Keyrenter Founder Aaron Marshall left a lasting legacy of empowerment and support

Aaron Marshall

A desire to support and help franchisees succeed remains the mission of the Keyrenter Property Management team

Since Keyrenter Property Management began franchising in 2014, the company’s objective was focused on franchisee support and building lasting relationships. 

The company’s co-founder and original CEO, the late Aaron Marshall (above, center with his family), was passionate about helping people prepare for their financial future through entrepreneurship. Marshall brought his vision to Keyrenter and built a successful franchise system based on his passion for real estate and a desire to guide entrepreneurs into successful ownership of a lifestyle business. His management approach emphasized empowering his team and franchisees to lead. 

Faced with challenges

Back in 2019, in the midst of the pandemic, Marshall was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Even with his diagnosis and the challenges of an uncertain business climate, Marshall stayed focused on the franchise. He spent the last year of his life sharing his vision and leadership lessons with his team and franchisees. 

Right after his diagnosis, Marshall discussed what he’d learned about himself and his leadership style in a Wall Street Journal article. Marshall told the Journal that he sat down with his staff just a few weeks after receiving his diagnosis because he didn’t want them to become worried or frustrated by a lack of transparency. He said that he used his time to refocus his energies to become a better boss and to prioritize the issues that are most important, which included giving team members more autonomy to make business decisions. He also hired management coaches to work with the staff. 

“Aaron Marshall spent the last year
of his life sharing his vision and leadership lessons with his team and franchisees.” 

Marshall died in June 2021 but left a lasting legacy. His passion to help other people succeed is at the forefront of the current leadership team’s efforts. 

The growing franchise family is led by Keyrenter co-founder Nate Tew, who serves as chief operating officer, and interim CEOArt Coley. Alexis Pahl, who serves as recruitment and on-boarding coordinator of franchise development, says that the leadership team has put a focus on helping franchisees reach benchmarks sooner for 50, 100 and 200-plus properties. “We are dedicated to continuous improvement, both personally and for our franchisees,” she says. 

At the Keyrenter home office, from left to right, Nate Tew, 
co-founder and COO; Alexis Pahl, franchise recruitment; Kelly Austin, help desk; Evan, Kristine and Ben Graham, Pennsylvania franchisees;
Art Coley, CEO.

Mission 100
Pahl says that Marshall’s vision for thorough training and ongoing support continues. “At the beginning of 2021, Aaron and the leadership team sat down to outline our vision. He left us with an initiative that we call Mission 100. The goal is to have 100 units in the system and have 20,000 doors under management by 1/1/2024. As a franchisor, we are working closely on revamping our training and increasing our communication to cascade this vision across the board.”  

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Jill Abrahamsen’s career spans more than 20 years in editorial, design, and marketing roles. She serves as editor-in-chief of Franchise Consultant Magazine and FranchiseWire. Through both platforms, Jill reports on industry news and helps Franchisors spread the word about their brands.
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