October 2015

 The Rookie Landlording Mistake Most New Investors Make

So, you just bought a rental house or small multifamily property. Congratulations!

Now what?

Well, you need to probably fill that vacant unit with a nice family who is going to pay top dollar on time each month, never complain unnecessarily, and treat your property with respect.

***Special Note: If you are interested in more time-saving tips for new real estate investors, don’t miss this week’s free Webinar, “How to Invest in Real Estate While Working a Full-Time Job” here on BiggerPockets! Okay, back to your regularly scheduled blog post!***

So you place an ad on Craigslist, Zillow, or in the newspaper, or maybe you put up a sign in the yard. Quickly you begin receiving phone calls, and they typically look like this:

Landlord: Hello? 

Prospect: Hi, I’m calling about your property at 123 Main Street.

Landlord: Yes, it’s still available. 

Prospect: Great! Can I schedule a time to see it? 

Landlord: Sure thing. How does tomorrow at 6 p.m. work for you?

Prospect: That would be great. I’ll see you then! 

Landlord: Sounds good. Bye. 

Did you notice the rookie mistake in the conversation above? Here’s what it is:

(click to continue reading on BiggerPockets)

 What to Do When Vacating Tenants Owe More Money Than Their Deposit Will Cover

The following is an excerpt from the upcoming title “The Book on Landlording” that I and BiggerPockets will be releasing soon… stay tuned for an official announcement in the next several months!

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My first thought was: there is a dead body in this refrigerator.

Of course, upon closer inspection there was no dead body, just rotting food, garbage, and other unknown objects. The smell was unlike anything I had ever experienced before.

I don’t make it a habit to inspect rental properties myself anymore, as I have built systems to handle that, but I happened to be in this part of town a few hours after a tenant packed up and left, so my wife and I thought we would swing by and see how the property looked.

I wish I hadn’t.

The unit was left with garbage covering nearly every square inch of the floor, holes in the walls, doors missing, crayon on nearly every surface and that smell that permeated every cubic foot of space. All in all, it took nearly $4,000 to get the unit fixed up and ready to re-rent, including the costs of lost rent.

Luckily, when the tenant moved in, we had collected a double security deposit due to a minor red flag when performing her tenant screening. But as any third-grader can tell you, having a deposit for $1,000 and a bill for $4,000 means one thing: we were in the hole $3,000.

So what now?

I wanted to write this post because this is not an uncommon occurrence, especially among low-income tenants.

(Click to read on BiggerPockets…)

4 Tips for Workaholic Entrepreneurs to Avoid a Crumbling Marriage

I wrote this article originally for Entrepreneur.com, and they’ve graciously allowed us to repost it here. Enjoy! Also, be sure to sign up for this week’s Webinar here on BiggerPockets! Click here to learn what this week’s live show is all about! And now, let’s get to the post.

I’m recently took a six-week road trip around the U.S. with my wife, and I’ve had the same question asked multiple times on this trip:

How do you spend that much time with each other without killing one another?

Simple: We’ve worked hard at creating an incredibly strong marriage that can withhold a lot more than six weeks in a Prius!

In a similar way, we’ve also worked hard at creating a marriage that can withstand, and benefit from, my obsession with entrepreneurship. The following are four tips that I’ve used to make sure my marriage stays solid while my business grows.

1. Get Your Priorities in Order.

Businesses will come and go, and I’ll fail at some, succeed at others. But my wife is here for life, so my priority will always be her above all else.

(Click to read on BiggerPockets…)