The Accidental Landlord Podcast with guest, Jay Helms

The below is transcribed from an episode of The Accidental Landlord Podcast. Listen to the full episode, here. 


Peter: All right, Jay, welcome to the show. For the sake of our listeners who don't know who you are, why don't you take a minute or two to give us a brief bio about yourself.

Jay Helms: Sure, I'm a husband and a father of three. My family and I enjoy a nomadic lifestyle. Right now, we're in Florida, where we spend about half the year, while the rest of the time, for the past couple of years, we've been traveling. This became possible because I got laid off from my W2 job during COVID. Fortunately, about six or seven years before that, we had started investing in buy and hold real estate, allowing us to have a comfortable financial cushion.

We knew real estate investing was the right path when we closed our first deal. So, we continued, closed a few more properties, and soon realized that to grow, we needed to connect with other investors. I was working remotely at the time, so starting a virtual mastermind made sense. It's been a remarkable journey, with great partners and deals, and it's still growing.

Peter: That's great to hear. How big is your community? Can you share some numbers?

Jay Helms: We have several tiers of programs. In our high-ticket item, the mastermind, we have about 60 participants. For our pro community, we're planning a relaunch in January, and we currently have a couple of hundred members there. Some of them were in for free, but they'll have to sign up as we revamp the program in January.

Peter: Got it, thanks for sharing. Your story resonates with me. I have three daughters, and I also transitioned from a W2 job to real estate and business income. Let's dive into the three biggest mistakes that self-managing landlords make.

Jay Helms: Sure, I'd be happy to. The first mistake that many accidental landlords make is the fear of the unknown. They worry about what managing a property will entail, like late-night calls for leaky toilets. I've been a landlord for almost 10 years, and I received my first 2 a.m. call about a leaky toilet. Luckily, we had systems in place, so I didn't even know about it until the next morning. The fear of the unknown often pushes people to opt for property management companies without proper vetting.

Peter: I see what you mean. What's the second mistake?

Jay Helms: The second mistake is not treating property management like a business. I used to manage until we had about three units, but I didn't treat it as a business back then. I got too personally involved with my tenants, and it wasn't a good strategy. Later, we outsourced management to professional property managers for about five or six years. However, in the last year and a half, we took everything back in-house. This time around, I treat it as a business, which is critical.

Peter: That makes sense. What's the third mistake?

Jay Helms: The third mistake is not setting clear policies. I've found that having well-defined policies helps manage expectations and avoid unnecessary disputes with tenants. Policies provide a clear framework for how things should be handled, leaving no room for ambiguity.

Peter: That's an excellent point. Having clear policies can certainly streamline the management process. It's been great having you on the show, Jay. Thanks for sharing your insights.

Jay Helms: Thanks for having me, Peter. It's been a pleasure.

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