I hate evictions! I used to have to evict problem tenants, and I dreaded every minute of it. I know what it's like to have rental troubles, and I know if you had been there with an offer in your hands at the moment my troubles seemed overwhelming, you would have picked up a fairly decent property. Cheap.
Why I hate evictions
Evictions are no fun. I hate the entire process. I will do almost anything to avoid having hire a crew to drag my tenant's belongings out to the curb, which is the way our evictions go.
You get that court order, hire a crew, call the locksmith, and then just sit around and wait for the sheriff to show up. Once he does, he'll walk up to the house, knock on the door, and advise the tenants that it's time to go.
If the tenants are not home, I'll unlock the door and instruct the locksmith to re-key it. In the meantime, that crew of mine begins hauling the tenant's belongings out to the curb. If they've got a pet, the sheriff calls "animal control," and they come by and pick it up.
I once evicted a tenant who owned two mastiffs--BIG dogs. They had heads as big as basketballs, and it took three guys to get them loaded into their truck. And then wouldn't you know it, a couple minutes later the tenant, all six foot eight inches of him (I kid you not) comes running up to the house screaming "Where the heck are my dogs?" Although he didn't actually say "heck," if you know what I mean.
Where was I? Hiding in the basement, praying that sheriff hadn't left early (he hadn't!).
I once loaded up a tenant's refrigerator (ouch) into the back of her boyfriend's pickup truck, just to get her out of my property, and as I watched them drive off, I realized that, hey, that was MY refrigerator! Oh sure, it's real funny now, but at that moment I wanted nothing more than to end my career as a landlord. Tenant troubles will wear you out in a heartbeat.
And then it occurred to me that if I was experiencing this sort of grief, certainly my fellow landlords going through the eviction process might be experiencing those very same sort of feelings.
Heck, they may even be inclined to make someone like me--someone who is not afraid of evictions--one heck of a deal just to get out of their problem properties.
Why I love evictions
Did I mention I love evictions? Okay, maybe not love, but I certainly don't mind them. Nope, not in the least. Because I know that every time a new eviction is filed down at my county courthouse, the odds are pretty darn good that some landlord in town is tired, fed up, or just plain sick of being in the rental business.
Now, if my little proposal should happen to show up in his mailbox at about the time he's feeling like he needs out then, bingo, I'm in. Does it work all the time? Of course not, and I really don't care. I know I might send out twenty or thirty letters and not get back a single reply.
For whatever reason, nobody in that particular group felt like getting in touch with me, and that's okay. But then again, I might get a call back from one, or even two.
Do you have an hour or two a week?
I use this particular strategy time and time again. And even when it seems like nothing else is happening, a couple of calls trickle in, and I'll put together a sweetheart deal from yet another tired landlord. It's a terrific source for motivated sellers, and the entire process takes me an hour or two a week, and that includes licking the darn stamps.
If you've got an hour or two a week, ten bucks in postage, and a real good answer for the guy on the phone who's calling you back and wants to know about your program then you ought to consider targeting the tired landlords in your community too. (I don't have a program. I'm just looking for a decent house in a decent area, something that makes good business sense.)
Do you have another two hours?
But don't stop there. Researching evictions filings at your courthouse probably isn't going to be real glamorous. Where else do you find those landlords? My guess is that the landlords in your town are probably advertising like crazy trying to get their empty rentals filled up.
Did you know that there are even rental list companies that will include the landlord's available properties in their rental lists so tenants eager to find a new home can just pay the $50 fee and order up a list of properties that suits their needs? Maybe you've even purchased a list yourself way back when.
Guess what? It's time to go out and pick up that list again. I do. Don't you think you should contact those landlords as well? They're paying good money to find you, so why not call them and solve their problems with a lease option on their vacant rentals? I'll tell you why not.
It's a pain to spend hours on the phone only to and hear from yet another landlord that his property has six fruit trees. Like I care about the fruit trees. I have neither the time nor the energy to call on ads or call the property owner on the rental lists.
I do, however, have plenty of time to drop them a quick note and inquire, ever so gently, if they'll make me one heck of a deal on their empty house. You just have to know what to say in the note.
Yes, it's another couple hours and another ten or twenty bucks in postage and supplies, but once this particular system is up and running, your offers will literally be in the hands of the landlords in my community who want to deal, TODAY. And that, my friends, is what it's all about.
About the Author:
Joseph M. Kaiser is a highly successful real estate investor who is a real doer. He is proud to be out, pounding the pavement nearly every single day, looking for the next bargain property to add to his investment portfolio.
Joe started investing in real estate in the mid-1980s and soon found his niche in foreclosures and lease options. He is the master at tracking down motivated sellers.