RISMEDIA, April 19, 2011—Everybody wants to be an entrepreneur, but no one wants to be a landlord. What’s up with that? As if tenants are some kind of outcasts who bring a chill to your spine with just the sound of their voice. “I don’t want to hear them complain when the toilet backs up!” “Being a landlord is a hassle!”
It’s really silly if you think about it.
Consider this: A fitness nut who has dreamt of being an entrepreneur finally takes the plunge and starts a personal training business on a part-time basis. But there’s a problem. In his words, “I hate people who are out of shape. They make me sick!”
Or a gardener who opens her own landscaping company and sees her customer sitting on a chair in the back yard taking a nap and thinks, “How lazy can you be!”
Or a blogger who gets a ton of comments and thinks, “I don’t have time to respond to all these people. What a hassle!”
It’s ridiculous, right? These are the customers. You are supposed to hug your customers. This is what we have all been taught.
So why are tenants not given the same reverence? If you own a simple investment property, your tenant isn’t just your customer—he might be your only customer. And when he calls because the dryer broke, or the roof leaked, or even the dreaded toilet backed up, shouldn’t any entrepreneur worth their salt jump at the chance to make it right?
Success in real estate investing, and in life in general, is all about perspective. If your approach to real estate is to make quick money with no risk and no landlord hassles, you have it all wrong. The correct perspective is to see this as a small business.
A small business, by definition, is not a short-term endeavor. By definition, it requires some of your time and effort if you expect to make money. By definition, if you get a customer, consider yourself lucky and treat them accordingly.
This is important because there are millions of people out there who believe in real estate as the best long-term investment, but too many people won’t ever do anything about it. At OwnAmerica, we did an informal survey to find out why. The top three answers were as follows:
1. I don’t know how. (Which is why OwnAmerica was formed).
2. I don’t have any money.
3. I don’t want to be a landlord.
I think it’s time for a little perspective. Making a single investment that can, by itself, secure a college education or comfortable retirement is worth a little hassle. Don’t you think?
Greg Rand is CEO of OwnAmerica.com and former managing partner of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty. For more information, please visit www.ownamerica.com.