Everyone has been a rookie at something at some point in their lives, whether it was in a new school, job, or sport — or even as a landlord.
Being a rookie means that you lack the experience of more seasoned players. This lack of experience often translates into so-called “rookie mistakes” because some things just have to be learned from experience.
Over the years, I have talked with many a rookie landlord. Many times these talks arise due to some sort of problem the rookie has encountered and they are now seeking advice to solve it. We more seasoned landlords tend to see these same rookie mistakes over and over again.
The Top 8 Mistakes Made by Rookie Landlords
The following are what I think are the top eight rookie landlording mistakes, and if you avoid them, you’ll be sure to have a higher chance of success!
1. Rookies Do Not Properly Screen Tenants
Tenant screening is perhaps the most important thing a landlord can do.
I see too many rookies take potential tenants at their word and forgo the full background check thinking it will save them time and/or money. Unfortunately, rookies just do not seem to have built up their BS detectors yet and believe what potential tenants tell them.
2. Rookies Do Not Treat Their Rentals as a Business
Rookies will co-mingle funds, lose receipts, and generally keep things unorganized.
Landlording is not a hobby. If you want to make money you have to treat landlording as a business. Otherwise those dollars will disappear and you will be left wondering where they went.
3. Rookies Accept the Sob Story
The first few time your tenant is late with the rent, I guarantee that you are going to get some kind of sob story.
Of course, being the nice person that you are you will want to let them slide a bit. After all, you don’t want to be a jerk, right? Wrong! Learn not accept the sob story. Rent is due when rent is due, and if you let things slide once, guess what you have taught them? Think about this. Will your bank or lender let you slide? Will the grocery store? No. Does that mean you can’t make an arrangement for exceptional circumstances? No — but you need to.
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