Tenants

July 25, 2017

Meet your New Landlord: Wall Street

The Backstory to Now…. Clients who hire me to coach them before and during their first investment property transaction ask how and when and where all the money came from Wall Street to buy so many thousands of rental homes.  Answering them takes patience and detailed explanations as this is the first time in history such a platform of investment has occurred on such a massive scale. This WSJ article does a solid job of discussing the backstory, the history, and leads with some hints about where the industry of property leasing is headed.  After all, big investors have plopped $40,000,000,000 into buying 200,000 houses as rentals. Some questions for you to ponder as you read the article: As a small, private investor:  How can you compete with these powerhouse-landlords on pricing, marketing, and profit margins? As a property manager:  What lessons can you take away from the article on […]
July 13, 2017

Good legislation….finally.

The Indiana General Assembly finally passed clarifying language on occupancy standards. If you’ve had to battle this issue with prospective tenants applying for your property, crack open an adult libation to celebrate.  This new language offers you better protection from Fair Housing lawsuits alleging discrimination due to disparate impact against families with children. Beginning on July 1, 2017 the below state-wide occupancy standard will go into effect. Sec. 7. (a) The residential landlord-tenant statute (as defined in IC 32-31-2.9-2) does not prohibit an owner or landlord from refusing to rent a rental unit on the basis of a reasonable occupancy standard. (b) For purposes of this section, an occupancy standard is presumed reasonable if: (1) it permits two (2) individuals per bedroom; and (2) the owner or landlord: 9100 Keystone Crossing, Ste 725, Indianapolis, IN 46240 (A) does not include infants less than one (1) year of age in the […]
April 10, 2017

Truths in Property Management

A number of years ago, I went to the Indy 1500 Gun Show with a buddy. He was in the market for a specific rifle; I was looking to buy a .40 caliber pistol. We wandered for two hours among the booths and tables and came upon a re-seller dealer from northern Indiana who was selling almost exclusively Glocks. And they were priced very aggressively. (Side note: If you’ve never been to a gun show, it’s truly one of the bucket experiences to complete, even if you’re not a firearms enthusiast. You have thousands of people walking around buying and selling and trading everything from firearms to ammunition to hunting and camping and survival gear to even jewelry. And every single person is on their best behavior saying,”pardon me” or “I’m sorry” or “excuse me” when they accidentally bump into you. Very polite and well-mannered people.) Anyways, I find a […]
January 23, 2017

It’s not personal, it’s just business…..

The title of today’s post is derived from the famous scene in the movie, The Godfather. It takes place when Michael Corleone rebukes his brother about an impending action the family is about to take to avenge the shooting of their father, “It’s not personal, it’s just business.” If it’s been awhile since you’ve enjoyed the movie, here’s a link to the clip…The Godfather. If you’ve been a landlord for more than one week, you know human beings, at times, can be messy. Messy in their housekeeping. Messy in their organizational ability to pay the rent on time and plan their household expenditures. And finally, messy emotionally as they juggle the demands placed on them by work, family, finances, and societal expectations. That is part of the human condition.  It’s best to accept these shortcomings and embrace them for tremendous success in your rental properties.  Or don’t accept these shortcomings and get […]
October 31, 2016

Treats instead of Tricks, Part II

Last week, we started discussing the early work to position yourself strongly for a tenant renewal scenario.  (http://danbaldini.com/2016/10/24/treats-instead-of-tricks/) This week, let’s conclude the article. 1.  The Approach Let’s assume you have one of two options for the renewal scenario:  You plan on keeping the rent the same as in prior years or you plan on asking for a rental rate increase. Same rent scenario:  This one is easier, but be prepared for the tenant to ask for a possible rent reduction or other concessions.  Their argument could be as basic as,”Hey–you don’t have to search for a new tenant, so how about knocking $25 off our rent for the next year?” or “Hey–can you replace the carpet and we’ll agree to renew?” Whatever their request is….be prepared to know your numbers (i.e. profit margin) in order to know if you can do it or not.  In addition, if the request […]
October 24, 2016

Treats instead of Tricks

Landlords and Investors make money the same way airlines, hotels, and entertainment shows do–they keep butts in seats for as long as possible. For real estate, this means maximizing Days of Occupancy and correspondingly minimizing Vacancy Days. So this Fall let’s review some of the Best Practices to give your Tenants Treats instead of Tricks for their lease situation. 1. Advance Communication The saying, “Misery is the mismatch of expectations between two people”, holds true in rentals.  If you are communicating with the tenants at the time of their initial lease signing that you’ll be recontacting them to begin discussing the possibility of renewing their lease 60-90 days before the lease ends, you’ve planted the seed early on that your not the kind of landlord who waits until the last minute for these conversations.  Good for you. 2. Review of the Market Conditions Before you pick up that phone or begin […]
August 18, 2016

Top 20 Questions (that will spawn 20 more….)

Questions. We all have them. (If you don’t, run away from real estate.) Here’s the Top 20 questions asked by landlords and investors when choosing to hire a property management company. Some are deeper questions than they might seem the first time you read them, which is why the first question on the list is the first question on the list.  If you are thinking about them in the correct mindset, you should realize within 2 breaths that the questions spawn subordinate questions and will take you down a rabbit hole even further. What do you charge? If I have a question and send in an email or call, what is the expected response time from your company? Is the prop mgr available on weekends if issues arise? How do you handle repairs? How does money get to me each month? What happens if the tenant doesn’t pay rent? What […]
July 11, 2016

Oh $%^^!!!! My Tenant just declared Bankruptcy!

A common question from my clients is “My Tenant just declared bankruptcy and I got the notice in the mail today.  What does this mean for me as the landlord/property manager/investor?” Here’s a single page, well-written explanation from this month’s National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM) magazine of what to do/what not to do. Landlord Loses Because Tenant Went Bust, Broke, and Bankrupt As with other legal issues, it’s best to seek counsel from an attorney in your state/city who deals with these issues in their primary practice. Why subscribe to our weekly tips?  Because…..
July 8, 2016

In Case of Emergency, Part II….

So yesterday I posed this hypothetical question of:  “What would you do if your Tenant was incapacitated and a friend of theirs needs access to the property to pick things up?” (http://danbaldini.com/2016/07/08/in-case-of-emergency/) If your lease agreement doesn’t contain specific language and data to address this situation, you as the landlord or property manager are in a tough spot. Do you deny access to the friend or do you allow him access to the tenant’s personal property? How do you know he isn’t a scam artist? How do you know he is not perhaps an identify thief who happens to know the tenant is traveling out of the country and unreadable for a few more weeks? Fact is, unless you have protocols in place prior to this event happening, you simply don’t know and you are unprepared to deal with it appropriately. Not a fun position to be in, is it? […]
May 31, 2016

Young Adults choose living with Parents vs living with a romantic partner

Times they are a changin’……again. A new study by Pew Research Center shows that young people are choosing to live with their parents in a higher amount than ever before in modern history….even higher than living with a romantic partner. Why the change? Pew researchers suggest several factors, including declining employment among young men in recent decades and lingering effects of the recession. But the researchers said that the chief reason is a “dramatic drop in the share of young Americans who are choosing to settle down romantically before age 35” either with a spouse or a partner.  “Forming a new family is not nearly as important as it was for young adults,” said Richard Fry, a senior researcher with Pew, a nonpartisan think tank that conducts public-opinion polling, and does demographic research. So what does this mean for Landlords and Investors?  It could mean the following: Your rental properties with a target demographic of this age group may be tougher to fill due to financial constraints of the tenants moving out of […]