Confessions of a Landlord - Intro - Landlord Edition

I’ve taken the plunge into YouTube fame and glory! Not really all that. But I finally did decide to launch an idea that I’ve been diligently working on in my head for longer than I care to admit.


The leads who call me who are interested in investing in Detroit always say they appreciate my transparency in my website. I seem to know what I’m doing. The thought I have when they tell me that is, “Well, if they only knew what it took to get here!” I’ve made some doozie mistakes and some crazy decisions that actually worked. But I like to say mistakes are just another form of paying tuition.

When people call me and tell me that they’ve watched my YouTube videos, CONFESSION….I CRINGE! They’re so boring. They say they feel like they know me and it’s actually me. It really is! But I could be better, I’ve decided. And vlogging seems to be the answer.

So I’ve given myself the challenge of laying it all out there. Just going for it. I’m going to make videos with NO MAKE UP. Confession — I rarely wear makeup anyway. I’m going to use my cell phone. I’m going to vlog in my car or wherever else I’m inspired. I’m going vlog it as I think of it. My kids told me I need to be a vlogger and that’s what vloggers do and it’s okay, Mom! Yikes.

My Mission

Why? Well, I’m going to do a service. Confession: When I started as a landlord, I knew nothing. But I read books and I attended Real Estate Investors Association of Oakland County meetings and asked questions and used my husband’s amazing common sense with my creativity and natural risk taking tendencies and figured it out. I even took a class on property management that is part of earning a broker’s license. I learned nothing there that applied to real life.

I sure could have saved some “tuition” though if I had the videos that I’m about to make. So I hope to save some landlords. Some people save the whales…me, the landlords!

Here is my intro video. I just did it. Then I learned I was supposed to hold my phone horizontally. Then I had to figure out iMovie and then how to get it to my YouTube channel. Then I started watching videos on being better at this and I’m basically overwhelmed and that’s enough for today. Thank goodness we all have YouTube now.

I hope you find good content on my channel and see fit to subscribe.

Confession: Now that I wrote this, I can’t back out! I’m in. I feel like I just jumped out of a plane and hope I can find the parachute!

Tenant Placement Tricks - Part I - The Phone Interview Top Questions


Avoiding evictions at Great Day Property Management starts during the tenant screening.  Every step is vital to the success of a good tenant placement. 

I keep a couple attractive clipboards around my office and in my car.  On the clipboard I have typed up my list of questions that I print on the back of scrap paper.  I'm all about saving the planet and streamlining my costs! 

Besides the standard questions like name, phone number, when do you need to move, I do have my most revealing questions that I ask.

  1. Can you please tell me about your ability to pay the rent?  The standard rule is that rent should be one third of their income.  I read this all the time and I think it would be tough finding tenants. You can find my income ratio rule on my website under Rental Screening Process.  Besides income, I'm looking to see how solid their income is.  This begets the questions of how long they have been at their job and what other sources of income they might have.  If they say they are counting on their child support checks, I do not consider that to be very solid.  They may say they have  disability checks or Section 8.  By the way, do not ask what their disability is!  That is protected under the Fair Housing Act.  So is source of income.  You cannot discriminate against someone because they have public assistance. 
  2. Why are you moving?  This is my favorite question.  This gets them talking about their relationship with their current landlord.  I listen to hear if their reason for moving seems reasonable.  Even if their reason is that the landlord is awful, I follow up this question with, "What's your relationship with your landlord if I have to call him?"  I'd like to know before I make that call later.
  3. What pets do you have?  Notice I didn't say, "Do you have pets?"  My pet policy varies between my different owners.  I've learned that if an owner accepts pets, then there are many more tenants from whom to choose.  If the owner does not allow pets, then when the tenant has a pet anyway, we are in the tough position of enforcing our fines.  Oftentimes I get an answer stating the tenant is allergic or scared of dogs.  That is more reassuring if there is a no pet policy.
  4. The security deposit is _____.  Will you be able to come up with that?  Very important question!  If they ask if they can pay it once they are in the house, resist the urge to hang right up on them.  Be up front.  Tell them "It doesn't sound like we are a good match for each other."  You can "discriminate" against someone not having the proper funds to do business with you.

If they sound like a good match, set up the time to meet.  Tell them to call you on their way to the property.  This prevents you from being stood up. 

Now save that questionnaire in case someone feels you discriminated against them.  He or she with the most proof shall win!

In my next blog, I will explain how to further interview the tenant at the house showing.  Let the fun begin!