and applying the concepts to the land- lording business. What did you wish you knew then? First, there is much to learn beyond landlording that affects your bottom line, such as how to run a business with policies, procedures and checklists; communication skills; psychology in working with people; marketing and salesmanship; landlord-tenant and fair housing laws; and team building to get and keep the right people. Also, I don’t know if it’s human nature or just me being naïve, but I had not realized that a small percentage of individuals can look you straight in the face and say something they know is not the truth. If you’re running this like a business, if you keep getting caught by that 5 percent, it can kill your cash flow and literally get you out of the business. What information should landlords check about potential tenants? When landlords talk about “running a background check,” it involves a lot more than simply checking credit. It means screening and verifying aspects of each applicant including income, income history, rental history, crimi- nal history, social media and more. I encourage landlords to take it a step further and look at cooperation history and cooperation potential. Is it difficult to find that background information? Regarding criminal


by Susan Thomas Springer


r. Landlord, as Jeffrey Taylor is known, is the resource for

place where landlords can connect with other rental owners and receive answers and support whenever they need it, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Ninety percent of my audience owns rental property. The vast majority—up to 70 percent to 80 percent—are do- it-yourself landlords who own up to 50 rentals. They are men and women (close to a 50-50 breakdown), average age span 25 to 65, often very indepen- dent types (sometimes to a fault) who do much—if not all—of the landlording tasks themselves and who are learning through trial and error. When you became an accidental landlord 30 years ago, how did you educate yourself? At first, my wife, Dot, and I made many mistakes. I knew I’d run out of money fast and wouldn’t be able to hold on to my properties. So I start- ed searching for every piece of scarce information I could find and attended any

landlords eager to learn best practices from his 30 years of experience. Taylor says he reaches more do-it-yourself rental owners than any other company through his numerous publications, trainings and website. Based in Virginia, Taylor has written several books and offers a weekly Rental Owner Update and monthly newsletter providing insight on current topics. Think Realty contributing writer Susan Thomas Springer interviewed him recently to get his valuable insight into this area of the real estate investing space. We teach, train and motivate rental property owners to achieve maximum income from their property, take control and reach greater success. Also, we connect landlords to needed services including screening, rent collection, insurance, legal rental forms, tenant debt collection, discounts on rental supplies, management software, virtual property assistants, property managers and more. So, a repository of just about anything a do- it-yourself landlord might need to know. Yes, we are a much-needed source, especially our Q&A forum on our web- site, This is one SUSAN THOMAS SPRINGER How does your business help landlords? JEFFREY TAYLOR

seminar to learn what would help me survive and

reports, in a lot of states now, the information is public so landlords can pull it up online, and it might not be necessary

be successful. We attended trainings on

various aspects of business and started taking ideas from other successful businesses

to pay for a criminal background search. You can find out information now in less

62 | think realty magazine | mar :: apr 2016

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