My Days as a Big Time Landlord

February 07, 2014
Mike Dolpies

We’re gonna have fun with this – but I promise there’s an Internet Marketing lesson so enjoy and stay with me here…

Fact is…

We are NOT “Big Time” landlords. Those days are ahead of us.

In one way shape or form I have been a landlord since I was 23, the Mrs and I are certainly small potatoes when it comes to real estate.

One day, that may change depending on if I can find some good deals and continue to educate myself.

Right now we have 3 units and one vacancy.

And it’s this vacancy we’re gonna have some fun with.

Because I can draw a parallel between some very basic internet marketing and sales functions with this story.

This unit has been empty since we (Thank God!) got rid of the tenants we inherited when we bought the building. We spent the month of December renovating.

They were a nasty mess!

And let’s face it … this is a main street property .Commercial downstairs, residential upstairs.

We’re trying to fill a second floor main street apartment so we did not think this would be simple.

It’s a really nice place, BTW… open, large and we really did our best to turn it around 180 after the idiots left.

The Goal…

Find the Perfect Tenant! Not Easy!

One who understands, there will be a little noise from downstairs at times.

Someone who does not smoke.

This is interesting… in fact… not wanting a smoker sort of shrinks my prospect pool.

Basically…. at minimum… by 11%.

That’s because 11% of U.S. adults smoke.

And… I am gonna go out on a limb here and say… (Because I know the area)…

I would bet 40% of willing tenants in the area smoke.

So… right there… 40% gone!

But let’s shrink the prospect pool even more…

Yes… I love my little guy. My wonderful Golden/Boxer mutt, Lucky.

Sorry… Lucky is great, but NO PETS allowed in this place. Just our rule.

That’s shrinks our prospects more.

Funny… I am very clear about this in all the ads… but still I get calls asking if two cats are OK…

“Uh… let me check… NO!”

Next… Let’s see how compliant these prospective tenants are…

Let’s be clear in the ad about how to respond…

“Please email with a choice of times/days that you would like to look at the place and we’ll make something work.”

“NOTE: There is a $25 application fee. We will check your background for criminal activity and we’ll see if you have ever been evicted from a house/apartment for non-payment of rent.”

As much as I’d love to have my cake and eat it too – I am a student of reality.

Here’s the reality…

I can’t have my cake and eat it too!

Because this type of real-estate is a commodity (for the most part).

Meaning… this ain’t Park Ave.

We have to make a trade.

The trade… is to let this place go for a more than a reasonable rate.

The logic…

We’d rather have a great tenant and give up $100 or $150/m in rent.

No smoking and no pets in the place is worth it to me. I will recoup the lost rent with less repairs.

Someone with no evictions – who is willing to jump through a few hoops to prove themselves is great too.

Here are the lessons…

  1. Know your prospect. Who do you want?
  2. Be clear on what you have.
  3. Be clear on what problems you are solving.
  4. Use your online marketing to structure a process for moving your prospect down a marketing funnel.

That’s it.

Some lessons and entertainment to drive home four ideas.

Enjoy the weekend!



About the author

Mike Dolpies Mike Dolpies (aka Mike D.) owns “Ocean View Publishing, LLC” - a diverse media/Internet Marketing and Consulting Company. He started his first business when he was just 18 years old. By the time he was 23 that business had generated well over a Million Dollars in sales and was consistently in the top 20% of its industry. He's the Author of 6 different books. His first book, “Motion Before Motivation, The Success Secret That Never Fails,” became a bestseller on He's been a guest on the Fox Morning News several times and has been written about in many newspapers. His work has also appeared on and Fox