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Landlording on AutoPilot, 2nd Edition by Mike Butler

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CHAPTER 5Are Tenants Your “Customers”?

I frequently get to speak and train real estate investors all over the place. When teaching landlording, I always ask for a show of hand on who thinks “Are Tenants Your Customers?” Almost every time, about two thirds of the room raises their hand.

Then I asked them to help me say the famous retail slogan

The Customer Is ALWAYS Right.

Now replace the word “Customer” with the word “Tenant” and say this slogan again.

“The Tenant Is ALWAYS…” Uh-Oh?

Now they all have the “deer in the headlights” look. Confusion. Everyone is fast on their feet to say Tenants are NOT always right. So, if they are not your “customers,” then what are they, relationship-wise?

May I suggest trying the word “Employees” on for size and see how this word fits:

  • Good Employees—have responsibilities
  • Good Employees—make you money
  • Good Employees—you want to keep forever
  • Good Employees—must be rewarded
  • Good Employees—must have training
  • Bad Employees—get retrained or fired…evicted!

Doesn't this look and sound more appropriate? We are only talking about having the right mindset. This has nothing to do with the legal or tax concerns. Just old-fashioned relationships.

Therefore, if you treat your tenants as employees, this means you are their employer or their boss. And yes, the boss has responsibilities as well.

Why the 1960s TV Show Leave It to Beaver Is Important

Photo illustration showing the characters of the 1960s TV show “Leave it to Beaver”.

This ...

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