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Posted about 11 years ago

$100 Expense Reduction Challenge

Hopefully you've decided to join other BP members and the community in trying to reduce your expense by $100 per month per rental property. I'm offering a $20 Home Depot gift card to the first 10 people who can produce documentation of their $100 savings.


Here's a list of the ideas and suggestions you might try. Remember the goal is to a) deliberately create savings, and b) boost your NOI by reducing expenses.


If you're looking for great maintenance tips, check out .


1. Install a faucet aerator - This device takes 1 minute to install, costs less than $4, and can easily save $100 in water and water heating expenses.


2. Challenge your property taxes - Nice article by discusses why it's profitable to .


3. Trim your insurance premiums -There is a lot you can do to reduce landlord insurance premiums. Don't accept them as fixed expenses.


4. Install an on-site key box to help locked out tenants - When a tenant gets locked out, I simply tell them the code and they let themselves in - putting the key back afterwards. I then change the code after every use. This tip has saved me hours hassle.


5. Cut Your Phone Bill - Switch to a Wi-Fi based voice-over-internet phone (VOIP)


6. Install an artificial lawn and save money on your water bill and lawn maintenance.


7. Varnish/paint/refinish hardwood flooring and get rid of carpet and vinyl.


8. Install floating vinyl plank flooring instead of carpet or vinyl. It's a DIY project any easy to repair years later.


9. Switch out incandescent light bulbs for CFLs or LED bulbs. These bulbs have longer useful lives and use much less energy.


10. Reduce lease up time by:

a) Adding one unique feature to capture applicant's imagination.

b) Offer departing tenant $10/showing to keep their place clean and $100 if their unit gets leased before their departure.


11. Reduce insurance premiums by modifying policy to cover actual cash values (ACV) instead of replacement values (RV).


12. Shelter more cash flow by using a Cost Segregation Study to help you accelerate depreciation for personal assets and catch up on past years.


13. DIY garbage collection - Supply and maintain your own bin.


14. Install a Ratio Utility Billing System (RUBS) that allows you to measure and back bill tenants for their pro rata share of water, gas, electricity, etc.


15. Install Solar Panels -

Here are two articles discussing a new initiative from Honda where they are offering a really great deal to customers of new solar installations:


Honda makes very favorable financing available to new installation customers thus making your upfront cost zero or near zero.


16. Day Cleaning - Save electricity by having janitorial staff clean during the day. No need to have lights on after work hours.



17. Heat costs are a big factor. I've eliminated all oil heat, either by selling the properties or converting to natural gas or heat pump. Natural gas here is 60% cheaper than oil, very big savings in the cold Northeast.


18. In multi-family buildings I've eliminated common furnaces and boilers, and hot water heaters and have had the tenants pay for there own heat and hot water, mostly by installing new gas equipment and separate meters. 


19. In all the multi-unit building I've replaced older 3 & 5 gallon toilets with 1.5 gallon flush toilets, to reduce the amount of water consumed in each building. Savings so far thousands of gallons.





Comments (9)

  1. changed out insurance companies. American Modern, not an endorsement by the way as I have no idea how well they pay out, but saved me $hundreds per month.

  2. All of my tenants pay their own utilities (sfr). I did get a service for $20 that uses an old Magicjack and Google voice for my home phone,over 1 1/2 years so far, no monthly charge. Changed out ins. co's, refinancing, swapping out central heat in my home for individual room heaters (99% efficient and no heating where it's not needed).

    1. Charles Morgan thanks for contributing! Please expand on: "changed out ins" "co's" Thanks

  3. Live this list. I will have to save this list for when I actually become a landlord in the very near future.

  4. Always think out of the box !! good article Al !!

    1. Thanks Carlos U! I'm trying to be a Big Expense Looser like Deborah B. I'm hot on the trial of eliminating my natural gas bill for my eightplex's hot water heater. The bill averaged $100/month in 2012. I'll report back once I pull off the deed. Carlos, are you ready to take the $100 Expense Reduction Challenge? It's scary to put yourself out there but you'll be surprised at what you'll find when you really start looking.

  5. Love the $per showing. I have a small waiting list for a house available next month and have been a little concerned about how the tenant will handle that. He's a great guy but he has his own problems...

    1. Deborah B. please walk us through the process of how you created a waiting list? Start at the top and please don't use any fancy words :^) I want to hear the whole story. Thanks

  6. Great list! I never thought about installing faucet aerators before.