How To Be a Better Landlord

August 30th, 2010 · 5 Comments · Blogging Journey, Kids & Family, Rental Property

The hardest part of being a landlord is actually the part where you settle in and do the very unexciting bit of just waiting to make money. Patience is probably the most important part. Managing good tenants is easy. Managing bad tenants can be extremely stressful still it’s part of the journey

If you’re going to make money in the landlord business, it’s going to be a long haul. You will eventually have to deal with a bad tenant, how bad will usually depend on the due diligence you do when screening your tenants and a certain amount of luck. Some landlords I have known just naturally have excellent judgment. Others end up with a string of bad to mediocre tenants that make their lives difficult.

The first thing that will set you free is to stop believing the myths about being a landlord and there are lots of them.

Myths About Landlords

  1. Being a landlord is easy – When you’re a landlord you have to deal with tons of people, tenants, contractors, bankers, city authorities etc. Dealing with people is never easy.
  2. Landlords are rich – Many landlords are just getting by, small landlords have to scrimp and save to buy their properties using the income from their regular joe jobs. Look at the number of gurus expounding the benefits of positive cash flow, they’re only talking a couple hundred dollars a month. Damages, repairs, maintenance and non paying tenants will take most of this positive cash flow away.
  3. Landlords are demanding – Landlords make rules because they have worked really hard to get a place and fix it up and lots of them are terrified the tenant will ruin, neglect or damage their investment.

So now that that’s all over with, you can start being really nice to yourself. You deserve it. Landlords are hard working people with two tough jobs. Their first one 9 to 5 or more and then their landlord job. Plus a family and kids on top of all of that in most cases. It’s really important to give yourself a break, and some well deserved credit.

I have to do this myself on a regular basis. Most people don’t realize that I churn out my blog posts and articles while I take care of my son and after he goes to sleep. For a while I thought that I was the only person going nuts and trying to be everything to everybody. That’s when I read an article on Penelope Trunk’s blog The Brazen Careerist called The Worst Thing About My Job Is That Everyone Lies About Parenting. The day I read that post I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Be Kind To Yourself

Since then I have really worked on giving myself a pat on the back when I need one for all the fantastic things I do that I usually don’t even notice both in my personal and professional life. I still have my moments especially in the mornings as I’m writing and getting interrupted what seems like a thousand times by requests for apple juice, change your bum, cookie requests, emails, phone calls and more.

Life Is About Choices To Improve Yourself

To write this blog I’ve basically given up TV too, but you don’t really get ahead in life without giving stuff up. You just can’t do everything. Life is just a series of choices and you just do what’s in front of you that you’re passionate about. It’s that simple.

Landlords have to give stuff up too, family time, money, peace of mind to try to get ahead by a different path. I’ve had this same conversation with my husband about celebrities that seem to come out of nowhere. Except, they never really do come out of nowhere, they have usually spent years learning their craft in obscurity probably living in their parents’ basements, being told they should get a “real” job. I’ve learned that nothing that seems to be worth doing is easy.

There are rewards to being a landlord, you’ll meet some great people and over the long haul you will make money and do well. In the mean times and the hard times, you’ll just have to put one foot in front of the other and carry on. Don’t get too stressed out and stop every once in a while and congratulate yourself on your progress and bravery.

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