Do You Drive By Every Day?

24 Replies

I do.

I can't help it. It's part keeping an eye on things, but it's also part pride. I feel so fortunate to  be able to say, "I own that."

I realize many here don't live as close to your buildings as I do, mine are all within 5 miles, but for those of you who don't live far from your properties, how often do you drive by?


I try to get by once a week, just to make sure things look ok, but I don't like bothering my tenants if I don't have to.

More often when I first bought them. Pretty rarely now. Mine are a lot more spread out than yours, though. 

most I walk to.   It is amazing what you learn with a stroll by. 

This is the first year I have professional management....all the prop. Have gone downhill.

   My exit plan is to die, and leave this mess to my children.

If I were a tenant and my landlord drives by every day unannounced I think I would feel uncomfortable.

I understand the need to keep an eye on your property.

The tenants also want to be left alone, if you live nearby and walk your dogs and it's your daily route, OK.  If you are just driving by daily to make sure I haven't burn down your house, I tend to think this is a bit much.  It's a two way street.

For me personally, going by once a month to do an AC filter change, and my lawn guy going twice a month to do yard work, plus any other on demand maintenance visits, combined to give me a fairly good pulse of what's going on without any perceived intrusion to my tenants.

one of my property is only 15 mins away. I was there 3-4 times after the move in for some minor repairs. This property is well kept by my tenant from heaven. Very humble and polite tenant with perfect credit and background. Other than for repair, I never even drive by.

I have properties that are in a location that either my husband or I end up driving by every day. This was one of the selling points for us. We make a conscience effort to take a look while driving by. We only stop in quarterly for scheduled maintenance.

If it wasn't on my daily route, I would probably drive by once a week and take a glance.

@Sam Leon  Driving by shouldn't bother the tenants since you are not stopping to visit.

I drive by one of my houses twice a day. It's at the end of my 1/2 mile long driveway.  ;-)

Purposeful drive by for the others - about once a week.

For the record, I don't stop and stare, I move with traffic and glance at it. I seriously doubt the tenants know. I'm sure they don't sit at their windows for hours waiting for me. It's not my intent to snoop, I've got a lot of money sitting there, I'd be derelect to not keep an eye on it.

I drive by at least once a week.  But all of my properties (7) are less than 1.5 miles from home.

I have one on the main drag through town.  We live on the west side of town and a lot of the major shopping is on the east side, so we naturally drive by several times a week.  My wife also works just up the road, so she drives by it every single weekday simply because it's the best way to get to work.

Once a month to pick up, rent, typically.  Other than that, I do not want to see my tenant... if I have to, it often means it's going to cost me money.  Fortunately, I have had good luck in screening tenants.

I am usually always around my property.  Right now I am rehabbing the vacant side and my grandparents live directly across the street and babysit my children, so I am always around.  I don't bother the tenant though, just glance over at it and make sure everything is alright.  

@Arnie Guida  

People notice more than you think about "strange" cars. If I was a tenant I would be very upset. I read somewhere a story about this dad who couldn't understand why he couldn't keep tenants. He was always driving by and would follow up on the smallest thing. 

I think I have driven by one of my houses once, without a need. I don't drive by and we have a TON of money in our houses. I want the tenants to feel like this is their house and have ownership. If there are issues and I get a call from neighbors, etc. Than I totally follow up. Otherwise, I let my passive investment be passive :)

One of my properties is 40 minutes away. I haven't been to that property in two years. The only reason I had to visit it recently was because my tenant moved to Silicon Valley. Collected two rents for that month, so the trip was worth it.

I didn't drive by two of my properties today, and may not tomorrow... ;-)

...and the one I did drive by, it was collect the balance of the rent...and late fee, of course!

I guess I was overdoing it, but the excitement of this last property, and being retired, well, it was something to do to fill the day...maybe once or twice a week from now on. It's just that they're so close  and on the way of so many errands.

I'll tone it down...

@Arnie Guida  

Whenever I have the urge to drive past a property I go driving for dollars instead.  Never know what you'll stumble across. 

@Arnie Guida  

Everyone has there own golden rule, but mine is dont buy anything that I cant walk too. I absolutely love having all of my properties close enough to me that I can be at any of them in a few minutes. I enjoy the peace of mind of not having them spread all over the place. thought about never, or infrequently driving past your properties, if you don't tend your garden, you'll get weeds, and weeds left unchecked, will overgrow your flowers...

@Rocky Sanguedolce  

I couldn't agree more.  Anything outside of 5-10 minutes from me and I lose interest.   My wife and I really enjoy the time savings and convenience of close proximity.  

Depends on the property. Most of my SFR are excellent tenants with solid income and nice neighborhoods. I drive by as needed or a couple times a year. However ... my apartments are full of students, section-8, subsidized and otherwise. I go by whenever I am close enough. Usually 2-5 times a week. The more I am there the better things are. I try to be there early in the morning, late at night, and middle of the afternoon. I never want them to assume I am not watching! Because it is apartments they don't think I'm watching any particular unit, they just know I'm around.

Me or my wife drive by everyday, but the tenants does not know us because the property manager is the middle man.  I would love to keep every property we purchase close by this one is less than two miles away.

I live 3 doors up the road. So I drive by multiple times a day. I suppose there is another way into the neighborhood so I guess part of me is being nosey and maybe it is partly a pride thing. But honestly I think it's just my route to and from home. I never stop just a wave.

@Arnie Guida  

 I drive every week or every other week. Usually, whenever I drive by I usually take different routes and streets just to see what other properties have been listed for sale/check out new construction/flips etc going in the neighborhood.

Originally posted by @Beth L.:

I have properties that are in a location that either my husband or I end up driving by every day. This was one of the selling points for us. We make a conscience effort to take a look while driving by. We only stop in quarterly for scheduled maintenance.

If it wasn't on my daily route, I would probably drive by once a week and take a glance.

@Sam Leon Driving by shouldn't bother the tenants since you are not stopping to visit.

As landlords we all do things differently, many here start showing their properties as soon as the tenants give notice.  I elect to leave the tenant in peace and eat the vacancy cost and not show until they are moved out for the same reason.  Is driving by frequently an intrusion in some form?  That's subjective.  All I am saying is if I were in the tenants' shoes, I am paying my rent, and I would like to be left alone until I do something to earn the distrust, so I tend to give the benefit of the doubt.

You would be surprised how your tenants may find out.  You may have a neighbor who walks his/her dog every day and noticed your driving by and tell the tenant that you are "keeping an eye on them". or the lawn guy tells the tenant that "Beth just drove by"...

Now if the property is along your daily route that's different.  I just realized none of my properties are in route, in fact all of them are on dead end streets so anyone driving by is either lost or is there on purpose.  I wasn't looking for dead end street properties consciously but that's what I end up buying each time without realizing the pattern until now, weird.

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