The Queen of Section 8


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Jennifer Donley


As a new landlord, I believed all the negativity I read and heard about Section 8 rentals…
I bought what would become my first investment property in 2007. It was our first home, and we kept it as a rental. We still have it today.
I started buying real estate seriously in 2018, and in 2019, I purchased a package of properties that had a handful of Section 8 tenants in them. This gave me my first actual experience with Section 8 and through that, I discovered that done right, Section 8 rentals are a great way to grow a rental portfolio.
The problem isn’t that Section 8 rentals are bad, it’s that most people do it wrong. They don’t build or follow systems & processes and they skimp on rehabs, repairs & maintenance. Eventually, they end up with crummy tenants, beat up properties and they hate their Section 8 rentals.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
I’m wired to look for efficiency and to create repeatable systems. The beauty of working with a government-type agency is that the whole system is built on repeatable processes. Yes, that sometimes means that you have more red tape to wade through, but once you figure that red tape out, you can follow those processes over and over and over again.
Generally speaking, when we do the same thing over and over, we get really good at it. Hence the saying – “practice makes perfect.”
Today, I have 31 rentals units and have bought or sold another 10 through flipping and wholesaling.
I live in the St. Louis area with my husband and our 3 daughters.
In addition to my rental portfolio, I own a cleaning & restoration business with my husband and prior to that, I worked for a large insurance company. I love real estate investing, and I especially love the Section 8 niche. Done right, I believe it’s more profitable and stable than almost any other rental niche out there.

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