Where does everyone advertise their vacancies? That was the million dollar question asked last week on our forum. The responses from landlords across the country are below (in no special order, just as they were shared): 

12 Places Where Landlords Advertise

 

  • Zillow
  • Zumper
  • Craigslist
  • Gosection8
  • Hot Pads
  • Trulia
  • MLS
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Facebook Groups
  • Apartments.com
  • AHRN
  • Homes.mil

Furnished Rentals for More Income

One landlord shared on our MrLandlord Q&A Forum how she has been able to develop and increase her rental income. She and her husband decided to try furnished short-term (or extended-stay rentals). Here’s what she had to say about her experience:  

“We bought a four-unit of two-bedroom apartments in a factory town that has a large hospital and periodic shutdowns for retooling. With the pandemic, we thought things were going to be tough for a while. We’ve been pleasantly surprised. We haven’t been at 100%, but we’ve rented to guys in town for a surveying job, a traveling nurse, a doctor waiting for his house to be built, and someone doing summer sales. When the place is full, we bring in almost four times the going rate for a vacant apartment. Expenses are higher (we pay the utilities), but not that much higher!

We seem to have unexpectedly stumbled on a niche. There are lots of single rooms for rent in people’s homes (everyone in town knows about the seasonal workers), but nothing for someone who wants a space of their own. So if you’re considering trying something short-term, it might be worth a try!”

Landlords: Use Your Time Wisely

Smart landlords and investors realize that the more they can streamline their business, doing less of the landlording tasks, the more they can focus on building their real estate portfolio.

With that in mind, a landlord started a discussion on our Q&A Forum with: “I’m trying to get more efficient in how I spend my time operating the landlord business. One key area is eliminating or reducing the amount of time I spend doing tasks that I can pay someone to do at a cost lower than the value of my time.” The landlord goes on to offer his suggestions for tasks that landlords could possibly streamline or hire out to assistants, virtual or otherwise to complete. Those tasks include:

* Contacting current and past landlords

* Contacting landlord references

* Verifying employment

* Checking Facebook

* Scheduling and following up on repairs

* Inside maintenance checks of properties during the year

One landlord summed it up by saying: “Landlords have ONE JOB–Make decisions.” Everything can be completed by someone else with a checklist.

Definitely do not spend your time collecting rent or going to pick up rents every month from the residents or from your P.O. Box. The entire time you could be doing something else. Instead use a service where the rent from your residents is deposited automatically and directly into your bank account each month.

Spend Your Time Where You Make the Most Money

A real estate investor briefly shared a recent personal story about how he understands the best usage of his time. He was sharing with another investor how he was missing out on bigger profits by doing stuff he could hire others to do.

“I buy the houses, which is the one thing I can’t hire out. I speak to the sellers calling on my ads. I hire out all the work on my houses. I don’t like working on houses anyway. I can hire that out cheaper than what I make. I have done the physical work in the past so I am capable of supervising. 

When you are working on a house, you are saving nickels and dimes and missing out on making real money by not running your handyman (“I buy houses”) ad all the time. You get home and you are tired so another day was wasted thinking how to save a buck. 

I bought a place at an auction with a partner, only because he was there and I don’t like having to bid against anyone else, so we did it together. The house needed to be cleaned out, the lawn needed mowing and it was being resold still needing work. My partner said that we could clean it out together and save money. I told him that he could work and I would hire someone to replace me at my cost. They spent three days and filled two dumpsters. The guy I hired cost me about $300. Meanwhile, I went and bought another house. I did the same thing and made $20,000. Spend your time where you make the most money.”

Ten Deadly Sins of Property Management

The following sins have caused a premature death to the cash flow of millions of landlords.

  1. Renting to friends and family – Robin, WI
  2. Not fully screening an applicant (credit, eviction, background checks) – Hammer, TN
  3. Renting to an applicant who has a bad attitude or is not cooperative – Sisco, MO
  4. Not viewing applicant’s current residence (or pet) before approving application – Sid, MO
  5. Turning over the keys before all move-in funds have been paid in full and cleared and utilities have been turned on in tenant’s name – Lisa, FL
  6. Having a weak rental agreement – Mark, MO
  7. Not conducting inspections of the rental – Robert J, CA
  8. Never raising rents until there is a turnover – Jeffrey, VA
  9. Delaying aggressive collection efforts on past due rents – Jim, CA
  10. Failing to adapt or modify your landlording strategies (but know your laws) – Brad, IN

How many sins have you committed? Change your ways before it’s too late, and sin no more!

Don’t Rent to Another’s Evictee

I read an article recently that highlighted how vital it will be in the next 30 to 60 days to be extremely careful to avoid renting to people who have just been evicted from another landlord (and didn’t pay the previous landlord for several months). Three big points I want to emphasize: 

1) The most obvious way to avoid renting to someone who was someone else’s recent nightmare is to check for any recent eviction. However, this may mean searching online for eviction and court records in your local jurisdiction and in the jurisdictions your applicant has lived.

2) Ask for proof of payment of rent for the last four months through bank statements or canceled checks. Do not fall for the line, “They were living with family and did not have to pay rent.”

3) Avoid anyone who has a judgment. Chances are they will be garnished at every job to which they apply, leaving them with less money to pay you rent.

 

The tips in this column are shared by regular contributors to the popular MrLandlord.com Q&A forum, by real estate authors and by Jeffrey Taylor, Founder@Mrlandlord.com. To receive a free sample of Mr. Landlord newsletter, call 1-800-950-2250 or visit their informative Q&A Forum at LandlordingAdvice.com, where you can ask landlording questions and seek advice of other landlords 24 hours a day.