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When tomorrow comes

June 24, 2009

Today I have had the fortunate challenge of working on some of my investment properties in their various stages of being. I have one unit that was vacated at the beginning of the month and needed some cleanup, so I have been coordinating cleaning, rug replacement, and landscaping. I’m happy to say that except for a last minute sweeping, it’s ready to be rented again. I’ve also been working on my newly acquired triplex – the mundane things like getting the electricity turned on, and figuring out how many gallons of paint we need to paint the exterior, not to mention getting an idea of all of the little things that need to be done to make it rent-ready. And finally, I have been in negotiation with another partner on a 16-unit building. We really can’t do anything further on this until next week, but it’s exciting nonetheless. And so my little empire grows.

So how is this a win/win situation?

Well, I am primarily the wheeler/dealer on these deals, but there are several people involved in each one. I have partners who are participating in one way or another, either by providing funds, expertise, grunt work, support, etc. Our agreements all need to be worked out to each person’s satisfaction.

And then I have the people for whom I am providing housing. I believe myself to be a fair property manager – perhaps sometimes a little TOO fair – but I find I get better results with kindness and respect than drawing hard lines. Some people would disagree with that, but so far, even when I need to deal with a non-performing tenant, I find I can do so with a minimum of hassle, as long as we keep it civil and between two adults. Believe me, I know what hard times are like, so I have more than a small share of compassion. At the same time, I need to be cognizant of the fact that this is a business, and because of that, sometimes I need to make hard decisions. In the long run, though, I have great tenants, and I have had more than one thank me for the opportunity to rent from me. I really enjoy knowing that I am helping them.

In addition to handling my real estate investment business, I have also had some dealings with running the comic book store today, including negotiations to cut expenses. It is encouraging to see that I can be treated with the same level of understanding and respect that I offer to others. What goes around comes around.

Tomorrow, I leave all of this mayhem behind me for four days, as I head out for a much-needed mini-vacation; a speaking engagement/camping trip on the Northern California coast – 80’s by day, 50’s by night. What a refreshing idea after this week’s Arizona temperatures in the 100’s already. Where I am headed has no wireless access, so no laptop, no internet, not even a cell phone. I can’t wait!

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