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2017-09-06 Jeffrey Taylor Provides Lessons for Landlords | By: Fellow GDREIA Members

Jeffrey Taylor Provides Lessons for Landlords
By Larry D. Hudson
(Click Here for Pictures)
 
They call Jeffrey Taylor “Mr. Landlord” – and after his visit to Greater Dayton REIA’s First Wednesday meeting for September (9/6/17) investors who turned up to hear him found it easy to understand why.
 
The charismatic and engaging speaker told tales from his more than three decades of owning and managing rental property. He told his Greater Dayton REIA audience he would share strategies landlords could use to increase cash flow. Attendees did not walk away disappointed.
 
He began by explaining that property owners can be classified by their level of knowledge and experience – from level one to level four. Level one landlords are relatively new to the field and know the basics, but do not have written procedures in place to cover common situations.
 
Level two landlords, Taylor said, have learned enough about how to run their rental business to heed his advice about “not working with non-paying tenants.”
 
By the time landlords reach level three, Taylor said, they’ve learned where to refer tenants who need help paying rent – a list of governmental and charitable agencies, including churches, that help in crisis situations. Even the “emergency contact” the tenant listed on the rental application form is someone the landlord can notify, he said, because the rental agreement allows the landlord to contact all personal references to pursue collection.
 
There are a whole host of details involved in managing rental property for maximum returns, Taylor said. It’s impossible to get it right without creating a written system answering all the questions and spelling out what to do in response, -- and only a small percentage of landlords, around 5%, have written systems in place, he said.
 
Having written procedures in place can help increase occupancy and cashflow, Taylor said. It’s important to minimize tenant turnover, he said, because turnover leads to lost rent and increased renovation expenses. Taylor said a good way to keep tenants longer is to engage them from the beginning – with enticements that assume tenants will renew at the end of the term.
 
This begins, Taylor said, by providing the incoming tenant with a choice of how to pay the damage deposit and rent (providing a menu of choices including lower upfront cost and higher monthly rent). It continues with a valued welcome gift and a six-month customer loyalty program that includes a choice of possible upgrades, Taylor said. This can include new paint in one room or carpet cleaning, he said.
 
The object is to keep tenants longer – well beyond the one to two-year tenancy average landlords record. By keeping tenants engaged, Taylor said, landlords don’t have to guess about whether tenants will renew when an anniversary date approaches.
 
“Think of it this way,” Taylor said. “When your wedding anniversary comes up, do you ask your wife, ‘Are we gonna renew this thing?’ No!”

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