20+ Years of Advice (by Jeff [CO]) Jan 10, 2018 10:01 AM|
20+ Years of Advice (by David [MI]) Jan 10, 2018 10:11 AM
20+ Years of Advice (by Jeff [CO]) Jan 10, 2018 10:16 AM
20+ Years of Advice (by LisaFL [FL]) Jan 10, 2018 10:43 AM
20+ Years of Advice (by AllyM [NJ]) Jan 10, 2018 12:12 PM
20+ Years of Advice (by Jeff [CO]) Jan 10, 2018 2:06 PM
20+ Years of Advice (by Tom [FL]) Jan 10, 2018 2:41 PM
20+ Years of Advice (by Dave [MO]) Jan 10, 2018 2:45 PM
20+ Years of Advice (by Deanna [TX]) Jan 10, 2018 3:17 PM
20+ Years of Advice (by Jeff [CO]) Jan 10, 2018 3:19 PM
20+ Years of Advice (by Jeff [CO]) Jan 10, 2018 3:42 PM
20+ Years of Advice (by #22 [MO]) Jan 10, 2018 5:58 PM
20+ Years of Advice (by S i d [MO]) Jan 11, 2018 5:14 AM
20+ Years of Advice (by Jeff [CO]) Jan 11, 2018 6:44 AM
20+ Years of Advice (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Jan 11, 2018 11:48 AM
20+ Years of Advice (by Chris [CT]) Jan 11, 2018 1:15 PM
20+ Years of Advice (by Jeff [CO]) Jan 11, 2018 2:53 PM
20+ Years of Advice (by Laura [MD]) Jan 12, 2018 2:11 AM
20+ Years of Advice (by Wilma [PA]) Jan 12, 2018 11:07 AM
20+ Years of Advice (by Jeff [CO]) Jan 12, 2018 11:28 AM
20+ Years of Advice (by Jeff [CO]) Posted on: Jan 10, 2018 10:01 AM
I read a lot of books on landlording before I pulled the trigger, but the real education comes from doing. As a slow learner, it took me 6 years or so before I was running the business and it wasn't running me. Now I have over $6M of real estate in one of the hottest markets in the country.
Here's what works for me. Your mileage may vary.
- The tenant isn't the enemy, despite some of the posts that you see here. My job is to superserve them by encouraging them to report all concerns promptly, and then addressing them as quickly as possible. I never stop improving, fixing, or planning. When tenants move out they frequently send me e-mails thanking me for taking such good care of the building and their unit.
- I maintain a cordial, but distant relationship with them. We're not pals. I keep tenants updated with projects and things they need to know via e-mails to all.
- I have built a good stable of insured service people. You have to have people you can count on. I pay them fast.
- Leases are in plain language with no ridiculous, unreasonable text that would be thrown out of court.
- I can't recall the last time I had a bad tenant. Good advertising and screening helps. Or maybe I'm just lucky, but they have been nice, responsible people for many years. I had to get rid of many bad tenants at a new property, but now it's a cohesive community again.
- Showings? I give prospects 2 minutes of grace. Then I leave. If they don't respect my time I don't want them. It's like a job interview - there are no excuses for being late.
- Do it now. I don't see any advantage in delaying with dealing with any problem or getting something fixed.
- No tolerance for lease violations. The rent isn't here by 5 PM on the first? It just went up by $50, and then $25 per day until paid. A 3-day notice gets e-mailed to them at 12:01 AM on the next day and they are served the next day. I don't fool around.
- Being cheap is foolish. I use pros for cleaning the buildings, legal advice, repairs, etc. I fix stuff the right way, no matter what the cost. Older appliance with problems? I replace it. Now. I don't have the time or desire to clean up a big mess or to try and fix something that I am not good at - and then have to pay someone to do it right.
- If I am wrong, I will apologize and pay them for damage. If a freezer breaks I will reimburse them for food. Coin laundry problem? They get their money back. But if they sue me and they are wrong, I will spend whatever it takes in legal fees to go to the mat with them.
My tenants see me as a professional, fair, very responsive, and accessible guy who gets it done fast and correctly. But they also know that I will hold them accountable to the lease in every regard.
It works for me.
20+ Years of Advice (by David [MI]) Posted on: Jan 10, 2018 10:11 AM
any tips for the winter weather? --12.156.xxx.xx
20+ Years of Advice (by Jeff [CO]) Posted on: Jan 10, 2018 10:16 AM
Move to Florida!
Just kidding. Winterize sprinkler systems and use heat tapes for at-risk pipes. Keep your heating system in good shape. Keep ice/snow melt on hand for treating walkways and steps. --76.120.xx.xxx
20+ Years of Advice (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: Jan 10, 2018 10:43 AM
Well said! Sounds almost exactly the way I do things. Although I have no coin laundry and I don't reimburse for a failed refrigerator. Nor have I ever been asked to. Tenants seem to manage with an ice chest if needed.
I do offer a small apartment sized refrigerator until I can get a repair or replacement done. Nobody has ever taken me up on the offer. They seem more concerned about having to trouble me.
I too haven't had a bad tenant for years. I'm so spoiled I'm thinking of selling every house where a tenants moves because I can't stand the thought of starting with new unknown tenants. --75.89.xx.xxx
20+ Years of Advice (by AllyM [NJ]) Posted on: Jan 10, 2018 12:12 PM
Wow that was great advice. Everyone here has been giving that same advice too. I guess great minds think alike. --73.33.xxx.xxx
20+ Years of Advice (by Jeff [CO]) Posted on: Jan 10, 2018 2:06 PM
Thanks, folks. Oh, LisaFL, just to clarify, no one has asked me to replace food that was ruined in a bad refrigerator. It just feels like the right thing to do. That's not for everyone. --76.120.xx.xxx
20+ Years of Advice (by Tom [FL]) Posted on: Jan 10, 2018 2:41 PM
Jeff of CO, excellent advice and it works too.
There are the vindictive landlords who basically treat their tenants badly. You treat someone bad they will return the favor. However. making a tenant accountable and zero tolerance are not vindictive its the best business model.
Then there are the landlords who if its not broke don't fix it. The tenant sends the rent every month and may call once in a while to have a repair done. However the landlord raises rent on a limited basis and does not update the unit while the tenant is there. Example a long term tenant more than 5 years may never get a repaint and if they want to paint the tenant does it on their own. This is a bad move by the landlord most tenants can not paint. Plus the unit repairs will get away from them. Then its a major costs to get the unit prepped for a new tenant or place the unit on the market.
FEAR - This landlord does not want a unit to be vacant because they will loose rent and not be making money so they will take less for the unit: less being a marginal tenant, cut the rent to get it rented. They only see green plus the unit is not in excellent shape. The walls may be paint the ceiling most likely are not the unit is dated from the early 1900's and the flooring been patch more time than you can count.
Congrats Jeff on being the best landlord in CO!!! --99.56.xx.xx
20+ Years of Advice (by Dave [MO]) Posted on: Jan 10, 2018 2:45 PM
Jeff, good sound advice. Lisa, I have been selling my rentals as they become vacant, itís my semi exit strategy. I plan on reducing my inventory to about 12 to 15. --72.24.xx.xx
20+ Years of Advice (by Deanna [TX]) Posted on: Jan 10, 2018 3:17 PM
Just wanted to say, congrats on your success! You've worked hard for it. :) --96.46.xxx.xx
20+ Years of Advice (by Jeff [CO]) Posted on: Jan 10, 2018 3:19 PM
Tom, thanks. Well, maybe one of 'em. :) And I bet you're doing a bang-up job in Florida. You obviously know what you're doing.
You're right about in-place tenants fixes. That's a tough one, because you don't want to make it inconvenient for the tenant while the work is being done. I'd never let a tenant do ANY work. There is the liability, workmanship, compensation, and other factors.
Yes, fear is another factor. Good point. --76.120.xx.xxx
20+ Years of Advice (by Jeff [CO]) Posted on: Jan 10, 2018 3:42 PM
Thanks, Deanna, the same with you. In observing your posts it seems that you have a good handle on this business, and I hope it's going well for you. --76.120.xx.xxx
20+ Years of Advice (by #22 [MO]) Posted on: Jan 10, 2018 5:58 PM
Jeff, thanks for the share!
Can you tell me how you find reliable insured guys to do odd jobs, handyman type general stuff?
20+ Years of Advice (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Jan 11, 2018 5:14 AM
The wisdom you share is great! And your accomplishments speak to the fact that obviously yours is a winning strategy. Well done. --173.19.xx.xxx
20+ Years of Advice (by Jeff [CO]) Posted on: Jan 11, 2018 6:44 AM
Thanks, Sid, I appreciate that.
#22, my girlfriend was having some major work done at her house, and she recommended a guy. He was late for our appointment so I didn't use him. A year late we reconnected. He wasn't insured so I referred him to my agent and they got that done. Terrific guy - shows up on time, gets everything done, nice guy, reasonable, etc.
All of my other people are referrals from other landlords. I think they would be your best source.
I would suggest NEVER using uninsured people.
Good luck! --76.120.xx.xxx
20+ Years of Advice (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Jan 11, 2018 11:48 AM
I LOVE my residents! We take care of them because they make me FREE!!!
I find that people have to finally realize how much money they are losing before they adopt some of these strategies.
20+ Years of Advice (by Chris [CT]) Posted on: Jan 11, 2018 1:15 PM
That's exactly how I try to run my business.
As said above I like my tenants they make me a good living. I also spare no expense in keeping my properties nice and updated. Any business requires continual reinvestment, I don't understand why landlords think they are different.
20+ Years of Advice (by Jeff [CO]) Posted on: Jan 11, 2018 2:53 PM
Brad, thanks. Chris, I have wondered the same thing. Some think it's a terrible thing when they have to put money into their investment. --76.120.xx.xxx
20+ Years of Advice (by Laura [MD]) Posted on: Jan 12, 2018 2:11 AM
Great advise. Glad to read about the licensed service providers. I have given up on the Home Depot parking lot folks. --89.114.xxx.xx
20+ Years of Advice (by Wilma [PA]) Posted on: Jan 12, 2018 11:07 AM
Great advice - I've picked up a lot of that from all of the people here over the past 10 years, the best of my 20 as a landlord. --71.175.xxx.xxx
20+ Years of Advice (by Jeff [CO]) Posted on: Jan 12, 2018 11:28 AM
Thanks, Wilma. It's about being reasonable, responsive, and running a tight ship.