Mel & Mateja

Mel and Mateja Whatley manage 110 PadSplit properties and earn 20% cash-on-cash returns.

Mel and Mateja Whatley manage 110 PadSplit properties and earn 20% cash-on-cash returns.

In the real estate industry, Mel and Mateja Whatley stand out as the driving force behind PMI Atlanta West, a thriving property management company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Their journey from real estate investors to managing 110 PadSplit properties is not just a success story but a testament to their commitment to affordable housing.

Additionally, the duo manages a diverse portfolio that includes both PadSplits and Airbnb properties, with PadSplits yielding superior returns for their investments.

From real estate investors to property managers

Despite holding a real estate license since 2006, Mel continued to work as a W2 employee until 2019. Real estate served as a side hustle for him until he took a sabbatical from his W2 job in 2018. It was during this period that Mel and Mateja delved into house investments, paving the way for their exit from the traditional employment model. While engaging in some retail sales, their investor mindset prompted them to shift their focus towards monthly performance, ultimately leading to the establishment of their property management company.

“Our PadSplits do better than our Airbnbs. When it comes to cash-on-cash, our Airbnbs are somewhere around 14-15%, whereas PadSplit’s average is closer to 20%.”

Initially adopting the BRRRR strategy (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat), they found success in their Airbnb ventures, with a particular interest in the emerging concept of PadSplit.

The turning point came when they were exploring options to scale and delegate the day-to-day operations of Airbnb. A mention of PadSplit in a Facebook group caught their attention. Intrigued, they quickly listed a property on PadSplit’s platform, a decision that would shape the trajectory of their portfolio.

Strategically building a company around PadSplit

Their first PadSplit property, a 6-bedroom, 5-bathroom house near Hamilton E. Holmes MARTA Station in Atlanta, proved to be a perfect fit. Recognizing the potential, Mel decided to list another property on PadSplit within a month. Simultaneously, Mel and Mateja were laying the foundation for PMI Atlanta West.

Leveraging their experience with PadSplit’s property management processes, Mel and Mateja decided to focus on building their company around PadSplit. This involved strategic decisions such as assembling an in-house maintenance team, developing efficient processes, and utilizing their network to find skilled professionals.

“PadSplit is going to become a household name. Everyone’s going to know it.”

Why property management is crucial

Managing PadSplits can be maintenance-intensive, making a property management company crucial. PMI Atlanta West’s in-house maintenance team ensures immediate attention to issues and addresses them promptly. Routine tasks like lawn care, pest control, and cleaning are handled efficiently, offering cost-effective solutions for property owners.

For out-of-state investors or those with limited time, a property management company becomes indispensable. Mel and Mateja’s hands-on approach, derived from their own investment experiences, ensures effective communication and immediate response to maintenance needs.

Managing 110 PadSplits and 853 rooms

Presently, the couple oversees 110 PadSplit properties and manages 853 active rooms through PMI Atlanta West, which has earned a reputable standing in the industry. Mel approaches the company management with an owner’s mindset, aiming to generate revenue while efficiently minimizing expenses for property owners. Remarkably, their company achieved rapid growth solely through word of mouth, without any advertising endeavors.

One of the most gratifying aspects of Mel and Mateja’s roles as both property management owners and PadSplit hosts is witnessing the financial stability achieved by PadSplit members. They often get the chance to see members move out to independent living arrangements and are asked to be used as references when members apply for apartments.

PadSplit vs Airbnb

As avid supporters of PadSplit, Mel and Mateja believe in its limitless potential.

“PadSplit is the best exit strategy; there’s an insatiable demand for it,” Mel says, emphasizing its role in addressing the housing needs of those on the brink of homelessness. “Airbnb is a want, whereas PadSplit is a need. The future of PadSplit is enormous.”

“PadSplit is going to become a household name. Everyone’s going to know it,” says Mateja.

The couple continues to advocate for PadSplit, sharing their success stories with fellow investors, even recently referring an international investor. With five PadSplits in their own portfolio and more properties slated for conversion, Mel and Mateja are convinced that PadSplit is the best exit strategy, outperforming even their Airbnb ventures.

“Our PadSplits do better than our Airbnbs. When it comes to cash-on-cash, our Airbnbs are somewhere around 14-15%, whereas PadSplit’s average is closer to 20%,” says Mel.

Shaping the future of affordable housing in Atlanta

Mel and Mateja Whatley’s journey from real estate investors to property managers is a testament to the transformative power of PadSplit. Their commitment to affordable housing, coupled with a strategic approach to property management, has not only led to the growth of PMI Atlanta West but has also positively impacted the lives of PadSplit members.

As they look towards the future, Mel and Mateja envision a world where PadSplit becomes synonymous with accessible and sustainable housing solutions. With their hands-on management style and passion for community development, they are not just managing properties; they are actively shaping the future of affordable housing in Atlanta.

If you’d like to learn more about using PMI Atlanta West’s services, visit

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