PropertyManagementMaven: DIY Landlord Calling for a TENANT REFERENCE Missed a LEARNING Moment

DIY Landlord Calling for a TENANT REFERENCE Missed a LEARNING Moment

I answer my own phone * actually my office land line forwards to my cel phone * so when I received a call today from a Sprint cel phone number I answered it.

It was a man IDENTIFYING HIMSELF AS A PROPERTY MANAGER requesting a tenant reference.  I advised him that I required a $25 FORMS FEE and a signed rent verification request from my current residents.....HE WENT THROUGH THE ROOF on the phone.

1)  HE was not going to pay for a prior landlord reference.  I HAD NOT ASKED HIM TO.

2) HE had never heard of a FORMS FEE and had never been charged a FEE for getting a tenant reference.  I HAD NOT ASKED HIM TO PAY OR PROVIDE THE FORM.

3) HE wanted to know my BASIS for CHARGING HIM A FEE....you get the idea.  He thought HE needed to pay the fee.

I advised him that the fee and procedure is in my residents' resident handbook that is a part of their lease AND that I provide the form and THEY sign it and pay the $25.



This process has been in place for almost a decade * since I kept getting rent verification requests when residents were buying a new home and each of their mortgage lenders wanted their own form completed.  It became TEDIOUS so I instituted a FORMS FEE that has now become quite common with professional property management firms.

I provide the verification form and after receiving the residents payment, I complete it and send it electronically to their prospective landlord AND to the residents...they have it in perpetuity for subsequent landlords and EVERYBODY knows what I wrote in the verification.

I'm sorry the DIY landlord calling himself a property manager did not listen to my logic and my process....maybe he could have learned something.

 

 Wallace S. Gibson, CPM * GIBSON MANAGEMENT GROUP, Ltd.

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Comment balloon 14 commentsWallace S. Gibson, CPM • February 27 2013 01:49PM

Comments

Seems logical to me.  The future landlord is asking you to spend time to help him with HIS business.  Of course, if the tenants had read the handbook,. . . . .

Time is money. If you're working, you should be earning.

Otherwise, go play.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Thank you, Lenn....sending my verification electronically means the residents can save it for next time....this DIY landlord was very short sighted.

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 6 years ago

He was so angry he wasn't LISTENING.  BTW, what is a do-it-yourself landlord?

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Wallace, there are many details involved in property management. I can see why you would charge the tenant the forms fee. Had DIYer stopped talking long enough and listened he might have learned something. 

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) over 6 years ago

Wallace,

A lot of our folks go back overseas so I almost NEVER get asked for references.... wierd how different things are one area to another.

Forms fee is a great idea, but you are the queen of great ideas and smart implementation plans.

All the best, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) over 6 years ago

So many people want you to do something for them for nothing.  Amazing.

Posted by Paula McDonald, Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Beam & Branch Realty) over 6 years ago

I've offered written references to departing residents as an incentive to leave the property in good and clean condition...the forms fee and sending electronically was a LIGHT BULB moment 10 years ago

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 6 years ago

This is an interesting policy.  What happens if the referral is not so stellar.  I wonder if the tenants would ask for their $25 back. . . ;-)  You're policy on this seems like a good one and makes sense.

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) over 6 years ago

Hi Wallace.  Make sense to me.  What a smuck he was.

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) over 6 years ago

One of the early reasons that I started the policy is so that LESS-THAN-STELLAR residents would not ask for a reference.....they often got the property they wanted anyway and MY STRICT RENTING POLICY was the reason they were leaving the property I managed - NOT!

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 6 years ago

Sounds like a great idea to me, Wallace.  PM companies have popped up all over the place since we went through so many foreclosures and short sales.  Many are totally clueless. 

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 6 years ago

Interesting...as sales increase, many FAUX property manager/leasing agents are now abandoning their property management clients as taking too much time....

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 6 years ago

Thanks Wallace, great learning moment.  I have not instituted this procedure yet but I will start this now.

Posted by Bob Crane, Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671 (Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities) over 6 years ago

Bob - I had a CO landlord leave me a voicemail yesterday * SATURDAY * while I was watching NASCAR...I called her back with no answer.  I texted her and then e-mailed my former resident to bring me a check on Monday

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 6 years ago

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