Category Archives: Property Management

The home butcher shop

The home butcher shop

I want to share a story about tenant vs landlord communication.  When you lease your property it is very important that both parties are clear about the intended use.

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In this story it appears the tenant lacked some common sense and caught the landlord of guard.  This is not my story, but it happened to a close friend (we will call her Jane).  I was asked what I would have done in the situation, and I have to say I was at a loss for words.

You see Jane had a single family home, rented to a family (the Clampetts).  The house is located on a very busy street.  The Clampetts were long term tenants and paid the rent (mostly on-time).

There were some red flags leading up to the incident, things like a lot of junk, like old trailers, cars, boats, and miscellaneous stuff around the yard.

Nothing prepared my Jane for what was about to happen this one particular day.

You see the papa Clampett somehow secured a full beef cow.  He decided he would butcher the cow in the front yard.  I guess in their defense, there was a great tree with a limb strong enough to hang a cow.

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As I mentioned this house was located on a very busy street.  Imagine driving by papa Clampett covered in blood holding a chainsaw, cutting up a huge body hanging from a tree.

Blood and guts everywhere.  Many people knew who owned the property, so the calls started coming in.

Jane did not know what to think, it was one of those things where you are in shock, then realize, you need to take action.

She was not sure what the laws were around such an event.

She decided the bast thing to do would be to make a phone call, so she did.

Papa Clampett answered the phone and explained how they had an opportunity to get this cow, but had to act fast.

He apologized for all the commotion, and said he was almost finished cutting it up, and would not do it again.

The big question is, did this tenant violate his lease agreement.  That could be debated, however, common sense would state, this was a poor judgement call on the part of papa Clampett.

Municipal, town and city by-laws generally require all residents to abide by current laws, rules and by-laws (applies to tenants and owners).

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Most residential communities have by-laws in place that specifically mention the guidelines around back yard slaughter, urban farmers,  and back yard butchers.  There has been a lot of recent media about people wanting to keep chickens in urban areas.

It also may cross over into the rules around food safety and handling.

What makes this situation unique, is that it was a one off case.  The Clampetts never butchered any other animals in the yard after that day.

To answer the question of what I would have done, would likely have been what Jane did.  Confronted the issue, and receive assurance from the tenant that it would never happen again.

The house was in a location that had by-laws in place prohibiting the actions of the tenant.

The overall lesson is to make sure to always stay close to knowing what is happening at your properties, either by a personal weekly drive by, or having someone else do it.

Also when you are going over the lease agreement with a new tenant, It is good practice to go over the rules of the neighborhood. Although cow butchering in the front yard may not come up.

If you want a manual full of stories like this, along with tips and tricks to run your properties efficiently, CLICK THIS LINK

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Do you have a property management question or story?  If you do reach out.  Don’t be shy

rats never give up

rats never give up, or do they eventually.

I want to share a story, that lead to rat education for me and my tenant of a single family home I had rented to a couple.

I recieved a call one hot July day, that there was a rat sighting in the house.  The tenants seemed upset about the situation.

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I went to the house and set some traps.  It was about a week later, I recieved another call from the tenant.  She said there was a foul odar coming from the closet that holds the water heater.

I paid a visit and found a decomposing rat in one of the traps I set.

There I am on a hot July day day standing in the kitchen of this house with a dead rat in a trap, and I notice maggots falling on the floor.  Fortunately I had cleaner, paper towel and a garbage bag, so I was able to quickly clean up the maggots that were squirming around on the kitchen floor.

About two months went by, and another call came in.  Yes, you guessed it, another rat sighting.

This time I called in an expert for some help.  I called a professional exterminator, that I have used before.   He came out and set up some poison traps.

I asked him to survey the property and make recommendations on how I can prevent rats from entering the house.

He made some recommendations, and showed me some spots around the foundation / crawl space, that he thought they might be getting in.  I had my handyman come out and seal up areas, that were of concern.

He also mentioned rats do not like change.  He said to move things around in the crawl space basement.  That might be enough to have them leave.

He also pointed out how destructive rats can be.  They can eat through pretty much any material.  Not even metal can stop them, if they want to enter a building.

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He also suggested items, I needed to address with the tenant.

I thanked him, them I met with the couple renting the house, and told them what the exterminator said.

You see, this couple was not big on lawn mowing, so the first thing the exterminator suggested was to keep the grass cut short.  I also had to talk to them about the overflowing garbage cans (apparently they missed garbage day).

The good news, is that, this situation happened a few few years back, and I have not had any rat issues since (with this property).

Have you had any hard to deal with rodant problems?

I wrote a whole chapter on the subject.  Chapter 10 in my book.

If you would like a copy, click this link.

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Landlord by Design – Complete Guide to Residential Property Management

Is Your Property on a Bed Bug Registry?

If you have had to deal with bedbugs in one of your rental properties, I am sure it was a stressful and costly situation.

It seems like there are times when the media makes it seem like the world is infested with the critters.

The reality is,  that you will likely have to deal with atleast one bedbug issue in your landlording career.

The important thing to do is to not over react, and follow a process, put in place by professionals.

If you do hire “professionals” make sure to ask for referrals and get a written warranty.

Make sure they will be doing things like removing switch plate covers, putting plastic covers over matresses.

You will also need cooperation from your tenant.  All clothes, towels, bedding etc. will need to be washed in hot water, dryed on the hottest dryer setting and placed in plastic bags.

If you or your tenant choose to keep any furniture, it will need to be bagged, cleaned and sprayed.

Here are some preventative measures:

Enter the tenants current address into a bedbug registry like the one you can link to in this post.

Bed Bug Registry Link

If you are dealing with tenants coming from known areas, properties, or countries with bedbug problems ask lots of questions.

Make sure your tenants are not picking up furniture on the side of the road and bringing it directly into their rented space.

It is also not necessarily a problem for the poor.  Many people believe that it can only happen in C class buildings.

Here is a reality check.  A well off traveller could come from a country with bedbugs on their clothes.  Then stay in an expensive hotel room.  The next day your well off tenant could stay in that room and pick up the bedbugs.

You may not have your guard up and just let them move in.  A couple nights later, they are complaining and freaking out at you.  You could be blamed.

The challenge is, that many times the person who may bring the bedbugs in, will not have the funds or willingness to take responsibility for the cost of extermination.

The job and expense will be put on you, the landlord.

If it affects more than one unit, you may also be picking up the tab for extermination in several units.

That can get expensive, and if they are not exterminated correctly, they may come back.  They often lay eggs in places like behind switch plates or in crevices of furniture.

If you are curious, enter the address of your properties in the search section of this website (or similar) http://bedbugregistry.com/about/

I want to note that this site and others like it, will probably not be able to verify the posted information.  The information is posted based on the honor system (so, get all the facts before you make any accusations). – Bed Bug Registry

Also check the dates on when the information was posted.

At the end of the day, I hope you never have to deal with bedbugs, but if you do, I hope this post helps.

If you want other great information about managing properties and being a landlord, hop on over to Amazon.com and get a copy of our book.

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Is it expensive to write a book?

Did you ever dream about writing a book?  Is it expensive to write a book?

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I did, and on September 22, 2016 it want live on Amazon.  It was an amazing feeling.

It all started a couple of years before when I started a blog about property management.  As a real estate investor, I noticed that even though property management is an important part of owning properties, I could not find very much non-biased information about managing my  properties.

I met with a marketing friend one day and he suggested I turn the blog posts into a book.  I told him I did not have time, and did not want to commit the financial resources and money to a book at this time.

My friend bugged me for several weeks and I finally agreed to take on the project.  It was a lot more work then I anticipated, and cost more than I expected, but well worth the time and money.

How much does it cost you ask?

I have to say that depends.  You see book writing has several components.

#1  The book – which can be as simple as words on a word document stapled together. – This is the cost of time, or known as opportunity cost.

#2 Writing coach – this could be a friend offering encouragement, or an experience author consulting on how if you should self publish, the layout, what you want to achieve by writing the book and maybe even a shoulder to cry on, when you feel like giving up.  I would count on $1000 to $$$$.

#3 The cover – could be as simple as a hand drawn cover on cardboard or a gig on Fiverr.  Approximate cost $10 – $$$$$

#4 Art work – If you plan on having some pictures or drawings, you will need to hire an artist or pay for the rights to use certain pictures.  I would count on approximately $100 – $$$$

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#5 Editing – you could edit the book yourself or hire someone .  Approximate cost $1000 – $$$$$

#6 Book design / layout and format – you could figure out how to format for Kindle, Create Space or wherever you plan to print and display your book – Click here.  Approximate cost $500 – $$$$

#7 Inventory – if you plan to sell physical copies, you will need to order and buy some.  Usually a minimum order, approximately $250 – $$$

#8 Marketing & promotion – this can cost zero to unlimited.  At the very least I would count on $500 plus, even if you are just going to publish on Kindle and have a basic book launch.

#9 Pod cast, speaking events, videos – Building a brand as an expert, you will need to either make or become a guest on several pod casts, real estate events, video blogs, other blogs.  You will likely have to offer your speaking services for free (until you build a brand people will pay for).  The more you share your story, the more people will know you, and want to buy a book to feel connected to you and find out all about what you have to offer.

#10 Website or blog – you could use a template word press website (like this one).  If you buy your own domain and make the website including hosting, approximate cost $300 – $$$$

I have read many articles about how inexpensive it is to write a book, however, I have never met an author (I am not saying they do not exist) that has spent less than a few thousand dollars on building and marketing a book.  I do not have a ton of market research, however, I would count of somewhere around $10000 plus if you want to buy yourself a spot as a best seller, or enter into award competitions, basically if you want your book to be financially successful.

Can you do it on a budget, yes you could do a Kindle book and not promote it for pretty cheap.

I would argue if you are looking to help people, what is the point of a book that nobody reads.

What I have come to realize is that whoever spends the most on marketing and promotion usually has the greatest success.

please leave comments below about your personal experiences.

 

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If you are a property manager, real estate investor, or own / manage any income properties, I hope you will download or order my book, read it, and write an honest review on Amazon.com

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The most important member of my team

Thank You

Today, I was asked the question of if I were to start over, who is the first and most important person you would ask to join your team?

That was a tough question to answer, and really made me think about all the great people that helped and still are helping with our business.  I decided I would post the acknowledgement section of my book in a post.  I could likely write a book on how each one helped, is still helping, or how great they are in skill and most importantly character.

I believe in business you do not need to know how to do everything, you just need to surround yourself with the best and brightest people.

So here it is, please feel free to reach out if you would like a more personalized reference, if you chose to use any of the services from these people:

I want to recognize some of the great people who have helped me get to where I am today. It might have been through a business association, or a shoulder to cry on, when I had a tough day.I am so grateful to have met the following people.

These are all very special business people. Make sure you check out the websites of some of the folks who played a supporting role in my business.

The first shout out might be obvious, that’s to my wife, Shelly Currie. She’s also my property management/landlording partner. It’s so amazing that I was able to find someone to share my business and life with. Thank you, Shelly for joining me on this amazing journey.

I want to shout out to our business partner and vice-president of The Fort Nova Group (our real estate investment company), Michael Thibeau.

I want to thank my dad, Don Currie and stepmother, Maureen Currie, who on more than one occasion have stepped in to help with various property management and cleaning jobs. Sometimes, we need all the help we can get to meet tight timelines.

Stefanie McDonald – has assisted me with some challenging tenant issues, and has provided me with amazing business advice: Halifax Paper Hearts – stefanie@halifaxpaperhearts.com

Egon Wallet – Palm Beach Properties – Egon has supported my real estate investing career and introduced me to Richard Payne’s real estate investing group. wallet_egon@hotmail.com

Richard Payne – Keller Williams Realty – Multifamily investor and founder of The Halifax Real Estate Investors Meetup group – richard@richardpayne.ca, Richard@invictaproperties.ca

Scott Bentley and Igor Geshelin – The Bentley Group at Premiere Mortgage Centre.  These two are responsible for finding the cash for all our projects. www.thinkBENTLEY.com

Patrick Johnston – serial entrepreneur, motivator –  patrickmjohnston@gmail.com

Nick Harvey – always there for advice, very knowledgeable about the power of positive thinking. Realtor, property manager, founder of HRM real estate meet up nick.harvey@century21.ca

Selby Gossett – a realtor who knows how to hustle and gets deals done sgosset@remax-valley.com

Gail Boudreau – a realtor who is always ready to serve and who always goes above and beyond
boudreaug@sutton.com

Christian Thibaudeau – Founder of ABC Property Management Ltd. – A key property and project manager. My eyes on the ground – 902-247-5918

Christian and Kim Thibaudeau: TCK Enterprises Ltd. Project and Investment property Consultants –  tckenterprisesltd@gmail.com

Keith Dexter – Serial entrepreneur, business mentor – makes complicated business problems look easy – kdexter@helmco.ca

Randy Stevens – Real estate investor, mentor – makes real estate investing look easy – jdrstevens@estlink.ca

John Copp – serial entrepreneur and friend – thank you for pushing me out of my comfort zone many times – john@creativecurvemedia.ca

Garnet Brooks – Lawyer, Internet marketer – the person who encouraged me to start a blog, and takes care of all our legal work. garnet@entrepreneurlaw.ca

Ian Knowles – General Contractor – let’s just say we have both been through a lot together – kconconstructionltd@hotmail.com

Edwin Maremont – Kore Construction, real estate entrepreneur – always there for advice and willing to help when I have serious maintenance issues – emarmont@gmail.com

Alex Jacobsen – Home Inspector – always ready to help – alex@novaspec.ca

Eric Wier – electrical contractor, we’ve run some serious wires together – erico.energy@live.com

John Pace – Pace Plumbing, always on call for us, no matter how busy they are: 902-477-4633

Derek Kaye – Internet Marketing guru – thank you for helping me navigate and open my eyes to networking, plus motivating me to write and publish this book: info@pushandpullmarketing.com

Kyla Cormier – Spiritual advisor – need I say more? kylacormier@hotmail.com

Drew MacQuinn – Hypnotist, meditation/mindfulness expert halifaxmindfocused@gmail.com

Tim and Brynn Blais – entrepreneurial power couple tim@gatewaybusinessbrokers.ca

Ed Nix – Insurance broker and educator of all things insurance enix@bellandgrant.com

Corey Poirier – Thank you for your encouragement, and for helping me to promote this book. http://thepassioncure.com/ https://youtu.be/TLBvm3DWgBU

Paul McInnis – Thank you for being a great sounding board for my sensible real estate investing ideas. pmacinnis@kes.ns.ca

David Campbell – Commercial real estate investor as well as auto repair and sales and business mentor e.harrington@hotmail.com

In addition, all the other people who played supporting roles in our real estate journey.

I cannot thank you enough.

The book launch is on September 22, 2016