[Updated 8/7/2015]

Leonard P. Baron, MBA, is a long time residential real estate owner and provides commercial real estate consulting at LPB Services. His insights have been referenced in respectable media organizations, such as USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and MSNBC. Leonard is a graduate of the Marshall School of Business MBA program at the University of Southern California. His interview below provides invaluable advice to potential property owners.

What sparked your interest in real estate?
I’ve always been involved in real estate. From my parents being real estate agents and part-time investors, to taking on real estate audits at Deloitte & Touche and Freddie Mac, to working for developers and homebuilders, to now consulting to real estate owners. I really enjoy it, and I love kicking the tires of a good piece of dirt.

What is your number one piece of advice to a new property manager?
Educate yourself fully on the process, work for other property managers first, use technology to make your life easier, and always treat the tenants with respect.

How and when should a property manager make the decision to buy another piece of property?
An investor should buy properties that are low risk, meaning, properties that are in good shape. Property managers and potential property owners should pencil out their real estate deal to make sure it is a fair deal. They should also make sure to do all the other due diligence needed to buy a nice, safe piece of property.

What are the biggest challenges facing property owners in 2013?
2013 is no different from any other year in the history of real estate ownership. Real estate ownership is hard work, it’s time consuming, and there are real and present risks.  But it can be a great long-term wealth building tool, if you make smart purchase decisions. Those things apply to every property owners and every piece of property someone owns, and those items will never change.

How do you see the market changing in 2014?
I don’t predict the future, but hopefully on the long road to a value recovery.

In addition to real estate, what are your other interests?
Running, airplanes, teaching, WWII, enjoying life.

What is your last piece of advice?
Real estate is the largest, most expensive, and riskiest purchase most of us will ever make. Experienced buyers do the hard work to protect themselves, and you should too.

Additional Resources

Advice for Property Managers and Owners from K. David Meit, CPM®, GRI®

Starting a Property Management Business: Step by Step Guide

Tips For Starting A Property Management Company