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Dee Allomong

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Landlord Circus

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Fellow Landlords and Property Managers,

Step Right Up for the

Landlord Circus!

About a year ago, my husband, Bob, and I became newbie landlords. We did not realize at the time the multiple talents required to successfully manage our new 4 plex and the tenants who occupy the rental units. We did not realize that we were joining the "Landlord Circus." Here are just a few of the talents we've acquired:

Tightrope Walker - As a landlord tightrope walker we must "walk the wire", maintaining balance between positive cashflow and implementing capital improvements on the rental property. We sometimes teeter, but we never waiver. We keep our eyes fixed firmly on the destination - not only to maintain the rental units, but to better them, providing excellent management for the current tenants and increasing the value for the future.

Fortune Teller - As the landlord fortune teller we must predict and budget for current and future property needs by using mysterious mathematical equations, regularly assessing the state of the property, and maintaining accurate historical records. The fortune teller is also responsible for identifying, screening, and selecting tenants who will be safe, responsible and who will be consistently pay their rent on time.

Juggler - As the landlord jugglee we must juggle our time between caring for our own residence and the rental property. We now have to manage the maintenance, lawncare, and finances of two properties. We must keep track of all of the balls that are in the air, being agile and dropping none.

Lion Tamer - As the landlord lion tamer, we must manage the relationships - tenants, neighbors, officials, and more. We've had to develop our ability to stand firm and to take control of heated situations - never showing a flicker of fear in our eyes.

Ring Master - As the landlord ring master, we must ensure legal compliance with the contracts involved in managing a rental property (leases, notices, applications, etc) and collect the rent. The ringmaster is the "master of ceremonies" and must coordinate all of the "acts" listed above, knowing when to shift attention from one "ring" to another, taking ownership of coordinating decisions and prioritizing our responsibilities.

We are fortunate to have onsite managers who assume some of the roles above and we only have to be involved in property management for one rental property. I have a great deal of admiration for the professional property managers who have the talent and professional team to manage rental investment properties for others and for those independent landlords who manage multiple units on their own (usually while still working their day job).

Let's Talk. How do you balance all of the talents and roles needed to manage your rental property? What roles did I miss? Share some of your "landlord circus" success tips.

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