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Denver Property Management - Dealing with Craigslist Scams

Scott Lukes - Thursday, March 15, 2018

The number of fake rental scams on Craigslist and other online classifieds continues to grow, with new aliases appearing daily.

There are several items to look out for:
-- Look for the misspelling of words and more formal language that isn’t commonly used in such online advertising. The emails will be overly polite and poorly written or express excessive eagerness to rent the property without having proper steps including property inspection, background and credit checks.

-- They use photos stolen from other property advertisements and many times copy the legitimate ad with same description and photos.

-- The scammers tend to use yahoo, ymail, rocketmail, fastermail, live, hotmail and gmail, and they also post ads under anonymous craigslist addresses.

- What they all have in common is that sooner or later they send request to transfer funds via Western Union, Money gram or some other wire service. Never, under any circumstances wire money at the request of the prospective “landlord” and never provide a bank account number, bank routing number or other financial or personal information.

-- When there are two identical ads the monthly rental fee will be much different. For instance a legitimate ad for a 4 bedroom house would be, say $1,350 per month. The scam ad will list the same property, same pictures and assume the homeowner’s identity but list it for $850. If it’s too good to be true it probably is. They will have a sob story or say they are not available to show the property but the renter can go and check it out if they wish.

A renter should ALWAYS do business face-to-face with the landlord or property management company. It’s important to have access inside the property and to sign documents and contracts in person and in an office or professional setting.

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Denver apartment rents falling

Scott Lukes - Monday, March 05, 2018

According to the Post:  Metro Denver absorbed 11,821 new apartments last year, up from 11,056 in 2016. That represents the most in records going back to 1981, although the 1970s had years with more robust construction.  For the second quarter in a row, both the average and median rent for an apartment in metro Denver fell, while vacancy rates shot up 6.4 percent from 5.4 percent in the third quarter and 5 percent in the second. The average rent dropped to $1,396 at the end of December versus $1,420 at the end of September, while the median rent fell to $1,353 from $1,370.

More Info: 


Denver housing shortage at a peak? What does this mean for Denver rentals?

Scott Lukes - Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Denver housing shortage at a peak?  What does this mean for Denver rentals?

According to Denver Post: 

The deficit of homes and apartments in the region is expected to peak this year at about 32,000 units, and that will put upward pressure on home prices for years to come even as supply rises to levels not seen since the early 2000s, warned Phyllis Resnick, lead economist for the Colorado Futures Center at Colorado State University. That deficit, which has been building since about 2014, represents the difference between demand from households and the supply of available housing.

Sharing a bedroom with a renter... a new Denver property management trend?

Scott Lukes - Friday, February 23, 2018

New research says demographic shifts and the sharing economy will lead to more homeowners with spare bedrooms being matched with long-term renters.

According to Rental Journal: 

 “Home sharing will gradually take a sizeable dent out of housing demand,” write Mikaela Sharp and John Burns, of John Burns Real Estate Consulting. They say 44 million empty bedrooms await."

Will this be a long-term trend in Denver?  Perhaps, as the gap between salary growth and rental housing cost continues to rise...



Managing millennial expectations in Denver Rental Housing

Scott Lukes - Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Managing millennial expectations in Denver Rental Housing

According to Rental Housing Journal:

High turnover in the maintenance ranks is a problem in multifamily housing, especially among millennial maintenance personnel. They like easy-to-use technology applications on their smart phones and not old paper-based maintenance processes. That is why the company, Facilgo, did the study to research these questions.

  • How do millennials' expectations for faster maintenance affect property management maintenance organizations?
  • Are millennial maintenance personnel leaving multifamily due to the lack of technology solutions available in their day-to-day jobs?  What can be done to retain them?
  • What strategies are companies using to make their maintenance processes more efficient?
  • How will these new strategies help retain millennial maintenance personnel and satisfy millennial residents?
  • What will happen if companies don't do anything to cater to millennials' needs?

For more info: 


average rent for an apartment in Denver $1567 which is a 0.64% increase from last year

Scott Lukes - Thursday, February 08, 2018

According to Rent Jungle:  As of December 2017, average rent for an apartment in Denver, CO is $1567 which is a 0.64% increase from last year when the average rent was $1557 , and a 0.06% increase from last month when the average rent was $1566. One bedroom apartments in Denver rent for $1377 a month on average (a 1.23% increase from last year) and two bedroom apartment rents average $1769 (a 0.68% increase from last year).  

Echo Summit, a leading property manager in Denver rentals, sees this trend, though it is more localized in certain areas of the city.

For more information:

Competition Heating Up – Turn-key Rentals?

Scott Lukes - Saturday, February 03, 2018

Revisiting an earlier post, we continue to believe that competition for Denver residential single-family investment homes, at least at the wholesale level, has picked up dramatically in the past few months.

This is largely due to a massive amount of out-of-state money moving in, making cash offers, sight unseen with no inspection contingencies. It is very hard to compete with this, though Echo Summit is still having success via its network of investors.

Given this phase of the market, it is probably time to start thinking about purchasing turn-key rental properties, and aiming for cash flow, rather than short-term cash-on-cash return. Obviously, almost any property held for a minimum of 5 years will produce some form of cash-cash return based on appreciation alone. What I am a suggesting is to focus away from the masses who are hoping for quick returns on a wholesale flip, and target areas/property types that they are not.

Without getting into the boonies, I recommend focusing on transportation corridors (SSE is off the charts) and anything feeding into the Cherry Creek School District (for those of you who don’t know what bond proposals 3a and 3B were for in recent elections… study up. They passed, and will have significance for property valuation in the coming years).

Amazon's Effect on Denver Rentals

Scott Lukes - Wednesday, January 31, 2018
A recent article in the Denver Post examined the effects of Amazon possibly moving its corporate HQ to Denver.
In the article:  "If Amazon doesn’t pick Denver, “there will be a sense of relief,” Colorado governor says ... Governor clarifies that he thinks the bid’s pros outweigh the cons but sees the growth that accompanies 50,000 jobs as a challenge"
Echo Summit Property Management, who specializes in Denver rental properties thinks the effect on the rental market could be much more profound, especially for families looking for affordable or single family rental housing.
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Colorado Lease Essentials - Part 1

Scott Lukes - Thursday, January 25, 2018
Over the past few months, I have reviewed many, many home-grown and ‘Realtor-provided’ tenant leases for individual investors and homeowners who are trying to go it alone in the property management route. I have been shocked by what I have seen.

My philosophy is that manageing your own property is always the #1 option… no matter what a PM company says, nobody will give it the care and attention that you will.

Tenant leases are different. This is where you can loose your shirt, your home, and sometimes both. I have spent over $20,000 in legal, financial and other fees over the years on creating the ‘perfect’ lease. Even with a perfect lease, it is easy for a career rental abuser to make the ‘apparently perfect’ application package. You will love them. You will empathize with them. You will want to have a drink with them. Then they will squat in your property for 6 months without paying rent, knowing there is nothing you can do.

Please, please, if you DO do your own tenant leasing, make sure you:
  • Do not give more than 5 days grace period before posting a Pay or Quit noitice. This will be their first test for you.
  • ENFORCE late fees. Behavior is learned, not inherited.
  • Mandate they carry renters insurance. I make them add myself or Echo Summit as an additional insured under the Liability section.
  • Include a PAYMENT OF FUTURE RENT provision that allows you to accept partial rent payments in the middle of the evicton process (otherwise, you have to re-start the eviction clock every time you collect a penny)
  • Here are some good free forms that I am happy to share with you
  • Many other elements to consider, but at least make sure of these.

Denver Post: Home price gains and rent increases could flatten

Scott Lukes - Thursday, January 25, 2018

Per an article recently published by the Denver Post:

“Our expectation is that 2018 may indeed be the year that home prices in metro Denver increase at about the same 5 percentish rate as the nation,” said Patty Silverstein, chief economist with Development Research Partners in Littleton.

Denver property manager Echo Summit Property Management, like many other professional property managers, have been seeing increased pressure on pricing corresponding to a general increase in Days on Market across the board. 

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