By Christopher Wink
Assets are only the things that make you money.
Kevin Kiene said that is a mantra he took from Robert Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
“Yes, I’m living in a house that’s worth $60,0000, and I probably should be living in a more expensive home,” said Kiene, who grew up in Fox Chase and now lives near the Smedley Franklin School in Frankford. “But the business is so important to me. So, that’s where the money goes.”
The business he’s talking about is ezLandlord Forms, an online provider of property-management legal documents of his own concept and design that will celebrate its third anniversary this August, as reported by Technically Philly.
“When most people think of a lease, they think ‘I’ll just fill in the blanks,'” he said. “Well, it doesn’t work like that.”
The national site, with growing traffic and 300,000 members, offers what he says is the most comprehensive collection of documents for landlords “on the planet.” Its Lease Builder Wizard gives members the chance to build a state-specific and tailored lease that can cover all the specifics of a rental agreement.
“Unless you have an online system, you can’t go to a stationary store and get this sort of information,” he said.
Some of the details that Kiene says many new landlords don’t think about include other documents like a pet addendum and lead-based paint warnings for homes built before 1978. There are forms for if rain destroys property and if a tenant keeps a window opened to reduce heat from a tenant from below.
Kiene started out a landlord — renting 10 properties in the Northeast and Kensington — and envisioned a single source for property management documents. Now, he’s shoring up an operation helping landlords develop clear and comprehensive agreements with tenants.
- Two weeks for $25 designed for one property
- Six months for $40
- One year for $76.
- Costs less than $10 per year to add an additional property
The site, which offers free trial memberships and specializes in rental agreements despite its growing array of options, serves on a subscription model: $25 for two weeks, $40 for six months and $76 for one year.
“Consider us the world leader in landlord forms,” Kiene said. “There’s not anyone else doing the number of leases we do.”
Others are taking notice. In September, HGTV’s Designing Spaces will be shooting a segment on the site to air at the year’s end.
“Being born and raised and getting to know these people, why would I want to leave that?” Kiene said. “That’s very valuable to me, long term friendship is a huge part of life.”
He bought the Frankford home nearly a decade ago with a girl who became his wife. Kiene has had a variety of jobs from Center City to tech support for U.S. Airways at the Philadelphia International Airport.
“I’m 40 now. Sometime in my early 30s, I began to realize my connection to the city. I definitely kind of get it. I still have many friends from high school,” he said. “That’s why you stay, to be close to what was always important.”
Despite his love for the Northeast, Kiene admits to recently looking at houses in Wildwood and Atlantic City and has even thought about the suburbs. It’s nothing immediate, he says, but a move may be in the horizon — once his businesses are set.
“But Philly will always be a big part of me.”