Not too long ago I was working with a family who was looking for a home to rent. I understand making sure you have the perfect home to buy. Possibly going round and round comparing different homes to make triple sure that the home will make you happy for years to come. I never realized that people might get this wrapped up in a rental that they could walk away from in as little as 6 months.
Look, for those of you who are looking to make real estate your career, rentals are time-consuming and will not make you any money. The way a rental works for your commission is one months rent is divided between you and the other realtor. On top of that, it is divided again between you and the company you work for. When all is said and done, you might walk away with $200. When you figure the amount of time it took to look at homes and the miles on your car and the gas, it really is a losing proposition.
The way I choose to look at rentals is that there are many people in bad situations who need to get back on their feet. Helping them out makes me feel good. Another thing to keep in mind is that some day they might want to buy a home. If you clicked with your client, the possibility that they will call you again is good. All in all, it’s about looking at yourself and deciding how you want to promote yourself. Do you want to be seen as someone who puts people before the money? Or, do you want to be seen as a person who is all about the money and the people don’t matter?
Back to my story. So this family has looked at 12 properties at least in a three week time span. The third home they saw they liked enough to put in their paperwork and see if they would get approved. Not only did they get approved, but the owner of the property was willing to make some major adjustments for their comfort. Example, they were willing to paint the rooms colors that the family would find to their liking (currently the walls in the entire home are white).
Well, for some reason after getting everything that they had asked for, it was almost like they couldn’t believe their luck and had to test it. They became determined to see ever property possible before the day we had scheduled for the owner and renter to finalize the paperwork. It got so out of hand that they wanted to see properties that didn’t even slightly meet the criteria of what they had been looking for. The home would be much smaller than what they were willing to live in or there wasn’t as many bathrooms and bedrooms as they needed.
Towards the end, a desperateness overcame them. I began receiving emails before 8:00am. Within 15 minutes, I would get another email asking why I hadn’t replied to the original email. The emails went on past 11:00pm in the evening. I had maintained a good repore with the family. Even so, I had trouble keeping their emotions in check.
The paperwork for the rental originally chosen hasn’t been finalized yet. The last conversation I had with the family was in regards to driving the 30 minutes to the home they might rent just to look at it from the outside to make sure they still liked the way it looked from the street. At this point, I was working with another client and had to mention to the family that the home was vacant and there would be no problem if they chose to look at the front of the property on their own.
I am hoping that the family realizes that this really was the best home they had seen. That they are lucky to be dealing with a landlord who is so willing to accommodate them. Only time will tell how the situation will unfold, but it is a new lesson for me in learning how to deal with the psychology of people in all sorts of situations.