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Draw Larger Numbers to Your Real Estate Meetings or Conferences!

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Jeffrey typically increases attendance at real estate meetings by double or triple the normal numbers.

Jeffrey Taylor is the most motivational speaker for Real Estate Investors, period!!!

– Sham Reddy Crs, Dayton, OH REIA

“Over the years, We do surveys of our members and ask which of the national speakers who we’ve invited to speak is your favorite? Every time, Jeffrey Taylor receives the most votes as the #1 favorite national speaker!” Vena Jone-Cox, Cincinnati REIA.

“Jeffrey Taylor, featured instructor for Landlords of Iowa 2015 State Convention, is of the best two speakers in many, many many years.” Dick Rehman, President

Let Jeffrey assist you in attracting larger numbers to one of your monthly meetings this year! Plus, He will give a presentation that your members will be talking about for the rest of the year! 

 
Over my many years of speaking, I have had a pretty good track record of helping to increase the number of members who come out to a monthly meeting, often times double the normal attendance. In the last couple of months, I’ve helped to break attendance records for associations in Baltimore and St Louis. In addition, I’ve established a very good reputation for giving an extremely motivational, inspirational, entertaining and informative presentation with reviews from attendees giving very high marks. This was again the case when I spoke recently for the OREIA Convention. As quoted afterwards by Sham Reddy Crs, president of Greater Dayton REIA: “Jeffrey Taylor is the most motivational speaker for Real Estate Investors, period!!!”

I welcome the opportunity to discuss with you the possibility of speaking to your organization. In the last 25 years, I’ve spoken to more associations than any other active real estate instructor and can gladly provide references. My office is currently booking my speaking dates for this year and next. And as many of you know, the good news is that it can be arranged that there is no charge to your group plus generate revenue for your association. Call my office, 1-800-950-2250. I look forward to talking with you, especially if it has been over two years since I’ve last talked to your association.

Call today! 1-800-950-2250.

Promoting Your Meeting

Need a flier to promote your meeting? You can download one from the Sample Promotions box near the bottom right of this page and fill in the date and location. There’s also a sample press release you can edit and use. If you need a sample article to include in your upcoming newsletter or on your website, feel free to use one of the articles below.

Here’s a short sampling of wording used by a landlord association recently to effectively promote Jeffrey: “We are immensely excited to welcome nationally renowned speaker Jeffrey Taylor (aka Mr. Landlord) to our upcoming meeting. And he will leave you begging for more. He is superbly energizing and has an uncanny ability to turn every crummy landlord/tenant situation into a win-win for both sides. His charisma will draw you in, but it is his invaluable insight that will make you a believer. We guarantee Jeffrey will change the way you think about and do landlording for the better.”

For promotional purposes, be aware that we also send out a monthly column to real estate associations each month that includes one, two, or three of our most popular property management articles which can be used in association publications. The articles below or to the right are from my most recent monthly column.  The monthly column is sent free upon request to whatever e-mail address you designate.  Since it is sent to you by e-mail, this should allow you to quickly and easily add it to your association publication.  In your request, please give the complete name of your association and contact information, including a phone number.  We then will start sending you the MR. LANDLORD monthly column. It’s that easy!

Set An Objective to Increase Your Cash Flow!

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Would you like to increase your rental profits this year? Do you really?  At the upcoming Monthly Meeting or Expo, I will share many cash flow building strategies. But, wait a minute! I need to warn you, many of you will NOT benefit from the ideas. And many others of you will benefit greatly. How is that possible that some will benefit and some won’t benefit when everybody is hearing the same thing?

Listen to me carefully, please!! Some of you will not benefit simply because you are not ready or looking for any new cash flow ideas that you can immediately implement in your rental business.

Most landlords have not really decided (gotten serious) about wanting more rental profits. I want you to be honest with yourself for a moment. Are you making the following fundamental business mistake made by most business owners and especially landlords?

You Have No Specific Objective for Increasing Your Cash Flow!

For example, when I first started out as a rental owner, over 30 years ago, I was happy to simply break even on my cash flow and as long as there were no tenant problems I was happy.  The idea of actually increasing the cash flow during the year was not something I even considered. I quickly learned the hard way that unexpected expenses or vacancies could occur, and without any increase in my  income each year, which would serve as a cash flow “buffer”, I was in deep cash flow trouble.

Before the end of my first year of investing, I realized I needed to work to increase my annual cash flow each year by at least a couple of hundred dollars (after expenses) for each rental.

Within 5 years, the objective was to increase the annual income by at least several hundred dollars. Now, my objective is to increase the annual income by at least $1,000 on each property or unit. That’s why I constantly search out and test cash flow strategies because I have a specific income- increase objective that I aim to reach each year.

Let me say it another way, if I had no objective to increase income, it wouldn’t matter what strategies I hear about because whatever income I’m currently receiving is okay. And, that’s how most owners are. We’re busy doing our jobs, involved with family, community, clubs, church, etc. and, as long as the “rentals” are doing okay and not giving us any headaches, we give little thought to increasing our net income. In fact, for most landlords, the only time we really give our rentals much thought is when rent is past due, when a resident has a problem or when property is vacant.

Does that sound anything like when you think of your rentals? You know I’m telling the truth. You’re happy simply if there are “no” problems. The idea of actually doing something to increase rental profits normally does not enter your mind. Unfortunately, not having a higher cash-flow objective is a very costly business mistake. I want to challenge you not to make this big “profit killer” mistake.

Are you ready to get serious and work to increase rental profits? Really? Well, make sure you attend my upcoming training taking place: (INSERT date of event and location) Before the meeting, I want you to do one real simple thing. Decide on a greater cash flow goal for the year,  a specific dollar amount that you want to increase on each rental you own (at least $25 to $50 more monthly than you are currently receiving). During the meeting, be ready to get at least three specific strategies to reach the goal you establish. If you do just a few of the strategies I suggest at the training, odds are very high that you will reach your objective within the next 6 to 12 months.

Jeffrey Taylor is the CEO (and coach) of MR. LANDLORD, INC., a national property management consulting firm providing coaching tips to over 100,000 landlords annually and assisting owners with 1 to 1000 rental units. He is the #1 Landlording Coach in America. His influence is far-reaching. Through his consulting, speaking, website, newsletters, books, articles and interviews appearing in numerous national publications, he annually reaches landlords and managers who control over 1 million rental homes and units (with a mission to have a positive impact on the lives of millions, directly and indirectly, landlords and rental residents).

What Are You Doing To Fill A Vacancy and Increase Your Cashflow?

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Join us at our next meeting featuring Jeffrey Taylor aka Mr. Landlord to be energized, educated, and empowered to take total control of your rental property business.  Make a clean sweep on filling all your next rentals.  Bring your pen and paper and listen to the latest tips from Jeffrey as he shares how not to be held hostage by marginal residents.  A resident that has no respect for your property, is careless of the damage he/she causes, has snuck in unauthorized guests or pets, or continually pays late is not the resident you need to keep.  Now is a great time to bring your neighboring landlords to our meeting.  Improving the neighborhood and residents where your properties are located will benefit the whole block.  

Don’t limit your vision, especially during these tough times.  I challenge you to enlarge your vision and take your rental business to a new level.  Hanging around people who ARE becoming educated investors guarantees that you don’t fall behind.  Don’t get completely frustrated with your rental home sitting empty, or worse, having poor performing residents sitting in them.  If you’re ready to hear from someone who has a waiting list of ideal residents, then you can’t miss Jeffrey Taylor’s presentation.  Treat your rentals like a business, get and stay educated, and forge ahead. 

Jeffrey Taylor is known nationwide as “Mr. Landlord,” and has taught thousands of real estate investors, landlords and managers how to fill their vacancies in just 72 hours and keep residents for 6 years and how to take their business to a whole new level.  He will show you how to do it!  He’s the author of the bestselling books, The Landlord’s Survival Guide and The Landlord’s Kit.  He’s America’s #1 landlording coach, a successful landlord with nearly 30 years experience and founder of MrLandlord.com, home of the most visited landlord Q&A website in the nation for rental owners.  

Maybe you know someone looking to enter the property investment market or they already own an investment property and would like to make sure that they are maximizing the income that they receive on every property that they own.  I encourage you and any colleague to come to the next local monthly meeting Jeffrey will be conducting.

How to Get Your Tenants to Stay For at Least Three Years

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Many of you are familiar with my 3-Star Program as an excellent way to encourage residents to stay with you a minimum of 3 years. As a brief reminder, you enroll residents in a 3-Star Program at no charge to the resident. At one store I’m a “Gold Club” member. At the other I am a “MVP” member. Why did these stores encourage me to enroll in their free programs? To create customer loyalty.

Guess what, it works! When I go buy groceries, without thinking I shop at the two stores that give me a few perks (small discounts) because I see myself as a MVP or Gold Club member.

I’ve enrolled residents in my 3-Star Program for the same reason. To create customer loyalty. And it works.

Create Customer Loyalty

By giving residents a perk (minor property upgrades) on each rental anniversary as part of the 3-Star Program, residents see themselves as three-year residents. Of course, the residents can legally terminate the rental agreement at any time (with proper advance notice) and move to another rental, just like I can start shopping at a different store.

But I voluntarily keep shopping where I’ve been often reminded that I am a valued customer and receive perks. The store doesn’t ask me each year if I want to renew my membership in the program or whether I want to keep shopping there. They simply send me a letter on occasion (along with perks-store discounts) thanking me for continuing to be a valued customer in their program and telling me what I can look forward to.

This is the same way the 3-Star Program works. I share this analogy, because a few people question whether some of my “innovative” rental ideas work. YES, they work because I just adapt strategies that are working well for other industries and utilize them in the rental business. And the 3-Star Program, like the Gold club or MVP program, creates customer loyalty. Residents continue to stay year after year without annual discussions about whether they want to stay in the program.

I do feel it is important and to your advantage to talk with your resident once a year near the anniversary date. I recommend you send an “Anniversary Agenda Checklist” along with a Thank You letter for participating in the FIRST year of their 3-Star Program. The Agenda Checklist informs residents that they have an opportunity to discuss any concerns and new options available during the nest year of their 3-Star Program.

The Agenda Checklist asks residents to select the topics from the agenda of what they would like to talk about. Each topic a resident selects gives you, the landlord, the opportunity to meet the changing needs of your resident. Equally important, as you offer options to meet the resident’s needs and concerns, each topic on the agenda will also give you the opportunity to increase your cash flow plus increase the customer satisfaction level of the resident. Remember, let your residents pick the topics for the discussion and use the agenda to truly have a profitable discussion.

Anniversary Agenda Checklist

 

We like to meet residents at least once each year to help insure that we continue to meet your housing needs and make sure you are aware of all the housing options that are available to you. We want YOU to select the agenda for the meeting. Tell us what you would like to talk about. We can discuss just one of the following topics, or we can discuss as many of the topics as you select. Or, if you prefer not to meet at this time, just let us know.

The meeting will take place at your residence on one of the following two dates. Please let us know which date and time is most convenient for you to meet with us. Return this checklist to us within the next 3 days so we can schedule the meeting. Mail or deliver it to the following address:

Mr. Landlord

123 Main St

Anytown, USA

Which meeting date and time is best for you?

____________________________________or

_____________________________________

Select which topics you would like to discuss at the meeting.

_____Different rent payment plans available. Some residents prefer to pay every two weeks instead of monthly. It is possible to change the payment terms in your rental agreement.

____Any concerns about your current rental home?

____Receive 10% annual refund of your security deposit for passing semiannual inspections.

____New upgrades and service options available for the next year of your 3-Star Program.

____Transfer location options if you want to consider moving to another size rental home.

____Prices and rental policies of other homes in the area.

____Negotiate new rental amount for the upcoming year.

____Tell-A-Friend Referral Fee program for 3-Star residents. (How to get free rent or cash)

____Your evaluation or comments about our maintenance guarantee program.

____Special services and advantages of our “VIP” Resident Programs.

____Other topic___________________________________________

____ I prefer not to meet at this time. Everything is satisfactory. No topics I need to discuss.

MRLANDLORD.COM MONTHLY TIPS ON MANAGEMENT

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LANDLORD REVEALS HOW HE FILLS VACANCIES WHILE OUT OF TOWN
 
Earlier this year we exposed how one landlord felt that real estate OWNS you and how it is hard to take a vacation from rental property. In today’s article, a frequent contributor to LandlordingAdvice.com shares his experience on how he fills vacancies while AWAY from his rentals. Thanks Sid(MO)!
I’ve been occupied with my yearly duty with the National Guard the past week — not a real vacation — and wanted to share a few cool things of how I’m still able to be a landlord. While out of town, I have accomplished the following:

1) Rented a vacant unit to good tenants (solid 700s credit scores, income 5x monthly rent, good references and clean background). Entire process done without my physical presence.
2) Handled a tenant move-out. Handyman did the move out walk thru, documented the condition, retrieved the old keys, changes the deadbolts, put my lock box on the front door, and did some touch ups. 24 hours later it is rent-ready!
3) Posted the vacancy from #2 and been pre-screening applicants. Lock box showing in progress.
4) Approved applicants for another vacancy due to come available soon. All done via phone and Internet.

There are way too many nit-picky details as to how to accomplish all this, but here are a few primary strategies:
–> attorney friend handles lease signing along with lead based paint disclosures; they also get copies of driver’s licenses and verify identity of all lease signers.
–> deposit account at my bank is where tenants take the money for rent, deposit, pet fees, etc. “Hi, I’m Joe Smith and this money is an application fee for ABC Rentals.” I see the money hit my account and verify who paid what and when the next day when the scanned deposit ticket shows up online.
–> handyman does the walk thru and take pictures, writes stuff down. Tenant signs their name agreeing with the condition. I don’t need to sign…it’s THEIR agreement after all. If they try to BS my handyman we just don’t do the deal.
–> rental ads all done online (Postlets, Craigslist, my website)
–> applications done via a “fillable” PDF form. Download and open doc on computer or smart phone, type in answers, save it and email to me along with scanned/photo of driver’s license and pay stubs. They also print and sign (or handwrite out and sign) an authorization to verify all application information. All they need is a phone that takes pictures or a nearby Fed-Ex/Kinkos to do scanning/emailing. Still tweaking the fillable PDF applicaton since Android phones don’t seem to like it. Android users can just download and print a copy of the PDF then scan it or take a pic and mail it back to me. App fees dropped off at my bank.
–> utility switch overs confirmed via email
–> lawn care paid via online bill pay, as is the carpet cleaners

There’s more devil in the details of course, but just wanted to share how my two-weeks hiatus has not caused my rental business to screech to a halt. One more week of duty to go, one more vacancy to fill!

HOW TO STAY IN CONTROL DURING THE MOVE IN INSPECTION 
A landlord was concerned about his responsibilities regarding the comments and list of issues that may be written by new residents on the move-in inspection report.

A seasoned landlord and regular contributor to LandlordingAdvice.com shared how he personally handles Move-In Inspections and stays in control during the process.

“I don’t know laws of other states, (and be sure to check YOUR state laws), but as for me, this is why I am the one who writes stuff on the move-in inspection. I used to allow tenants to write on it and some would get crazy picky. One stain in the corner of the carpet would be noted as “carpet in terrible condition and filthy.”
Um…no….. Ever notice how some car rental companies do it? THEY survey the car and note down the damages. Do what the big boys do! Copy good business practices.

So now I walk thru WITH the tenants immediately prior to lease signing. This is my FINAL STEP in the screening process. I tell them I will write down whatever they like, but to keep in mind this property has been lived in before and we are renting it “as is, where is” along with all it’s charm and slight imperfections. I will write down whatever they notice from the scratch on the trim to the small ding in a closet door, but if they get to be ridiculous and argumentative saying everything is “filthy” and “destroyed” when in fact I just had my cleaners and maintenance guys go thru, I will quickly close the move-in documents folder, hand them back the 1st month’s rent money order, tell them I cannot make them live in such a terribly disappointing home, and wish them good luck with their search.

Yes, I will do this while their truck full of stuff is sitting in my drive way. They will not be moving in. Sorry, act reasonable or go make arrangements elsewhere.

When you turn over control of this valuable document, it creates problems. Their interpretation may not match mine, and in my business my interpretation needs to win 100% of the time. I’m reasonable, and I expect them to be as well.”
6 TIPS FOR SCREENING PETS 
In some areas of the country, as much as 70% (or more) of renters have pets! Many landlords have adapted and now accept pets and charge more rent and registration fees that has greatly increased their cash flow. One landlord even shared that he LOVES pets and is now giving extra points at screening for those WITH animals. Another landlord shared their policies below regarding pets. Thanks WMH, NC.
1) Our ads read “Pet Friendly to Friendly Pets, subject to approval.”
2) Prospective pet must be spayed or neutered, NO exceptions ever.
3) No puppies – must be old enough to be house trained.
4) Must already HAVE animal, this isn’t their opportunity to get one.
5) NO aggressive animals – I don’t care what breed, (as long as my insurance company does not prohibit them) but if they growl or lip curl or require their owners to keep a tight hand on them when we meet them – no. I want big galumpy labs and such – not guard dogs. If we can’t walk to a dog and play with it, it’s not a candidate.
6) Name and phone number of vet required. People without vets aren’t taking care of their animals.

MRLANDLORD.COM MONTHLY TIPS ON MANAGEMENT

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DO YOU USE MOLES/SPIES NEAR YOUR RENTALS?

The following tip is shared by a regular contributor to LandlordingAdvice.com. Thanks Roy(AL)!

I have rental houses scattered all over town. In every neighborhood that I buy a house in, I make it a point to get to know the neighbors (mainly homeowner types) that live next door or across the street to my rental property. When I am done rehabbing a house and got it rented, I will give my card to any of the neighbors who I have established some type of bond with. I tell them to call me if my new tenants start doing something unusual that you think I need to know about. Some landlords would call this a “spy network”, however, I just refer to these underground people affectionately as my “moles”.

Just yesterday, I got a call from a mole telling me my tenants across the street had a U-Haul trailer in their driveway last Saturday and it appeared they are moving out. My reaction was, “Great news, now I don’t have to evict those deadbeats that stiffed me this month.”

Do you have any kind of spy network set up?  I do reward my moles, but not with money though.

TIP IF YOU USE A REALTOR TO HELP FILL A VACANCY
While opinions differ among landlords on whether to use a Realtor to help fill a vacancy (most of respondents on our website shy away from doing so), one landlord/Realtor gave the following advice on LandlordingAdvice.com:

Nobody screens better than you (rental owner), but I am a Realtor, and I only use MLS for advertising my rentals.  I’m happy to pay the commission.  However, I screen all the applicants myself.

I think using a Realtor has many advantages.  The biggest advantage is that when an agent takes on a lease client, they do some form of screening to avoid wasting their time. Also most undesirable don’t use agents so it automatically screens them out.The agents show the house so I don’t have to worry about it.

Use an agent, but do your own screening. Be up front with that expectation when hiring.

SEND BILLS/INVOICES TO TENANTS REGARDING JUDGMENTS  
The following tip is shared by a regular contributor to LandlordingAdvice.com.  Thanks NE(PA)!

Well, it worked 1st time I tried it. Got a judgement two months ago on a guy that skipped town. Started sending a monthly bill for the judgment amount of $792.00, due Immediately. I sent two so far.
Today, GRANDMA calls! Explains dear grandson lost his job and she wants to start paying the past due bill! I asked what she has in mind, she said she could do $25 per month. I said I don’t know if that will work but Ill ask my boss and get back to her.
I do the math. $25 into $792 is 31 months. That’s too long.
In the past, I have spread out filing fees with tenants over 3,4,5 months. So I decided to try it here. I called Dear Old Granny back and told her that “they” have done payment plans in the past and will send her out some paperwork and SHE CAN CHOOSE the best method for her.
My paperwork consists of the following:
An explanation of whats owed and why the judge said its owed. Followed by 4 choices on how to pay.
#1 – one time payment for a 20% discount of $633.60
#2 – 6 monthly payments for a discount of 10% for monthly payments of $118.80
#3 – 12 monthly payments for face value of amount owed in monthly amount of $66.00
#4 – 18 months with an additional convenience charge of 10% for a fee of $48.40
Hey, the tax people do it!!!
HINT # 1 When I have done this in the past, #4 is typically chosen
HINT # 2 “The Greedy Become The Needy.” I’ll gladly knock 20% off to get it in one month. Well see if Granny starts paying.
USE FACEBOOK TO PRE-SCREEN RENTAL APPLICANT CALLERS

The following tip shared by contributor to MrLandlord.com. Thanks Travis(OK)!

4 Steps I do everyday to pre-screen callers:
1. They call my google voice and leave a message.
2. Using their phone number I search Facebook looking for their account and full name
3. I look for pictures of pit bulls (or other big red-flags)
4. If no pit bulls, I search their name on county court records.

MRLANDLORD.COM MONTHLY TIPS ON MANAGEMENT

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RESIDENT SELECTION CRITERIA 
There are statistics that say as high as 95% of the problems that landlords have with rental property are the result of the residents we select. Whether that figure is that high or not, it is clear that choosing the right residents is one of the most important things we do as rental owners and managers.

Recently on the MrLandlord.com Q&A forum, a landlord asked “I keep hearing about landlords needing written criteria for their tenants…. please help me add to my criteria.” One sample set of criteria shared by an experienced landlord is listed below:
Resident Selection Criteria

We will accept as a tenant any person who submits an accurate, complete application for an available home; meets the standards set forth below; and agrees to abide by the rules and regulations set forth by Management. We support the Fair Housing Act as amended, prohibiting discrimination in housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, handicap, age or familial status. Every person 18 years & older must submit an application.
Income Requirements:
The monthly rental rate can not exceed 1/3 of the resident’s monthly household total disposable income. Applicants must prove income via current pay stubs from a local company or equivalent for 1 year. The income verified must be stable and not be temporary or seasonal work. Unverified income for the past year causes the deposit to increase to triple deposit.

Credit History Requirements:

A CREDIT REPORT is requested from the CREDIT BUREAU.
*Applicants with any unpaid collections if accepted, deposit will be increased $150, or up to the amount of the collections.
*Applicants with a limited recent history of late payments, but current to date, if accepted, deposit may be increased $150 extra.

Rental History Requirements:

Applicants must indicate name, address, and telephone number of current and previous landlords for 2 years. We will verify current & previous rental history. Applicants with negative rental history may not be accepted. Examples of negative history include but are not limited to evictions, default of lease, non-payment of rent, or damages to home or apartment. If negative rental history is accepted, deposits will be double. Applicants with no rental history, deposit will double, and must meet the income and credit history requirements.

Criminal History Requirements:

* Criminal convictions that involve moral turpitude, integrity or honesty will not be accepted.
* Criminal convictions that involve physical violence or endangering the health or safety of another person will not be accepted.
* Criminal convictions in connection with the manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance will not be accepted.
* Applicants with recent multiple misdemeanors will not be accepted.

Pet Policy:

Up to 1 pet or animal may be accepted of many types and 1 is the maximum. There is a weight limit of 20 lbs for the pet/animal. No pet/animal that may be expected to grow over 20 lbs will be accepted. No vicious, unruly, difficult or dangerous pets/animals allowed. A 20 gallon tank is maximum size and counts as one pet/animal as long as all pets/animals live inside, always. All pets/animals must be always friendly to strangers. A pet/animal registration fee of $150 per pet/animal will be charged for the pet/animal and the monthly pet/animal rent is $25 extra for the pet/animal. All pets/animals must have complete local Veterinarian file provided to Landlord prior to move-in. Seeing-eye dogs are permitted with written physician’s statement at no additional cost. No pets are allowed except with the written permission of Management. No visiting pets/animals allowed at any time.
FACEBOOK INSPECTIONS

Did you know that Facebook can help you screen prospective residents and CURRENT residents? One big benefit that one landlord has discovered, was that Facebook can be used to check his rentals from time to time by having his spouse pull up tenants’ Facebook pages. Very often, tenants post pictures that are taken inside the units. Works very well to see the condition of the unit without going inside.

HOW DOES MERCY AND CHARITY COME INTO PLAY IN THE RENTAL BUSINESS?

“What is the ‘correct’ course of action when confronted with tenants who are chronically late or non-payers? I have responded in my usual way–no pay, no stay.

I thought it would be useful to also talk about when and how we as landlords approach the topics of Mercy, Charity and Business.
I do not tolerate late payers. The many reasons given are immaterial. Divorce, job loss, disorganized, deadbeat, medical bills, death in the family, long-term tenant is a little short this month… I DON’T CARE. Actually, I DO care…I’m not heartless, but neither am I a fool. I realize that “life happens” to people all the time. The difference to me is how does the person react. Do they approach it as a challenge they can help overcome, or do they throw up their hands in despair and expect someone else to take over and fix their problem?
We could probably argue all day about doing the moral thing vs. the business thing, but I believe that the business thing IS the moral thing to do. The business relationship–while not perfect–is the best we’ve got. When people follow the agreements they make, we reach the optimal outcome for the most people. I am willing to alter agreements when it is reasonable to do so and we both come up with something agreeable. What I am NOT willing to do is allow tenants to unilaterally decide to stop paying me rent while they remain in my houses.
I have allowed folks to move out, in a few occasional forgiving around 50% of what they owed, because of the way they handled the decision, notified me, and were prompt in following the altered agreement we reached. This is an act of Mercy on my part, and it is understood that I don’t owe it to anyone. I choose to do is because I know it will be best for all involved.
When a tenant tries to force me into being a charity to them, that’s when all heck breaks loose and I go into full-on “kick ’em out” mode. There is a sharp difference in attitude between someone requesting an act of mercy vs. someone copping an attitude, being passive-aggressive and stealing from me.
We as landlords get what we tolerate. Anyone who allows tenants to run the show sets up a false expectation in the tenants’ mind of what the next landlord will do and what he should tolerate. This is bad for the industry and bad for the tenant who might get a no-nonsense landlord next time.
I am not strict. But I do draw the line at the lease. If you can’t pay: move out. If you don’t move out after 7 days of picking my pocket, I evict you. Period. If you don’t plan on living up to this agreement, then don’t live in my house. Go live with a friend, a relative, or apply for Government housing.”

HOW TO GET YOUR RENT, EVEN IF RESIDENTS CAN’T PAY!

If residents cannot pay, I point them to resources, if they don’t feel their situation is legitimate enough to ask for help, that means they are spending their money elsewhere and it’s not a legitimate need such as temporary job loss. I usually send them a list of resources they can reach out to like Salvation Army, churches etc.

One tenant recently had a severe burn and has not been working for the last month and I gave him this list, he was able to get assistance for 2 months of rent from Salvation Army. They do not pay his late fees, so I will still apply his rent to late fees first when his rent payment in August from him (not Salavation Army) is due…

This was a legitimate need in that case and it was great that he was able to get the assistance needed. This only helps if they contact you ahead of being late otherwise this delays things quite far out while waiting for their approvals etc. He was still late and I still sent him all of the notices for eviction if he does not pay etc so that in the event he is not approved we don’t delay the eviction process further (if his case was not legitimate). You can find and create your own list of resources (for your own local area) that a late tenant can contact by searching agencies on the following website –needhelppayingbills.com.

MRLANDLORD.COM MONTHLY TIPS ON MANAGEMENT

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FORMULA TO DETERMINE HOW LONG TO HOLD A PROPERTY FOR AN APPROVED APPLICANT
A landlord asked: How long do you typically agree to hold a property for an approved rental applicant who is willing to give a deposit or fee for you to hold the property and take it off the market? This is with the understanding that during the holding period, you, the landlord, will not get rent. Actual Rent will not start until the resident moves in.

One seasoned landlord gave the following recommended formula:

“The time I will hold a unit off the market waiting for someone to pay rent is a function of my market. I take it as a function of the local vacancy rate. Here it’s around 4% which translates to about two weeks (think 2/52 is 0.038 or 3.8% which round to 4%). If I hold a unit longer than 2 weeks at the current local vacancy rate I am a sub par performer. I won’t do that. Now if local vacancy rates are 12% (6 weeks) then I would easily be willing to hold for a month. If the unit is highly desirable then I would lessen the time and correspondingly if it’s hard to rent I would increase the time.”
BEWARE OF TENANT CAMERAS!

A recent discussion on MrLandlord.com about entering a rental property to do maintenance (with permission but without the resident present) reminded me of two online videos.

1. Resident had called with a stopped drain. Repair tech entered, checked the drain, needed a plumbing snake so he called his helper. While he waited he got a drink of water, used the toilet, checked the plumbing behind the washer, then thumbed thru the resident’s magazine on the counter.

Tech did not know he was being videoed the entire time by the resident’s motion activated camera. Think Nanny Cam.

The resident was FURIOUS and posted this online. Got TONS of comments about how lousy that apartment complex was, etc.

2. A local landlord was “outed” on a local Facebook gossip site with a video of his short outburst toward a tenant. To his credit he shouted then walked away. But his shouting was posted online.

Remember, the world has EYES and can post it for the world and history.

Another experienced property manager added: “I have long held that this will happen…I ALWAYS caution rental prospects and owners who go into occupied homes to also NOT discuss furniture, personal items, housekeeping, etc…wait until we are outside and on the curb…. While in rentals, occupied or not, do-it-yourself landlords should always believe someone can record every thing they say and do. To think otherwise, is putting yourself at risk.

SCREENING TIP – VERIFY EMPLOYMENT BY CALL

 
Just wanted to remind landlords to check on employment status by calling to verify (if possible), not just by seeing a pay stub. Got an application back two  weeks ago, we ask for copies of pay stubs and copy of license to be turned in with it. Two pay stubs were there, no ID copy. The pay stubs were from Jan & March. She didn’t fill out employment section on application (red flag).

I called employer expecting to get no info and having to fax in authorization, etc, but no need, she was no longer employed there since April. Emailed her stating this, she said,  “Oops must of given you the wrong ones.” I said fine, get me April and  May pay stubs and photo ID and we’ll see. Never heard back. The funny thing is, we got an email from her today (mistakenly to us), applying for a job posted on craigslist. Too funny. Check their references!

LANDLORDING AND THE TEXTING GENERATION

Are you keeping up with the times? The vast majority of young adult renters use text messages as their primary method of communication. Do not miss out on potentially good prospective residents or not stay in communication with good current residents by avoiding or ignoring texts.  As suggested by one professional property manager; “I routinely respond to voicemail messages with a text and have my website in my text signature….Texting is the NEW BLACK!”

DON’T RELY ON RESIDENTS TO CHANGE FILTERS

If residents don’t change the filters, stop trying to prove to residents that it is their responsibility to change the filter. As one landlord advises, “That dirty filter is ruining YOUR A/C system. If you, or your resident, do not change it, this will cause a premature and very costly failure that can end up costing far more than the tenant will/can pay.
SINGLE FAMILY RENTALS VERSUS MULTI–UNITS, WHICH IS BETTER? 

This is a question that is often asked by real estate investors, especially those who started with single family rentals, and want to know what they are missing.  One landlord who owns both single family and multi-units gave the following assessment based at a half dozen or so different factors.
“I own both Single Family Homes (SFHs) and multi units or “plexes”.  There are pluses and minuses to each type of property. Here are the few I’ve experienced:

1) SFH – the one tenant doesn’t compare rents to what the other renters are paying.

2) SFH  – no one should expect you to do anything about “the noisy or problem neighbors” unlike a plex where the neighbors are also your tenants.

3) SFH – easier to schedule work on since you only have to coordinate with ONE set of tenants vs. two. Can’t go into unit A of a PLEX at 6 AM Saturday morning to swing a hammer if tenant in unit B sleeps until 9 AM unless you work it out.

4) SFH – tenant usually responsible for their own utilities, lawn care and is not as quick to look to the landlord for a lot of the minor upkeep.

5) PLEX – you often have some shared utilities, especially in the older style buildings. Landlord is often responsible for paying those utilities.  Be sure to calculate in cost to split water/sewer, etc., if practical.

6) PLEX – usually cheaper to insure PER UNIT. Example, I have two 2-bed houses that cost about $350 a year each. I have a duplex with two 2-bed units, cost is $500 per year for the same $$$ coverage and liability. $200 savings.

7) PLEX – costs to buy is cheaper per unit. Closing costs for 2 houses are more than for 1 duplex. Two houses have two sets of closing fees, recording fees, title search and insurance, etc.

8) PLEX – if you upgrade one side, they will talk to the other side. Other side may now demand the same upgrade.

9 PLEX – usually cheaper to maintain because of economies of scale. For example, only one roof for multiple units. And when sending over someone for maintenance calls, can respond to several service requests all at the same time, all in one location for a lower per unit cost.  General rule of thumb: Operating cost per unit decreases as number of unit increases.

MRLANDLORD.COM MONTHLY TIPS ON MANAGEMENT

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GOOD STORY IN THE LIFE OF A LANDLORD (For both landlord and residents)
Today I had a tenant in tears – but not because she was sad. A couple with a young child has been renting from me for a year during a low-paid graduate internship for the wife. They will be moving back home at the end of July. This morning I had some appointments scheduled to see the house for renting at the beginning of August. I scheduled first another young couple, who were so interested in the house that they had asked me to send the application materials in advance and then sent them back to me yesterday.

As I was looking over things, it dawned on me that the couple moving out was going to have an expensive move back to their home state. I knew the house would “show” really well and they would leave it very clean, as they have done a great job with it. Why did I need to hang on to all of their security deposit until after they moved? I wrote out a check to them for the first half of it and gave it to them this morning before my first appointment.

The wife looked stunned and then had tears in her eyes. It was just what they needed for the deposit of the one of the two pods they were going to be using to pack their things in and have them moved. They had been trying to figure out how to get all the money together they needed for moving. She was so touched and grateful. Incidentally they and the first appointment couple really hit it off.

I already had all of the application materials for the couple, and it seemed extremely likely I would be renting to them even before we met in person. They were as good as they had looked on paper.. By the time I left the two couples had exchanged phone numbers and were texting each other about how they could handle the transition if the new couple got the house, did they want to buy the bed in the guestroom, etc..

I did a little more checking and accepted the new couple as the next tenants this afternoon. It was a good day in the life of a landlord. I need these from time to time.
REACH OUT TO FORMER GOOD RESIDENTS 
I received a letter in the mail today from my local cable company which offers phone, internet and TV service. I bring this up, because this is a company that is doing what I suggest landlords do. The cable company is reaching out to me almost one year since I used to be one of their customers but switched to another company. I strategically received their letter about 10 to 11 months after “moving” away from using their services. In other words, the cable company kept track of when I left and thereby knew that I was coming up on the time of year when I would be making a decision on whether I would renew and continue staying with my current provider or possibly switching to another. Sooooooo, during this “decision making renewal period” they made a point of reaching out to me, INVITING and RESELLING me on the idea of once again coming back to them.
On the outside of the envelope from the cable company it stated:
IT’S AN EXCITING TIME TO COME BACK TO….
On the inside letter, it started out: (Top of the letter):
Is your contract (lease) with your current provider expiring soon?
Come back to us for this exciting offer!
The letter went on to read in part:
Dear (my name)
We really enjoyed doing business with you. And we would like you to be our customer again. That’s why we have this special offer…..

And of course they go on to try and resell me on what they believe would appeal to me becoming their customer again.
Likewise, with the ease of today’s technology, you as rental owners can easily be alerted/reminded (even done automatically) 10 to 11 months after any of your good residents move out. Send them a letter (email at a minimum)  inviting/reselling them on the idea of coming back to one of your rentals. I have had MANY former residents come back and rent from me again. The thing is, for most landlords this happens by mere chance. The landlord does not do anything proactively to make this happen. I’m recommending to you today, that you systematically reach out, perhaps close to one year intervals,  to former residents and make it part of your business model to invite GOOD former residents to come back to your rentals, especially since this can be done very easily and inexpensively.
If you have a current or upcoming vacancy, test out this suggested strategy. Go back to the applications of former good residents and identify email addresses or reference or emergency contact information and send out  “Invite You Back” letters. And yes, I realize, that some emails or addresses may no longer be valid, that’s why you try reaching out to ALL your former good residents (even GOOD applicants for that matter). With email, reaching out to one address can be just as easy as reaching out to dozens or even hundreds. Filling just one vacancy with a former good resident will prove how worth while this simple strategy can be to your cash flow!

HOW LANDLORDS CAN HAVE A GREAT VACATION

(and not worry about their rentals) 
Are you going on vacation this summer? Do you wish you could, but are afraid your rental business will explode or fall apart while you’re gone?
Many landlords do not go on vacations (especially extended ones),because they don’t have any (or effective) systems in place that allow their rental business to run whether they are present or not.
For example, at a minimum, landlords should have systems in place for
1) who (other than you) handles regular maintenance requests or various types of emergency calls.
2) how prospective residents can still see available rentals and apply without you being physically present.

And even landlords who try and put “back-up” systems in place, the big problem is that these same landlords only utilize these systems when they try to go on vacation so they never really “test” the systems under real life conditions. So when the systems are actually tested, sure enough, problems pop up that have not been fine-tuned. As a result, landlords are now even more unlikely to test the system again.

Here’s a great tip: I like how one landlord put it; “In order for landlord vacations to work well, I think you need to practice on a regular basis being on ‘fake vacation’ so you can see how your backup systems will respond… Because if you only use your backup systems when you go on a real vacation, it is unlikely that things will go smoothly the first time or two, and then it’s late too.”
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