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Sammy Hernandez

RentConnect is Good for Business: Meet landlord Sammy Hernandez and learn about renting to low-income tenants

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Have you ever wondered how renting to low-income tenants in Miami works? One program to check out is RentConnect. RentConnect is similar to renting to Section 8 tenants but with a few twists that our landlords love. Developed by the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust in partnership with Miami Homes For All, a team of housing professionals connects landlords with clients needing housing. The expert matching program supports owners and managers in keeping their properties full and rents paid. 

We interviewed one of our newest landlords, Sammy Hernandez, to explore his experience with RentConnect and turn from his career as an international professional basketball player to a RentConnect Real Estate partner. Let’s just say, he hasn’t looked back!

Why did you decide to investigate the RentConnect program?

I was introduced to RentConnect through a networking event. When I heard the details of the program, I became excited to see how we could make this a two-way relationship that would be a win-win for me and the Homeless Trust.  I heard about the people who are helped and I realized that it actually fits with my life goals. If I can help people leave the life they used to have and provide a better life, that’s a good thing. If I can help, regardless of race, gender, or ethnicity – if it is on the sale side or the landlord side, I’m in. 

How did you turn RentConnect into a win-win?

I shared with my RentConnect contact that I have properties in Homestead, Brownsville, West Havana, and most of Miami. Since I also own a property management company, I was interested in the fact that RentConnect can give me reliable tenants.  Additionally, the team can tell me where they need landlords, and then I can work with my company and my investors to buy in those spots. That’s worked so well that in several cases, I purchased properties, and we already have tenants.  

Is RentConnect good for your business?

It is good for my business because any time I have a vacancy, they can help me fill it rather quickly, both my properties and the ones I manage. Through them, we can find tenants that are in need, and we can provide a fast placement. 

What tips do you have for landlords who might be interested in joining RentConnect?

As soon as you are aware that an existing tenant is not renewing, communicate with the RentConnect team - 60 days in advance would be great, but as soon as you know, tell them. By the time the unit is vacant, they have a client ready to move in. With this program, I’m never down rent and I don’t have to pay for marketing.  

Thinking about becoming a Section 8 landlord or one that is focused on income-based housing rentals? Consider RentConnect and find out about their property needs, which just might match your unit availability now or in the future. 

Learn more about being a landlord who creates real change for Miami-Dade County individuals and families experiencing homelessness.