To maximize your use and benefits of the MrLandlord.com Forum, here are a few tips from our regular Q & A contributors (and rules) for new visitors to the Q & A Forum.
Welcome to the most popular Landlord Q & A Forum on the internet, the #1 "mastermind" landlord group with thousands of "real" landlords giving input. Visit this site every day for the next 21 days and your knowledge will increase. Take our 21 day challenge - Ask a question or respond to a reply every day for the next 21 days and your wisdom and wealth will grow! - We guarantee it!
Plus, all those who take our 21 day challenge, qualifies to receive a free copy of our bestselling book "The Landlord's Kit" with over 180 rental forms. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org once you complete the challenge.
If you are new to this forum, you should be aware that there is a Q & A Search feature toward the top center of the Q & A Forum to search recent answers (for the past year) or previous years in this forum, because it's a good chance your question (or similar one) has been previously discussed and you can learn much from the wealth of responses already shared. The Q & A search tool can be found next to the magnifying glass. It's an easy four step process to search a particular topic. 1) simply type in a topic, 2) click "Select" arrow, 3) click "Subject" and 4) click "Search".
Also, here's a couple of helpful search tips: If searching a topic does not get you as many search results as you want, switch the type of search you conduct. Try the "Message" search. That search will seek to find the word you type in the BODY of any of the messages/postings that have been entered. Most often, the "Message" search will actually produce many more search results regarding the topic you are seeking, than using the Subject search. There's also links to landlord state laws that may provide needed answers to your question.
TO POST A QUESTION, look to the top left hand corner of the screen on the Q & A page, and click the words "CLICK HERE TO ASK A QUESTION". Post your question and return back to the site (click your question topic on left hand index). Within an hour usually there will be a response. However, if there aren't any responses, be patient and check back a little later, because 99% of the time someone will respond to your question.... money back guarantee:) Also, anytime you post a question, you can request that the forum send you an email alerting you that someone has responded to the discussion. Simply enter your email address UNDER the message block before clicking submit. (Your email address will NOT appear on the forum).
When words are simply not adequate to fully convey something you wish to share, we even offer visitors the opportunity to have their own free, personalized, "picture page" area connected to our Q & A Forum. The pictures serve to illustrate discussion topics. Anytime you post a new picture, you can refer other visitors to your picture page so that they can "see" what you are saying. In addition, you are even invited to submit a picture of yourself to our Q & A Photo Gallery, so others can connect a face to your postings. For more details about our picture pages and photo gallery, click here. Or, get real visual and submit a video that shares one of your landlording or personal experiences or illustrates a "how-to" aspect of the rental business. Click here to see our video pages.
MOST RECENT AND ACTIVE DISCUSSIONS. If you like to read the most active discussions, there are a couple of great features you can use.
1) Look to the upper portion of the left hand index of the Q & A board. You'll see the words - Click Here for posts from previous 24 or 48 hours. If you click that, the discussion topics will be listed in order of the most active threads. Any time a discussion is responded to, that discussion goes to the top of the list. Therefore if you wish to see the active discussions in the most recent hours, just use that 24 or 48 hour feature.
2) If you wish to see the most active discussions for the last 7 days, we also list the top ten most active discussions for the week (and which landlord visitors contribute most to those discussions). Go to our Q & A home page and click the Top Ten Q & A Lists.".
When posting a question or reply, do NOT use all capital letters in your post. That is very difficult to read, and some will then ignore that post or will make a critical comment about it. When using all capital letters, that is considered "shouting" and is offensive to many. Others may complain when a post is very hard to read because it is disorganized, or has many spelling and grammatical mistakes, or consists of long, long run together sentences. So, if you can, take an extra moment to review your message before posting.
TO FIND YOUR ANY RESPONSES TO YOUR QUESTION. If you posted a question and are now looking to see if there are any responses, you will need to find your original question. The topic of your question is listed on the left hand index, however, you may have to go far down the index to find it and perhaps even use the "Next" button at the bottom of the index. The easiest way to find the topic of any questions you posted is to use the search feature toward the top center of the Q&A Forum. Type in your name, with the exact spelling that you used when posting your question. CLick the select arrow, and select "author" and then click "Search" (the magnifying glass). The subject or topic headings of any questions you posted recently will soon appear on the left hand index. Click the topic that matches the question you are looking for and your question and any responses will then appear in the middle of the page.
WARNING! When reading responses to your questions, try not to take the comments personally. Sometimes a seasoned contributor may post something straight to the point without a lot of warm and fuzzy, positive, words. This is "boardroom" style mentoring that has even scared a few newbies at first, but they realized the information that can be found is well worth an occasional "tough-love" response. Here's what a couple of visitors have shared of their experience in the forum:
"I usually try to say some encouraging words to newbies. I try to remember how far I've come and how ignorant I was at one time. Since finding this board, my knowledge has increased tremendously. I accept that posters will say what they think. I take what is helpful and ignore the rest. In case, any newbies who are reading this, this is what this board has done for me: I feel there are understanding arms around me when I am down, I have learned that my past mistakes have now become wisdom to help others, I have hundreds of others in my profession to advise me and mentor me in this business, and I get to see the different styles of landlording and pick up many ideas for change in my own life. It's worth the price of admission. The spicy comments give this board color, as long as it is tempered with compassion. But remember, be warned - this is "boardroom style" and that you will get it straight from these people, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes unkind, sometimes gracious...but you will hear the poster "truth as they see it." Sorting thru the answers is the job of the questioner.
"I found this site, posted my questions... I recall one posted telling me I'd never make it because I didn't have a clue... But there were a couple of kind responses, the ones that said I screwed up but learn from it. I didn't come back for a while because my tenants were okay. But when I ran into some trouble with a tenant I came back here..., wiser and a little thicker skinned. this time I saw the responders as those who know what they're doing and may have forgotten what it's like to be new. With a change in MY attitude, here I am. I'm now a regular poster and I try to help the newbies because while the mistakes a newbie makes may seem totally stupid to someone who's been at this for a while, I remember only too well that feeling of being overwhelmed with a problem with a tenant and needing someone to guide me. The only way to learn this business and not get burned is to read as much as you can and ask questions. What's that old saying about stupid questions? Oh yeah, the only stupid question is the one that remains unasked. Newbies, ask away and know that your question isn't stupid, it just needs an answer. There are many of us who will answer and not berate you." As one contributor recently stated: "I like the people here. Where else can you pose a question and get instant feedback from multi-millionaires!"
WE ALSO WELCOME YOUR INPUT We encourage you not only to ask a question, but don't just read the first one or two responses to any questions asked, come back and read the entire discussion. And ask follow-up questions or make comments to add to the discussion. You will be amazed at how much more you will learn by doing so. Whether you are a landlord, rehabber, investor, real estate related professional, agent, manager, etc. We want to learn from various vantage points, so please give us your input whenever you see an opportunity to add to the discussion. Don't just be a lurker. It's okay if at times your ideas differ from others. But by putting your ideas out, you will find that we will all be the better for it including yourself. It will allow you to fine-tune your thoughts, your ideas and your actions. And be the better for it. I've started many a discussion. Thanks to various input by others, many of the discussion were greatly fine-tuned and the suggestions of the ENTIRE discussion provided a LOT of good insight that can be helpful to all. Therefore, we welcome and want input from all of you reading with whatever comments that can add even a small part to the discussions, because that is what has helped to make this site so appreciated. The more we hear from everybody, the more we will find the best answers we can all grow from. Remember, it is not the "single" comment that makes the point, it most often is the ENTIRE discussion that will make us all more effective and successful.
A FEW FORUM RULES. No offensive language or personal attacks on others. Be professional and respectful in your communication and avoid using demeaning references when describing others. No advertising. Do NOT include website or email addresses in your postings. Do not ask others to post email address or email their responses to you. One of the great benefits of this site is that contributors and visitors post all their tips and answers right on the forum where everyone can read and benefit from all the responses. It is not necessary or even recommended that you include your email address in your postings because some spammers come to this popular site just looking for email addresses they can find and add to their address book for various reasons, like sending unsolicited email.
Every now and then, I notice a website visitor wanting to help another landlord by offering to email additional ideas by email. I'd like to encourage everyone to share as many of your ideas right on this forum, so that MANY others beyond just one or two persons can also benefit from your wealth of experiences. In the same way that many others can benefit from your ideas, you will see that I also encourage other experienced landlords to share their real estate related ideas right on the forum, so that YOU too can gain a valuable tip or two, that you would have been missed if other individuals simply emailed great ideas to a select few.
In addition, I'd encourage you not to limit the assistance you can receive here by requesting help from only one specific contributor on a given topic. It is true that several specific landlords provide excellent responses and you may have a tendency to like the responses of one or two in particular. However, if you only ask for help from one particular contributor, you can lose out on additional feedback from others that could be extremely helpful to you as well. And as a general rule, by asking your question online (instead of requesting email communication), this serves as an extra safeguard for you, because others can see the responses and alert you if a response from any one particular person may not be accurate or to your best interests to follow that line of advice. So again, I would encourage you to ask your questions if at all possible right on the forum and also share your experiences with all. Openly sharing of ideas has helped to make this forum so valuable to others. Thanks!
SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS One main reason we ask that individuals not post web addresses and links on the forum is because several companies pay to be a site sponsor, have links on the top of the Q&A forum and are promoted on the site. This all helps support the site and allows the forum be a free service for visitors. We encourage visitors to support the forum sponsors (including the credit check service, legal forms, direct rent deposits, etc). It is not fair to our sponsors if individuals can simply post a web address or link on the site freely promoting a product or service. And to avoid debates of whether a link is from a competitor or for a profit motive, we have simply asked that no website addresses be posted. This also helps keep the forum free from spammers. With that said however, you will still see an occasional URL address posted, with a reference to a helpful resource. However when we see the same URL posted on more than one occasion or from the same individual, then we start deleting that particular web address and ask individuals to refrain from posting a particular web address or email. This is in fairness to sponsors who have to pay to be promoted regularly, of which we are grateful for their support of the site.
Disclaimer: It should be understood that all advice is simply suggestions and all individuals contributing are volunteering information from their wealth of experience. Therefore, since there is no accountability for responses given, and landlord laws vary from state to state and because some contributors have less landlording experience than others, be cautious as you read any single suggestion. We suggest that you read MANY responses to get various or confirming answers and seek professional assistance when needed. It is always good to note the state a visitor is from when reading their tip. There's an option toward the center of the Q&A, (when first enter the forum), to Ask A State Specific question. By using this option, (select a state, click continue, then type a question), it alerts others that your question may be state specific.
BOARD OF ADVISORS. Over the last couple of years many mrlandlord.com visitors have noted that there are some regular Q&A contributors that have a track record of giving helpful information. They are fondly referred to as our "Board of Advisors". Whenever you face a situation with your residents, and you are not sure how to handle it, just let them know that you will first need to check with your board of advisors. That's us! If you are new to our Q & A, as you look over all the tips, you would not know which tips are from our regular contributors. So, we have listed just some of those contributors below (in no particular order). The regular contributors will be the first to tell you that they personally gain tremendously from the information shared on our Q & A, we thank all of you for your informative contributions and tips from your experiences. If anyone would like to suggest the name of a helpful regular visitor to be added to this list or if you feel one should be removed, email email@example.com.
Dan (MA), Brad 20,000 (IN), Carolyn (MO), Leigh (CA), Lee (IN), Pattyk (MO), Nancy (IN), Landlord Whisperer (VA), 574-Brad (IN), Tyler (NC), Laura (MD), Bill (TX), Ernie (GA), Brad (MO), Tom (FL), David (FL), Robert J (CA), Suzanne (TX), Jason (PA), NE (PA), Irish (MD), Ellie (IL), Roy (AL), Reid (KS), June (PA), Tim (AR), T&J (TX), Mike (MO), John (NJ), Moshe (CA), CTLL (CT), Sid (MO), Josh (CA), Gevans (SC), Virden/V (OH), John (OR), Smokowna (MD), John..(MI), Mike45 (NV), Rent101 (FL), Lori (NV), GEO. (OK), Dan (FL), WMH (NC), Don (PA), RR (WA), illini fan [OH]), Robert Ontario (ON).
FINAL TIPS: Many new landlords seek a mentor. Let the collective body of our Q & A Forum serve as a "mentor" to you. Read the Q&A DAILY, and you will learn more than you can imagine. And when someone posts a response to your question that is extremely helpful to your situation, it is courteous to post a follow-up "Thank You" and let us know how your situation turned out. Share your success story! It keeps us all motivated.
Often visitors ask questions about real estate books and services for landlords. Just so you know, toward the top of the Q & A pages, you can find links to recommended landlording books and services. You may also click one of the following most requested landlording tools: Tenant Credit Checks, State-Specific Rental Forms, Automatic/Direct Rent Collection and the ability to Report Debts of Former Tenants to the three major credit bureaus.
We reserve the right to remove offensive or irrelevant comments or remove/block/ban postings of individuals who repeatedly violate the forum rules. We periodically remove dated postings and posting asked by non-landlords. We also reserve the right to publish tips posted on the Q&A Forum for inclusion in our Rental Owner Update newsletters and columns shared with real estate associations who request to receive tips shared from our website and the contributors. Remember this forum is for and by landlords. All visitors to our Q & A, don't forget to sign up for our weekly Rental Owner Updates, so that you will receive any additional special announcements, updates or warnings related to our Q & A Forum. Click here to sign-up for our Free Updates. Click here to return to the Q & A Forum.