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MRLANDLORD.COM MONTHLY TIPS ON MANAGEMENT

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CASHFLOW IDEA — REMOVE A BEDROOM!   

We have discovered that REMOVING a bedroom – changing it to an ‘office’ or ‘craft room’ or ‘spare guest room’ – NOT a bedroom – means that we can legally control how many people live in our houses far easier. And we get more ‘upscale’ residents, too. We bought a little duplex two years ago. It had two tiny bedrooms in each rental.  We moved the walls and created one larger bedroom and one 8×10 office. It rents for exactly the same amount as a two-bedroom would. But instead of four people per rental, we can legally limit it to two based on septic rules. It’s WAY less wear and tear, and ideal for young couples, singles, working moms with ONE kid.

We just purchased an up-down duplex that was 3-up, 2-down. We ripped out the wall between one of the bedrooms up and created a huge master bedroom, and downstairs we removed a closet and added a washer and dryer – creating a large utility/office/emergency guest room. The washer and dryer will get us more rent than a second bedroom would. So now it’s two up, one down – again, less wear and tear, we won’t have to accept six people in one rental, and it will rent for the same amount.  This is just a thought — Unless you rent by the bedroom, we see too many bedrooms as a liability rather than a bonus.

GET RESIDENTS NOW FOR FUTURE VACANCIES

I have to continually remind myself, along with all those assisting me with my rental business (and I would encourage you to do the same), that my goal is not to just fill vacancies, so that all homes are occupied. My BIGGER GOAL is to have a WAITING LIST of future residents waiting to move in. Most landlords make the mistake of waiting until they get notice from a current resident that they are moving, before they get into action to finding another resident.  Smart landlords are ALWAYS doing small things systematically to find/attract future residents before notice of a vacancy even occurs.  As a result they experience little, if any, turnover time between residents. And their profits continue to grow instead of being killed by turnover costs.

USE FACEBOOK PHOTOS TO SCREEN YOUR APPLICANTS

Even if a person has made their Facebook page private, you can often see their photos, which can be quite telling.  I just checked out two prospective residents. The woman’s page is filled with pictures of her parents, family, her dog (whom she brought to meet me) gardening, sunsets, fishing, even and chicken pictures. There’s no partying, no drinking, and she belongs to interesting groups and reads good books.
Her boyfriend’s page was filled with pictures of his daughter, hiking pics, etc. Again, no partying or anything like that.  Both imagine their pages to be private, I am sure.

AND – guess what else I found out about them?
Although they requested an annual lease – of course, this is because the pricing is better.  They seem to have spent every winter since ’09 working out in Colorado during ski season, and coming to the beach here in NC for the spring/summer season.  Which means they are quite likely to leave me high and dry come the fall season.  This means that as much as I like them and admire their lifestyle, (they have traveled a LOT!) I am going to return their deposit and reject their application.

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