... and Landlord! Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast

Jonathan Taylor Smith

Husband, Father, Entrepreneur, Realtor... a long list of other titles and descriptions... and Landlord!

Welcome to the... and Landlord Podcast - with Jonathan Taylor ("J.T.") Smith... Following a road-map to financial Freedom through residential rental real estate. Here you'll learn how adding "... and Landlord" to the litany of titles and descriptions that speak to who you are and what you do may be the greatest opportunity to achieve financial freedom available to the average person today. Where someone else pays the bills (the Tenant) and someone else provides 80% or more of the money (the Bank) and where you get 100% of the cash-flow, all future appreciation and the tax benefits. All on an asset that's insured against loss, and that cannot be worth ZERO short of an Alien Invasion or the Zombie Apocalypse, ultimately resulting in a FREE HOUSE for YOU (the Landlord) - that will kick out cash-flow for the rest of your life and beyond! You try getting any of that from the stock market or your 401K. So be all that you are... and Landlord!

All Episodes

CHANGE OF SCHEDULE DUE TO COVID-19... That's not just the title of this episode, but also an announcement. Because I'd rather not talk about Corona-virus week after week (and some other reasons) - I'm temporarily changing the schedule of the show from a weekly Tuesday release, to be a little more flexible and random. For the next month (or few), I'll still be releasing episodes, but maybe not weekly (at least once per month) - and not always on a Tuesday.

Apr 2020

10 min 54 sec

In this episode of the... and Landlord Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast - I talk about the home, and how it has become the center of our universe. And then what that may mean for the future. What does it mean to be a Landlord in a time when it seems the government has positioned itself to start covering the expenses (including RENT) for those who now cannot work due to no fault of their own? And what will this mean for the future once this concept takes hold? Well, that's a bit political - and so I explore why I am willing to move forward with purchasing properties, even now amid all this economic uncertainty. I'm buying now (while I can), but with lending terms changing daily, that ability is quickly coming to an end. So I'll be working to get set for buying even more properties, once things start to open up again. Because I want to own as many properties as possible once the government starts paying everyone's rent - or whatever becomes the system to make sure that we're not in this same virus inflicted financial crisis all over again.

Apr 2020

19 min 7 sec

Today is March 31st... One day from now is April 1st, when RENT IS DUE in the USA. But on this Aprils Fools Day - will Tenants even be able to pay their rent? People have largely been unable to work for the last two weeks. And more people than you may be aware are working from paycheck to paycheck. And those government relief checks have yet to arrive. So what's it going to be between April 1st to the 5th?

Mar 2020

23 min 1 sec

April Fools Day is a little more than a week from now. But what that day means to me, is the same as any 1st of the month... It's the day RENT is due. But on this April 1st - the joke may truly be on me (and all Landlords)... Because there may be no rent coming in due to COVID-19. But this episode of the... and Landlord Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast is about how half of my rental units are occupied by Tenants who have Section 8 Vouchers. Thus, a portion of my monthly rents come directly from the Government. This means the joke won't be completely on me. At least I'll have some amount of guaranteed rental income. But for my non-Section 8 Tenants... The World has essentially shut-down. Most businesses are closed (or greatly reduced), so those workers aren't getting their normal paychecks. Some businesses are running reduced hours and altered workloads, but even those must often layoff workers in a situation like this. You can't keep all those employees on payroll when there are no customers. And if those now un-employed (X-employee's) are your Tenant's - how are they going to pay rent to you? And then compare this to those who are invested in short-term rentals (AirBnB). No one is travelling - so they have basically lost 100% of their rental income. Yet mortgages and leases remain due for payment. Maybe payments will be waived or some sort of forbearance will be granted. But in this episode of the Landlord Podcast, I contrast my situation with Section 8 Rentals to those who have Short-Term (AirBnB) Rentals. Just saying... Right now, I'm happy to know that I'll have some rental income in April. And I think I'd be freaking out right now if I was singularly and all-in on AirBnB.

Mar 2020

15 min 30 sec

When the Coronavirus hit, as with most things, I had jokes... I posted on FB the question of if this might be the Zombie Apocalypse virus or maybe the Planet of the Apes virus - and what should be my primary weapon of choice in either case. For instance, should I go with a crossbow or the shotgun to take out the resulting Zombies or talking Apes. Jokes aside, while this is not that level of crisis, it is a challenging time none the less - and we could be on the verge of an economic recession of epic proportions. And while I certainly do not intent to make lite of being prepared with food and other items for the household - it occurs to me that while some people are rushing to the stores to buy toilet paper (among other things), others are buying the discounted assets (or preparing to do so) - that result from apparent crisis situations like this. So hence the title and topic of this 51st episode of the... and Landlord Podcast - "The Rich Buy Assets, While the Poor Buy Toilet Paper". Fortunes are often made when there's fear, panic or even blood in the streets. And there is a quote that says "Observe the masses, and do the opposite." - well the masses appear to be focused on buying things like toilet paper. When they should be looking to buy the discounted assets that are certain to result from an economic downturn or recession. The Stock Market is down big-time - but another way of looking at it, is that the Stock Market is having a sale. Real Estate is also likely to be on sale soon, as all-time low interest rates will increase purchasing power. We may also enter another round of short-sales and foreclosures as another economic downturn (or full on recession) causes financial stress for millions. So I recorded this episode just to get you thinking - that while you certainly need toilet paper and other household items to get through the sort of thing we're experiencing now with this virus - you also need to be thinking about how you're going to come out the other side better off. Because the rich are buying assets while the poor (and middle class) are buying toilet paper.

Mar 2020

17 min 52 sec

Do you believe your local market to be "Too Hot" to start investing in Real Estate? No deals to be had where you live? If only you lived "there" - where deals are plentiful, because prices are low and rents are high - there. But where you live... Nope! Sucks to be you... Your Real Estate investing dream will have to wait for another day - when it's not such a "seller's market". Or at least, that's what I hear... My local market is Durham, North Carolina. I'm both a Durham Realtor and an Investor in Durham. I started Investing in Rental Properties here in 2015, and I'm still buying in this market right now, for both myself - and for client's who I represent as their Durham Real Estate Agent. In this episode of the... and Landlord Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast, I question those who think their local market is "too hot" and that there are "no deals". Yes, competition has increased across the nation. How could it not, with house flipping shows on every 10th channel? But are you not able to out perform someone who just watched a TV show and then said "hey, let's flip a house!" If not, then your problem may NOT be just the "Hot Market". Maybe you also need to improve your systems and process. Or maybe you need to partner with an Investor's Agent - like me! Or at least if you're investing in Durham, North Carolina... Outside of Durham, I can't help you. But I'm convinced that deals are available almost everywhere. So don't fall for the "grass is greener" syndrome. The grass is fine where you are also - but maybe it just needs some care. Likewise, maybe you just need to apply some consistent effort in your local market or work with a local professional to get a deal done.

Mar 2020

15 min 56 sec

Let's Talk... Business, Finances & Wealth. But not just in this 49th Episode of the... and Landlord Podcast. I'm now ready (and now have the location) for an in-person local meet-up. So here I announce that starting on April 6th (and the 1st Monday of each month thereafter) - we'll have a monthly meet-up to talk about (among other things)... Business, Finances, Wealth Creation, Mindset - and so much more about MONEY. The location? It will be at Rivals Barbershop in Downtown Durham, North Carolina (727 N. Mangum Street - Suite 100). And Rivals Barbershop is my latest business endeavor... A partnership with Professional Barber (Khedron Mims) in a Sports Themed Barbershop. NO - I'll not be cutting anyone's hair! But in line with the purpose of this monthly meet-up - I partnered with Khedron in Rivals Barbershop because its another business that will create additional passive income for me. It also gives me the chance to lend my business knowledge and expertise to aid Khedron in creating passive income for himself. So what better place to come together on a monthly basis to discuss helping others to do the same. If you've ever desired to start a Business; have a Business that you seek to grow; want to get into Real Estate (Flipping, Wholesaling, Rentals); or you just want to make more Money; improve your Finances and grow your Financial IQ - this is the place you need to be each 1st Monday of the month at 6:30PM.

Mar 2020

19 min 35 sec

Owner's Property Insurance is not the only type of Insurance that you need to consider... Another is Renter's Insurance. And do you / should you require your Tenants to obtain Renter's Insurance? That's the question being asked and answered (from my point of view) in this episode of the... and Landlord! Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast. Here I go into details as to some of the ways you're protected by having Tenant's obtain their own coverage in the form of Renter's Insurance. Not least of these protections is that the mere fact that you've impose this requirement will result in certain prospective Tenants (who might have been problematic) - self-eliminating from consideration of occupying your property in the first place. Putting reasonable (and LEGAL) barriers to Tenancy in place will help to get you the best Tenants - and a Renter's Insurance requirement can be just one means of doing so. Much of what we discuss on this Podcast is about how to be the best Landlord you can be - with the fewest headaches. Well, having a Renter's Insurance requirement for Tenants can be one of many means to that end. Renter's Insurance is a protection not just for your Tenant, but for your property, for YOU and your LLC - paid for by your Tenant. What's better than a benefit for you that is paid and provided by someone else - and for which they benefit as well?

Feb 2020

15 min 3 sec

I LOVE owning Rental Real Estate and being a Landlord - however, maybe it's not for you... But that doesn't mean you cannot be a Real Estate Investor - as there are ways of doing so without having to buy Real Estate and becoming a Landlord. One such means is Real Estate Note Investing. And so who better to have on the show than Scott "The Note Guy" Carson - to cover the basics of Investing in Real Estate by obtaining the Note. Scott Carson joins us for an episode of the... and Landlord Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast - to discuss both Performing and non-Performing Note Investing. So what is Note Investing? What is a "Performing" versus "non-Performing" Note? Well listen to Scott answer these questions - and many more about Real Estate Note Investing in this 47th episode of the... and Landlord Podcast.

Feb 2020

37 min 59 sec

The cover-art for this episode has multiple paper airplanes flying - but one is a different color and is soaring higher than the others. You could consider that one to be the successful attempt at flight; whereas the others failed. Well, this is what Marketing for Deals is like. Each paper plane represents a different marketing method, channel, message or attempt - and you may have no idea which one(s) will take off and soar high into the air with success; versus which will fall to the ground in failure. To be successful in the business of Residential Rental Real Estate Investing, you must be able to find an ample number of distressed properties that can then be obtained for below there typical value - even after accounting for the rehab required. And to do that, you must be good (if not great) at Marketing for Deals. And that's what this episode of the... and Landlord Podcast is all about. Marketing for Deals and creating your Marketing for Deals Machine.

Feb 2020

23 min 54 sec

One of my favorite quotes is... "Just because I'm paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get me!" - so I'm primed to be one who is paranoid about and fears the risk of proceeding in business (especially Rental Properties) - without having an LLC in place for liability and asset protection. "What if someone slips and falls (or otherwise gets hurt) on one of my properties?" "What if there's a fire?" "What if there's an issue with CO2 or Radon?" "What is someone dies!?" If you're a Landlord and you've not asked yourself these exact questions, then you've certainly expressed some collection of concerns that if they happened - you feared ending up in court. And so you certainly wanted to have the best protections in place, such as having your business established as and properties held within an LLC. Is this valid protection for legitimate concerns or just unfounded paranoia? Well, I actually believe BOTH are true. You certainly want to have proper protections in place for liability and asset protection. But this episode of the [... and Landlord!] Podcast is about how far too often, those who are new to business and Real Estate Investing are encouraged to spend time (and even more money) to setup an LLC (and sometimes a complex system of LLC's). This adds cost, often complexity and may waste time. Not that an LLC (or a few) is unnecessary, but LLC's are pitched as step 1 and the first line protection against law suits for those in business - when really an LLC is nearer to being the 4th line of protection. There are other things that come BEFORE having an LLC that will provide protection and potentially keep you out of court. So on this episode, I discuss those other things that provide protection to maybe lessen the obsession with LLC's. As you progress, you will reach a point of needing an LLC (maybe several) - but you don't need it from day one, and you certainly don't need to spend thousands on some complex out of state LLC setup from day one (if at all).

Feb 2020

22 min 12 sec

In this episode of the... and Landlord Podcast, I speak about RENT increases here in Durham, North Carolina. And one example I give is that of my own... The 2 Bedroom Duplex unit that I lived in for 4 years when I was last a renter myself (from early in 1998 to the start of 2002), where my rent was $625/mo (increasing to $645 in the final year). Well now here 18 years later, that exact same 2 Bedroom Duplex unit (of ~1,000 SqFt), is suggested by Zillow and Rentometer to have an average rent value of $1,381/mo, with the median rent for 2 bedroom homes in the area being $1,450/mo... That's crazy! If correct, it means that rents here have more than doubled over the last 15 years or so since the boom and bust occurred in Real Estate. But think of that... This Duplex is nearly 20 years older than when I last lived there. And I drove by it recently, and it doesn't look like anything major has been done to update it or improve its appearance or condition. If the same people / company owns it now as then, they have likely paid it off by now (or are near to doing so). So they are not only getting more cash-flow from this now 35 year old property than before due to greatly increased rents, but also because they may no longer have a mortgage to pay from those rents. What is better than Rental Real Estate Investing!? You end up with what is essentially a FREE house - because the tenants pay all the bills and expenses. You get cash-flow for life. And that cash-flow greatly increases over time due to the mortgage pay-down / payoff; and as result of annually increasing rents. Not to mention the incredible tax benefits and the likelihood that the property increased in value despite having gotten older. And did I mention the tax benefits? You get to depreciate the value on paper as it actually appreciates in real value... Wow - Seems like you'd go to jail for that, but its allowed!

Jan 2020

22 min 23 sec

This 43rd Episode of the... and Landlord Podcast is about Optimism versus Pessimism - and how a person with an Optimistic outlook over the past decade (since 2010) had a much better chance of profiting financially than did someone with a Pessimistic eye towards the future. I go into some of the many reasons a person might have legitimately had for being a Pessimist. But how resisting that tendency could have been very profitable - especially in Rental Real Estate Investing, or even Stocks. I explain how I'm an optimist in most things... I'm not expecting the Zombie Apocalypse. I'm not expecting an Alien Invasion. Not looking for a meteor to strike. Don't expect the government to fall or the economic system to crash (again) - at least not anytime soon. So I am proceeding with an Optimistic outlook towards the future. And as such, I'm making investments NOW, that I fully expect all will still be around (including myself) to benefit from in that future. And I make the point that a person who had that outlook in 2010, and acted accordingly - likely had a great decade. Are you an Optimist or a Pessimist? What do you expect the next decade to hold for you? Because Optimism can be Profitable.

Jan 2020

14 min 15 sec

People have been getting rich on #RealEstate for decades - really going back hundreds and even thousands of years (before the current crop of humans on this planet even existed). But the #EconomicCrash of 2008 / 2009 might just have created the best Real Estate buying opportunity of our lifetimes. Now as humans we tend to suffer from "recency bias" - thinking that what we've experienced is the best (or worst) that anyone in history has ever dealt with. True or not - in this episode of the [... @andLandlord!] #RentalRealEstateInvesting Podcast, I'm asking the question - "Are You Late To The Party?" "The Party" I'm speaking of is the situation that followed the "#GreatRecession" of 2008 / 2009, where a year or few later (sometime between 2010 to 2012) - in many (if not most) locations in the country, it was possible to buy Real Estate for LESS than its replacement cost. In other words, you could often buy a property for less than it would (or did) cost to build that same property new. That's a situation (a party) that doesn't happen every day. So in this [... #andLandlord!] Podcast episode, I mention my envy of those who were able to jump on those deals right at the start of the party (around 2010 to 2012). And I lament the past a bit (something I try NOT to do), in that I didn't get to the party until 2015 - but still in time to grab some #amazingdeals that are paying off big-time for me today. And I start the episode by asking (singing in fact) "is the party over?" If you're just seeking to get started in Rental #RealEstateInvesting here in 2020 - are you 5 to 10 years late to the party? Is the party over? In fact, did the party end in 2019?

Jan 2020

14 min 53 sec

Yea, I've got #2020Vision - in more than one way. So in this Episode #40 (the first of 2020) of the @andLandlord Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast - I'm engaging in the New Year / New Decade pastime that pretty much everyone else is as well... Goal Setting! What's your 2020 Vision? For that matter, what's your Vision of 2023, 2025 and all the way out to the end of this / the next decade - 2030!? That's what we discuss in this episode of the... and #LandlordPodcast - We'll be setting grand goals and making plans to achieve them. If you've already got a Rental Property (or few); or if you're trying to get your first - getting from where you are to where you seek to be will be aided greatly by a goal directed by a plan. So let's get to it and kill-it not only in 2020 but for the decade to come all the way out to 2030 (and beyond)!

Jan 2020

12 min 20 sec

OK, so there was a time in my life when I spent a LOT of time playing video games - which is then kind of ironic that it now annoys me that my 12 year old son does the same (even more so that I was the one who first introduced him to video games). But for the most part I left that behavior in my teens; however, whenever I'd allow myself to get sucked back into a given game, I could easily blow 6+ hours before I even realized it. I really LOVE playing video games, but I have no time for playing games right now - haven't for years. Now I make an exception in playing with my son, but he now prefers playing online with his friends from school - so I'm currently retired in my video game career. Now that said - this episode of the [... and Landlord!] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast - is my excuse to express my love of video games, and how it relates to business and life. Level Up! That is the goal when playing video games, and the same is true when playing the games of Real Estate, Business and Life. Here I wanted to make clear with the sub-title of "Problem? What Problem?" - that what a person at Level 1 perceives as a problem, may be no problem at all for a person at Level 2 or 3. And a Level 10 person would not even slow down when encountering a Level 1 speed bump - they wouldn't even see it as a problem. Success in Rental Real Estate Investing requires that we Level Up. My first property was just over $60K - when I was just starting with Real Estate Investing. Whatever level I was at then could not relate to my current level where my latest project will have a value of over $600K. And I have no doubt that I'll soon be dealing with projects that are over $6M - because I'll Level Up! So this... and Landord Podcast episode serves as an analogy between Leveling Up / improving your charter in a role-playing video game and improving yourself in life - so that in both cases you're able to handle ever greater challenges to win the game. This is the final episode of 2019 - so let this be your start to an amazing 2020. Make it your goal to end the coming year at a higher level than you began. The... and Landlord Podcast itself began in 2019, and I'd like to think it has reached a new level and will continue to improve in the coming year. Happy New Year!

Dec 2019

15 min 35 sec

The cover image for this episode shows your rental property flooded and infested with water fowl. So maybe you can't Tenant Proof against flood and fowl - but this exaggerated scenario (and birds) aside... You can certainly do somethings upfront (during the rehab) to protect your rental property against the more typical hazards - including pets (but hopefully not penguins). So in this episode of the [... and Landlord!] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast - I'm going over some of the things that I've done during my Rental Rehabs to Tenant Proof my properties. You can save yourself from headaches and keep money in your pocket by avoiding certain issues from the start. Floors, Faucets and Fixtures - These are where I focus my Tenant Proofing efforts. These don't cover everything, but they go a long way towards your headache and hassle free Landlord life. They form the foundation - and built upon these, you must start with proper Tenant Screening, proceed with effective Tenant On-boarding, and continue with on-going Property Inspections. So checkout this Episode #39 of the [... and Landlord!] Podcast to hear my insight into how I Tenant Proof Blue Chariot Properties.

Dec 2019

16 min 39 sec

Rehabbing distressed properties into rentals is a balancing act... You must watch your budget, because every dollar spent on the rehab lowers your ROI - and depending on how you choose to fund your rehabs, it can also lower your cash-flow (at least initially). And you want the resulting property to be nice, plus you also want everything to be durable - so that you're not likely having to replace everything all over again at each tenant turn. Finding that right balance between price / cost, appearance and durability is critical to a successful outcome. And if you're like me, you want prospective tenants to think "WOW" (or even say it out-loud) - when they first see pictures or have a tour of your rental properties. In this episode of the [... and Landlord!] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast, I relate some of my thoughts on achieving this outcome and balance - so I ask the question "How Nice Is Too Nice?" Here I relate that I cannot prove it, but anecdotally, I feel that the quality of my rental rehabs both make my properties more desirable (I definitely get that "WOW" effect); and results in an increased durability. But it does come at the price of an increased rehab cost. I put a bit extra into making my properties really nice (but "How Nice Is Too Nice?") - so at the same time, I must be careful not to take it too far. Because at a certain point, things are durable enough and look good enough - so to go further or spend more gains little to nothing in return from increased rent or reduced vacancy. While I feel you can certainly attract a better tenant who may stay longer if you put a little extra into the rehab (like upgrading to Stainless Steel Appliances, LVP Flooring, Granite Counters, etc...) - creating a home they really love and have pride of residency... It has a limit beyond which you get drastically diminishing returns. And since measuring those returns are almost purely anecdotal anyway - you really must be careful when increasing rehab expenses to make a property nice. You can quickly end up with a property that is far nicer than it needs to be to get the same tenant at the same rent you'd have gotten anyway with a lower cost rehab to rental. So where to draw the line? How nice is too nice?

Dec 2019

15 min 1 sec

Might there be a "Super" version of yourself inside - just waiting to get out? Or stated another way... Are you currently the best possible version of yourself? Might there be another possible version of YOU - who is capable of doing things that could make you RICH. Or do you think it more likely that you'll somehow develop super powers and fly before you'll ever become RICH? The book Rich Dad Poor Dad puts forth the idea that being RICH is a choice. But the opposite is true as well... Being POOR is also a choice. Or actually, a life long series of daily choices - bad ones. But YOU CAN BE RICH. You just have to WANT IT. You have to WANT IT enough to DO SOMETHING to obtain it. And most people won't. In fact, they CHOOSE not to. In this episode of the [... and Landlord!] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast - I talk about how most people are not RICH because it has never occurred to them that they can be. And thus they make choices that ensure they won't be. At the basic level, all it takes to be rich is 4 things... 1) The belief that you can be; 2) The determination that you will be; 3) An idea as to how; 4) And effective execution of that idea. The problem is that (outside of maybe winning the lottery) most people don't think that they can be rich. So they certainly don't have any determination to be rich. And most people are lacking ideas, such as for a business, product, service, etc... So they can't execution on what they don't have. Ideas are infinite - but why would an idea come to you if you're just going to dismiss it as something you can't do anyway? So the first part of getting an idea to execute upon is believing that you can and then determining that you will. So listen to this episode of the Landlord Podcast and let's stop being lessor versions of ourselves. We all have greatness within - LET IT OUT!

Dec 2019

23 min 19 sec

I was a one-man business machine. 16 hour days were nothing for me. I often worked to 3AM, slept to 7 or 8AM, and got back up to do it all over again - like it was nothing. If something needed to be done, of course I did it myself - as I wanted it to be done right. And surely no one else could do anything right, but me - right? That worked well enough in my late 20's and early 30's... But not so much once I reached 40 or so. At 40+ if I'm up to 3AM, I'm not getting out of bed before 10AM - if not 11. And thankfully, I've long since learned that I'm not the only person who can do things right. Having come to understand this, I'm no longer clocking 16 hour days. I can (and do) occasionally, if and when I must - but now I have a team in place that removes most of that burden from my shoulders. This episode of the [... and Landlord!] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast is about VA's (#VirtualAssistants) and other members of your #RentalRealEstateInvesting Team. I leverage VA's to get things done - because I can't (and shouldn't even try to) do everything myself. There is a highest and best use for my time, so in this episode of the #LandlordPodcast, I speak about my use of VA's and team building activity. My goal is to fire myself from any and every job that can possibly be done by someone else on my behalf. Even if that person is only 80% as good at the job as me, putting multiple VA's on several tasks at even 80% of my effectiveness still results in a LOT more work getting done than I could possible do on my own. So would you rather a job done at 80% of your greatness or yet another job sitting un-done on your to-do list? I know my answer! Hear it in this episode, along with details that will help you do the same.

Nov 2019

21 min 22 sec

Do you like to travel? Would you do more of it if you did not have to pay for your airfare and could fly for FREE? And do you have a business? Having Rental Properties IS a business... So, if you've answered "YES" to each of these questions, then you need to learn about Credit Card Points Hacking. Your Rental Properties (and other businesses) can earn you FREE travel with points! I travel a LOT (over a dozen flights this year), and I've yet to pay a single penny for airfare (other than a couple of upgrades for more legroom on longer flights and a couple of checked bag fees - that I even got back). And that doesn't even include FREE flights for my wife and son; and even a couple of times where I used my points for some other family members to fly for FREE. My businesses generate enough points each month that I haven't paid real money for airfare in years. I even have enough points to be an aid to others, using my points to lower the travel expenses for some family members. How? Because I don't pay my business expenses directly. Instead, I put every business expense that I possibly can on a points credit card. And I then pay that card in full each month. But the benefit of placing the card in the middle of the merchant or vendor and my business, is that the credit card rewards me with points. In most cases its a straight dollar-for-dollar reward, in which $1 charged on the card gives me 1 point. But some cards give double and triple points - maybe for certain categories like gas or food. However I can, I hack my legitimate and necessary business expenses into points that I can redeem whenever I wish for FREE travel. If you have a business that has any amount of frequent or reoccurring expenses that can be paid with a card (the higher the better), then you're missing out on a great opportunity for FREE travel, if you are not paying those expenses with a points credit card. Business owners fly for FREE... And owning Rental Properties IS a business!

Nov 2019

18 min 37 sec

On the main image for this episode you see a roof logo silhouette, the words "Real Estate", and then a reference to "Slogan Here". When you're starting your Real Estate Business, you'll certainly come across stock logo templates like this, and any designer you're likely to hire will almost certainly come up with something along these lines for your review and approval. You'll spend time going over all the samples, drafts and mock-ups of what will become your Real Estate Business logo. You'll come up with several slogans, eventually settling on one that fits well enough with your business name, logo and brand. You'll then get business cards created with your nice new logo prominently featured. Maybe you'll keep it simple and go with a card that just has your local phone number and your email address will be @Gmail.com. But if you're like many starting a new business (especially a Real Estate Business) - you'll want a very easy to remember (maybe even a vanity) phone number; and you'll certainly want your website address listed on your business cards. So in addition to spending countless hours on your business logo, you'll spend weeks (or even months) working on a website for your new business. But because you almost certainly named your business prior to getting your Domain Name (a mistake) - the website address is something horrible. Maybe you named your business "Prestige Home Buyers, LLC" - and PrestigeHomeBuyers.com was TAKEN, as was PrestigeHome.com or PrestigeHomes.com (just for example - I have no idea if these are active sites or not, available, taken or otherwise). And you certainly won't be getting Prestige.com - so you end up registering PrestigeHomeBuyersLLC.com (which is horrible); or PrestigeHomeBuyers.net. When you see website and email addresses with LLC, INC, NC or non .COM extensions, it almost always means the person named their business BEFORE obtaining their domain name. So in this episode of the Podcast, I go into some detail as to how to avoid this mistake for (CRIME against) your business. I suggest getting your ideal domain name FIRST, and then naming your business SECOND - to match the domain name (and without any LLC or INC). But all of this is not even the real point of this episode. The real purpose here is to express that all of this stuff related to your business name, business cards, website, etc... is NOT what you should be focused on in the first place. Don't get bogged down in the trap of spending your primary time and effort in setting up your business. Instead, spend that time and effort getting your first (or next) rental property! You don't really have a business anyway until you've got some properties (I'd go as far as to say several). Because most people having one or two rentals don't have a business in place. So focus on getting some properties, and worry about creating a business later. But when you do get to the point of being ready to create a business, this episode of the Podcast will provide you with some key insights into how to go about doing it right - so that you do not end up with a website address like Prestige-Home-Buyers-LLC.net.

Nov 2019

17 min 5 sec

This episode of the [... and Landlord!] Podcast is asking the question, "How Do You View Money?" - Because that's where it all starts. How you view (or think about) money, will determine how you treat it. Because things you treat badly won't stay around for long, if they come around at all. Here I relate some of my challenges with my own view of money - my thoughts and the books I read that lead to me changing that view. And best of all, how money started to flow my way along with opportunities for more - once money became something I desired and valued for what it was... A tool that makes me a better version of who I already am, as well as, a greater blessing to those I know and love.

Nov 2019

22 min 32 sec

2020 is only 2 months away... How has your 2019 been? But more importantly, what are your prospects for 2020? I've never done New Year's Resolutions, but I do set goals, and I'm very excited about what 2020 is likely to hold for me and my family - and business should be very good. And I believe I owe this outlook on what's to come for me in 2020 to the focus of action and highest / best utilization of my time that I've put into place since 2015, and especially here in 2019. In this 32nd Episode of the [... and Landlord!] Podcast, I relate my challenges of focus. How I struggle to be the most efficient and productive version of myself by leveraging systems, processes, people and building a team to offload those tasks that are just as well completed by others as myself. I came to realize, that even if others are only 80% as good at the task as me - that's good enough, as my time is best applied towards those few tasks that only I am able to do for my businesses. I also go into some of the things that I had to sacrifice in order to better focus on what was really important to me and my pursuit of financial freedom - which was becoming a Rental Real Estate Investor... and Landlord! Less important to me than this achievement was listening to music, playing and watching sports, watching TV. Those things and other entertainment does nothing to make money for me or move me any closer to financial freedom - so that makes it a waste of time. I also detail how not everyone is entitled to be in our lives, so anyone who is not a benefit is a detriment - and therefore needs to be blocked, or otherwise limited in access. Everyone in my life needs to play some role in making it a better life, or I will work towards blocking / limiting them in my life. Around me is a no negative influences and no leaches zone... You should create the same for yourself. Let's start planning how we're going to use these 2 remaining months of 2019 to make 2020 the best year of our lives yet. And focus on the important things and achieving our goals should be at or near the top of the list of things we're going to do to make that happen.

Oct 2019

30 min 58 sec

Have you ever noticed that many of the tallest and most impressive buildings in the Downtown areas and throughout most Cities have the names and logos of Banks at the top? This is because Banks make money from money - and not just when the tellers are open from 9 to 5 Monday to Thursday and to 6 on Fridays. They make money from money 24 x 7 x 365... A ton of it! But have you ever considered that YOU can do the same thing? The rich get and stay rich by investing in assets - assets that create cash-flow. In other words, they invest their money into things that make more money. They don't work for money - they make money work for them. And you can do the same thing, by being the Bank as a Private Lender against Rental Real Estate. So this 31st Episode of the [... and Landlord!] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast is for those of you who really don't want to be a Landlord, but who would still like to invest in Real Estate... You can! You can become the Bank, by being a Private Lender for people like me, who want to be Landlords, and who thereby seek to buy properties for rehab into rentals (BRRRR). You can be the Bank for me and other Landlords (or those who seek to be), by lending in the first or second position against Rental Real Estate. Listen to learn more about what might be your key to all the income you may need to live a life you never thought possible. Also learn a bit about Self-Directed IRA's as yet another way of creating a massive nest-egg for your future.

Oct 2019

28 min 45 sec

Real Estate Investing is a team sport, and its hard to win the game when you're not playing as a team. My teammate is my wife. So how do you get your spouse to even want to join you in this particular game of being a Rental Real Estate Investor... and Landlord? In this episode of the [... and Landlord!] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast, I relate how my 20 years of entrepreneurial endeavors have benefited from (and were made possible by) the unwavering support of my wife - starting before we even got married. She's been my rock, and I couldn't have done it without her - so I share some of those details. But since I'm the one in business... I'm the one buying Rental Properties. I'm the one going to seminars, conventions and trade-shows. I'm the one reading countless books and listening to podcasts each day. So here I cover some of the things I've done to bring my wife along on this journey - fully informed and excited herself about each step along the way. If you feel that your spouse isn't on your team (yet), when it comes to this particular game of Rental Real Estate Investing - maybe this episode will start you down that path of building confidence and interest in them as to why they've got to get into this game ASAP! Because this game can make the average person rich - and you don't have to know how to do anything with a ball or a deck of cards. All the talent you need for this can be learned. And its so much easier when your spouse is on your team and fully in the game.

Oct 2019

31 min 43 sec

I am a "Transaction Engineer" - Which is my way of saying that I engineer (or create) transactions of Real Estate deals, using whatever means or tools are at my disposal. Lease-Options are one such tool in my belt that I've used to great success. So in this episode of the... and Landlord Podcast, I relate my story of having used Lease-Options to successfully acquire 3 Rental Properties - essentially for FREE! Now yes, I did have to put some money into each property - at least initially. Each required an "Option Fee", which is a non-refundable pre-payment of some amount of the purchase price to create a binding contract. For these 3 deals, the Option Fees were $100; $1,000; and $3,000 - respectively. Also, each property needed approximately $9,000 of rehab (give or take a few thousand) - to make them rental ready. But I use zero-interest credit card promotions for most of my rehab expenses - so that's FREE money not coming out of my pocket. And here, the properties themselves kicked off enough positive cash-flow (once rented), to both payoff the credit card balances prior to any interest hitting. They also paid me back for any actual cash out of pocket, such as for the Option Fees or any rehab expenses that I couldn't put on a zero-interest card. In this episode of the... and Landlord Podcast, I even relate how the properties increased in value during the Option period, so when I actually did complete the purchase a year or two later, I was buying them well below their current value - allowing me to walk away from the purchase closing table with a check in hand. How often do you buy a house and get paid to do so!? Lease-Options are a two part contract... The first part is the Lease, which is not much different than any Lease for any property, where you agree to pay a monthly rent to occupy the home for some period of time, along with other rules, requirements and restrictions. Some slight differences here are that you are not going to occupy the home yourself, but instead have the right to sub-lease the property to an end Tenant of your choosing, and collect all rents. The second part of the contract is the Option, which gives you the right to purchase the property at any point prior to the end of the Lease / Option period, for an already agreed price - that does not change regardless of if the value of the property should go up or down during that period. The Option contract gets recorded against the property title / deed, so that it cannot be sold to anyone other than the Option holder during the Option period. You have the property on lock. And it is typically the case that in exchange for being granted a binding Option to purchase the property and full control, the Option holder is also fully responsible for paying all expenses related to the property, which would most often include the mortgage; taxes; insurance; repairs / maintenance; rehab / upgrades, etc... Because after all, you are making money on the property - its essentially yours, as you have full control and all rights. And depending on the market and property conditions, you may also be paying a premium of some amount to the owner for this privilege. So I'm a real fan of Lease-Options, because if you can find a home and potential seller with the right motivation(s), and you can craft a presentation that explains the value and benefits to the owner, while overcoming any obstacles and objections (there may be several) - you can truly create a win / win / win situation. Of course the first two wins are you and the seller; but that third win is for the Tenant who now gets to live in a great home that would not have otherwise been available - if not for your being a "Transaction Engineer" who understand and can leverage the power of the Lease-Option.

Oct 2019

30 min 45 sec

So this is another special announcement episode - this time announcing Blue Chariot Realty! You may remember previously (in Episode #12) I announced Professional Property Management Services from Blue Chariot Management. Well, now I'm announcing my North Carolina Licensed Realty Firm (Blue Chariot Realty) - of which I (Jonathan Taylor Smith) am the Licensed Broker-In-Charge. Further, Blue Chariot Realty has joined with eXp Realty - so its "Blue Chariot Realty, Brokered By eXp Realty". More on that later, but I did not want this episode to be completely self-serving, so I've also packed in lots of information about "The Investor's Realtor" and working with Realtors as an Investor to obtain more Rental Properties. What makes a good Investor's Realtor? Well, of course, like I very humbly mention in this episode - you want a Realtor just like me! But if you're not seeking properties here or your not local to the Raleigh / Durham (Triangle) area of North Carolina - then you can't work with me as your Realtor. Instead, you need to find someone just like me, and so I go into a bit of detail to that end as to what you should be looking for in a Realtor. You see, a lot of Investors do not want to work with a Realtor who is also an Investor themselves - for fear that such a Realtor will keep all the great deals for themselves. Hey - maybe so, but they can't buy everything! And getting in good with them, making yourself known as a real Investor who is able to close quickly on any decent opportunities - will make you far more likely to be top of mind when such an opportunity comes along that they can't buy for themselves. So in this episode, I go into some of those details as to why you should WANT to work with an experienced Realtor who is also an Investor. Then I spend the rest of the time talking about myself and Blue Chariot Realty 🙂 - as what kind of a special announcement episode would it be if I didn't!?

Oct 2019

26 min 1 sec

"The secret to success is to own nothing, but control everything.” - Nelson Rockefeller So last week in Episode #26, I spoke on the need of Landlords to treat this profession seriously and run their Rental Properties like a business. Well, this week I speak on why you should avoid the title of "Landlord" and being known as the property (business) owner entirely - own nothing, but control everything. But for me, its a matter of pride that I own over a dozen Rental Properties - so my default answer to the question of "Are you the owner" has always been to quickly and proudly say "YES!" - and claim full Landlord status. Why shouldn't I? Well there are reasons you shouldn't. A better answer to that question may be "No, I'm the Property Manager". And so in this episode of the [... and Landlord!] Podcast, I go into details as to why being known to be the owner, is not likely to your benefit. Its better to be known as the Property Manager than Landlord or owner. Because the owner is a mean and greedy SOB in the eyes of many; whereas the Property Manager is just a hard working employee (just like the Tenant) - who must unfortunately adhere to the lease in all dealings. The Property Manager would love to waive the late fee for the Tenant, but they must adhere to the lease and treat all Tenants the same. As Property Manager, you'd love to let the Tenant out of their lease early, but you must adhere to the full term of the lease. You have no problem with allowing the Tenant's boy/girl friend move in, but as the Property Manager, you must adhere to the lease's stated authorized occupants. When you're the owner, you're the bad guy. But when you're the Property Manager, the lease becomes the bad guy. This may sound like semantics, but it gives you tremendous freedom from negative perceptions from Tenants when you can point to the lease (that they agreed to and signed), and explain that you must adhere to the lease in everything - no exceptions. And when you are not seen as the owner (who is thought to be able to make exceptions at will) - life as the Property Manager becomes smooth in comparison. So in this episode of the... and Landlord Podcast, I talk about my initial desire to claim full Landlord status, proudly being known to be the owner. But how I've since come to realize that this is not necessarily in my best interest. And so upon coming to this realization, when now asked by a prospective Tenant, "Are you the owner?" - my response is now always, "No, I'm the Property Manager." - listen to this episode to learn why you might want to make that your answer to this question as well.

Sep 2019

20 min 55 sec

Are you a Landlord? If so, did you know that being a Landlord and owning Rental Properties is a business? If not - that's the problem I discuss in this episode of the [... and Landlord!] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast. You see, there are a lot of Landlords out there who SUCK at being a Landlord - often because they fail to treat their Rental Properties like a business. Your Rental Properties are both your product and your service, and your tenants are your customers. But this is one business in which the customer is certainly not always right (although I'd argue that may also be true of ALL businesses). Landlords tend to have a bad reputation. This goes back hundreds of years, and in many cases, this reputation is well deserved. Much of the Landlord / Tenants Laws that exist throughout the world came into being to protect Tenants from abusive, dishonest and unethical Landlords. And in many cases, that pendulum has swung so far in the Tenant's favor, that well meaning Landlords cannot make a profitable endeavor out of owning Rental Properties in such locations. Thankfully, that is not the case everywhere. Most places managed to strike a reasonably fare balance between the rights of the Landlord and those of the Tenant - as BOTH do have rights. But this does not relieve a Landlord of the responsibility to uphold certain standards. To know the law and uphold it in all dealings with Tenants, as well as, to maintain professional handling of all matters, communication, and on. We as Landlords don't want to be doing anything TODAY, that further damages our reputation - that bad reputation obtained from past wrongdoing by others in our name. This stigma on the name "Landlord" is one of the reasons many have taken to calling themselves "Property Managers", which is something I'll speak more on in next week's Episode #27 - "Are You The Owner? No, I'm The Property Manager." So in this episode of the... and Landlord Podcast, I speak about being a Professional Landlord running a Rental Property BUSINESS - and I go into some of the tools that I use to this end. Businesses have documented policies, repeatable procedures, leveraged systems, tools, and a general consistency of professional high-level operation - from day to day; week to week; month to month and year to year... Always improving at each step along the way. This is exactly what the Landlord and Rental Property profession needs - to be operated as a business!

Sep 2019

17 min 45 sec

The acronym is I.D.E.A.L. - where I = Income; D = Depreciation; E = Equity; A = Appreciation; & L = Leverage. These are the benefits of Rental Real Estate Investing and how you make money in multiple ways. This is how it's not unheard of to make a return of something like 50% with Rental Properties (or more); whereas you may be lucky to make 5% with other investments. Even if you are making 10% or 15%, even 20% with other investments - you can often do twice as good with well purchased, well located, and well managed Rental Properties. So this episode of the... and Landlord Podcast is just to get you thinking about the many benefits and ways of making money as a Rental Property Investor... Does your investment in Precious Metals (Gold & Silver) produce an Income? Do you get Depreciation from your Stocks? Now maybe you have some "Equity" in your Stocks or Gold if they are now worth substantially more than you paid for them, so you might have some value Appreciation there - but was a Bank or other Lender willing to give you a loan of 80% of the purchase price? If there was any Leverage involved, it was only against the value of other Stocks you already owned. Rental Real Estate is the only class of investment of which I'm aware that provides all of these I.D.E.A.L benefits. An investment that can pay for itself because it produces an income. Gives great tax benefits because of Depreciation and other expense write-offs. Builds Equity quickly through both Amortization (Mortgage Pay-down) and value Appreciation that is highly likely if you are buying where people actually want to live. And skyrockets your Rate of Return (ROI) by leveraging 80% of the asset price from a Lender, leaving you to only put in 20% - yet you are still 100% owner! Rental Real Estate is the I.D.E.A.L Investment!

Sep 2019

14 min 12 sec

Funding Your BRRRR Deals... BRRRR investing often requires Rehab Lending, be it from Private or Hard Money Lenders. In this episode of the [... and Landlord!] Podcast, I cover the typical requirements of working with Rehab Lenders, and the things you need to be on top of... These being: Down Payments; Appraisals; Reserves; & Credit Scores. When working with Rehab Lenders, you'll almost always need to put some amount of money into the deal ("Skin in the Game"), as your Down Payment. This will typically be 20%, but it can be lower or higher by 5% to 10% - depending on the specific numbers and terms of the deal. This will be largely determined by the Appraisal results. There will be an Appraisal of both the "As-Is" Value (to make sure you're not paying too much for the property); and the After Rehab / Repair Value (ARV) to determine what the home may be worth upon completion. And it is the ARV that will be critical in determining how much of the deal the Rehab Lender will fund versus what you'll need to pay out-of-pocket as your Down Payment. As they will typically only fund 70% to 75% of the ARV as the total project cost, which is both the purchase price and rehab budget. And most Rehab Lenders are going to want you to be able to show a certain amount of Cash Reserves in the Bank, which includes your Down Payment amount, Closing Costs, Holding Costs, and Interest Only Loan Payments. Lastly, they are most often going to pull your Credit and want to see certain minimum credit scores, along with no liens, no judgements, no collections, and no other derogatory information present on your Credit Report. In this regard, I discuss my personal situation of balancing the amount of Reserve Funds I use to pay off Credit Cards to keep my Credit Scores high, versus what I keep on-hand to be able to meet the Cash Reserve requirements. Its all good information for those seeking to do BRRRR investing at a high level, which at some point will require Private or Hard Money funding from a Rehab Lender.

Sep 2019

19 min 30 sec

By the end of this episode, I just put it out there... Something I've struggled to admit for most of my adult life. This episode of the [... and Landlord] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast speaks on the subject of our: Mindset; Attitude; Vision; (and what I come to admit) - my Passion - TO BE RICH! But in the process I give insight into the books on the www.andlandlord/books page that have aided me greatly in expanding my Mindset; improving my Attitude; focusing my Vision; and refining my Passion. This Episode #23 of the [... and Landlord] Podcast is an extension of last week's Episode #22 that asked the question - What's Your Why? Because the things discussed in this show are the things that will help you to achieve your WHY.

Aug 2019

18 min

What's your WHY? Your reason? Your purpose for getting up every day and going to work? Whether it be at a job where you're employed; or a business you own (self-employed) - why do you do it? Is it just to pay the bills? We all need money, and so is your current endeavor just the way you have of getting it - until some better way comes along? Or is it a means to some greater end? Is there a method to the madness? Or are you just keeping busy (because its what you're expected to do) - until you have some moment of inspiration as to your: WHAT; WHERE; WHEN; WHO; HOW - and of course WHY? It's a critical question, as a strong WHY will keep you motivated while you search for and determine those other things... WHAT; WHERE; WHEN; WHO; HOW. You need to know your WHY - and it needs to be something so big and important to you, that you'll do every day for YEARS, whatever it takes to achieve your goal. A weak or non-existent WHY, will yield week or non-existent results. So this episode of the [... and Landlord] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast asks the question... What Is Your Why? And in so doing, it reveals what my WHY happens to be and how I maintained my drive for it during both good and bad times.

Aug 2019

14 min 34 sec

How do you feel about debt? I LOVE DEBT! GOOD Debt that is... Debt that benefits me, while being paid back by someone else (my tenants). I don't want debt that I have to pay back - that's BAD debt. In this episode of the [... and Landlord] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast, I express my thoughts on debt and explain how and why I want to obtain at least $4 Million of additional debt (against cash-flow positive Rental Properties) in the coming 2 to 3 years. Real Estate is the only asset class of which I'm aware that lenders will readily provide 80% of the purchase price. In other words, they provide $0.80 of every dollar needed - 4/5th's of the purchase price! And they do so at what are currently all time low interest rates that can be locked in for 30 years! OMG - what an amazing deal! And then not only is the loan paid back by rent received from tenants, but over time the dollars being paid back (due to inflation) are worth less than those originally borrowed. And the end result of this is a FREE HOUSE for me, since I'm not the one who paid back the money. It was paid back by my tenants over time and I got cash-flow as an additional benefit all along the way! So in this episode of the [... and Landlord] Podcast, I state my case for wanting as much debt as I can get - as long as its GOOD debt against cash-flow positive Rental Properties. Or do you only want Rentals Properties if paid for up front in cash? That's fine if so... Let's both work our plans for 10 years and see who's in the best position at the end - with the greatest cash-flow, equity and highest net worth.

Aug 2019

21 min 31 sec

Episode #20 of the [... and Landlord] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast features an interview with Stock Day Trader, Realtor and Real Estate Investor / Landlord - Chad Kastel. This is only the second interview on the show, and the longest episode so far, as Chad had lots of great information to share. I met Chad earlier this year in Denver, at Joe Fareless' Best Ever Conference. Chad was one of many people I talked to at the event, but I was intrigued by his being a Stock Day Trader prior to getting into Real Estate Investing. And we had several great conversations during the 2 day conference. You see, prior to getting into Real Estate Investing myself, I had wanted to learn how to Day Trade Stocks. I actually had a class scheduled for later in the month, when I made up my mind to go full force into Real Estate Investing - so I cancelled the class and never looked back. But meeting Chad made me wonder if I could have done both - as he's doing successfully. But no... I know that I did the right thing, as for me, I really needed to focus on Real Estate, with all else that I've had going on. However, Chad is an inspiration being a Husband, Father, Stock Day Trader, Realtor... and Landlord! In this episode, Chad shares how he got into Stock Day Trading, leading from all things - a card game called Magic The Gathering. And how he then got into Real Estate Investing with properties in both Upstate New York and Florida (where he lives). Chad goes into detail on some issues and challenges he's encountered along the way, including some problems refinancing his New York mixed-use property, partnership failures and concerns with Property Management. And Chad reveals that his latest Real Estate endeavor is a partnership to complete flips in Florida, for which his wife has taken the lead. You can also hear Chad on Episode #1734 of The Best Every Show - with Joe Fareless.

Aug 2019

31 min 45 sec

This is Part 2 of "Self-Managing Landlords - 10 Things You Need To Stop Doing!" - which features #6 to #10. See last week's Episode (#18) for #1 to #5 on this list of 10 things you just need to stop doing (if you're a Landlord). So in this 19th Episode of the [...and Landlord!] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast, I continue to speak on Self Managing Landlords - completing my list of 10 Things You Need To Stop Doing! Last week's episode got a little long, so I decided to split it into two episodes, with this being the 2nd. And here in this 2nd episode on the topic (19th overall), I get a little political in #10 - so please forgive me, because matters of politics is not really supposed to be the focus of this Podcast. The second 5 of 10 Things That Self-Managing Landlords Need To Stop Doing - covered in this episode, include... 6. Stop Being Ignorant Of The Law. 7. Stop Using Leases You Got From Office Depot, Staples Or Just Found Somewhere On The Internet. 8. Stop Using Cheap Finishes In Your Rentals. 9. Stop Failing To Conduct Rental Property Inspections. 10. Stop Denying Potentially Great Tenants Based Upon Their Credit Score - (Political Opinion Alert). If you've not already, checkout Episode #18 to hear the first 5 of 10 Things That Self-Managing Landlords Need To Stop Doing. Unfortunately, all 10 items on the list are things that are common for Self-Managing Landlords - and I've been guilty of some of them myself at the start of my Real Estate endeavor. And it has been my experience that the longer a person has been a Landlord, the more likely they are to be guilty of multiple things on this list - like those who started in the business decades ago. If you're going to be a Self-Managing Landlord, then you need to stop doing these things. Or, you should outsource your Rental Property Management to a professional like me and my team at Blue Chariot Management.

Jul 2019

22 min 45 sec

In this 18th Episode of the [...and Landlord!] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast, I speak on "Self Managing Landlords - 10 Things You Need To Stop Doing!" But it got a little long on time, so I actually ended up splitting it into 2 Episodes, with this Episode #18 being Part 1, featuring #1 to #5. And Part 2 will be Episode #19, featuring #6 to #10. The first 5 of 10 Things That Self-Managing Landlords Need To Stop Doing - covered in this episode, include... 1. Stop Collecting Rent Like Its 1989 2. Stop Allowing Tenants To Pay Their Rent Late 3. Stop Renting To Friends And Family 4. Stop Failing To Screen Your Prospective Tenants Properly 5. Stop Doing Things Manually (Again, It's Not 1989) Come back next week for Episode #19 to hear the next 5 of 10 Things That Self-Managing Landlords Need To Stop Doing - resuming from #6. All 10 items on the list are things that are common for Self-Managing Landlords - and I've been guilty of some of them myself in the beginning. And the longer a person has been a Landlord, the more likely they are to be guilty of multiple things on this list - like those who started in the business in the 80's or 90's or before. If you're going to be a Self-Managing Landlord, then you need to stop doing these things. Become the best Landlord you can be... Or, you should outsource your Rental Property Management to a professional, like me and my team at Blue Chariot Management.

Jul 2019

26 min 35 sec

My first guest! In this 17th Episode of the [... and Landlord!] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast, I welcome my first guest to the show - Garrett White. And we talk about our first ground up construction / new build house and our partnership, along with some challenges we encountered along the way. Garrett is someone I first met a few years back when he reached out to me on BiggerPockets.com. We met shortly thereafter for coffee and found that we had a lot in common. Garrett was a relatively newly wed, and was about the same age I was when I got married. I admired that he was into Real Estate at such a young age, as although I was an Entrepreneur at that age - I did not get into Real Estate Investing until I was 15 years into my marriage. As we got to know each other better through subsequent meetings and Garrett volunteering to help me at some of my BRRRR projects when I was still in my DIY Landlord phase - it became clear that we worked pretty well together. We quickly became friends with our similar sarcastic / witty sense of humor. Trash talk got added in when we started playing racquetball on Monday's for exercise - talking Real Estate in between sets. We then began travelling together to some Real Estate educational training events and seminars, as far away as Vegas. These all allowed us to refine what we were doing, but as touched on in this Podcast episode, things just did not pan out until recently with the new build that we are now working on. Prior projects just went wrong for one reason or another, but not in ways that caused us to doubt our effort to work together. But we learned from each action (even failures) and applied the newly gained knowledge to the next attempt. Our determination to work together on a successful project left no other option but to succeed at some point. Now we have a new build underway on Carver Street in Durham - with a very nice profit potential, that we'll split between us, with some held in reserve to apply towards the next project, as we seek to keep this going.

Jul 2019

22 min 5 sec

Continuing last week's discussion from Part 1 (Episode #15) on [Where To Get The Money?] - this week we focus on Private Lenders. Having your projects funded 100% by Private Lenders is the best method of [Using Other Peoples Money For Real Estate Investing Success]. This form of OPM may not be available to you on your very first project (I mention friends and family as a possible exception to getting Private Lender funding right from the start) - but as you successfully complete each project, you'll certainly be nearer to this target. And once you reach this point, you may find that low deal flow (a lack of properties needing funding) becomes a greater problem for you than not having enough funding. Either way, both problems can be solved, and this Episode #16 of the [... and Landlord!] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast gives insight into solving your project funding problems with Private Lenders. I go into some details on protecting your Private Lenders, but most of the show covers the topic of getting and working with Private Lenders in general. And to that end, I mention my own difficulty in making what I'm doing known to friends and family members - and giving them equal opportunity to benefit from funding my deals as I have no problem making available to others. Excluding family and friends is really not fair them or myself, so I must work to overcome this apparent mental block of avoiding working with friends and family. I end this episode with details on where to find more information on this topic, one great location for doing so being "The Book On Investing In Real Estate With No (and low) Money Down" by Brandon Turner of BiggerPockets.com- which you can find among other great Business and Real Estate books on the Books page of the Podcast Website.

Jul 2019

24 min 52 sec

What are your thoughts on money? How do you feel about debt? Are you a person who thinks in terms of "I can't" or "how can I"? The difference between rich and poor (or middle class) may very well exist in the distinction between those two mindsets. Most people would LOVE to be a Real Estate Investor. I've yet to meet the person who says they would NOT want to own Real Estate. I've met people that would rather not be a Landlord, but everyone wants to own Real Estate. But most people will dismiss this thought as something they can't do by saying "I don't have the money" or "I can't afford it". That's disappointing - because if instead such people would ask "HOW can I get the money" or "HOW can I afford it" - they would be unleashing the power of their mind to solve the problem just placed before it. This reasoning comes from the book Rich Dad Poor Dad, which is mentioned in the opening minutes of this Podcast Episode #15 - Where To Get The Money? Using Other Peoples Money (OPM) For Real Estate Investing Success - Part 1. This is a two part episode, because while I talk about getting money from: Banks; Hard Money Lenders; Retirement Accounts (IRA/401K/TSP); HELOC; Credit Cards; Private Lenders; and even a line about Cash-Value Life Insurance - I spend most of this episode speaking in general about using debt to buy Real Estate. I even go into details of "Good Debt" versus "Bad Debt"; and a term from fellow Investor & Podcast Host, Jason Hartman - "Inflation Induced Debt Destruction". Because if you think ALL debt is bad, then we're done right there! So listen to this Episode #15 - Part 1 of the [... and Landlord!] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast and we'll continue in Episode #16 - Part 2 next week speaking more about Private Lenders - which is really where you want to get your funding from as you progress in your Real Estate Investing business. But you most likely want to start out using a Bank or Hard Money Lender, so I talk about that in this Episode, along with thoughts on how and where to get your 20% to 25% down-payment you'll likely need in addition to closing costs and reserves.

Jul 2019

27 min 17 sec

Have you ever heard of the BRRRR method of Rental Real Estate Investing? BRRRR Stands for Buy, Rehab (or some may say Renovate), Rent, Refinance, (and to add yet another R) - Repeat. I've used the BRRRR method for all of my rental properties, buying each at some level of distress. And then rehabbing them into cash-flow positive rentals, before refinancing to pull out my invested cash, plus a nice profit - at least for most of them there was profit. Now the idea of buying a distressed property to rehab into a rental may seem risky, and so you may be more inclined towards turn-key properties. Who wants to do actual rehab work when you can buy rental ready properties that need no more effort or expertise on your part beyond turning the key? But as mentioned in this episode of the [... and Landlord!] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast - you make money in Real Estate Investing proportional to the level of problems you're able to solve. And the one solving the problems is the one who gets paid most. So while a turn-key investment property will give you potential positive cash-flow, appreciation and tax benefits - it's not as likely to produce instant equity or an infinite return. Whereas a BRRRR deal successfully executed is one where you found a property with a problem you could solve, and your benefit for doing so is positive cash-flow, appreciation and tax benefits - PLUS, all your invested money back out of the deal (creating an infinite return), a nice profit check at refi closing, and instant equity in the deal. Turn-key may be easier, but you're not solving any problems. Someone else solved the problem, and so that is the person who will profit the most from the deal. And then you have to hope that person knew what they were doing and did not cut any corners - thus still introducing risk into the deal, but a risk with no reward... just risk that you're dealing with a turn-key provider who is incompetent or a crook. But worse than that, what do you learn and how do you improve in your problem solving skills by buying turn-key properties? This episode of the [... and Landlord!] Podcast is about doing BRRRR deals to build your rental property empire, because among other reasons - each deal done increases your knowledge, experience and skills. You can then do more complex or more challenging deals as you move along - and each increases your profit potential for solving higher level problems. In this episode, I give details of how I increased from doing BRRRR deals where the rehab budget was estimated to be $3,000 to projects with rehab budgets of $150,000. I don't want to hold you in suspense, so I'll just tell you now that I made a lot more profit on the $150K deal than those nearer to $3K. That is because the $150K rehab had some big problems to solve, as did a $90K rehab project that I also mention in this episode. And since you would not want to jump right out there on a 6 figure rehab project, you need to work your way up by doing repeated BRRRR deals... that is why the last R is Repeat.

Jun 2019

20 min 32 sec

Back in 2016, I found myself clearing my first (AND LAST) toilet clog in a rental property. It was my 4th property, but numbers 4, 5 and 6 came to me in a very short amount of time. And by the time I got #7, I was officially out of the DIY (Do It Yourself) Landlord life. No more would you find me clearing tenant toilet clogs. I was done handling jammed garbage disposals. I was finished with pest control. NO future maintenance and repair tasks would involve ME - doing anything directly. Over the period of time from obtaining rental property #4 to #7, I had started building my team of personnel and vendors, including: Plumber; Electrician; HVAC; Cleaners; General Contractors; Painters; Handymen, etc... So now when something needed to be done at a rental property, I had people to call who could take action on my behalf. But this was hard for me, because of course these people also wanted to be PAID - and much of the work I tasked them to undertake on my behalf were things that I was fully capable of handling myself. So this 13th Episode of the [... and Landlord] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast is titled "Avoid Becoming A DIY Landlord" - and its all about my journey from feeling I should be saving MONEY - by handling everything myself; to saving TIME (which is far more valuable than money) - by leveraging the time and skills of others to handle things on my behalf. Finding myself clearing a tenant toilet clog was my eye opening moment to see how wasteful it was of both my time and ultimately also a waste of my money - for ME to be clearing toilet clogs. When I could have been out finding more properties to grow my Rental Property business. Or working to get clients to grow my Realty business. It certainly was not the best use of my time and skills to be clearing a toilet clog in a rental property - something I didn't want to be doing anyway! That certainly wasn't why I got into Real Estate, so why was I doing it? Well no more DIY Landlord tasks for me.. And hopefully after listening to this 13th Episode of the [... and Landlord] Podcast, you will be done with the DIY Landlord life also. Or even better... Maybe this will help you to avoid it entirely if you've not yet fallen into that trap. Instead of clearing toilet clogs, go out and get more rental properties. And if those rentals are in the Raleigh / Durham (Triangle area) of North Carolina, then you should hire me and Blue Chariot Management to manage your rental properties on your behalf. I've put together an impressive team to handle all your Raleigh / Durham Property Management needs.

Jun 2019

27 min 38 sec

Blue Chariot Management is here! #12 is a Special Episode of the [...and Landlord] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast, titled "Elevate Your Real Estate Investment - Introducing Blue Chariot Management". Effective Property Management is an essential element of having a profitable Rental Real Estate Investment Property. This Special Episode serves as the official announcement of Blue Chariot Management. Professional Property Management by Blue Chariot for Single-Family and small Multi-Family Rental Properties in the Raleigh / Durham (Triangle) area of North Carolina. Prior episodes of the [... and Landlord] Podcast have given insight into how you can more effectively self-manage your rental property... Like #8 | Don' Let Vacancy Kill Your Rental Cashflow; and #9 | Rental Property Advertising How To Make Your Rental Home Stand Out From The Crowd - among others. But now you can hire Jonathan Taylor Smith and Blue Chariot Management to handle this on your behalf.   Please visit: BlueChariot.Management - to learn more about Blue Chariot Management and to get a FREE Rental Analysis and quote for Professional Rental Property Management from Blue Chariot.

Jun 2019

12 min 51 sec

So let's talk about your rental lease... Where did you get yours? Did you download it from some random site on the Internet located by searching Google for keywords like "rental lease agreement"? Did you buy it at Office Depot or Staples? Or did you go the professional route and pay an attorney to create a custom lease specific to you and your rental property? First, I don't recommend going the random Internet search route. I also wouldn't buy or use a lease from anywhere, unless it is indicated and confirmed to be written specially for your state. I'm in North Carolina, and the Landlord / Tenant Laws here (and thus how a lease must be written to comply with them) are certainly not going to be the same for you in some other state. You need a state specific lease. So it would seem the best method would be to get a lease drawn up by an attorney in your local area who is knowledgeable of the Landlord / Tenant Laws and resulting lease requirements in your state... Right? Maybe, but not necessarily... In this episode of the ... and Landlord! Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast, entitled "#11 | Make Sure Your Lease Protects Your ASSets" - I speak on the topic of rental leases... Where I got mine. How and why I've customized it. And I provide examples of how I use my lease as both a sword and shield in the protection of my rental home assets; as well as, my rental property and property management businesses. I give two locations (BiggerPockets.com & EZLandlordForms.com) - at which you can obtain state specific leases. The lease I use for all of my rental properties comes from EZLandlordForms.com - and I've then customized it to fit my specific needs, including adding and altering provisions to make the lease even better at protecting my rental home assets and businesses. Of course, I ran this lease by my attorney, along with any additions and changes that I've made. And the end result after 4 years is a document that speaks well to almost any scenario that occurs at one of my rental homes and for my rental property and property management businesses. Likewise, in this episode I give tips to making sure you have the best possible lease in place to both help keep you OUT of court, and making your WIN (should you end up in court anyway) next to inevitable. And the most important part of that equation is staying OUT of court - so I provide details in making sure your tenant is fully informed as to the lease contents and your strict adherence to following this document in the handling of any and all issues. I even go into details as to when, why and how to make an exception in handling things only as detailed in the lease. There needs to be room for reasonableness in your handling of matters, even when you are fully within your rights according to the lease and law. Yes, the lease can be your sword - but "he who lives by the sword, also dies by the sword." - so be reasonable with your tenants and your handling of matters, as that may also work in your favor should you ever end up in court. You don't want to be in front of a judge looking like the unreasonable party or a bully. In short, rental property is an asset that comes with certain risks - so this episode is all about making sure your lease protects your ASSets as best possible.

Jun 2019

22 min 28 sec

So let's talk Section 8! There's an Eight Ball on the cover image of this episode for a reason. All too often Landlords effectively "Black Ball" Section 8 voucher holders. When a person with a Section 8 voucher calls to inquire about a listed rental home and they begin to ask that question of the Landlord... "Do you accept Section 8 vouchers?" - All to often, it may seem to the prospective Tenant as if the Landlord barely waits for them to finish asking the question before beginning to respond - "No... We don't accept vouchers". But when those prospective Tenants call me to inquire about one of my rentals, the answer as it relates to most of my properties is... "Yes, certainly we accept Section 8 vouchers." - And it's funny (ironic) when the person then asks the question again... "You do accept Section 8!?" - As they are so (pleasantly) surprised to hear something different than all their prior inquiry calls - they hardly believe their ears. In this 10th Episode of the ... and Landlord Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast, I discuss Section 8. I go into many of the reasons that Landlords often effectively "black ball" (refuse to accept) these prospective tenants who are on Section 8. But I concede that in some markets this may be a wise decision, as County Section 8 programs are not always administrated effectively and Landlord / Tenant Laws can be shewed (un-reasonably) towards the Tenant in some Cities and States. I warn that if it takes 6+ months to evict someone in your market, then it does increase the risk of accepting Section 8 as a Landlord - as well as, just being a rental property owner in that location at all. However, where the program is administered properly and where evictions can happen (should it be needed) in a reasonable amount of time (like 1 to 3 months) - then accepting Section 8 can be of great benefit. That benefit can be for you (the Landlord), but also for the Section 8 Tenant, the Neighborhood, the City, the State, the Country - and everyone. There may be many legitimate reasons for NOT accepting Section 8, of which I cover several in this episode. But there are also many valid reasons TO accepting Section 8 - that should be fully considered before just refusing to participate in the program for fear of what might happen. Landlord Horror Stories abound, but you can run your rental business (including accepting Section 8 vouchers) in a way that makes it unlikely you'll be the next victim. As such, I cover many of the things that can be done to lessen the chance of a negative outcome. And how to increase the likelihood for getting a long-term Tenant who will greatly appreciate having a wonderful home for their family. Do Good While Doing Well... Section 8 offers a prime opportunity for Landlords to do good for others, while also doing well for themselves. But the program and those on it have gotten a negative stigma attached that makes many Landlords fear even trying to participate in the program. As stated, that can be a wise choice in some markets. But in many (if not most) the risk is more than worth the reward. And the risk can be largely mitigated by having proper Tenant screening, strict policies and well established procedures that allow your rental business to function smoothly. This episode relates my experiences with Section 8 in Durham, North Carolina. And you be successful with Section 8 also, here or elsewhere - if done right.

May 2019

35 min 13 sec

This (9th) Episode of the [... and Landlord] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast is titled "Rental Property Advertising - How To Make Your Rental Home Stand Out From The Crowd". So in this episode, I go into things such as posting enticing pictures (lots of them), and making sure that your main exterior and kitchen (or kitchen and living-room) pictures are amazing. These can be taken with a SmartPhone, but you need to know what you're doing and have proper lighting - otherwise, go pro and just pay to have it done right. You can stage the home with some furniture and decor, or showcase your wide-open space - but the pictures have got to be on point. I continue to say a word on your words... Yes, a picture is worth a thousand, but you still need some, and they need to paint a compelling picture. So I give an example of how to tell a story with your listing text, instead of just citing bland facts and figures - like all the other rental listings on Zillow and other sites. And I mention Zillow, Trulia, HotPads, CraigsList, Realtor.com - and other sites, including GoSection8.com. Have you considered Section 8? In this Episode I go into a bit of detail as to why you should, including some stats on the program for Durham County, NC. But I don't tell the full story on Section 8 here (only how it relates to making your rental listing stand out from the crowd) - so in a coming Episode, I will go into more detail on the pros and cons of making your rental homes available for persons with Section 8 vouchers and the process for doing so. I also provide an example of how to conduct market research on Zillow to learn what the competition is like in your area. And how to use the information presented on Zillow to identify how best to stand out among others listed. And even what your target rent should be as suggested by Zillow, CraigsList and Rentometer.com - but possibly adjusted to target Section 8. Upgrades? Lastly, I speak on how you can make your rental home stand out from the crowd by making upgrades. Why have fermica counters when you can have granite? Why carpet when it can be "luxury" vinyl plank? Why have white appliances when they can be stainless steel for not much more? Why not add fans in the bedrooms and living areas, upgrade light fixtures, add a backslash in the kitchen, tile the shower, etc...? If you can make people say "WOW!" when they see your listing, and feel a sense of disbelief that it is available within their rent range... You'll get the best tenants; who remain for years; while gladly accepting annual rent increases; and having pride in the home - of which they take great care. This 9th Episode ("Rental Property Advertising - How To Make Your Rental Home Stand Out From The Crowd") is a deep(er) dive into the rental advertising aspects of last week's: Ep. #8 | Don't Let Vacancy Kill Your Rental Cashflow. So as mentioned in Episode #8, your rental listing advertising is a critical element of keeping vacancy to a minimum. Now learn how to make your rental home stand out from the crowd, like your house has a spotlight shinning on it from above.

May 2019

24 min 17 sec

In this, the 8th Episode of the [... and Landlord] Rental Real Estate Investing Podcast, I discuss how vacancy kills rental cashflow; and therefore how to avoid vacancy. On this topic of avoiding rental vacancy, I discuss such things as making sure that your existing tenant leaves on terms that are favorable to your finding a new tenant BEFORE they're gone. This includes having a requirement of 45 days notice to end tenancy (not 30 days unless mandated by law). Also, having it stated in your lease that you have the right to show the home to new prospective tenants during that notice period while the current tenant is still present - along with details on how to handle this properly. I speak on how to advertise the property for rent and making sure its priced right. For example, might you be able to rent the property faster and for a longer period of time at a slightly reduced rent? And for once you have people inquiring about your rental, I talk about screening those prospective tenants in a way so as to lawfully eliminate those persons who are more likely to create problems for you and likely to be short-term tenants - as you want tenants who will be in the home for years. This is because tenant turnover is expensive, so I speak on ways of getting your existing tenant to remain longer, so as to avoid not just vacancy, but also the major expense of making the home rental ready again between tenants. Your tenant is your customer, so you must treat them with appreciation, while also running your rental business with professional processes that make them want to remain being a customer (tenant) of your rental property business. This even includes how you handle lease renewals and rent increases. And lastly, I give an example where one of my better rental homes will soon experience a tenant turnover. The existing tenant in this homes gave notice in April that they would be vacating the home at the end of May (Sunday, June 2nd actually to have one more weekend to complete the move-out). We quickly got the home listed for rent and scheduled showings. There were lots of inquiries and showings, which resulted in 5 applications being submitted. We processed each and approved one for a new tenant to begin occupancy in this home on June 7th. That will give us 4 days (from June 3rd to 6th) to complete touch-up painting and any other work as needed to make the home rental ready again for the new tenant. And because of how we manage our properties, it is highly likely that very little work will be needed to make the home ready, as it passed an inspection just a couple months earlier. In line with this example, I speak a bit during this episode on property management, such as doing quarterly inspections. This creates a situation where when you do experience a tenant turnover, you already know the condition of the property and its likely to require minimal work if all prior quarterly inspections have been passed and the tenant follows the move-out cleaning guide. The episode ends with mention of the new [... and Landlord] Podcast Book Recommendations page at: https://www.andlandlord.com/books - and my personal comments here referencing: The 4-Hour Work Week & Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. I highly recommend both books, and you can read details of what they did for me at the above links.

May 2019

32 min 16 sec

Books have played a critical roll in my Real Estate success since starting in 2015. I once had negative thoughts towards so-called "Self-Help" books, or those on Mindset, Business or Money & Finances. But once I actually allowed myself to read the first, I was hooked. As I've expressed before, that book was Rich Dad Poor Dad, and it changed the way I looked at both money and myself. Some time later I read Rich Dad's Cashflow Quadrant, and it changed the way I looked at my business and how my wife and I made our money as an employee and self-employed small business owner. I don't remember exactly, but I'm pretty certain my finally reading Rich Dad Poor Dad was a result of listening to the BiggerPockets Podcast, where at the end of each show they ask the guest for book recommendations - and almost every person mentioned this book... So I had to read it! And thus naturally, I started reading the other recommended books also. Now I'd like to return that favor by not only recommending books that I found valuable, but also providing details into WHY. On the [... and Landlord] Podcast Website at: https://www.andlandlord.com/books - you can get a listing of my favorite books that I feel every Real Estate Investor should read. But also I'll give some details of where I was along my journey when I encountered each book, what I took from it, and what it did for me - so that maybe you may benefit as well. In this episode of the [... and Landlord] Podcast, I focus on two... The 4-Hour Work Week & The Richest Man in Babylon.

May 2019

14 min

In 2019, maybe more than ever before - you need to be able to evaluate properties, market for deals, negotiate with sellers, and have reliable funding in place to close. As I've mentioned before, I started my Real Estate Investing career in 2015, which admittedly was a better time to have started than 2019.  In fact, I'd say I was about 5 years late. Had I started in 2010, its possible I'd have 10 times the number of properties as I do now. But like the Chinese Proverb says... "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago... The second best time is now." Having started my Real Estate Investing career in 2015 instead of 2010, I'll try not to lament only catching the tale end of what may prove to be the greatest opportunity to acquire deeply discounted properties in mass that may occur within my lifetime. Likewise, YOU should not use the current market condition as an excuse NOT to get started or to grow in YOUR Real Estate Investing business in 2019. In this Episode (#6) of the [... and Landlord] Podcast, I talk about Evaluating Properties, Marketing for Deal, Negotiating with Seller, and Funding Purchases... all things that are always needed in Real Estate Investing, but even more so when in a "Hot" market where almost everything appears to be greatly over-priced as a Rental Property Investment. Checkout the full Episode Blog & Transcript at: https://andLandlord.com

Apr 2019

24 min 35 sec