The Downside of Being a Landlord

It’s 1am and your cell phone is ringing.  It’s one of your tenants.  A call at this hour, they’re not calling to say hi.  There’s a major problem.  What could it be?? You reach for the phone with a pit in your stomach.  Another day in the life of a landlord, right?

Being a landlord is a great way to go for a lot of reasons.  A proven way to build wealth, passive (most of the time) and tremendous tax benefits.  But what about the downside?  Those late night calls, the unexpected expenses, the vacancies, the nonpaying tenants?

A good client of mine, longtime landlord, calls these things “brain damage” and he’s right.  They suddenly consume your thinking, steal your focus and over time, wear on you.  No doubt.  The hits are coming, and they will keep on coming.  It’s a fact of landlord life, you can’t change it.

What you can change is how it affects you and how you’ll deal with it.  That 1am call is coming.  The question is  – How will you handle it?

Maybe YOU won’t take that call, rather you’ll run your properties more like a business and have a 24 hour answering service that can take the call and handle it.  If it’s a plumbing issue – they’ll get the plumber.  If they’re locked out – they’ll get the locksmith. All while you’re hopefully sleeping soundly.

Maybe you don’t want the expense of an answering service or “on-call” plumbers. If that’s the case then, you’ll need to adjust your attitude.  Instead of seeing it as a disruption, be grateful.  Back when I had a lot of residential rentals, I used to ride around with a plunger and a tool box in the back of my truck.  When I got those 1am calls, I ran to them with a smile.  In my mind, I wasn’t clearing clogged drains in the middle of the night, I was “keeping the money machine running”, and at the beginning of the next month when the rent checks all arrived, that was my proof that the machine was still working.  At that moment, I was the highest paid plunger operator in town!

It’s just mind over matter.  Your perspective.  Do you have to be crazy?  Maybe a little.  But the upside far outweighs the downside.  That’s just my humble opinion.

More importantly.  What do you think?  How will you handle it?  Are you ready to be a wealthy plunger operator?  If not, then maybe it would be best to find a different way.


Would you like to hear more about how we can help you become a better Landlord?  Give us a call at 631.669.6300 or email us at, and we’ll set up a time to discuss your issue further.