Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Keyhole Properties celebrates its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting Wednesday.
By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – Property management and real estate company Keyhole Properties showed off its new digs at a ribbon-cutting and grand opening celebration Wednesday.
Business groups and local government officials, including Safford City Councilor Michael Andazola Sr. and Graham County Supervisor Paul David, joined with the Graham County Chamber of Commerce for the official ribbon cutting.
It was a homecoming for owner Kym Gifford, who formerly worked at the same building with Copper Ridge Realty as an office assistant. She then received her license and worked as an agent until she was able to get her broker’s license and bought the property management piece from Copper Ridge. She then moved into her own business two years ago and worked as a one-woman show.
“With the expansion of the mine and everything that is going on in our Valley, my business has just exploded, so I started taking on more agents,” Gifford said.
That led Gifford to purchase the former Copper Ridge Realty building at 1618 S. 1st Ave. and move her own business into it. She now has a team of six agents who all do property management as well as work with buyers and sellers. Gifford also utilizes a number of local vendors from mortgage lenders, title companies, home inspectors, electricians, HVAC companies, plumbers, carpet cleaners, pest control companies, and more.
“We’ve been in this building for about four weeks,” Gifford said. “We’ve been doing a little bit of renovation but not a lot because the building was beautiful and perfect for what we wanted to do and that’s the reason why we bought it . . . I worked in this building for many years, so I knew the building well.”
Keyhole Properties is a unique real estate brokerage in the Gila Valley because it not only works with buyers and sellers but also does property management and currently manages more than 100 properties, working with landlords and tenants.
On the property management side, the business first examines the property to make sure it meets the three S’s, safety, sanitation, and security.
“So, we don’t take on every property that comes to us, but we do take on ones that we can turn over to a tenant and feel good that that tenant is going to feel comfortable in that home.”
And if some issue does happen to arise, say a water pipe breaks or some other issue with the property, the landlord can rest assured that Keyhole Properties will handle the situation for them.
For the management of a property, the business has a one-time setup fee and then charges a monthly commission. Owners have access to an online portal so they can keep an eye on their property from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. The system is also fully automated, so payments are made online and potential tenants are fully vetted before signing a lease.
“We take care of everything for them,” Gifford said. “The tenant calls us, not the landlord. Drippy faucets, outlets burst, whatever, they call us. So, we take care of everything 100 percent for the owner and direct deposit the owner’s rent to their account after their expenses come out each month.”
With such a hands-on approach, the business works with a number of investors who live elsewhere and rents out properties they purchase in the Gila Valley. No property is too big or too small, from single-family homes to multiple-family dwellings and more.
Keyhole Properties also assists in purchasing and selling properties and can have agents helping the buyer and seller of a property come together so that everyone gets a fair deal.
Gifford said opening her business and now owning the building in which she used to work is the culmination of her ultimate plan but sped up a bit.
“It actually feels pretty amazing,” she said. “This was my five-year plan that happened in two.”