Quick-Win Tips

January 16, 2018

“MY INSURANCE CLAIM WAS DENIED”……oh crap!

Whether we like it or not, insurance companies are not your “friend” in the rental business.  Yes, they provide a valuable product and provide coverage for you when the proverbial “SHTF”.  But, they also limit their potential exposure to paying out claims. One method they use is to limit paying out claims when a home has been vacant for an extended period of time and a claim is filed.  If you are the unfortunate landlord or investor who has this occur, expect the insurance adjuster to do his best “Inspector Jacques Clouseau” to determine how long the home has been vacant.  They will research the mls for listing status changes, they will research utility records for usage or non usage, etc.  They WILL find out. So, a best practice is to make sure you know precisely what your policy dictates on this issue.  And yes, dictates is the appropriate word […]
September 27, 2017

An ounce of prevention……a pile of cash saved

Like you, I try and plan my day and evening activities to minimize windshield time.  On Tuesday of this week, after dropping one of the kids off at his Boy Scout meeting, I zipped over to Lowe’s to pick up some Super Glue and Krud Cutter (to wash siding mildew). After paying for the items, I head over to the restroom before leaving the store and walk past the drinking fountains.  Here’s what I saw: Normally I would have kept walking, done my business, and left the store. But this actually made me stop, chuckle a bit, and shake my head. Notice the stream of water? Now, I get that things break all the time.  (Certainly not picking on Lowe’s….goodness knows they get plenty of my money each month as does Home Depot.)  One of my operating companies manages commercial properties, so I understand that part.  Kudos to the store […]
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 18, 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 Peggib:   If a tenant moves out without telling you, cleans out cabinets, closets etc.  and leaves the key but also leaves some crappy furniture behind, are you required to store said items or can you just haul them away?  In this case, the tenant was a tenant at sufferance, but does that make any difference in your responsibility? My Response: Peggi–Thanks for the question.  You just brought up a situation which almost every landlord and property manager has found themselves embroiled in at one time or another.  This falls into the category of possible abandoned personal property.  However, it’s not always so straight forward.  Keeping in mind this is certainly not legal advice and may conflict with the State or local ordinance where your property is location, […]
August 10, 2017

5 Minute Fridays

(No, the title picture isn’t tilted by accident, it is intentional.  Interrupting Broca’s Region of the brain with unusual visual stimuli wakes up our brain matter.) Starting next week, I’ll be posting some fun new items for your consumption.  I’ve been asked to do this for some time now, and fortunately the schedule has cleared up enough to do it thanks to streamlined processes added this Summer. Here’s what is coming for you: 5 Minute Fridays (yes, 5 balls in the air…..) This is where I’ll be answering your quick questions in a rapid fire format.  What questions are fair game?  Questions which can be answered in  5 minutes or less, hence the name.  So, pleasse, no long drawn out deep rabbit hole questions.  (For those scenarios, you’ll be best served with this link http://danbaldini.com/resources/private-client-consulting/)   I guarantee that if you’re thinking of a question about your rentals or your property […]
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 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 […]
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 […]