Tuesday, April 19, 2011


My last class had a visitor who holds a state office in a real estate organization. I want to celebrate his attendance, but I’m suspicious of people whose knowledge is clearly beyond what the class offers. When I sign up for classes like that, I have an angle.
This guy has been renting for 25+ years and owns over 60 properties. He is not part of the audience for which the class was designed. During introductions, he claimed to simply be “an education junkie.” Perhaps, but this guy just put me on edge.
Full-time, professional housing providers are having a rough time right now. There are plenty of places to buy, resulting in plenty of places to rent. Average tenancies are half the length they used to be. Vacancies are killing the pros and competition is stiff. Toledo’s biggest, most professional and longest-lasting landlord has branched into additional areas – property management, receiverships and cemetery management. How much different can things be a few hours south?
As the class proceeds, bits come forth from the education junkie. He’s looking for additional streams of income. He asks if I’m a member of his organization and doesn’t like my answer about a preference for online communities; he insists that I take the number of the contact person at my local chapter. Finally, he reveals that he wants to get paid for his knowledge by teaching at the college. I must be stepping on his toes, since that’s what I’m doing.
There are always a few people in my classes who are scoping out the scene to see whether or not they should get into rentals. At the end of the class, he approaches one of them with his business card. He tells her that he “mentors” new landlords for $75 an hour!
Sometimes, you just know there’s a wolf under that sheepskin . . .

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