About 20 years ago, I started getting would-be client requests for current client references. I talked to several local clients * 2 of which were real estate agents * and they agreed for me to provide their contact information....problem solved.
Then verious DIY books * including Property Management for DUMMIES * started suggesting that would-be clients get references and that they question (grill) the references in order to avoid mishaps during the management of their property.
I stopped providing reference names when a current client/reference recounted a phone call from a would-be client who seemed more interested in my client's properties than exploring my management policies and procedures.
Where I had envisioned a 5 or 10 minute phone call to my clients, the callers were actually asking questions that they should have asked me directly * so that I could then judge if I WANTED to work with them * AND my current clients were uncomfortable.
I've stopped providing references and when would-be clients ask me for a list of my current clients, I explain that just as I would hold their contact information in confidence, I want to hold my current clients information as well as our relationship in confidence. So far, most have appreciated my response and it is no longer an issue.
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM * GIBSON MANAGEMENT GROUP, Ltd.
"...to be a Virginian, either by Birth, Marriage, Adoption, or even on one's Mother's side, is an Introduction to any State in the Union, a Passport to any Foreign Country, and a Benediction from the Almighty God...." Anonymous