Well, folks I can tell you one thing for absolute certain: a day in the life of a landlord with MULTIPLE properties ain’t all sunshine and unicorns.
Just the other week, in the span of a SINGLE day, my office received four different notices from four different properties, each with a different form of delinquent notice, late payment or city violation.
Boy what a joy that was to start my day… NOT.
On days like that, I’m beyond glad to have a team of highly intelligent, dedicated and capable individuals who can put out these fires for me. And frankly, just handle the CRAP that comes along with managing the property managers.
It came with a notice of (surprise) late rent payment! That’s not really unusual when it comes to renting single family homes or duplexes. It doesn’t matter where, in what neighborhood, city or state, who’s renting, their marital status, job status, etc. — many renters are late on rent payment!
This one tells the same story — late rent payment. Ah there’s a new one!
Ah yes, this was the real kicker. The tenant was behind on their utilities payment and the notice came along with a pre-lien letter, pending receipt of payment. Oh, the excitement!
It was out of compliance with city regulations regarding lawn and landscape maintenance, a.k.a. they weren’t mowing the lawn. We had 7 days to get everything up to snuff or further legal action might be taken.
Each and every one of these properties is located in different states across the country and rented by individuals of totally different backgrounds and lifestyles. It just goes to show that when it comes to property management, you never know what you’re gonna get.
The Important of Support and Networking
I tell you all this to put into perspective just how much time and energy it takes to successfully manage property managers — especially single family homes and duplexes.
If you have another job, say you run a law firm, engineering firm or medical practice, where are you going to find the time (in between clients and patients) to take care of all this?
It’s impossible! There’s no way you could do it all on your own. I am lucky to have a team help me with this.
This is why we stress the importance of networking and joint ventures. Don’t try to be a hero; don’t try to be a one-man band.
Find people you know, like and trust, and let them handle the dirty work.
What You Can Do
I support you investing in single family homes and duplexes, but just realize that even with property managers that we have vetted, we still run into issues.
My advice is: go into larger syndicated deals or join ventures where you have dedicated staff to handle all the not-so-nice stuff that comes along with property management.
Wouldn’t it be a whole lot nicer and easier to just walk to your mailbox and pick up a check?
Now, this isn’t to say throw caution to the wind and just turn a blind eye while others toil and play with your money. Definitely not!
Get educated! Find your people, do your research, and align with projects that meet your investment goals and values.
Heck, you can even do your own deals. Just learn the ropes, learn what a proforma tells you and DOESN’T tell you, and go through the loan process. But try it on just one or two properties.
Don’t be like us, who have over 40 single family homes across the country — it’s total madness.
And we are frankly selling those off and investing more time and money into larger commercial projects.
I hope this very candid re-telling of a day in the life of an investor managing property managers has fired you up for alternative investing. So get out there, meet some people, ask questions and find the RIGHT opportunities for you.
As always, we’re here when you’re ready.