By Laura Rubinchuk
All of the tag lines we hear somehow incorporate the following: Who do you know who’s looking to buy or sell in the next 30 days? Notice we never hear “rent” in those scenarios. Well as REALTORS®, how do you know when to focus your time on a rental, versus a bigger money maker like a buyer or seller? Where do you draw the line?
After a recent experience with a renter where I showed 16 houses and counting, I started to wonder – would my efforts be better focused elsewhere? Am I just donating my time at this point?
I’ve had some wonderful experiences with renters in the past, as I generally do about 6-8 per year (both landlord rep and tenant rep). I’ve had some old renters turn into listings, buyers, and referrals, and then I’ve had some turn into nothing at all. So I tried to come up with a way to evaluate whether to take on a rental client:
1. Is their price range realistic for the market? If they’re looking for a diamond in the rough, I may decide to refer them to an agent who only deals with rentals.
2. Do I have more “A” clients who need my time? I like to devote as much time as necessary to each client to make them feel they’re getting the level of service they require. Taking on too many things will only spread you thin and not make anyone happy.
3. What is their level of commitment to my services? Are they looking at Craigslist too? Would they be willing to pay a retainer fee to assure their commitment to me?
4. What is their prospective outline for the next 2-3 years for buying and/or selling?
5. Are they qualified renters?
You may have your own standard by which you evaluate tenants and landlords, and I’d love to hear them. I find I have a hard time saying no, when I know I should.
Laura Rubinchuk, GRI, is a real estate practitioner with Keller Williams Realty in McLean, Va. Visit her blog at www.ArlingtonRealEstateNews.com or her Web site at www.TheLJRGroup.com.