penny you can.
◦ Hire professional real estate photographers – this allows the unit to fetch higher rent
◦ Advertise the home
◦ Show the home
◦ Leasing and legal
◦ Renewals and rent increases
◦ Background and credit checks
• Property management:
◦ Respond to tenant issues 24hr/day
◦ Emergency response within 2 hours.
◦ schedule all other maintenance within 48 hours
◦ NO markup on fix-it costs including parts and labor
◦ Handle evictions, if necessary
• Find you the right insurance policy:
◦ Make sure you have the right policy
◦ Require every tenant to carry renter’s insurance
◦ Bundle policies to save money
• Financing (if needed):
◦ Refinance so you have the downpayment you need for your next home
◦ Help you access cash in the home as/when you need it
◦ Work with the bank to leverage your w-2s and leases so you qualify for the right note on your next home
Knox treats your home like the financial investment it is. We help you balance cash flow and rate of return to help you meet your financial goals.
We do all the above for a fixed fee of 10% of the rent we collect. We don’t make money unless you make money.
What does the Knox Platform include?
In short? Everything it takes to operate an income property. Rentals, legal, background and credit checks, rent collection, bill pay, accounting, tenant relations, move-in and move-out, maintenance management, insurance program and rate optimization, preventative maintenance, access to preferred financing, and much more.
Do I have to chase rent payments? What if a tenant pays late?
You’ll never have to chase a rent payment. Knox takes care of this for you. In fact, we collect all rent electronically and automatically. So, late payments are rare.
How does Knox manage my cash flow?
Knox holds a reserve account for each unit in the program. We never co-mingle funds. We establish a minimum balance in this account that is spelled out in our agreement with you. When rent is collected it is automatically deposited into your reserve account. The expenses for your property are paid out of this account. At the end of the quarter, if your account balance is above the minimum balance, we send you the rest.
On a quarterly basis, Knox will also send you a statement that details every penny collected and spent on your behalf. At the end of the year, we’ll send you a 1099 for your taxes. This will enable you to account for every single appropriate expense available to you as an investment property owner.
Beyond a percentage of the rent, what other costs might I incur once my property is enrolled in the Knox Platform?
All properties have carrying costs. Taxes, insurance, mortgage, condo fees, etc. You would incur these costs whether your home is on the Knox Platform or not. We simply manage the payment of these costs on your behalf. Maintenance costs are the main expense beyond recurring costs. Knox has pre-negotiated rates with maintenance providers to save our clients money. All costs are managed and paid on your behalf by Knox from your reserve account.
When I sign up, am I locked in forever?
We ask for an initial commitment of 1 year. After that, you can take your property off of the Knox Platform by giving us 6 months notice before the end of the then-current lease.
What if my property needs some renovations before it’s ready to rent?
We’ll manage those for you! Lots of homes aren’t quite ready to rent when you move out. Knox has a team of maintenance contractors who can fix up your home so that it rents for the right price and tenants are happy and stick around.
What happens when there’s a problem with my property?
The tenant will contact Knox and our team will respond quickly. We’ll assess the issue, start a request in our system, and assign an appropriate maintenance provider to the issue. We’ll coordinate with the contractor and the tenant so that they can gain access to the home at a convenient time and fix the problem.
Does Knox charge 1 month’s rent to the tenant or the owner when you rent the unit?
Neither. Knox does not charge a separate fee for rental services.
Rental agents and property managers will often charge one party, or both, a month’s rent. This is paid upon move-in, no matter how long the tenant sticks around or how reliably they pay their rent. Knox charges a percentage of rent collected each month. We get paid when you get paid. Thus, our interests are aligned and we both want to avoid vacancies.
How is rent collected?
We collect rent automatically by ACH.
How is net rental income transferred to the owner?
Net profit (after all expenses are paid on your behalf ) is posted to your account via ACH. There’s no cost associated with this for you. We pay net profits just after the close of the calendar quarter. So, you could see no net income for 90 days if we took over the finances on your property on the 1st day of a quarter. Often, it’s less than 90 days.
How do security deposits work?
Security deposits are actually held in a separate account and, in fact, by a 3rd party. Tenants like this since it’s an extra layer of protection for them. We ensure compliance with all sec dep regulations and requirements as well.
Do you collect first/last and a security deposit as standard from new renters?
We collect 1 month’s rent with each rental application and only deposit this check if the renter passes our background screening. This is the same for all units.
How do showings work? How much notice would we have to vacate the property?
We handle all showings and will coordinate with you, giving you ample notice before each appointment. We generally aim for least 24 hours prior notice. We also ask you to let us know, generally, when you’ll be out of the unit (such as when you’re at the office during the day) and aim to show at times that are least disruptive to your life. This isn’t always 100% achievable, but we do our best.
How do your listings work? Do you cross-list on other sites or only Knox’s?
We market on 1000’s of websites. A very large % of turnovers are between June 1 and Aug 30. Most of our listings are rented in 20 days or less. Some take longer. This is usually a factor of when they’re listed. Ex. if a unit comes on the market in November, it’s far more challenging to find a tenant then if a unit comes on the market in May.
How do renewals work?
We begin contacting the tenant about renewing 120 days before the end of the lease. In general, you’re not going to be notified about a current tenant’s decision. We’re going to simply find a new tenant to move in when the old one moves out. You’ll see a lease to sign once a qualified tenant is identified. The Knox platform is designed to unburden our customers. So, questions like ‘will they renew?’ and ‘do we need a new renter?’ are no longer your concern. It’s simply our responsibility to minimize vacancy and maximize revenue.
In the event that a renter stops paying, what is the eviction process like?
We have a very strict process that follows state laws and timelines.
How/when are owners notified about service issues exactly?
You will be notified whenever the cost of a maintenance request exceeds $1000 in time and materials. After hours calls, when judged to be an emergency, are responded to within 2 hours. Someone will be on-site within 2 hours. All maintenance requests are entered into our ticketing system. All maintenance requests do show up on your quarterly statement including the date, nature of the issue, and the cost associated. We do have an SLA, but it’s with our maintenance providers. $40/hr for regular maintenance work. Issues addressed with in 48 hours during normal working hours. $60/hr and 2 hr response time for emergency issues 24/x7.
How is damage to the unit handled?
If the tenant has caused damage (vs normal wear or end of life replacement) then the cost of the repair will be deducted from the tenant’s security deposit. Also, sometimes tenants offer to pay for certain maintenance items, accepting responsibility and paying for repairs via Knox.
How do you deal with requirements of our HOA/condo association?
We incorporate the HOA bylaws into the lease, therefore the tenants are bound to abide by them. If a neighbor complains about a renter, we will talk to the renter about the complaint. You will never have to deal with the renter. They can call and speak with our operations team.
What contact would I have with the renter?
How do I earn a $500 credit from the Knox referral program?
We’ll credit you $500 for anyone you refer who signs up for the Knox platform. Share info about Knox with a friend, parent, or even someone you just met and let us know their name, and we will credit your account.
If we decide to sell the unit, how much notice is required for you and the renter?
If you decide to sell, you would normally sell with the renter in the unit and our agreement would transfer with the unit to the new owners. The unit is more valuable rented than unrented.
If we decide to end our relationship with Knox, how much notice is required, and what does that entail?
You give us 6 months’ notice before the end of the then-current lease. We will inform the tenant that we will not be renewing their lease. We’ll make sure they move out on time and deliver a final condition report to you. Then, the complete contents of your reserve account will be deposited into your bank account.
How does Knox find me the right insurance policy for my investment?
We shop your insurance needs to a network of carriers and find the best rate for your coverage needs. This happens after our data gathering visit. The insurance premiums are paid out of the reserve account. The payment schedule depends on the policy.
Can a property owner maintain contact with the board and other unit owners in the association?
Yes. We do not take over that role for our customers. We are not the name on the deed and therefore are not the trustee.
Can a representative of a condo property manager enter property?
They can call our main phone number and they can coordinate a visit via our opps team.
How/when are operating expenses paid from the reserve account?
We pay ALL expenses from your reserve account – mortgage, condo fees, taxes, insurance, maintenance, and anything else. This happens regardless of whether the home is occupied or vacant. Bills are always paid on time. When all expenses route through our system, we can make sure you get maximum deductions on your taxes.