Primary Blog/Landlording

Landlording 3 Parts...

Are You a DIY landlord?!

1. Property > 2. Tenant > 3. Management

Part 1: Property₁

As a DIY landlord, your property will be vital to your success. It can either help make your job easier or be the cause of much pain.

The point I want to make here is to consider what type of tenants your property attracts.

I learned this lesson when I was Military Police. On base, we served high-caliber military personnel, which helped make my job easy—there's a significant difference between policing on base and off base. Similarly, as a landlord, you want to serve high-quality tenants because they are easier to deal with, and you need to understand this concept to be successful in the long run. The property and its location are critical!

Better rentals will attract better tenants, making it easier for you to manage your property.

The property is foundational to your overall Landlording experience.

As a private landlord, it's crucial to maintain high standards, as settling for lower standards will eventually cause you to fail. Embracing low standards perpetuates lousy behavior, such as taking shortcuts. As the landlord, the more you get into the habit of mediocrity, the more you'll reinforce quick fixes, which makes you more comfortable with subpar results, ultimately impeding your ability to win long-term.

Focus on strategic approaches aimed at overachieving. Even if you fall short, you'll still get desirable results.

We want good tenants, and we know the property (and its location) is what they want. It's standard to have a safe area, good schools, jobs, shopping, etc. But you also want to go beyond that. So investing in low-maintenance curb appeal, hard flooring, stainless appliances, good kitchen and bathrooms, etc, are all a good idea. This gives you an edge in a competitive market. You don't have to over-renovate, but it needs to encourage good tenants to want to call the place "home."

And never let your rentals fall into disrepair. Deferred maintenance, shabby repairs, weird properties, and anything funky scare away good tenants. If you can really embrace this thought process—the property is #1—it will help you critically investigate your rental property before you look outwards.

Just like not every neighborhood is suitable for landlording...

  • A-Class: RICH
  • C-Class: BLUE-COLLAR
  • D-Class: HOOD

...Not every property is suitable for renting.

If you don't realize this, you'll be quick to blame tenants or management techniques; all the while, the property is secretly to blame.

It's just like any other venture: know what you're getting into...

Suppose you want to be a teacher. What kind of kids would you prefer to teach? Underserved unruly public school kids or well-behaved, cooperative, private school kids. No matter the teacher, high stress and low job satisfaction will lead to burnout.


Suppose you were planning to build a house. Before starting construction, you'd first carefully consider all factors involved and if you could afford it. No matter how good your builder is, you'll face embarrassment and shame when you fail to complete the house due to your oversight.


Suppose you want to get into professional racing. You wouldn't expect to be good or attract fans if you had a 'lemon' for a car? No matter who the driver is, you can't win any races with the wrong vehicle, and eventually, you'll give up or crash.

Don't expect to make a miracle happen if you overlook the significance of selecting the appropriate property. Property management can't fix the wrong property in the wrong location.

📘 That's why I made my Ideal Rental Criteria Checklist. It has 'deal breakers' that I stay away from, along with a list of all the 'nice perks' I look for to help attract good tenants.

⚠️ Quick tip: Don't buy just because something is cheap—there's no 'right' price for the 'wrong' property.

Last thing, take my word for it: I enlisted in the military and learned hard lessons when deployed to the Middle East—serious talk. You can't get back lost time. So, don't make shortsighted decisions that'll cost you in the long run.☠️

Part 2: Tenant₂

What do you think your number one priority is?

Avoiding bad tenants?


Attracting good tenants?

When faced with two crucial objectives. You have a priority conflict. You've heard the saying, "Kill two birds with one stone."

When faced with two equally pressing aims, such as avoiding bad tenants and attracting good tenants, finding a way to get both for the price of one is what we're shooting for here.

So, where do you aim then?

❎ Bad tenants 🎯

Yep, that's the secret spot! Aim at taking out the bad tenants; if you hit the mark, you take out both objectives at once. In essence, repelling poor-quality occupants ultimately facilitates acquiring desirable ones, thus solving multiple concerns simultaneously.

The problem is...

When landlords get too attached to getting a tenant, they become emotionally involved and make mistakes or break the rules. It's weird; it's like they stop using their brain.

The solution is...

When landlords release their desire to get a tenant and aim to 'repel' bad tenants, they shift their focus away from actively seeking out tenants and instead prioritize what it takes to deter undesirable ones. This allows landlords to think more objectively and strategically.

The beauty is...

When landlords change their mindset, they can more easily concentrate on rejecting bad applicants who do not meet specific criteria, thereby reducing the risk of placing subpar renters. As a result, landlords are more likely to attract reliable and responsible tenants who respect the terms of the lease agreement, resulting in fewer issues and overall success for all parties.

Plain Vanilla Business

I call it the "Plain Vanilla Business" advantage! It's when a small-time landlord operates like a professional management business and has that expert look and feel. If you do this right, you scare away bad tenants and attract good ones, meaning it's easier for you to keep long-term residents.

This helps prevent negative outcomes such as dealing with unwanted tenants. By operating like a professional management business rather than a small-time landlord, one gains a level of expertise and credibility that makes them less susceptible to bad actors. This approach involves avoiding eagerness and making decisions based on logic and common sense rather than immediate financial gain.

The ultimate goal is to create a strong defensive strategy against potential problems, allowing the landlord to win tenant-landlord battles before they even begin. Being proactive in this manner reduces the likelihood of encountering difficult situations and minimizes risks associated with poor-quality tenants.

Fortified Rental Operation

As a landlord, you need to give off a hard-target vibe. When you create a perception of strength and preparedness, it serves as a deterrent to would-be bad renters from even wanting to apply.

Why do you think the US isn't attacked by its enemies? The reason is because of its military might. The same kinda thing goes for home defense. The house that usually gets robbed is the one without a watchdog, security alarm, fence, motion lights, cameras, etc.

As a landlord, the way you list your property online is the same thing. Do you present yourself as a hard target? When you show the property, do you demonstrate expertise and professionalism? Do you have a thorough screening process, website with FAQs, detailed lease, a professional email/number, etc.

As a landlord, you want to broadcast yourself as a professional and challenging adversary to lawbreakers. This practice discourages bad renters while encouraging responsible and reliable tenants to apply. Ultimately, fortifying your rental operation decreases the likelihood of facing legal disputes, costly damages, and evictions, leading to greater success and profitability overall.

Tenant Screening Hard-Target

If you fail to carry yourself like a professional, or they sense weakness, like sharks to blood, you could quickly be encircled. Yep, bad tenants are crafty and deploy all kinds of skims, e.g., fake documents, false references, lies, etc. When placing a tenant, remember:

  • ​Be patient and don't let tenants rush you. Yes, we don't want vacant properties, but the risk of placing a bad tenant is too great. It can be catastrophic if you end up with a deceptively evil tenant or squatter situation.​
  • ​​Sometimes bad tenants try to use deadlines as a ploy to bypass a thorough screening process. You never know if they are getting evicted and are trying to hop on over into your rental before the court finalizes their eviction. Err on the side of caution and be skeptical. You know the saying, trust but verify.​
  • ​​​Part of being patient is being prepared financially. You must be in a position of strength, i.e. be able to afford to wait. If you don't have enough reserves to cover the mortgage you open yourself up to mistakes. You could become tempted to cut corners and make excuses just to hurry up and get a tenant so you have rental income to pay your bills—big mistake.
  • ​Ensure all adults 18+ apply. This means they all need to pay the application fee—just don't overcharge—look up the maximum amount allowed in your city/state (same goes for security deposits and early termination fees).​
  • As the landlord, you hold a responsibility to identify each occupant residing within the premises. Be on the watch for deceptive tactics employed by dishonest applicants; you don't want a "parent" helping their "kid" fool you...
  • ​For instance, a parent may attempt to conceal the fact that their child is an adult by omitting them during the screening procedure. Then, you could potentially have an unvetted person living in your rental while the parent lives somewhere else.
  • ​If you find out someone is lying, that could mean they are untrustworthy. There is no legal document that can protect you from a thief. Do not do business with crooks.

📗 This is all laid out in my Tenant Screening Handbook. It has all the steps I take to get good tenants. It contains valuable insights to help ensure reliable and trustworthy tenants—dialed in to eliminate bad tenants.🎯

Part 3: Management₃

This section consists of three parts:

1. Real Freedom
2. Real Freedom Fight
3. Self-Service Property Management

1. Real Freedom ✅

Beginning with a broad perspective, let me introduce the notion of genuine freedom, a concept I like to call 'REAL' Freedom. This concept encompasses both external factors and internal constraints.

So, for anyone to achieve Real Freedom doing something they need to know how to mitigate external risks and strengthen themselves internally to overcome challenges.

To convey my message, allow me to illustrate using the analogy of open-water swimming. Sure, people can swim in the ocean at their own risk, but to succeed and have Real Freedom doing it, you need to be strong in those two parts:

External - Doing the open water swimming out in the elements, and...

Internal - Becoming the open water swimmer (mentally and physically).

Consider how empowering and reassuring it would be to excel in both domains as a landlord; that’s precisely what I mean.

🗽True liberty: imagine being fully competent and confident in the craft of landlording; think of the peace you'll have; that's what I'm talking about when I say "Real Freedom" (it's true freedom as a landlord).

2. Real Freedom Fight ✅

Before delving into matters related to property management, I must point out the collective engagement we have here in this Skool community. The objective is Real Freedom, and we strive to 'Fight' for it because it's worth it...

In this Skool community, our goal is to get Real Freedom. Inside, we have three essential components: they are mindset, team, and work, and hereby known collectively as the Real Freedom Fight 🛡 ⚔️ 🏰

Before we join the battlefront, Let's examine each component briefly:

#1 Mindset

Working on yourself. Part one of the Real Freedom Fight is mental toughness and being resolute.

  • Side note: my farsighted mindset is why I started, and my mantra, 4DELTA—represents the "Forever Difference." The numeral "4" signifies forever, and the Greek letter "Delta" denotes a changing effect, e.g., how the delta symbol ("Δ") is used to measure change in math and science.
  • The "Forever Difference" is a transformation that happens when you commit to something important for a lifetime—you can make a meaningful impact if you can just convince yourself to do it forever.

Here's how you take action...

Anyway, I share that because there's a REAL difference in the outcome you'll get if you truly commit—forever.

🧠 Forever Difference 🏆

If you really commit to landlording as if you're going to do this forever, and really believe it... As long as you never give up, it's just a matter of time before you get Real Freedom!

Are you getting this? Here's a bit more context to help send home the point. As a forever landlord, it works like this...

  • ​It will help you take your time and be more selective.
  • It will help you persevere and stay committed when it gets hard.
  • ​It can help you mitigate risk, be confident, and have peace.

Let me give you a few more forever difference reasoning examples:

  • Health—4Δ: Be selective how you exercise, sleep, eat, drink, etc. Commit to doing it in such a way you can have peace doing it forever.
  • Retirement—4Δ: Be selective how you live, spend, save, invest, etc. Commit to doing it in such a way you can have peace doing it forever.
  • ​Landlording—4Δ: Be selective how you purchase, maintain, plan, manage, etc. Commit to doing it in such a way you can have peace doing it forever.

4DELTA: if you can commit to "Landlording" Forever, the Difference will be you actually achieving Real Freedom!

I must point out something real quick: I don't mean operating subpar methods when I talk about committing to landlording forever because that would lead to burnout. I'm talking about committing to making landlording easier and more efficient through significant improvements, progress, and innovative strategies. All the while enjoying greater satisfaction and profitability.

Got it?


Now that you're serious, let's go team!

#2 Team

Stronger together. Part two of the Real Freedom 'Fight' is about teamwork. However, before you join our team, it's important to focus on yourself first, we need you to be your best version, so you can be a good team player. If you're a mess, unfocused, negative, lazy, etc. You'll only drag everyone else down. This same idea goes for the peers you keep in your personal life.

Let's say you're naturally a positive person. If your peers are negative, then you'll get pulled into being negative regardless. Just think about how easy it is to get sucked into gossiping or complaining. That's what's meant by "You're the average of the five people you hang around most." Once that 'herd mentality' takes over, or when you let that 'group-think' sneak in, it's tough to go against the majority. When the same behaviors are reinforced more and more over time it can build some deep-rooted, severe bad habits. Good news! We know how to fix that; we don't let it happen...

Let's encourage each other and call out the bad. If you see your other landlords slacking, encourage them to do better and give constructive criticism—this means—if you are getting encouraged or criticized, accept it! So, any team (sports, family, business, etc.) is only as strong as its weakest link. It goes like this: if someone fails to take responsibility and blames others in their personal life. They'll do the same thing in their professional life. Hint: as the landlord, you can't blame tenants.

We take responsibility around here. If you are not fully committed you won't make it. The reason is you will shortchange or second-guess everything you do as a landlord—as you struggle—you'll be grumpy and discourage or mislead others. We don't want y'all out here spreading that sickness... We want to spread strength, which is contagious, too, but in a good way. Courage unites and strengthens us. Hence, on the battlefield, when you see your brother charging straight ahead you are encouraged to do the same 💪 — let's work!

#3 Work

You have to put in reps, blood, sweat, tears. Part three of the Real Freedom Fight is work. Yes, some of the stuff will be hard at first. In time and with practice, it'll be so easy you'll have peace doing it forever. It all starts with one rental and how you design everything to run. I get it; when you start you'll naturally have preferences on what you want/don't want to do. You might also have a tight budget to work with. Remember, this is a Real Freedom Fight, and the prize is Real Freedom! 🏆 It's worth it, but don't rush it. It's okay to pace yourself. We don't want you to get discouraged, com'on you got this!

As we get into actually doing the work, keep in mind we are designing a rental operation that we can run in peace forever. We are concerned not only with your external factors, e.g., logical and practical things to do, but also your internal constraints, e.g., your emotions and preferences. You'll have to learn to deal with your "feelings" because they affect how you deal with tenants. Many landlords make mistakes when they let their emotions get the best of them, e.g., tenant screening, dealing with conflicts, enforcing fees, raising rents, fear of making mistakes, budgeting or knowing the numbers, etc. No fear, you got this; we'll work through everything together if you're ready to join the Real Freedom Fight 🛡 ⚔️ 🏰





3. Self-Service Property Management ✅

Now that you understand my perspective on Real Freedom and how this Skool community is used for our Real Freedom Fight. The last thing is to touch on 'Self-Service' Property Management...

Strategy Over Tactics

I don't want you to get sidetracked with learning property management tactics before you know the most important lesson... This bit of wisdom I'm going to give you here is priceless... When you get it, you'll have everything you need to be successful. If you want, you can take it and run. You'll know what you have to do once you get it. I'm excited to share it with you!

Ok, here it goes; it's called 'Self-Service' Property Management.

My most significant breakthrough happened when I learned this. It came from overcoming my long-distance handicap. I had to figure out how to manage my rentals from the other side of the world in a backward timezone. I was forced to get my rental operation to be self-sufficient because tenants couldn't just call me whenever they had problems. So, I had to step up my game and develop 'Self-Service' Property Management. I'll go into this more later, but first, let's get down to business...

Business Lesson

"When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever." — Warren Buffett ...Following Warren Buffett's advice, when you have an outstanding rental business with outstanding management, your favorite holding period will be forever, too!

Keeping 'Self-Service' in mind, we must revisit the "Plain Vanilla Business" advantage. As a DIY landlord, you should wear a mask to conceal your authority.👺 When you hold the "property manager" role in your company, you are just doing your job. The benefit comes when tenants accept you as just an employee.

This means you'll need 'business' everything: name, banking, email, address, phone number, website, etc. Don't worry; inside, we walk you through all this! And... you'll need all that before you can learn to use 'Self-Service' property management to your advantage, so you get Real Freedom!

Without going into all the details, this happens following the ABCs (Automate, Balance, and Control). You can't master the ABCs of 'Self-Service' Management if you, as the landlord, try to do everything singlehandedly. Plus, letting the tenants know "you" are the final decision-maker is never wise. No matter how fair and professional you are, you'll be seen as the greedy landlord when you must pull rank or enforce the rules.

You can avoid this direct correlation when you serve as the property manager at a professional company. Everything runs so much smoother when tenants know you as their property manager who works at a professional company. Not to mention, it helps you get Real Freedom!

FYI: if you're ever directly asked, "Do you own the property?" You can say "no" and explain it's a family-owned and operated business if the property is in your name (ownership can be easily found online, so don't lie). Don't worry; most tenants will never think to ask when you operate under the "Plain Vanilla Business" advantage.

Landlording △₁₂₃

Now, the three essential components of successful landlording have crystallized: a solid "property" serves as the bedrock for luring trustworthy "tenants," while mastering the business of "management" as a lucrative business venture paves your road to prosperity.

Can you see yourself as the landlord of a streamlined rental enterprise? Think automated McDonald's -- "I'm loving it!"

➡️ Learn more, join the FREE 4DELTA Intro

Sincerely, Rene

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Hi, I'm Rene

The Forever Landlord

Are you willing to commit to Real Freedom? Would you like to learn about self-service management? I can show you the way I went... I've got a map that worked for me—and other landlords—you can have it...

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