Why is it so important to limit turnover among tenants? The average vacancy time in this country is at least 30 days, which means the average landlord is losing a month’s worth of rent. A typical scenario is: Res- idents move out and then you inspect, find things that need to be fixed, send an itemization of things that may have been damaged they are responsible for, deduct it from their deposit, and they go on their non-merry way. But then it takes a couple of weeks to fix the property, followed by another couple of weeks to fill the vacancy. Forget all that. Instead, offer them a bo- nus of $50 or $100 on top of the return of their deposit if they’ll cooperate to get the place rented by their last day of occupancy. So this gets back to the “cooperation history” and “cooperation potential” you referred to earlier? Exactly. Some landlords complain they’re not getting cooperation from their residents when they call to show the property. Many landlords don’t even want to deal with the hassle of commu- nicating with their current residents. That’s cutting into your cash flow. Let’s give residents an incentive and give them clear instructions. One, get the property in move-in condition even before they move out or as close to it as possible. I’ll even send a maintenance individual over to assist in the process. I also ask tenants to please be ready to say “yes” when I call to ask to show the property because this will help them get that bonus. And when I get there, they should be ready to say something positive about the neighborhood or the property because that also will help in the transition process. If you’ve got the cooperation of the current resident, it just makes your life so much easier.


property managers and apartment own- ers will add an administrative or leasing fee to the process. It may just be $50 or $100, but it’s adding to the income. What’s next for Mr. Landlord? I’m working on another book and continue to do trainings. I do two boot camps a year and a national landlord convention. I do a landlord retreat or cruise each year. We just opened up a whole new aspect of our website on It’s a section just for members with all kinds of audio trainings, video trainings, special re- ports, rental forms and other resources that can be downloaded on demand. •

How quickly should a property owner get the new tenant in place? Get the next person in within hours. There’s no deferred maintenance if you’ve taken time every six months to do a preventive maintenance check. With those gifts every year, I’m improving the property—maybe the carpet needs to be changed. Take care of things like painting, so when it’s time for the person to move, there’s very little to take care of. One of my management goals is to have the place filled within 72 hours, if not sooner. What coming trends should landlords prepare for? Two of the biggest trends I see are growing regulations and fees imposed by municipalities across the country— be ready to fight or pay more. Second, more landlords will receive more in- come from other sources than tradition- al rent. For example, some of the larger

BY SUSAN THOMAS SPRINGER Susan Thomas Springer is a regular freelance contributor to Think Realty Magazine. Contact her at

64 | think realty magazine | mar :: apr 2016

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