(This article first appeared in Real Estate Investor's Monthly.)
Leigh Robinson often comes out with new editions of his classic book Landlording and his Eviction Book for California, but he rarely does a new book altogether. Now he has.
He did not add this material to his Landlording book because he says it’s already too big at 500 pages. (I agree. I highly recommend Landlording, which we have just begun to sell at our Web site: www.johntreed.com. Note that I do not sell any product not written by me except for Leigh Robinson’s book Landlording and his Landlording, the Forms software.) [no longer available at johntreed.com, visit www.landlording.com]
The new book is exactly what its title claims. It covers not only property management, but also pre-purchase decisions. The other chapters show the book’s breadth:
I highly recommend the Q&A book. He has a gentle, humorous writing style, but his books are also rock solid, authoritative, intelligent, street-smart, meat-and-potatoes, nuts-and-bolts stuff. Leigh is my book self-publishing mentor. He and I have been having lunch monthly for decades. I modeled my books, including my first, Aggressive Tax Avoidance for Real Estate Investors, after the approach of Leigh and Bill Tappan, author of Real Estate Exchange and Acquisition Techniques.
Both write in a readable style that laymen can understand, and both write so authoritatively about technical aspects like law that lawyers and accountants can practice out of their books. I also try to write both readably and authoritatively.
Leigh does not have my brutally honest style, but he generally manages to get the same point across gently. I do not use the gentle style because I want to eliminate all doubt about the point.
Readers of this newsletter share my views to an extent. So does Leigh. Here are some general points from the beginning of his first chapter on being a landlord:
Work 24/7. Do the menial chores. Spouse must want to be landlord, too. Seek local mentors. Buy no get-rich seminars or tapes. Read Nickerson’s book How I turned $1,000 into $5 million in Real Estate in my Spare Time (Easier said than done. It’s out of print and selling for hundreds on eBay.) Avoid partnerships. Pay on time. Learn time value of money. Cut back on leverage as you grow. Hire on-site management. Handle off-site management yourself. You get the idea.
Leigh has been helping me edit this newsletter each month for decades, so he and I have learned a lot from each other. Leigh also has some software called Pushbutton Landlording that he will not let me sell (You can get it at his Web site: www.landlording.com).
I highly recommend anything Leigh does. If he creates a dance, do it. If he records a song, play it. If he makes a speech, attend it.
Actually, he is making a speech. Guru John Schaub (www.johnschaub.com), whom I also recommend, is holding a sort of no-B.S. artist real estate investment convention. Leigh and John are speaking. John also invited me to speak. I was honored and willing, but I could not commit to the dates so far in advance as John needed. JTR