The first few years I was a landlord, I was constantly stressed.
It got to the point that every time the phone rang my blood pressure went up. It could have been my childhood friend calling for our monthly check-up (a conversation I always looked forward to) or a call I was expecting from a family member, but even then, every time the phone went off, my heart jumped into my throat.
With every ring, I imagined the worst.
What’s gone wrong? I would think. What disaster do I have to deal with now?
This went on for a few years, until I couldn’t take it anymore. I was ready to throw in the towel, call it quits. Then a friend of mine offered some sage advice, and, little by little, it changed everything.
“Just ask for some help,” she said.
It was a novel idea. I’d been under the impression that I had to do everything myself, save every scrap of income (no employees!), and be “tough” enough to handle the business on my own. When I heard her words, I started to wonder. Okay. Maybe I don’t have to sell all my properties and cut my losses. Maybe there’s a way to make this work. But how?
Being a landlord causes stress. It just does. And I’ll be honest with you: there are still some days I feel like I fell into a beehive. My life as a landlord now, however, looks nothing like it used to. I took my friend’s advice and discovered the real trick to being a landlord: getting assistance.
Your top priority as a landlord should be to maintain your own sanity. You can do this in three different ways: set your own hours, hire a property manager, and use landlord software.
When you first start out as a landlord, you probably won’t work too many hours. With only a few units, your disasters should be few. When you grow your business, however, setting your own hours becomes essential. Something could go wrong at any time, and you’ll feel that itch of do I need to check my phone? even at your child’s birthday party. Skip the stress and have limited availability. Period.
To achieve that, you’ll have to hire a property manager to handle those 24/7 needs and emergencies. You might lose some income in the form of their salary, but the peace of mind you’ll gain is worth it.
Last, but not least, you can use landlord software. This is my personal favorite. It’s quick, it’s easy, and the information is available anywhere you go. You can use a service like Turbo Tenant for a rental application form, background check, apartment listings, and more. It’s all online, and you can access it from anywhere.
After I started to delegate my needs, with software and employees, being a landlord stopped being so stressful. When I first started out, I didn’t understand the importance of work/life boundaries. Now I know that asking for help can make all the difference.