Expert Tips from a Rhenti Landlord & Serial Entrepreneur
Bill Campbell purchased his first rental property – a triplex – in Toronto 20 years ago, and has since scaled it into a rental property business that consists of multiple walk-up apartment buildings. He manages a total of 35 units with a low tenant turnover rate of 5%.
Bill is a serial entrepreneur and owns multiple businesses including food trucks and a construction company which allows him to be hands-on in managing his properties.
We chatted with Bill recently on what advice he would give to current and prospective landlords and how Rhenti can up your landlord game.
What is the hardest part about being a landlord and how have you made that part easier over time?
I would say it can be emotionally draining. It can also be financially draining when somebody fights and fights at the tribunal. It takes so long to do anything.
I learned a long time ago, don't deal with the tribunal on your own. You don't know what you're doing. You have no legal training. Paralegals know the tribunal very well and they know case history.
My construction company does all the repairs and fixes, so I’m not dealing with third parties. But let’s say someone isn’t as handy or doesn’t have a construction company and isn’t a tool person, they’re going to need two types of people: a contractor for bigger projects and a handyman for smaller stuff. They’ll build all that over time – getting to know a painter and retaining a good plumber.
How would you define your role in the landlord-tenant relationship?
I'm very hands-on in my buildings. I look at this as my biggest asset. It's my home. I don’t live there, but they're like my home. So when something breaks, I fix it. I'm not one of these landlords who says, “yeah, I'll see you in a month or see you in six months.” I find the longer you put off the repair, the more expensive it usually becomes.
What has been your experience using Rhenti and how has it helped you?
It’s been great. To start, Rhenti set me up and walked me through the whole process. What I love about the service is how Rhenti blasted my listing out there. For me to do that would cost a lot more money than Rhenti charges to get onto all these sites. I’m getting responses from sites I’ve never heard of. I also really like the screening process Rhenti goes through.
Want to learn more about how Rhenti can help you become the most efficient property owner? Our landlord software streamlines the entire rental process from lead to lease and our rental listing service lists your property on all of the top sites. Rest easy with Rhenti.
What advice would you give to new landlords?
Being a hands-on landlord is the biggest piece of advice I could provide. When you approach it hands-on, you learn your business. You're going to get to know your real estate really well when you're there taking care of stuff. Even if it's a plumber doing the work, he's going to educate you. All these pros will give you tips on how to make things more efficient and make things better by spending a little money. Now I don't have to call the plumber for two-thirds of the stuff I had to 15, 20 years ago.
As told to Rhenti. This interview has been edited and condensed.
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