The Magazine For Property Management Entrepreneurs and Executives

Letter From the Future: Rodney Fentress of Keyrenter Hampton Roads Discusses the Lessons He’s Learned as an Accidental Property Manager

Rodney Fentress
Rodney Fentress
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I didn’t set out  to be a property manager. In fact, I didn’t have plans to go into the real estate business at all.

I started out as a Marine, serving in the Gulf War during Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield. I was only 19 years old at the time but I wanted to be a hero and thought this was the best way to reach that goal.

Upon returning home, I had the opportunity to become a police officer. I was part of the SWAT team and a K9 unit and I worked as an undercover narcotics officer, so I’ve been put in many dangerous situations in my career and seen a lot of things.

In August 2013, I became a residential resale agent. Several years later I became a broker and opened Rodney Fentress Real Estate LLC. Property management wasn’t the plan, but as opportunities presented I said yes. Initially I wasn’t even sure I could do property management at the brokerage I was a part of but, I always say yes to opportunities and figure it out later. The accidental property management business grew, and before I knew it, I had 29 doors and I knew that I needed to become a true professional at property management if I intended to keep doing it. I needed systems and support and I needed it fast.

Fortunately, I discovered Keyrenter Property Management and became a franchisee.  As the owner of Keyrenter Hampton Roads, I have the tools I need to succeed through the support of the franchise.

They say that hindsight is 20/20, so looking back, there are things I wish I would have done sooner or more efficiently.

These changes would have saved me a significant amount of work and helped me grow the property management side of things earlier in the process.

Rodney Fentress

Rodney Fentress

Rodney is the CEO of Keyrenter of Hampton Roads and Rodney Fentress Real Estate LLC. Rodney is also the co-owner of Keyrenter Annapolis in Maryland. Rodney began his real estate career in 2013 while still a member of the Norfolk Police Department. Initially Rodney focused on residential resale but got involved in property management while working with investors to acquire new properties. Rodney has served as vice chairman of the Property Management and Leasing Council for the Hampton Roads REALTORs Association and is an active member of his local NARPM chapter. Rodney went to High School in Virginia Beach and graduated from Green Run High School in 1989. He joined the US Marine Corps shortly after and served in Desert Storm/ Desert Shield before returning back to Hampton Roads. Rodney retired from the Norfolk Police Department in 2017 and currently lives in Chesapeake, Virginia with his wife and kids.

We ask experienced property management entrepreneurs what they wish they knew when they started.