Is It Smart To Meet Your Tenants?
In this weekend wisdom, we discuss whether or not we speak directly with the tenants of our properties. --- Transcript Michael: Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of The Remote Real Estate Investor. I'm Michael album and today I'm joined by Tom: Tom Schneider, Emil: Emil Shour. Michael: In today's weekend wisdom, we're going to be talking about a semi sensitive topic and that is talking directly to your tenants as an owner. So we're going to be talking about who does this who doesn't do it, things to be aware of. Let's just get into it, guys. Alright, so before we started recording this episode, I was talking about the idea and Emil's like oh, yeah, I'd never do that. So Emil, tell us why you haven't done that. Or why you are actively choosing not to talk directly to your tenants. EmiL: Yes. So if I'm being just blunt and honest, I think most people just don't like their landlord. Michael: Speaking from experience? Emil: Recently, my dad bought property. So I know what it's like on the other end, people think you're just rolling in dough and like you do nothing. And you're just I don't know, driving lambos. And what they really don't understand is most people are mom and pop this is their livelihood, like this is their retirement, this is how they live their twilight years, whatever it is. So you have bad landlords, and those guys suck. But most landlords, like they aren't that bad. Everyone just thinks like, Oh my God, my landlord raise my rent $25 How dare they not realizing that their insurance costs went up, or their property taxes went all these things that raise their costs, too. And so again, this is someone's livelihood, they charge you more at the grocery store. Like this is just how the world works. Michael: That's such a good point about the grocery store. like nobody complains, like grocery store is the corporate man trying to take, you know! Tom: Go ahead Emil, you were complaining about owning houses, go ahead and keep going. Emil: I think most people listening to this show get it because they're trying to buy rental property. But if you're on the other side, and I don't know, you've never thought about it really, I think there's that's why there's this negative stigma towards landlords or whatever. But anyway, most tenants, I think, have this negative feelings where there's a landlord, and for me, the property manager is my boots on the ground there the person who knows everything, there's no reason that the tenant even needs to know me, right? They need to know the property manager and feel good with the property manager. They don't need to know that some guy in California owns his property. I think if they knew Oh, the owner like lives in California, whatever, I don't know, I think they may try to get away with more stuff, or whatever it may be. I don't think it would lead to a positive result. I'd rather they just think the property manager is basically the owner of this property. They're local, they handle everything. And that's why I choose not to make any direct contact with my tenants. Pierre: Would they get away with something like throwing away your HOA notifications for about a year? Emil: Yes Pierre. Wow, pure listens to our shows. Michael: Yeah, you tell us you don't listen. Tom: Snipers in. Michael: That's so good. Yeah. Emil: That's okay. that's a that's a one time painful thing I'll have to live with. Michael: And for those of you who aren't familiar with a Pierre was referencing a meal was receiving at his rental property address his Hoa notifications for a year, which his tenant had thrown away or decided to not pass along to a meal or the property manager. So you got slapped with a pretty big late fine and see for not having patriots away for a year, right. Emil: Yeah, it's probably just the tenant is like, Who is this Emil guy and just threw it away. Michael: Right! He doesn't live here anymore. Emil: Yeah, exactly. So Oh, well, my fault for buying a property with an HOA and not doing my homework to say, How do I make sure this gets paid every year? So silly Emil. Michael: Pierre, that was so good. Emil: Lesson learned. You just wait Pierre, I'll roast you, your time will come. Michael: All right, Tom, do you talk to your tenants directly? Why or why not? Tom: I do not. If you're self managing, obviously, you need to talk to your tenants. But that's just like some extra stuff that I don't really want in my life. And there's a reason why I will my property manager gets paid that percentage of the rent that they collect is they just handle all of that, especially as you start scaling your portfolio, it's like, I don't know, if you necessarily want to build that type of relationship with the people that are living and and you think about it, it's kind of a business relationship, and that you have a house that they're renting. And I think it just gets a little bit more complicated. I've thought about sending like some sort of like Christmas card or like, like a, you know, something would be like a gift card or something at the end of the year, I haven't done it yet. I've kind of like maybe just send it through the property manager just as like kind of a thank you for being a good tenant. I haven't done that. I think that's the extent that I would make of my relationship with the tenant is maybe not like from me, but just send them that like as a nice gift, maybe give the property manager credit for it. But the idea of having these relationships isn't necessarily something like a reason that I'm doing it with the tenant. So I'm kind of rambling on a little bit, but I pay for the property manager to manage that relationship for me to simplify my life and to make this more more passive and if things come up where perhaps it's a little bit like contentious or something like rent collection or whatever. It's better not to be in a position where the tenant will like want to reach out to me, it's like, you're almost making it harder for the property manager to do their job by building that relationship with the tenant, because they may think, Oh, I have a way to get around. So I think you can do you know, nice things if you want to be nice and do that like through the property manager, but you want to put your property manager in a good position to be successful. So I will not establish that relationship with the tenant or know them. I've never talked to any of the tenants that I've had. Michael: Great points 99% of the time, I don't I've had a tenant reach out to me directly, they somehow got my contract. Well, I know what how they did it. Because on the lease, it was my name before I moved the property into the LLC. So they reached out to me and like all your property manager, criminal, all this kind of stuff. I was like, oh my god. So I did have some direct contact with them and tried to smooth things out a little bit, but I much prefer not to. And then there was another instance when we're doing some construction and having to raise rents. And the tenant wanted to talk to me directly. And so the property manager said, this is what they want. And I said, Okay, let's all get on a call together so that everybody hears the same things. Because I think that there is definitely some liability exposure when you talk to a tenant directly, and you aren't very well versed in the local laws and rules and regulations governing what you can and can't do with regard to tenants. So just being aware of what you can and can't say and what you should and shouldn't say I think are really important. Also, having written communication, if there is going to be any form of communication, I think is helpful so that there's a paper trail of exactly what was said, of who and when. And so in this particular instance, I got on the phone with the property manager and the tenant, we talked through what their issue was, and we were able to come to resolution. And that was great. But that's once in a blue moon, I really, really prefer to run things as you both do, and letting the property manager do what they do best and be that recognizable face and voice for that tenant, there's not much value I can add by having those conversations or sending those emails at the property manager can't do themselves, especially because I'm often telling them what I'm wanting to have done or said they're just able to put their own spin on it to make it more local. So I avoid it. Emil: Solid. Three interesting approaches to the same topic. Michael: Alrighty everybody that was our episode. Thank you so much for listening. We really, really appreciate all of the love support and feedback, comments, ratings reviews we've been getting over the last couple weeks. Please Please, please keep them coming. We're going to pick one to give a shout out to on the next episode. So feel free wherever you listen to your podcast to give us a rating or review and we'll give you a shout out and potentially some swag. We have been known to be doing some swag giveaways over the last couple weeks. So we'll have to get back at that. Thanks again for listening, everybody. We look forward to seeing you on the next one and happy investing. Emil: Happy investing Tom: Happy investing.