3 friends' house woes inspire new property management company in Detroit

Max, Scott and Tim bought a house in Detroit a few years ago, but quickly learned the state of property management wasn't quite up to their standards.

- The best way to start a company, we're told, is to immerse yourself in a problem and attempt to solve it. When it comes to improving property management, that's exactly what a group of three young friends did.

In 2012 when Max Nussenbaum, Scott and Tim moved to the city as part of the Ventures of America program, a program that connects recent graduates with start ups in emerging cities like Detoit. About a year later they found a 4,600 sq. foot house they wanted to buy in the city's Virginia Park District. Little did they know, it'd be the future home of their tech company.

They got the property for a little over $8,000, but there was a lot of work to do. Max tells us the first two months were spent just clearing out trash.

After a year, they finally moved in and started learning that when it comes to property management, it wasn't quite up to their standards.

"The state of property management - especially in southeast Michigan - is so bad that sometimes, people would just be like, 'Yeah, you guys just picked up the phone. Yeah, I'm sold!'" he says.

That's when Max, Scott and Tim decided they can do better and developed Castle.

"Castle manages rental homes for landlords using automation and on-demand labor," Max explains. 

Essentially, Castle brings property management into the 21st century. But like any startup, getting started was challenging.

"Those first few customers, I was just praying on the phone that they wouldn't ask how many other properties we managed, and luckily we were able to get like 10 customers and no one asked," Max says.

And then, Castle took off. The company now is a team of 10 and manages 550 units.

There's still work to do on the house, but Max likes where they are and what they've done with their time in Detroit. Max says so far they have invested a little over $200,000 into the house to fix it up.

To learn more about Castle, head over to their website www.entercastle.com.

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