This article was posted on Wednesday, May 01, 2013

The beauty of real estate investing is that it is in your control. You decide what to buy, where, at what price.  Then, you rent to tenants of your choosing – ones who are good neighbors and caretakers of their homes. You pay all the expenses from the rent you receive, and have some money left over for reinvesting, savings and profits. But wait! that’s not what’s happening!

After the buying of the property, the rest is only fantasy. How did it get like this? Tenants do whatever they want and pay the rent when it suits them. Meanwhile, money for mortgages, taxes, insurance and repairs gets shorter and shorter. And forget about the savings and profit part.

Your investments are out of control. You may as well be invested in the stock market where you throw your money at a company and hope for good management. Real estate investing isn’t so beautiful, after all.

 Who’s in Charge?

Who is in charge here? If it’s your tenants, you and your investments are in deep trouble. 

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The disadvantage of rental property investing is that it is hands-on. You have to tend to it and watch over it.  If you can’t or won’t tend to it, you are better off with your money in a mutual fund.

The advantage of rental property investing is also that it is hands-on. It is entirely in your hands if you make any money at it.  There’s no one else to blame, no economy to complain about, no corporate management, only your decisions about how you handle it.  If you do what you’re supposed to do, if you take control of your rental property, you will turn a profit. If your tenants are in control, you’ll lose money and wake up every morning wondering, “What are they going to do to me today?”

How to Regain Control

Decide – right now -to take charge. Be committed. If you don’t or aren’t, you will never gain or regain control of your investments.

First, decide exactly what you want to happen. These are goals. They have to be written, specific, measurable and with a date by which they will be accomplished. 

So goal number one might be to have tenants who pay the rent on time and take care of the property in every rental unit. Another goal might be showing a 10 percent profit by the end of the year.  They are your goals, though, so it’s up to you to pick exactly what you want them to be.

Know the outcome, or result, you want. Model what works by looking at what other landlords do to make their investments work for them. You find other landlords in apartment and landlord associations. Be willing to change your approach as necessary to accomplish your goals. Finally, expect to succeed.

What right do bad and marginal tenants have to interfere with your investments? You invested the money and took the risks. It’s past time to take charge of your rental property investments once and for all.

Robert Cain has been publishing information, giving speeches and putting on seminars and workshops for landlords on how to buy, rent and manage property more effectively for over 15 years. Reprinted with permission.

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