Building a Real Estate Empire is a crazy, winding road. While you will always know your end goal, the path you take will probably never be the one you ever imagined. I know it certainly hasn’t been for us!
Three years ago, when we put our first short sale offer down on our first rental property in South Carolina, I NEVER would have imagined where we would be today. While we have been more successful then my wildest imagination, I would have fainted if you had told me that success found us with owning seven houses and living in Hanford, California (the one place I didn’t want to go). Or that I would I get bored and complete a 1031 for a family home turning the profit into three more awesome homes.
I am truly a landlord who is always learning. While we are more successful than I have EVER imagined, we learned quickly that we had to be firm, sometimes say, “no,” and stand our ground. This is a business and it must be treated as one. I learned very quickly that being a landlord is not for everyone and that you either sink or swim. The Break Lease clause was one of the biggest and earliest lessons that we learned. It taught me to get a great, STRONG lease together quickly and has been one of my biggest strengths with the deductible.
One of those first two tenants we ever had spent hours trying to convince me that a local “base transfer” mid tour fell under the SCRA . He wanted to break the SCRA and have me eat the cost of installing another tenant! Lets just say that the SCRA laws and I became VERY well acquainted. Once I showed him exactly where he was mistaken, I found out his true intentions: he had bought a home. Once his feet where held to the fire, he coughed up his break lease fee, but there were a few ulcer-inducing moments that happened first.
“Figure it out” has always been my middle name. Some might even add, “jaded, ” “harsh,” or “mean.” My methods do not work for everyone or every area, but they are what work for me! Some people may need to provide washer and dryers, offer pest control and lawn services or absolutely NOT allow pets because of the local laws. While these are ulcer-inducing moments for me, they add value and create a higher rent price.
I will be the first one to tell you that I am a jaded landlord. While I only own six rentals (7 houses) and manage ten, I am still a learning. I am blunt, jaded, and harsh. Sometimes I have to say I am sorry and retreat with my tail between my legs. I am still learning what it means to take care of my family and treat others how I wish to be treated while remembering this is a business. Unfortunately, who I am has been created by the business that I am in, and having to survive. Yet through it all I have persevered.
You might wonder if I would change if I had a chance to do it differently. Here’s the honest answer: I would NEVER go back! For all the bad days, there are even more good days. Day where I never hear a peep from my tenants and the passive income I am making today is unchangeable.
Don’t over analyze, jump in! Follow us here at Reluctant Landlord, sign up for the newsletter, and check back for an e-book launch this summer! While your experience will not be the same as mine, you can still make this life your own and reach your own goals.
What experience was the one that pinnacle to your current road?12