Say hello to one of Gaydenver’s newest allies Brinkerhoff Property Management and Real Estate! I spoke with the owners Milford and Pamela Brinkerhoff about the Denver market and how they navigate it. They were extremely knowledgeable and answered every question in simple terms that even I could understand. Brinkerhoff brings together 30 years of experience, managing properties/portfolios, and selling/buying homes. If you have any questions make sure to reach out, they are both incredibly passionate and friendly.
Q: What are Brinkerhoff’s business philosophy and our mission to our clients? Why is partnering with a good property manager essential?
A: Pamela: We are all about customer service. I know that gets promised a lot, but it truly is a priority here. It comes down to being available and upfront with clients. I’ve had experiences in the past where I saw a business’s lack of communication lead to bigger problems for everyone.
Milford: Our clients know that we are taking the seriousness of their investment in earnest. All of our staff are licensed brokers. With many other companies, hourly employees are used that aren’t licensed and/or lack experience.
Pamela: They just don’t have the same vested interest. All of our staff have experience managing houses at a high level. That experience comes in handy because Colorado is a very tenant-friendly state. We know the law, how it breaks down into practical applications and how to protect clients and tenants from fraud. We’ve been in the business long enough that we know what to look for in tenants and what to avoid.
Milford: Exactly. Our experience helps us identify red flags pretty quickly. Kind of like how a bartender can tell someone is drunk before someone that simply doesn’t have that experience. Once you sign with us we handle everything from that moment on. From eccentric tenants to legal compliance we take care of it. You sign and watch your money deposit.
Q: How long have you been in business? What experience do you have?
A: Pamela: I’ve had my real estate license since 2014. I was with York Castle for a while. But they didn’t have property management so I moved to Woodruff Property Management. I was there up until last March, which is when we decided to break off and start doing our own thing.
Milford: I have been all over the place. Grew up drilling wells and building homes. Studied wine and ran a wine program in Arizona in the early 2000’s. In 2009, I became an analyst for a private equity company, Community Bank Partners of Colorado which became Colorado National Bank. This was during the great recession and we were acquiring local banks. I switched gears in 2012 and started working in my family’s oil and gas business. All great jobs that helped form the plan that Pamela had to start our own business, our brokerage. I could recognize that she had serious talent and drive to manage properties. I love her to death and would follow her anywhere, she’s an exceptional woman and I’m definitely glad that I did.
Q: Options for Denver homeowners that have been created by the Denver market over the last decade, and more recently how prices have been driven up by COVID.
A:Pamela: Oh yeah. It’s a seller’s market. Inventory is just so low that it’s driving prices up in favor of the sellers. A lot of first-time homebuyers, people that bought within the last fifteen to twenty years are in an advantageous position with how much equity is now in their homes. And because of that, They have options. They have a lot of options. They can buy a new home, they can rent their property, can do a 1031 exchange, or they can buy other rentals. With that low inventory really driving up competition. Covid has made for a lot more remote jobs. So we are seeing a lot of people moving or getting jobs in higher-paid cities locally. The influx of money from that drives prices up.
Q: Does this trend seem like it’ll be changing or slowing any time soon? A: Pamela: This year rental properties have been turning really healthy profits. Some houses went for five hundred dollars more than they did the previous year. A lot of people have been moving here and buying properties unseen. They use Facetime to view the property. We see a ton of people moving to Colorado or investing in Colorado’s market. The cost of living in Denver is high but people from other cities view that differently. Denver has passed legislation making it more difficult for landlords but our laws aren’t as restrictive as say LA. So people are diversifying just based on shifting laws and circumstances.
Q: What are some strategies for improving your rental portfolio and avoiding capital gains tax via 1031 exchange? I’ve personally never heard of that, 1031 exchange?
A: Milford: It’s really interesting! It’s a way to defer your taxes on the capital gains of your property. Currently gains above 250 thousand for a single person or 500 thousand for a married couple will face capital gains tax. However, the equity sitting in many homes right now far exceeded that. 1031 is a handy tool come time to sell. You can transfer those taxes, basically, to a property of equal or greater value without tax implications. A 1031 exchange has a few more steps than that but it’s fairly easy for the buyer and seller.
Pamela: Here let me give you an example. I have a client that wanted to improve their portfolio. He owns about 22 properties around Denver, most of them being in the Cole area. He’s had this portfolio for a very long time, in 1992 he bought a property for nine thousand dollars and rented
it out. We got him to sell the property because of the age/structural/ layout for 440 thousand. Using 1031, he won’t drown in the inflation of his sold property. He can rent out a townhome or condo and make the same or greater return with far less maintenance cost.
Q: Is it true that you don’t have to pay off your house to rent it out? Is that safe?
A:Milford: Yes absolutely. When you buy a house and put a long-term tenant in there, the lender can see that you have it rented up and someone else is paying your mortgage. This can help with qualifying for a new purchase loan.
Behind the Scenes
Q: Where are you from? How long have you lived in Denver?
A: Pamela: I was born in North Dakota, but moved to South Dakota when I was young. About 12 years ago I graduated college and moved to Denver. I’d lived in smaller towns up till then and wanted to live in the city. Experience that and see what it could offer. Just never ended up leaving. Decided I liked it.
Milford: My family is from Denver. I moved to Texas and Oklahoma when I was younger but came back for grade school. We lived over in Alameda. We stayed in Colorado for a good while then moved to New Jersey and back. It feels really good to be back.
Q: How long have you been married?
A: 5 years going on 6. We’ve been together for a decade though!
Q: What made you come back to Denver?
A: Well at first friends and family but now we have to say we just really like Denver. The city, the people, mountains and the community are just great. One of a kind.