Getting Started as a Landlord

One of my best friends and business partners Reid is finally buying “The House”. The one his wife actually wants. The one he can stuff a gaggle of kids and pets and toys and (ahem) visiting business partners into. The one by the country club & the good schools. I’m so happy for him.

Thanks to the region of the US he happens to reside in, he’s buying this property for the equivalent cost of my garden shed in Santa Cruz, CA. It is awesome. Part of the decision they face is whether to sell their current home or become landlords. So I decided to write an article for him. This should get you going buddy.
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Trust and Verify

I walk through each of our properties at least twice a year. Some property managers, especially when managing C class units, check as often as 4 times a year. They have vendors on site such a gardeners who have eyes on the property and report suspicious activities. Real estate is an amazing asset to invest in, but with that much value tied into a property, it is wise to keep an eye on it and make sure it is in good health. There are a lot of ways to hack a property to increase income, but that is built upon a foundation of good tenants and owner / manager diligence.

FYI, this article was written for the Zillow investor blog. Check them out for interesting tips and answers to timely real estate investing topics.

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Dependability Trumps Talent

Early in my career as a business owner, I thought being clever was more important than being on time. In retrospect, I probably would have never renewed a contract with my 20-year-old self. Flash forward and today my partners and I run a service business that thrives for a simple reason: we consistently deliver, time after time. As one of our longest clients recently told me, “I am buying peace of mind. I could give it to someone cheaper, and then either manage it myself or have to worry they might fail. I can trust you guys to take care of it and I will go focus on what matters most to my business unit.” In short, we’re successful, because we areĀ dependable.

FYI, this article was written for Mashable. Check them out for interesting tips and news in business and social media.

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Hacking Your Property

Start with basic real estate investing principles . Buy a good property at the right price & watch your cash-flow. Once you have a solid foundation, you can start to finesse. I call it property hacking. In the same way that a smart person increases their chances of leasing your property with the right tenant hack, a good property hack can be worth a lot of money.

FYI, this article was written for the Zillow investor blog. Check them out for interesting tips and answers to timely real estate investing topics.
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Real Estate Investing Principles

For our 2013 Cabo San Lucas retreat with Modern Tribe (thats the software company I married in 2001), I gave a lightning talk to the team on the basic principles of real estate investing. Everyone on the team had to present on something they were passionate about while teaching us something new. Talks were amazingly varied from wine tasting to horse grooming, the art of clowning, how to run a marathon, lock picking and human memory hacking. While the business and software discussions were invaluable, and Mexico was gorgeous, these talks and the camaraderie that came out of them is what I’ll remember.
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