Opinions

September 8, 2017

Did you dig your well before you were thirsty?

Hurricane Harvey.  Hurricane Irma.  Wildfires consuming thousands of acres in Oregon, Montana and Idaho. The U.S. is experiencing a horrible end to Summer 2017 in terms of natural disasters and, yes, it will impact your rental operations and profitability even if you don’t have rental properties in the affected areas. It’s the tsunami wave that will impact the marketplace after the flood water have receded and the last fire ember has been extinguished–the rebuilding efforts. The U.S. construction markets and supply chains were already overtaxed due to record housing sales and new home construction and overall improvement in GDP growth this year.  Supply of skilled labor was already critically short–everyone from framers to electricians to hvac installers, carpet installers to drywall crews,painters to even low-level punch-out guys and cleaning crews. If you heeded the age-old wisdom of Harvey Mackay which recommends “dig your well before you’re thirsty“, you can survive […]
August 25, 2017

5-Minute Friday

Good morning, Everyone! Here is your weekly 5 Minute Friday, highlighting a couple of the questions or issues posed to me this week. From Terri:   Does offering a house fully furnished change how much I can charge for rent? My Response: Terri–Thanks for the question.  The short answer is Yes, it can and will change how much you can charge for rent…..or rather, a better answer is it can and will change how much you will earn in rental revenue.  Here’s some things to consider when choosing to offer a property fully furnished or completely unfurnished: What is the actual market for furnished rentals in your area?  In most market segments across the country, especially in SFR’s (single family residences), furnished rental demand is a small sliver of the total demand.  As in less than 10%.  So, if you have a 4 bedroom home, if you offer it only fully […]
August 3, 2017

Waikiki Waves + iphone6 = new iphone7 + Process Interruption….what a beautiful mathematical equation, eh?

Ahhhh….Paradise.  Waves, surfing, sunshine, sushi, and luau’s. This is the story of how I recently re-learned the principle of Process Interruption. I took the family on vacation to Hawaii this Summer; truly is Paradise on Earth.  One sunny afternoon, as the wifey and I are lounging on the beach, sipping Mai Tai’s, and watching the kids play with their boogie boards in the waves, she looks up from her book and says to me,”Why don’t you go in the water for a bit and join them?”  So I get up and go down to the waves and do what middle age men do best–I proceed to play like a big child in the waves with them (I gave up caring long ago what most of society thinks of my behaviors; the freedom is liberating…you should try it sometime.). And just like happens with little kids, after 15 minutes of frolicking […]
July 21, 2017

Respect. It’s all about Respect.

This article might strike you as a bitch-and-moan session, and it is that in one bit, but please read through to the end as it’s quite valuable.  I promise. Arethra Franklin nailed it with her legendary song…”Give me a little respect….”  {It’s OK if her voice just popped into your head and you started wiggling those hips around and your index finger started pointing up in the air. Move and Groove, baby….} Earlier this week, I attended a “mandatory” training session for a group I joined.  The training session was to give new members a platform to ensure success in the group, so “training”, right? Registering and attending cost me a nominal amount of money but it also cost me, most importantly, 3 hours of my time from 3:00 until 6:00 pm on a business day. Three hours of prime time to do other tasks like Prospecting, Strategic Planning, or […]
July 11, 2017

Professional Development

October and November begins the next round of jet airplanes and hotels for conventions for me.  Coming up are the annual conventions at NAR and NARPM.  (NAR=National Association of REALTORS; NARPM=National Association of Residential Property Managers).   These events are opportunities to add some jewels to the aging Crown of Knowledge and also exceptional networking events with leaders from all over the country and world.  Here’s a brief list of some of the convention sessions I plan on attending: Business Development Session – Empowering Teams and Individuals Ethics Future-Proofing Your Business Buying, Selling and Expanding Your Reach Office Policies & Procedures for Managing Litigation Top 10 Operational Reports for your Business Lawsuit Waiting to Happen – Navigating HUD’s New Guidelines for the Use of Criminal Records in Rental Decisions 7 Steps of Successful Leadership Maintenance – Tips from the Trenches – War Stories & Lessons Learned Take a guess which one […]
July 7, 2017

All is Well….Nothing to See here….

Unemployment is down.  The Stock Market is soaring.  Everyone is happy. But should they be? It’s times like these when that trusty Spidey-sense starts to tingle…play the real estate investment game long enough, and you see the telltale signs of impending mayhem ahead: Everyone and their brother suddenly thinks real estate is easy money.  (We can tell by the phone calls and referrals we get on this qualitative point.  And the calls and referrals are coming hot and heavy right now….) Folks who shouldn’t be buying rental properties are buying them up faster than Fidget Spinners. (Always a dead give away when the question gets asked,”How many months of PITI do you have in reserve for when this property goes vacant?” and the buyer has that deer-in-the-headlights-look.) Banks easing their lending standards to allow for more marginal buyers. (No income, no doc loans are back.  Yes, seriously, they are.) Yup….it’s […]
June 15, 2017

You’re Fired….and I’m not sad about it, either.

I’m generally a patient person.  Let’s face it….to succeed or even survive in property management and leasing you must have a reservoir of patience to interact with all the craziness of our industry. I’m also generally an understanding person.  Life happens, I get it.  We are all humans and screw up. So I’m a patient and understanding person…Until I’m taken advantage of by someone for these traits of generosity.  At that inflection point, I transform into what my title company rep infamously nicknamed me:  “BB Baldini.” Ball Buster Baldini. When I reach that level, the gloves come off and it’s not pretty to be on the receiving end.  So when a Client or vendor jerks me around for payment or is acting in an in-congruent manner with the expectations set between our two entities, it’s Go Time.  Unless resolved correctly, it ends with me firing them. Is that mean?  Is […]
June 7, 2017

Can Anyone THINK anymore these days?

Freshmen and seniors at about 200 colleges across the U.S. take a little-known test every year to measure how much better they get at learning to think. The results are discouraging. At more than half of schools, at least a third of seniors were unable to make a cohesive argument, assess the quality of evidence in a document or interpret data in a table, The Wall Street Journal found after reviewing the latest results from dozens of public colleges and universities that gave the exam between 2013 and 2016. Ouch.  Double Ouch. https://www.wsj.com/article_email/exclusive-test-data-many-colleges-fail-to-improve-critical-thinking-skills-1496686662-lMyQjAxMTI3MDA4NjcwMzY0Wj/ I bring this new article to your attention for the following reason:  Rental properties involve, fortunately or unfortunately, human beings.  As I have written about human beings in other articles on this site, we are messy creatures–physically, emotionally, and mentally.  (I mean, come on….if we weren’t, we wouldn’t have jobs in leasing, property management, real estate, court […]
May 20, 2017

Why did they do it?

The real estate market is having a record-breaking year. Agents are selling their listings in literally hours on the market instead of weeks and months. Yet when reading some of the comments on various social media posts like Twitter and Facebook, you’d think the world was falling apart, planets are about to collide and millions are about to die Agents complaining about how other agents aren’t changing their status in the BLC fast enough to reflect accepted offers. Agents complaining about how inspection responses from Buyers are ridiculous and out of control. Multiple offer scenarios and issues with paperwork. Buyers complaining about a lack of homes to buy. I’m calling Time Out.  Let’s all take a deep breath and drop our shoulders a half an inch before we all get a migraine.  Perhaps it’s time we reflect on just how damn good we have it.  We live and work in a […]
April 25, 2017

If you are in the real estate business and don’t own rental properties….smh.

I was chatting with a lady at a local association meeting who was nervous about her retirement coming quickly in less than 10 years.  She was, as many folks just like her, not prepared financially to put up her spurs and sip on a fruity beverage on a beach.  After lots of dialogue, it hit me like a ton of bricks. This person owned zero real estate besides her home.  And she is a licensed REALTOR.   Why would a person in the industry not take advantage of the unique opportunity they have to increase their wealth?  It boiled down to ignorance and fear for her. Literally sat there shaking my damn head…. So, the question on the table is this: Should you invest in rental properties for income when you retire? My short answer is this: 90% of you in this audience probably fall into the damn ignorant stupid foolish category if you […]