Why I love to have my hands in the dirt? Why I like to do so much? Why I am not (yet) willing to hire a contractor or a real estate manager (or something like that)? Collect the money, lay back and relax, let others do the "hard work"?
Well first of all I like to do things myself because then I know how different things work and in the best case scenario I can guide my tenant to fix it or go there and fix it myself. At the same time I can get a better look at things, why something is not working and is there something more to do. If a tenant cannot change a light bulb or take care of my property, then maybe something is going horribly wrong, but I like to be the one who makes the judgement. By these measures I can save loads of money.
I like to choose my own tenants and I go through a lot of trouble by just picking up the best candidates and go through even more trouble before choosing the best one. By doing this I am trying to cover my own ass. I like to see what kind of people are interested and like my apartments, maybe even get some new ideas and meet nice people with different backgrounds. I don't want to be their best friend or anything but I want to make sure I like them and they like me. When you get along with someone it makes things way more easy, communications etc. I take care of my tenants so they take care of my apartments.
Also when I go to my properties, what ever the reason, I can get a good look at the community, people and places. Usually people are nice and talkative and places are in order. But more than a few times I have run across rather odd ways to take out the trash or parking. And yes, I have also received a note with Mickey Mouse giving me the finger because of my... um... "creative" parking.
If you take time to wonder around your properties or the properties from where you own a flat you come by interesting people and interesting situations. You learn a lot, you hear (possibly valuable) gossips, see that the janitor does not do a jack, is the place taken care or not, what is the community like: kind or mind-your-own-business- type.
I like to understand the world where I do business in but it does not always mean I have to do EVERYTHING myself. I will help if I can, I want to be present, I want to know what has been done and why, I want to know what I am billed for. I don't for example like doing electricity or plumbings by myself or other regulated stuff. Those are ways to get into trouble and by doing regulated things wrong you can put your own or others' health on the line. So I do have my limits. I have also started to gather a list (and evaluation) of some contractors (like plumbers and electricians) to make it easier to call someone if I need a professional.
I still think I have a lot to learn in the field of real estate investing and at some point I think that I need to use more hired hired people. Sipping mojitos with my feet in the sand, giving orders to my minions by phone or tablet... That could do... Only time will tell...
Kettu kuittaa. The fox has left the building...