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  • Writer's pictureJohn Casmon

How to Avoid Mistakes and Be a Better Landlord with Laurence Jankelow

Being a landlord is not as easy as some would have you believe. It also doesn’t need to be a nightmare if you have the right training, processes, and resources at your disposal. Laurence Jakelow was working for Goldman Sachs when he bought a 3-unit property and realized how tough it was to have a full-time job and be a landlord at the same time. While there were resources for large property owners, the individual property owners had few resources at their disposal. Jakelow decided to change this and quit his job to build Avail, a software platform to serve everyday landlords. In this episode, he shares why he built a property management software company, the common challenges and mistakes of landlords, and how to attract quality tenants.

Key Multifamily + Marketing Insights

  • Self-managing your assets as a landlord

  • Didn’t find engineers and couldn’t raise money, so he taught himself to code and built Avail providing educational content for landlords

  • The thought process of quitting his day-job and going all-in on building real estate investing software

  • Getting out of the rat race and doing something meaningful

It wasn’t a financial decision, but a fulfillment decision to make sure our life had a purpose and we were making an impact.
  • Creating transparency between landlord and tenant for a more efficient relationship

  • Protecting tenants personal information

  • How the landscape for tenants and landlords has shifted in the last 4 years

  • Inbound marketing strategies

  • Delivering value upfront: Focusing on the problem that you are trying to solve for your potential clients/customers.

  • Leveraging your product for growth

  • The challenges that individual landlords are facing today (watch those violations!)

  • Understanding the nuances of different lease laws, legislation, and ordinances based on the market.

  • How to avoid first-time landlord mistakes

  • How you can be a great landlord without a property management company

  • How to manage problem tenants (this is not the norm)

  • 3 ways to attract good tenants: Communication (set expectations) screen properly, and communicating lease details so they are clear to the tenant.

Nightmare tenants are a reflection of a nightmare landlord: Treat tenants fairly, they will treat you fairly.

Bullseye Tips:

Apparent Failure:

When they first built Avail, they had a product but no audience, and now it’s audience first.

Digital Resource:

G-Suite for Business (Google)

Most Recommended Book:

Daily Habit:

He writes a to-do list every day and won’t start his day until he has written it and won’t end his day until everything on it is done.

Wish I Knew When I Was Starting Out:

The time it took to build something from nothing

Current Curiosity:


Best Place to Grab a Bite in Chicago, IL:

Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder

Contact Laurence:

Avail (Free landlord services)


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