Landlording is a Dance, Not a Mud-Wrestling Match

Ahhh, lease-signing day – such a hap-hap-happy day!  The landlord is ecstatic because he has finally found a tenant who will take good care of the property and always pay the rent on time.

Meanwhile, the tenant is joyous because he has finally found a landlord who is understanding, caring and will fix things the minute they break.

Sometimes, this kumbaya love affair can last for two whole fun-filled weeks before blowing up!

What goes so terribly wrong so incredibly fast? Most landlords forget that landlording is a dance, not a mud-wrestling match.

Believe it or not, with Kim as my teacher, I’ve learned a bit about dancing.  When I met Kim, she was a professional dancer.  And no, a stripper pole and $1 bills were NOT involved. (Too bad, too. It would have made today’s column MUCH more interesting!)

I first met Kim at a country-western bar called Ms. Kitty’s in Marietta, Georgia.  She was (and is) one hot, sizzling Texas Two-Stepping thing to behold!

Kim taught me how to dance – kind of.  After years of effort, I’ve learned to get around a honky-tonk dance floor without falling flat on my face – most of the time.

Through dancing, Kim taught me several great lessons that, believe it or not, correlate wonderfully with landlording.

Dancing is a learned thing.  No one is born knowing how to dance.  Becoming a good dancer takes time, work, effort and desire.  Same is true of landlording.

There are two types of dance partners: Those who make you feel like you’re driving a cement truck and those who make you feel like you’re driving a Cadillac.  Same is true of landlording.  Be sure to avoid the cement trucks – brother, they’ll wear you out!

You’re only as good as your dance partner. Same is true of landlording.  If either the tenant or the landlord is bad, it’s a train wreck waiting to happen.

Try not to step on your partner’s toes.  If you do, the next stop is fist city.  Same is true of landlording.  Be respectful, not a bull in a china shop.

It takes two to tango.  Same is true of landlording.  To have a knock-down, drag-out fight with a tenant, BOTH sides must be willing to get in the mud.

You gotta dance with the one who brung ya.  Same is true of landlording.  Once you’ve installed good tenants, don’t ignore them.  Take care of them and the property.

The more you dance, the more you want to dance.  Oh, is this ever true of landlording!  Once you have one great rental property, you want more!

For the record, twenty years later, Kim and I are still dancing together – usually on Friday nights at Cledus T’s in Cartersville, GA.  If you drop in, you’ll quickly see why I fell head-over-heels in love with “The Redhead” the first time I saw her!

Do you seek real-world real estate investing information?  Go to  It’s packed with free creative deal structuring techniques and strategies.  Bill and Kim Cook have been investing in real estate since 1995.  Their portfolio consists of single-family rentals, a small mobile home park, plus notes and options.  If you have questions, give Bill a call at 770-815-8727.

Bill Cook Editor
Bill and Kim Cook are a husband and wife real estate investing team. Their core belief is that real estate investing is not about buying, selling or renting property. It’s about helping folks solve their real estate problems.