I wonder if Brandon Turner felt like this

16 Replies

So lately I've been going through this ugly process of removing a tenant from my property. This is my first property I am house hacking, and I am very new and young to this. This whole process has been emotionally draining, frustrating, and very... educational. Without going into details, I never knew people could be so vindictive and out to get me. Even after I've tried so hard to help them, I am disheartened. The worst part is, I feel like I've managed to mess up everything up until this point. 

To get to the title of this post, I found myself repeating a mantra if you will of "Brandon Turner must've felt this same way at some point, and look at him now". I can now appreciate the suck that a lot of people don't see. All the headaches and mistakes people look passed for the shiny slogan of Real Estate Investor. And right now, I am in the middle of that suck (with only 1 property!). 

I'm not sure why exactly I wanted to make this post. Maybe other people can relate? Maybe I needed to open the pressure valve that binds my frustration in a healthy way? But I can say, that I am thankful to have role models like Brandon and David to look up to, and help me remind myself of my why

Becoming a real estate investor has already taught me ten fold of what I expected to learn, and I am excited to continue learning. 

Michael 

It sucks to have to deal with this kind of stuff. And just goes to show that no good deed goes unpunished. I know this is so disappointing. Depending on what you mean by "vindictive," don't be afraid to bring in professionals to help alleviate the situation. No one is an island.

Going forward, it's important to treat this more like a business relationship than a friendship. I'm not saying you can't be friendly with your tenants, I'm saying that business is business and money is the currency you're working with. You can't pay the mortgage with friendly smiles and empty promises. It's an adjustment, and you don't have to go "all in" on this mindset, but you need to commit more to business than to the friendship.

Best wishes moving forward, and you're not alone. So many folks in these forums have gone through the exact same things you have. Hang in there!

Brandon who??:)

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It's easy to become disheartened when dealing with issues such as these.  Most landlords do pride themselves on being decent folks who maintain their properties.  However, if you have to get someone out who, for example, has not paid rent be prepared to be called everything, include slum landlord  (probably the nicest description they will toss at you).

I'm on a couple of tenant forums on facebook and it's pretty eye opening on what some tenants assume they are owed, including the ability not to pay rent because, after all, the landlord is rich, greedy and generally scummy and free rent should be a right for all tenants.

I find that when it has reached this stage I just follow the legal steps in my state to get the renter out of my property.  No discussion, no begging, no pleading, etc..  Often attempts to settle these issues on what one might consider a realistic basis often only shows you are dealing with an unrealistic person.  Letting the law (whether this is hiring an eviction attorney or simply dealing with the steps to an eviction in your state) handle this helps to take you out of the loop as much as possible.

Chelsea is spot on. You have to learn how to run it like a business. This is not a friendship and it's definitely not a charity. 

One quick example. My Father-In-Law believed low rents, free rent for Christmas, and the occasional plate of cookies would ensure his tenants were grateful. He thought they would stay longer, pay on time, and take better care of the property. The result? He had six rentals over a ten-year period and almost every one of his tenants cost him thousands, sometimes tens of thousands. When he passed away, I took over management of the properties. I had to evict several renters, clean up all the properties, and get them turned around. They now rent for much higher prices, the tenants pay on time, the properties are well kept, etc. The net return for his portfolio is about 60% higher than it was when he managed.

When you make concessions for a renter, it will almost always come back to bite you. Create your policies and stick to them. Prepare for bad situations long before they occur (late rent, unauthorized animals or occupants, early termination, abandoned property, inspections, etc.)

@Michael Salamone

Rule #1) Tenants are NOT your friends.    No emotions, but this is strictly a professional relationship when you exchange your residence for rent.   Throw all the emotions out the window.    

Last year, we had a tenant leave, while trying to scam rent relief-- who over 4 years, we waived quite a few late fees, worked with her, had a very positive/easy/happy tenant relationship.  When she learned we weren't giving her the extra money (would have been illegal) and instead sending it back to the rent relief program-- she came after us like we murdered her dog.   She threatened to sue us, destroy our name, do everything and anything she could.     It wasn't until I called her out for forging a lease-- that she backed off and said if we ever contacted her she'd file a restraining order.    Things went from really nice/friendly professional to beyond vindictive/angry in like 1 day.   Tenants are NOT your friends.  Tenants will go for your throat the SECOND something goes wrong, even when it's their fault. 

Also, as @Nathan G. pointed out-- No good deed goes unpunished.  I feel like that's magnified in rental properties.    You can also tell the experience level of the people on BP based on how seemingly cold/jaded they are.    It's not that people who say it's just business are scrooges, it's that we've seen-- it doesn't make a difference.   There aren't warm/fuzzies in rentals.  

Another piece of advice my mentor told me, one time we were on the phone, and I was like "This is stressful, this is hard!" He goes  "Good-- it should be.   That's why you're making a lot of money, and others aren't."    Just something to think about! 

Originally posted by @Nathan G. :

Chelsea is spot on. You have to learn how to run it like a business. This is not a friendship and it's definitely not a charity. 

One quick example. My Father-In-Law believed low rents, free rent for Christmas, and the occasional plate of cookies would ensure his tenants were grateful. He thought they would stay longer, pay on time, and take better care of the property. The result? He had six rentals over a ten-year period and almost every one of his tenants cost him thousands, sometimes tens of thousands. When he passed away, I took over management of the properties. I had to evict several renters, clean up all the properties, and get them turned around. They now rent for much higher prices, the tenants pay on time, the properties are well kept, etc. The net return for his portfolio is about 60% higher than it was when he managed.

When you make concessions for a renter, it will almost always come back to bite you. Create your policies and stick to them. Prepare for bad situations long before they occur (late rent, unauthorized animals or occupants, early termination, abandoned property, inspections, etc.)

ya we all have been there.. I am the worlds worst at it.. and now years later I am pretty jaded on providing housing for those that cant afford to buy their own home.. other RE investments that are not so personal or get to you as providing housing for renters.. 

My favorite do good one .. was the mid west was having a hard winter.. tenant just had a baby.. PM writes its so cold the gas bill is very high they cant afford the gas bill and rent.. and have a new baby.. they would like a 3 month hiatus on rent and then pay the balance over the summer.. well at the end of 3 months they just up and left  LOL.. stung yet again..

I think that's why you see investors moving into commercial properties were emotions are not as high and evictions much easier don't pay their rent on their storage unit haul it to the dump.. don't pay the rent on their commercial space you get them out in 30 days and lock the doors.

Although I firmly believe one of the absolute best ways for first time investors to get into the game is house hack a 2 plex or 4 plex with an FHA loan.. not greater advantage than that 5% down super low interest and boom you have rental income.


Another piece of advice my mentor told me, one time we were on the phone, and I was like "This is stressful, this is hard!" He goes  "Good-- it should be. That's why you're making a lot of money, and others aren't."    Just something to think about! 

"A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."  ~FDR

Originally posted by @Nathan G. :

Another piece of advice my mentor told me, one time we were on the phone, and I was like "This is stressful, this is hard!" He goes  "Good-- it should be. That's why you're making a lot of money, and others aren't."    Just something to think about! 

"A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."  ~FDR

United pilot buddy of mine said sometimes you just have to stick your nose in that weather ahead .. 

Michael you are certainly not alone.  If an investor hasn't been where you are at least 1x it is simply a matter of time.  Do this long enough and on enough deals and you will be where you are.  Might be the first deal, might be the 100th deal or more but every one in this biz has or will be in your shoes.  Very few exceptions.  

Keep on keeping on.  Learn what you can, be open to how you contributed to the situation so you can make sure not to do the same things you did.  

You will learn from this and be better, that is the good news.  You are taking a master class, learn as much as you can.  

@Michael Salamone this is the hardest lesson to learn in this business. You can be very kind and understanding to a tenant. You can give them gifts and discounts on rent. You can let them have three dogs. You can waive late fees and repair things they break. You can let them stay for months without paying rent, after a series of broken promises. Then when you finally send them notice to "pay or quit", they turn into horrible people. 

Never seek to understand. It doesn't matter what stories they tell or if they are telling the truth. You are wasting time trying to comprehend something that makes no sense to a normal person. Your job is to collect rent, enforce lease policies and maintain the property. Don't try to be friends or buy good will by giving them things. Giving gifts, waiving late fees or bending policies only creates an expectation that you will do the same in the future. They will be your best friend today, but turn on you when you say "no". 

Always be fair and honest. Treat people kindly by being sympathetic to their situation, but firm on your policies, "I am sorry you lost your job. I encourage you to look at unemployment and rent assistance programs to help cover your bills as you get back on your feet. I do need rent payment per the lease policy, because my business has bills to pay. If you are unable to pay, I can work with you on moving out." This is the bottom line, pay rent or leave.

You will learn much of this can be avoided with proper screening. You always need to run a credit report. You need to verify income directly with the employer. You want to call previous landlord references. Search them out on social media.

Every landlord goes through this at some point. Some get lucky for years, then get hit hard by nightmare tenants. It is important that you adjust your mental attitude. It is only draining or frustrating if you let it be. This is just part of the business. This is honestly why real estate is so profitable. The problems create a barrier than forces many out of the business. 

Success in real estate (or any business) is being able to live to fight another day. That means keeping the business financially solvent and overcoming challenges. This is just a road bump in the long journey ahead. Learn from the experience, adjust your processes and move on.

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I am sorry you are going thru this hard situation. Life can be hard at times.   Be strong within yourself and keep your eyes on your goal(s) while remembering that every second we are alive is an amazing thing and in and of itself a win....  Also, try to see some kind of silver lining - you are learning something new and what can you take from this into the future to help you be better then next time around?   We all have adversity. it's  all in what you do with it.... use it to your advantage ! 

Haha, I actually sat down and wrote a poem about life as a landlord. Before we started building our portfolio the wife and I had a several discussions about worst case scenario type stuff. I told her that eventually we will have a tenant die in a unit, we may end up getting death threats, some of our units will get destroyed, we will have a hard time collecting rent sometimes, we will need to evict tenants and some may actually be good people who are just down on their luck. We have had some of these things happen to us but nothing as bad as what we prepared ourselves for. I like to be pessimistic in my numbers and my short term outlook but I am very optimistic in the process and the future we are building. No regrets here after 8 LONG years of being a landlord/small business owner. At least the issues I deal with are my issues that I can handle how I see fit vs working for the man and following someone else’s lead…

I am blessed to be bored,

living life as a landlord.

Business is grand when everything’s slow, no better time to be saving my dough.

No shortage of stunning problems to face, still way better than running the rat-race.

Meeting some applicants at the units I show,

leaves me shaking my head like ah hell no!

Wondering when I will get paid all my rent, then the sob stories all the money got spent.

Trying like mad to elude any feud,

Too many thoughts include being sued.

Constantly looking for that next deal to buy,

then getting outbid like a poke in the eye.

Hours and hours of work on my phone, talking to people but feeling alone.

But when things start to feel sour,

I just think of the dollars per hour.

@Jerrad Shepherd

Sorry about the poem format, it didn’t exactly copy and paste the way I had hoped. I haven’t had my morning pot of coffee as of yet.