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LANDLORD TIPS by Jeffery Taylor "Mr. Landlord" | By: Fellow GDREIA Members


Don't you love it when something a rental applicant says or does immediately lets you know this is probably NOT the person who you want to rent to? For example, one landlord shared the following:

*I love it when prospective residents respond to my ad with, "ASAP!"

*I love it when prospective residents stand by while their kids begin tearing the place up--BEFORE moving in.

*I love it when prospective residents respond to my requirement of a positive landlord reference with, "You know, landlords can lie..."

*I love it when prospective residents don't show up for the appointment, even after I confirm the date/time.


One of the many simple yet practical and excellent suggestions made by Lisa Trosien, an instructor at the recent Mr. Landlord Convention, was to have a "company" name or logo printed on a polo shirt, to give the impression that you are wearing a "uniform".

Lisa often focused on the "psychology" of leasing. People wearing uniforms tend to gain respect quicker from prospects. Also by simply being in "uniform" you create a greater aura of authority and people are more likely to follow your instructions (including the suggestion to go ahead fill out the rental application at this time instead of later).


If you're not asking prospective renters to lease from you (to actually fill out the application) when they visit your rental you're not only doing yourself a disservice; you're doing THEM a disservice. Time is valuable. When is the last time you had an abundance of spare time? I'm guessing you can't remember a time like that. So, put yourself in the shoes of your prospect. They've taken the time to view your property (either online or in print), they've quite possibly contacted you ahead of time to either clarify any questions they had, find out your hours or to make an appointment; and they've taken the additional time to visit your property. They've put forth time and effort to learn more about your rental. And you disrespect them by *not* asking them to lease? What's up with that, anyway? Assume the sale - (especially if you took the time to already pre-qualify them over the phone) they wouldn't be there if they weren't sincerely interested in living at your property.


One clever screening tip shared by a fellow landlord is to request from rental applicants that they give you a copy of their "current" lease agreement. This can provide you with a boatload of helpful information. 


You may think that providing the bare minimum level of service is a sensible approach in keeping your costs down and boosting a rental yield, but this often is a short term approach. Don't just offer the cheapest solution or the "quick-fix" solution. In the long run this can cost you more time, hassle, and money while also harming your reputation. If you want to be a successful landlord, switch your mindset to one of "Value for Money" as opposed to "The Bottom Line". This will make a big difference in how your resident perceives your service. 


A major issue between some landlords and residents is a lack of written agreements. It is not enough to discuss doing something, or to talk about inventory lists, or to discuss the written notice period either side has to offer. There is a need to have everything in writing. Taking the time to provide an accurate representation of all agreements will save a lot of time and stress in the long run. 


The following question is what one landlord recommends that you ask every property seller to help determine if he or she is a "motivated" seller: "Why are You Unloading this Property?" 

Don't ask them why they're selling the house. This one powerful question should immediately identify whether you're dealing with a motivated seller. The word "unload" is very powerful, and it communicates immediately that you expect a deal. If they frown, back-peddle, or say that they're not unloading this house, you probably do not have a motivated seller. So you don't need to keep wasting your valuable time with this seller.

However, if they respond with one of the following reasons, they may indeed be motivated. And the seller may be willing to sell quickly and at a lower than market price. Those reasons include: settling estates, divorce, job loss, medical tragedies, downsizing, moving to assisted care facility, or job relocation.

If on the other hand, your seller has a reason such as trying to sell in order to buy another home sometime soon, the odds are that you are wasting your time. But don't trash this information now. Save it and follow up with the seller in a month or two. They may become motivated later. This tip shared by Mike Butler, a featured instructor at our National Landlord Conventions. 


There was a news report that illustrated a perfect example of why you don't give renters your home address. A man was told to leave an apartment where he was illegally staying in. Reportedly the man repeatedly threatened to board up the windows to the landlord's home and burn it down in the middle of the night while the landlord and his family were sleeping. He asked multiple individuals for the personal address of the landlord. Instead of giving resident's your personal address for them to communicate with you or mail correspondence, use an address OTHER THAN your home. For example, utilize a P.O. Box, or the local UPS store that provides you a mail box with a street address, or use the office address of your attorney, or the registered agent for the property.  


That was the question asked most often asked by new landlords during the warmer months of the year. The most common response by landlords is that the resident in a single-family house is responsible for lawn care and any general outdoor cleaning. Although, more and more landlords are bumping up the rent a little and taking on the responsibility of lawn care. That is because they have discovered that renters don't always do a good job of lawn care upkeep, which in turn is a bad reflection on the property and that eventually affects the quality of the renter who stays. 

More and more landlords are offering lawn care service in their middle to upper income rental areas as part of a custom rental package. They contract with a lawn care service, add a little to the contracted price, and make the service available to residents. Not only does this generate a little more cash flow for the landlord, but equally important they can count on the lawn at their upper end properties being properly cared for. This is a win-win situation because many residents in upper end rentals do not cut their own grass and prefer to have the service contracted out. Consider this next year when the weather eventually begins to become warm again.

The above tips are shared by regular contributors to the popular Q&A forum, by real estate authors and by Jeffrey Taylor, To receive a free sample of Mr. Landlord newsletter, call 1-800-950-2250 or visit their informative Q&A Forum at, where you can ask landlord questions and seek the advice of other rental owners 24 hours a day.







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