Posted 22 days ago Overcoming Landlord Anxiety It came by degrees. Perhaps you bought your first investment property, hung drywall, painted, laid flooring, tiled showers, replaced toilets. Whatever happens, it’s your hard work and money on the line. You identify the ideal tenants for your property, inform them their application has been accepted and set a date to review and sign the lease. At last the nagging discomfort, building ever since you purchased your property, peaks and you can’t stop your heart racing. You lay awake all night, wondering what you got yourself into. Even if you were well-prepared with paperwork prepared by a lawyer, you realize you feel like an imposter. The tenant is going to know you’re unprepared. They’ll laugh at you, take advantage of you. They’ll ask questions you can’t answer. You got so fixated on passive income and wealth building you forgot the process included managing people—people who, no matter what they say, don’t have your pride of ownership. At this point unanswered questions fly: Did I pick the right tenants? Why are these people renting? What do I do if they default their first full month? What if they sneak a pet monkey into the rental? You never actually considered eviction until you set the appointment to sign the lease. The thought of telling someone to pay or vacate sends hot sparks coursing through your blood. You’re a nice person, a hard-working, honest, diligent person, not Dog the Bounty Hunter! When fear threatens to overwhelm you, do these three things: 1. Affirm your choice to create financial freedom — Many of us confuse Passive Income with Financial Freedom. The two are closely related, and the latter is never found without the former, but, for most people, the passive part of income won’t arrive for many years after the journey to financial freedom began. You’ll have to work hard. Very little of your work in the beginning will feel passive, even if you use property management, because the investment will constantly crowd your mind. In the beginning your exposure to risk will ensure you never forget the possible consequences. Perhaps more than anything, the mental strain of building toward financial freedom derails investors. To prevent yourself from being the one who gives up, daily remind yourself why you began investing. Whether you’re tired of your 9-to-5, hate to break your back to make someone else wealthy, or simply want to free your time to labor at something you are passionate about, clear focus on your purpose will sustain you through doubt and anxiety. 2. Divide the task into manageable pieces — Let’s be honest. You shouldn’t be thinking about eviction the day you sign tenants. Lease signing should be the champagne-popping celebration. You screened dozens of applicants and selected the best. It’s the honeymoon. Enjoy it. You will face challenges with them. Every property, and every tenant presents challenges, some small, some gargantuan. But no matter the task, if you isolate what needs doing into manageable pieces, you’ll persevere while learning, growing and overcoming. Perhaps that ideal tenant does have a Mr. Hyde side and punches holes in your hollow core doors on a full moon. Maybe he constantly pays after the first, or sends you trash bags full of pennies as his rent payment. If you immediately panic and think about evicting your problem tenant, of course you’ll feel overwhelmed, but if you divide the task into small pieces, you’ll be surprised how simple the process becomes. For example: find a sturdy box; load the pennies in the box; pack them in your car; drive to the bank; ask the banker for a hand-truck; cart the pennies inside; ask the teller for a deposit form; wait for the coin sorter to perform its magic; (optional: fix a cup of coffee from the lobby percolator); retrieve the deposit receipt; check it against your rent (it matches, to the cent; marvel that anyone has time to gather that many pennies; prepare an addendum to your lease that requires payments by check or electronically, and refuse cash moving forward. When you separate daunting tasks into manageable parts, nothing is too difficult. 3. Ask for help from those who have gone before you — You’re here, reading blogs on BiggerPockets, so you already have a vast team of supporters. Don’t be afraid to sound unintelligent. We all started uninformed. The only way to gain the know-how is to ask questions and act. One pro tip that might benefit you—check the forums for answers before resorting to posting question. Often times, you’ll find someone has asked your question before. Give a vote to anyone who answered on another thread as an act of appreciation for their knowledge and generosity to help a fellow. Sometimes, you won’t find what you need. When that happens, post your question: read and reread your post before sending it. The forums are full of people who want to help, but we all share similar assumptions. If a question is unclear, we might share experience that doesn’t apply or worse, ignore the question entirely. Show others you’ve prepared by asking questions in the simplest terms. Reduce your needs to their essence. Then marvel at how generous the real estate investing community is. Anxiety No More Most new investors are astounded by the generosity of this community. Many have spent years or decades working in corporate America and are used to coworkers and bosses withholding important information that could help. You’re unlikely to find another community as ready and willing to share as real estate investors. So set aside your anxiety, resist your fear, and get involved. If you want to be financially free, you’ve found one of the best ways to get there, and with the help of a supportive community, you can divide any daunting task into manageable pieces. Enjoy your tenants as they deposit freedom into your bank account one month at a time.