- Episode 16 -
Most people would never think to call a Realtor to help them find a rental property. Real estate agents are known for listing and selling homes.
Very rarely, though, does Joe Public consider an agent to not only list a property to rent but also assist the landlord in finding a qualified tenant. Tenants normally only look at 4-6 places, whether communities or individually rented properties, and in most cases, need something sooner than later. The turnaround for the transaction is quick and the compensation is good for minimal work.
So are you part of this very lucrative rental business?
For the past few years in South Florida, rental rates have been at their all-time highs. Rental developments have been popping up everywhere, and those that converted to condos back in the day are now going back to being rental communities. And these communities are offering everything from the carefree lifestyle of not having to do any maintenance, to state of the art fitness, business and recreational facilities.
For some folks, it was a no-brainer to rent for a while and enjoy life differently. But these amenities can come at a high price tag - some may even say renters pay more than homeowners do on their mortgages, especially when interest rates remain so low.
But a renter can have a different mindset, one in which an agent should embrace and run with all the way to the bank.
I have rented properties to all sorts of professional people who had the chance to buy but chose not to for reasons such as they like having their free time to do what they want, instead of yard work or the “honey do list” of weekend projects. Others like the neighborhood feel of a rental community that hosts various events to get the tenants involved, especially if they are new to an area and need time to get acclimated. Still others have such busy schedules that they are comfortable with the fact that the community’s maintenance folks can come and take care of any issue without them having to be there in person and wait for the scheduled 4 hour time slot provided by most vendors.
Rentals can be a great additional to an agent’s portfolio. But agents need to be aware, especially when working with individual landlords, to always work with a qualified background screening professional. They can ensure that the employment, credit, eviction and criminal backgrounds have been checked.
A team member of mine recently represented a landlord who met with the potential tenants and thought they seemed like the perfect folks to rent his home. The background check was provided by the tenants, and it wasn’t until the landlord Googled their name that he found the tenant’s mug shot online for embezzling $400K from their previous employer!
Just like any other transaction, those involved need to do their homework and protect their most valued asset – their property.
Always stay in touch with your renters and landlords. I do the same thing for them as I do for my buyers and sellers – they get the handwritten thank-yous, the birthday greetings, and I always set them up on market watches for areas that they were interested in seeing when choosing the rental, or for the areas in which the property is located, just in case that landlord wants to sell someday. In most cases, this follow up has led to other referrals, future buyers, and in two cases, listings of the rental to sell.
Remember: renters need places to live too, and landlords have properties to lease. Why shouldn’t you be the one helping them find each other?
Kay Conageski is a professional Realtor® with The Keyes Company based in Plantation, Florida. Check out her RESAAS profile ›