Dec 21

A member of the LandlordAssociationOrg Yahoo Group asked:

I’m considering investing in residential real estate and becoming a landlord. If I proceed down this path I would be inclined to buy a house rent it, learn, then buy a bit more every year. So I need some advice:

My inline reply

1. Is it a good idea?

I bought a duplex in December 1977 when I was 21, another in November 1978.  A couple in the spring of 1979 and a few more before that year ended. By May 1981 I had 70 units and quit my fairly good job. I have had a paycheck that did not bear my signature since.   Today we employee around 30 people in two states.

2. What do I need to know?

Everything you possibly can learn at someone else’s expense rather than making expensive mistakes yourself. 😉

Start with learning landlord tenant law and small business management.  Not knowing the law will cause you to fail.  Not thinking of this as a business will cause you to under perform and over work.

3. Any books or courses you recommend?

  •  Any books by John T Reed  that interest you.  They are the ones I wish I wrote.
  • The E-Myth by Michael Gruber
  • Landlording by Leigh Roberson
  • An oldie (first edition 1959)  but goody is How I Turned $1,000 Into a Million: In Real Estate in My Spare Time by William Nickerson.  It is not the path I took, but the principal is sound.

4. Any organizations I should join?

Any local landlord group or apartment association.  Try a few and see where you fit in best.  I attribute a lot of my success to being an active board member of the Apartment Association of Southeastern WI.  I have been on the board all but two years from 1989 to today.

Being active in the association you choose is the key as you will learn of  opportunity and risks  before most of the rest of the industry.  It will also speed up your learning of the laws that affect your business.

 

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