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Archive for September, 2011


Can Your Assets Survive a Lawsuit?

Agony of DefeatThe way you hold title to your property is often the determining factor to whether you will lose everything in a lawsuit. You can be sued more and more today because of your “legal status,” not because of your “actions.” The trend is away from finding fault. This is due to the  significant expansion of both “vicarious liability” which allows you to be sued for something someone else did, and “strict liability” which means you are automatically liable by statute and there is no defense.

Here are some distressing examples:

In environmental law, you do not have to be the person who made the mess. If you were ever in the chain of title, you can be sued after discovery of the environmental situation. For example, lead paint damage is a “strict liability” offense. And you will almost certainly find that your insurance excludes coverage for lead poisoning. This can destroy retired people.

If you have put all of your assets into a trust and one of the assets in the trust is sued (example: lead paint liability) then you could lose everything in the entire trust. (Remember, the purpose of a trust is to avoid probate. A trust cannot shield your assets from legal attack.)

If you are an employer you can be sued for the actions of your employees committed while acting within the scope of employment. “Negligent hiring” is the latest hot winning theory to confer liability onto an employer for actions taken by an employee outside the scope of employment. This occurs when an employee commits a wrong or violence against someone following an employer’s failure to research the background and character of the employee before hiring the person.

On June 26, 1985, the Supreme Court said that you could lose an asset due to joint ownership. As an example, if Mom and Dad put their home into a joint tenancy with their kids to avoid probate (often referred to as a “poor man’s will”), and any of the joint owners (the kids) is involved in a divorce, loses a lawsuit, or gets in trouble with the IRS – Mom and Dad could find themselves homeless.  More…


Pimp Your Ads with “Postlets”

You no longer need a big budget to create snazzy-looking ads like the professional management firms do, and attract quality tenants!

Go to The Savvy Landlord website and watch the 5-minute video created by two savvy landlords, which will show you how to sign up for Postlets for FREE (my favorite price).

I just signed up and created my first Postlets ad after watching their video.  It only took a few minutes and it looks great.  Postlets publishes your ad on a bunch of websites, and the video will show you how to easily post it on Craigslist.


Use Niche Marketing to Upgrade Your Tenant Clientele & Increase the Value of Your Rental Property

RoommatesIs there a disconnect between the highest and best use of your rental property and your marketing niche?

That’s a really important question that has given my partner/son Josh and I the ability to create an increased cash flow, an improved tenant clientele, and increased property values on all of our units over the last few years.  Of course, we didn’t ask the question exactly that way, because “niche marketing” has only become all the rage in the past several years.  But the thought process is the same.

There’s some fun and profitable lessons here, so let’s explore the subject.

First of all, niche marketing is defined as the marketing of a product or service to a small and well-defined segment of the market place, typically a market whose needs are not being well served.

Some various residential rental property niches might be: high end, low end, ghetto, on the way down (deteriorating), on the way up, mid-level rentals, seasonal, senior housing, student housing, low income housing, subsidized/Section 8, etc.  Then each one of those categories could be broken down into even smaller segments.

You need to always, always, always invest primarily for cash flow, so whichever niche you choose should lead you to an increased cash flow.  To flesh out the idea, here’s some personal examples: More…