Tag Archives: landlord

Orlando Vacation Rental Secrets


Orlando Vacation Rental Secrets

In this episode I am talking with my friend Lance Whipple and we are talking about vacation rental homes. Lance and I are covering all aspects of the Orlando vacation rental market.

Hot Areas

Lance is sharing with me what areas are hot which areas you should avoid.  Lance is an expert in the area and deals with a lot of vacation rental properties. Did you know that Orange County does not allow vacation rentals? But Polk County just to the west of the parks does.  Also, there are several communities that are nearly entirely vacation rental properties.  Is it good or bad to be in these neighborhoods? Do you know the hottest vacation rental areas?  Lance talks about what the tourists look for when they are looking for a vacation rental.

Do’s and Don’ts

We cover the do’s and don’ts of vacation rental ownership.  Especially near http://www.disney.com and http://www.universalstudios.com.  Lance shares stories from his experience of things successful landlord do and the things that unsuccessful landlords do.  Several owners of these vacation rentals that I have spoken with are only trying to break even and have a place to stay for free during their vacations once or twice a year.  Their long term strategy is either retire to the property which will hopefully be paid off by then, or are hoping the equity and appreciation of the property will make the whole process worthwhile.

Episode 44: Bye bye sparkrent and the trulia/zillow merger


Bye Bye sparkrent and the trulia/zillow merger

Well we got some terrible news this week.  My favorite online rent payment system sparkrent is merging with intuit and quickbooks.  This is not great news, because this free service is going to be an add on feature for quickbooks now.  I already use quickbooks and although its an industry standard for accounting and bookkeeping its not really tailored to property managment.

I have been diligently searching for a replacement.  Here is what I found.  I am looking at trying two different services.  I am doing this for two reasons, first I don’t want to put all my “eggs” in one basket and secondly I will be able to test one service against the other.  Also, since I have different properties associated with different accounts it just easier to use separate services to ensure everything is kept separate.

Here is what I have found.

Cozy.co   This service is very easy to use and better yet.  Its FREE!! That’s right Free!!  They make money by selling credit checks on prospective tenants.  The nice feature about this service is that you can embed a link to an online application in a craigslist add or elsewhere so it can be filled out online and processed.

erentpayment.com   Although this site  in not nearly as polished as cozy it looks like a solid platform that I am seriously considering.


What does the Trulia and Zillow merger mean for us?? Who knows.  I think lots of people are waiting to see the effect of this merger.  These sites makes most of their income for realtors and advertising for buyers and sellers.  It will be interesting to see how this online real estate advertising giant will change things for the rest of us.

Episode 41: Hassle free rent collection


Hassle free rent collection

In this episode I talk about the most hassle-free way I have discovered to collect rent.  Now, this system most likely will not work for all your tenants but the ones that choose online it will be easier for you and them.

I use Sparkrent by intuit.  This system has been super easy to set up and works well.  Its also the cheapest I found.  I recommend this service to a couple of friends and they are having great success with it also.

I looked into Clearnow and would have probable have used this service, but due to their high fees I chose Sparkrent instead.

Whichever system you choose an online payment system will make the monthly rent collection easy for you.  When you are renting a property just insist that they tenants use it.  You can send your existing tenants and email invite to switch over to the system also.  I plan on slow transferring all my tenant to this system not that I have fully tested it.

Don’t be working harder than your tenants.

Let the tenants know your system.  They bring it to you, mail it (po box) or pay online.  The point is that you should not be chasing your tenants for the rent each month.  Stand firm and enforce a late fee if they don’t pay on time.



Episode 40: Being a landlord and working full time.


Being a Landlord and working full time.

In this episode my guest Colin Corp and I are talking about how he is buying and managing rental properties while he works full time.

Colin shares with us his secrets to finding, financing, rehabbing, renting and managing his properties.

Colin discusses how he was able to replace his wife’s income through his rental properties.  We also talk about he he is trying to replace his own income with rental income.

The 2% Rule

We talk about thhat ase using the 2% rule to analyze properties.  The 2% rule is a guide stating that the  monthly rent should equal approximately 2% of the purchase price.  This is not easy to get.  Typically, you are going to see more like 1 to 1.5%  when you analyze properties.

950 (monthly rent) / $60,000 purchase price = .015 or 1.5%


Colin uses www.postlets.com to market his properties for sale.  Postlets syndicates your information to a bounch of different website.  Postlets also has a really nice template that copies into criaglist to make your ad stand out.  Colin says he has had great luck with this free website.


Episode 29: Setting the Rules for Your Tenants to Live By.


Setting the Rules for Your Tenants

I am a firm believer that if you set the rules or tone with your tenants they will live up to your expectations.  This applies to how you handle calls, applications, forms and calls for maintenance.

We strive to set our expectations of our tenants from the first contact with them.  We explain that we are professional property managers and we expect the property to be maintained and we expect them to mail us a check.  We also explain how they can call us for any maintenance issues.  We explain the late fee and the eviction process (we have never had to use, yet).  I think MOST people want to live within the rules that you set forth.


  1. Be kind and fair (everyone wants to be heard)
  2. Stick to YOUR Rules
  3. Enforce your rules
  4. Be professional (this is a business not personal)
  5. Do what you say
  6. Implement systems and use them
  7. Bring you tenants on the team and make them feel important.

I hope my tenant guidelines help you.