Would Landlords find value in Landlord Consulting?

7 Replies

I have 15 years in real estate in the city of Chicago; 13 as a licensed broker and 2 years as a PM for a developer. I also spent 12 of those years managing our multi-family rental property in Lincoln Park. Between 2012 and 2016 in 4 units I had ZERO days vacant. That streak would have been 2 years longer if I hadn't voluntarily gone vacant to rehab a unit. We were never in litigation with any tenant in 12 years and were assessed minor city fines twice. I also hold a J.D. and LL. M. (master of law) in Commercial Real Estate Law. I spent a semester in the Fair Housing Clinic while working on my LL. M.. (opposition research?). I am still an active broker and do a lot of rental business in the season.

I want to start consulting other landlords and investors on how to best minimize risk and maximize rent. In my business I see A LOT of mistakes that are costing investors A LOT of money. The most common mistake is not making simple improvements and upgrades that would increase the rent. Every day I see ugly paint and light fixtures that prevent a unit from renting resulting in vacancy and lower rents. It drives me crazy! I see a lot of problems with how landlords assess applications and decide on deposits that could cost them a ton of money down the road. 

I also think a lot of landlords do not analyze their properties correctly. I can tell help explain the benefits and drawbacks of OPM vs cash etc. 

Most of the mistakes I see could be easily avoided if investors were armed with the right knowledge and solutions. My question to the BP community is whether any landlords would pay for solid advice on how to maximize their revenue? If so, how do I reach these potential clients and how much should I charge? 

Thanks for your thoughts!


@Jennifer Koerner I own a PM company and have three offices, this is what I do day and day out for my investors. Think about starting a PM company, and offering your management services. There may be a need for this, but just like BP, there is a lot of information, books, blogs out there to offer this type of service. Maybe rethink your approach. Good luck on your venture.

I am sure you are right. The brokerage I hang my license with manages a lot of units. I don't think our PMs are adamant enough about this stuff or I would not see so much puce (yeah - seriously!) paint. We have a lot of people who live in their condo and rent instead of selling when they leave. They often think whatever paint/ finishes they liked will be great for a rental and we all know that isn't true. 

I would rather not deal with the day to day of tenants... did that for 12 years!  

Key word in my response, "SUPPOSED" to do! @Jennifer Koerner , you can start a PM company and hire qualified people to deal with the day to day. I think most people know that apartments need upgrades to be more marketable, but how long will $10K worth of cosmetic upgrades take to pay off? Sometimes it's better to lower the rent by a hundred bucks and find people who don't mind older stuff and avoid the expense.

Interesting idea. I see it working with a niche like owner operators who don't want a PM but need a little assistance. For these people they are usually pretty stubborn and won't ask for help until they get in trouble.

So a marketing play might be hang out at building court and offer your menu of services there. It's actually pretty clever what you propose. . Do you think you can get repeat clients or is it mostly one and done?

@Jennifer I think you are barking up the wrong tree.

Market to landlords who are at eviction court or have been cited for code violations. You may find an audience. Owner operators don't think like you think. You are consciously competent, and many OOs are unconsciously incompetent, delta of 2 means you won't connect. Therefore stick to infractions and litigation, where you add great value and can charge accordingly. @Nick Patterson is right on.