A Little Humor
The lighter side of rental properties
Not all human drama stories are bad.
Some can be a little funny. About one year after I bought 205 S Ohio, I got a call from the second floor tenant complaining about the first floor tenant. I learned to usually ignore the first call from one tenant about another. They usually work it out themselves and whenever I did get involved I usually regretted it. For the record I don’t recall ever regretting having ignored the first phone call from one tenant complaining about another one. Please keep in mind that what I am referring to here has to do with my own tenants.
Anyhow, the next day the second floor tenant called again to complain about the first floor tenant. He sounded a little more serious this time and said that other neighbors were upset and was considering calling the police. I thought I should gather a little Intel on the situation at that point. I called the second floor tenant back and got his voicemail. I left a message and decided to call the local police to see if there had been any complaints filed against my building or my tenants. I was informed that a few of the neighbors had in fact called to complain about the guy on the first floor hanging around in the nude. I assumed they meant that he was in his apartment and just happened to have the shades up so people could see inside. I thought no big deal but I also thought I should do a drive-by to see if it was a real problem and perhaps instruct the first floor tenant to close the blinds or put some clothes on.
Well wouldn’t you know that as I approached the building my first floor tenant just happened to be sitting outside on the front steps leading up to the front porch. Good, this makes it easy for me to strike up an easy conversation about a somewhat awkward subject. As I approached John it was obvious there was a bigger problem. John was buck naked outside on the front steps.
Ok now. Do I deserve this? Is this some kind of a joke? I didn’t sign up for dealing with middle-aged nude people who look like what they’re wearing – nothing – needs to be ironed. Baseball cap on and smoking a cigarette. I asked John what the H@#$ he was doing sitting out front with no clothes on so that everyone could see? He answered by telling me that he had a right to do as he pleased and if others were offended that was their problem and not his. He wasn’t doing anything to anybody.
I kept my cool and refrained from laughing. I explained to him that he was sitting on the front steps – the only way to get to the building – and that other than very obvious laws about public nudity some people were just downright disgusted. He was actually in the way of anyone from the second or third floor being able to get to their apartments without having to pass right by him, thus being privy to his privates!
He rebutted by saying that his privates were kept between his legs and with his knees drawn together no one could see anything. Now I was going from amused to disturbed. I actually had to tell John that even though he had his knees drawn together that by passers had absolutely no problem observing his family jewels from the side! Of course this had never occurred to John. I told him that regardless of what he thought, I was prepared to file for eviction if I received a third complaint or the local police fined me as the property owner due to nuisance complaints. I never heard anything more on the subject.
I love crazy people. I had one elderly lady, 80+, who refused to cooperate on anything at any time. I actually grew to like her over time but boy she sure drove me nuts. She used to climb this big maple tree in our front yard in order to trim branches that were growing too close to the porch roof. The neighbors used to cringe every time they saw this. I used to tell her every time I saw her not to do it because I would have to ask her to leave if she did it again. She just said “You’re not going to get rid of me young man. I pay my rent on time.”
Darn it, the old girl had me right where she wanted me. She didn’t have a computer and she didn’t even have a phone. Whenever she called she would go to a local pay phone and call from there and leave a message. Normally, she would write these encrypted letters that she put together from words she cut out of old magazines that she got for free. She would tape them all onto a scrap piece of paper. The sentences took the form of old Western Union telegrams – something like “rent enclosed. STOP tenants upstairs noisy. STOP, faucet leaking. STOP, thinking of kicking me out? STOP !”. I remember the first time I went to meet her and raise her rent. She met me at the door with her old lease from the old owner which I did inherit but was exercising my right to raise rents. Her copy of the lease form totally butchered with all of her own cut and pasted words from magazines. It looked like a grade schooler’s project gone bad. The really funny thing is that her former landlord, the lady who I bought the house from, was an attorney. The tenant, Alex had simply worn her down with her incessant bantering about what the lawyer could and couldn’t do and the previous owner just gave up. Alex’s deceased husband was a professor at Carnegie Mellon and Alex herself was a very learned person. Alex’s husband may have been very smart academically, but he left Alex penniless. She had all of her worldly possessions, a whole household full, crammed into her apartment. By the way, I did not get my rent raise. Alex was “having none of that young man”, and I went away with my tail tucked between my legs. Before you judge me I must tell you that the next time I went to raise rent were with a pretty young lady named Dawn. I flirted with Dawn and Dawn flirted with me and I got my rent raise without any argument at all. Eat your heart out, guys.
I decided to finish this little blog with stories to leave you in a state of wonderment. I want you to assess who you are and where you are right now. Is what you are doing aligned with God’s intention for your life? Oh, it has nothing to do with what you do. It has everything to do with how you do it and more importantly, why you do it. I suggest looking at you in the mirror and asking some deep probing questions. Can you serve your fellow man in the activities you are currently engaged in?
As a result of my investing in Real Estate I have built a successful Real Estate Brokerage Company named Win Realty Advisors. I have built a successful Property Management Company named Win Rental Management. I have built a Title Company named Win Settlement Services. Through it all and as a result of my business ventures, I have started and shared in more friendships than I can count. I seek to serve first before being served and as a result I believe I am one of the most fortunate men in the world. As the Famous Zig Ziglar taught us, “Help as many people as you can to get what they want and as a result you will get plenty of what you want.”
I hope you can see now, after reading this, that you can do many things to improve your odds of experiencing the pleasure of profiting without pain from your rental properties. I will tell you that if this book puts a little fear or anxiety in you then remember you can do what I eventually did and turn the daily responsibilities over to a professional property manager. In fact I created my own property management company and started offering property management services to other investors just like you and me. I named it Win Rental Management because, with the policies and procedures I developed resulting in more deposits and more rents collected and reduced expenses, everybody wins.
For more information on this and more direct help in your effort to experience the pleasure of Rental Profits Without The Pain, please call me at 1-800-931-2605 or email Gary@WinReatyAdvisors.com. You can also learn more by visiting MyInvestmentServices.com and look for Rental Profits Without The Pain.
May God bless you, your family and friends and your business ventures in peace and prosperity?
Sincerely, Gary P. Wilson
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