Being President of the AASEW and traveling around Southeast Wisconsin promoting the group, I am continuously asked by prospective members “Why should I join?” I admit that often my first reaction is to turn the question around and ask them why they don’t already belong to the largest trade organization in their industry that has been tirelessly advocating for their rights and businesses. The AASEW has saved our industry millions of dollars fighting unfair laws and ordinances. We have been at the forefront of issues ranging from lead paint to property recording fees. We are the only organization to litigate against the City of Milwaukee Rental Inspection Program, spending almost $100,000 in legal and lobbying fees. The reality is, there are a number of reasons why you should join the AASEW.
There is strength in numbers
The old adage, there is strength in numbers, definitely applies to landlords. Often times, the power of many is able to overcome circumstances that would not be feasible individually. The AASEW greatly believes in this philosophy and the power we have when we join together. Our community consists of over 40,000 landlords in Southeast Wisconsin, alone we cannot fight the great strength of the local and state government, but together we can. The AASEW has been advocating for landlord’s rights since its inception. As a group we are on the leading edge in protecting landlords from unjust laws and regulations. By joining the AASEW, you are joining a team with the common goal of doing business in Southeast Wisconsin and protecting your rights to continue this goal.
Our organization contains members of a variety of ages and experience levels, and with each meeting you will have the chance to meet and converse with other landlords. Investors, young and old, can learn new ideas from one another and this opportunity may give you insights you have never thought of before.
Bad Laws Travel
Many of my colleagues with property outside of the Milwaukee area do not see the value of the association as many of the most repressive ordinances and the most aggressive enforcement happen there. To this, I frequently remind them that the residential inspection program has its roots in an ordinance passed in Minneapolis, Minnesota. From Milwaukee, this ordinance may very well travel to Madison, Racine, Kenosha, and beyond. Unfortunately, Milwaukee is many times the testing ground for these things, if we are not organized and in a position to stop them here, other areas will suffer. I assure you what happens in Milwaukee can impact all of Southeast Wisconsin. As a group we are able to continue to fight for the protection of landlords, including the protection of landlords in the areas outside of Milwaukee as well.
We are fortunate to have the premiere landlord tenant attorney in the state of Wisconsin on our Board of Directors. Tristan Pettit’s reputation for vigorously defending landlords is laudable and the respect he garners from his peers and commissioners is undeniable. Tristan is a landlord himself, and recognizes that the best way for us to protect ourselves is to educate ourselves. By attending meetings, you will also be aware of new regulations being passed, as well as what is going on in the community. Monthly speakers offer members relevant information, education, and contacts. Most importantly, by attending meetings you will be able to network with other landlords in the organization. Everyone has something to bring to the table and meetings can be a great chance to learn more about the industry and ways to improve your business.
The AASEW is actively adding ways to leverage the power of our group purchasing power to lower our individual costs. Possibilities include a discount card we present to vendors or innovative ways to implement group buying purchases (see the idea presented by board member Tim Ballering).
Every successful landlord has had someone give them a guiding hand or good advice along the way. Our community has an interest in the success of others and will not hesitate to field questions from young landlords who are full of energy and very inquisitive about the nature of this business. You will have the opportunity to ask questions or learn how to handle certain situations from experienced landlords. On the flip side, young investors have many skills and insights with technology that older investors may benefit from learning. No matter the age the member, everyone has something to bring to the table and being a member of the AASEW gives you complete access to all of these new ideas and all the tried and true ones as well. One of my favorite things about the Association is that it is a venue for those who have received to give back and provides those who are new to the business and hungry for information an opportunity to meet others who have been where they are going.
There are countless other reasons to join the AASEW. I encourage you to get active in the Association and help make Wisconsin a better place for landlords to do business.
All the best.