When you were new, what was your biggest lesson and most difficult skill to learn?

9 Replies

Three questions:

-- biggest lesson learned in your first year as a landlord

-- skill that was most difficult for you to learn 

-- which phase is hardest for you:  finding properties, screening / managing tenants, working with contractors, working out the financials, other???  

Thank you!

1. Biggest lesson learned...never rent to family and friends

2.  Most difficult skill to learn...Letting go of perfection..

3.  Working with contractors...Trustworthy and Reliability is critical..

I once paid a plumber his last draw before he finished the job. It only took three weeks to get him back on the job.

On another house the flooring contractor requested payment the same day his crew was to finish. I refused. The flooring contractor had a sander break and it went in the shop for a day. Two days later the flooring contractor was back on the job to finish when the owner once again requested payment before the job was finished. I refused. The owner tried his best story of circumstance to get me to pay early. I refused. Once the flooring crew was finished and I inspected the work I promptly handed over a check.

Never make final payment before work is finished. If payment is arranged on a percentage complete always keep the last payment amount high enough to hire another contractor to finish the job. Many contractors are prepared to complete 75% of the job and take 80% of the pay.

I am a buy and hold investor.

-- biggest lesson learned in your first year as a landlord

The ability to say No!= and hold your ground. The only times I have truly been sorry has been when I have been nice or flexible. I treat others how I want to be treat but I remember that this is a business. 

-- skill that was most difficult for you to learn

CYA, I keep a copy of everything. In dealing with tenants having back up is key. So learnign to keep every piece of paper and correspondense was hard because I am was not that obsesssive.

-- which phase is hardest for you:  finding properties, screening / managing tenants, working with contractors, working out the financials, other??? 

Working with contracts. It is hard to find good contractors that are worth their price. I also learned that negiotations is important. Something I hate because I hate negiotating with my cost.

I am a buy and hold investor

-- biggest lesson learned in your first year as a landlord - Setting boundaries and expectations.  We had one tenant who moved in and gave us a laundry list of things she wanted.  You have to clearly spell out where the responsibility lies

-- skill that was most difficult for you to learn - When to DIY and when to hire it out.  Some things are just not worth your time DIY - You can't do everything

-- which phase is hardest for you: finding properties, screening / managing tenants, working with contractors, working out the financials, other??? - Finding properties that hit our min ROI - sometimes it takes 6+ months and you have to have patience and not buy the wrong property

1. I should have gotten more information on inherited tenants.

2. Learning to deal with a worry wart tenant. (things are much better now)

3. I guess finding the property was hard because this is our first one.  I Learned that even though I was preapproved, with the down payment money in hand, cash was still king.

Three biggest lessons I learned my 1st year (been doing this 10 years now)

1. There is no substitute for quality tenant screening. It is the lynchpin to any successful buy and hold portfolio.

2. The day after the rent is due, if you don't have it, and haven't gotten pro active communication from the tenant serve a notice to quit.

3. If you don't have adequate reserves you are dead in the water. (I did have adequate reserves and its the only thing that saved me when unexpected big $$ repairs came up)

I am a buy and hold investor

-- biggest lesson learned: Keep emotions out and run things like the business it is

-- skill that was most difficult for you to learn - Staying focused on rehabbing one project at a time

-- which phase is hardest for you: Finding properties that hit my min ROI -

Originally posted by @Michael Noto:

Three biggest lessons I learned my 1st year (been doing this 10 years now)

1. There is no substitute for quality tenant screening. It is the lynchpin to any successful buy and hold portfolio.

2. The day after the rent is due, if you don't have it, and haven't gotten pro active communication from the tenant serve a notice to quit.

3. If you don't have adequate reserves you are dead in the water. (I did have adequate reserves and its the only thing that saved me when unexpected big $$ repairs came up)

Yes I will second your number 3

We should have definitely had more money in the bank. We had about 3 months worth of mortgage payments in the bank when the stuff hit the fan. It would have been nice to have double but even that would not have been enough for everything we went through in the first 6 months of ownership. But in the future I will definitely budget more reserve money.

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