According to Eghan, the perfect landlord needs to be…
1. Confident and charming like James Bond
Just like James Bond, landlords need strong people skills and to conduct themselves with confidence. When you’re a landlord, you’re running a business, and any successful business relies on excellent customer service and the ability to deal with people well. Simply put: if you’re not a people person, you won’t like being a landlord. Plus, at times you will have to make unpopular decisions and stand behind them, so the more positive your relationship with your tenants beforehand, the less pushback you will encounter.
2. Organized like Martha Stewart
I cannot stress the importance of organization enough. The majority of landlords also have full-time jobs, so it’s really important that they be organized and efficient. Take finding a tenant, for example: there are many steps in this process which, if you are not organized, you can easily end up doubling or tripling your work. You have to prepare the unit, take pictures, create a listing, advertise, pre-screen and then schedule showings. Then once you have collected the rental applications, you have to investigate and verify their income, previous landlords and credit, and eventually select your new tenant. Imagine doing all of this on top of working forty hours a week!
3. Handy like Mike Holmes
I’m not nearly as skilled as Mike Holmes, but I have grown to feel confident in handling minor repairs and small DIY projects. Tasks like changing locks, fixing leaky toilets and unclogging drains are little common jobs that have to be done. A big part of landlording is being proactive. You can’t wait for minor issues to turn into major repairs, so you should inspect your property every four months. I know this doesn’t happen with most landlords, but it should! You can save a lot of time and money if you catch a problem in the beginning stages.
4. Wise like Oprah
Tenants are often highly protected by the law, and landlords must be wise and abide by the rules. There are so many new landlords with little to no experience. They don’t know the rules and try to learn as they go, which can cause problems. Don’t get me wrong, new landlords are going to run into problems… that’s a given! But trying to limit the number of mistakes by educating yourself? It’s your best chance to be successful. Without the right knowledge, you will shoot yourself in the foot and eventually lose your tenants’ trust.
5. On-call like Anderson Cooper
This is one to really consider before you decide to become a landlord: you are always going to be on-call to your tenants — no matter what time, day or night. In case of an emergency, you should be reachable and have a flexible schedule. Be a responsive landlord. Don’t give tenants the impression that you’re just a voicemail box. That said, late-night calls are usually emergencies, and at times these situations can be prevented. You’ll kick yourself if you get an emergency 2 a.m. call from your tenants about an issue you could have fixed last time you were by their place.