Multi-listing for tenants

From: Mike .


Hi Folks,

I've got a couple of real estate agent issues I'd like your thoughts on.

Just in case it's relevant, I'm in London, okay?

First issue: I'm presently looking for a new tenancy and am doing the rounds of the REA's in the area I'm interested in. I give them an idea of what I'm looking for and they write down a list of candidates and I do a drive by to check location features and external condition of property. Anything that passes that test I book an internal inspection. What bothers me as a landlord myself is how the letting agent starts selling the features and desirability of those on the list. Like, "That one is the best of that lot, for the same price as the others you get off street parking, large bedrooms, one with ensuite etc. That other one is also in a good block (I actually live there myself) but the rooms are smaller. The third one is only partly furnished and the cheaper one is near a busy intersection with no off street parking."

So I'm thinking how long have some of these properties been vacant if they are so dismissive of the older properties versus the newer ones? For those of you who have experienced long vacancy periods would it be worthwhile having a friend or relative act as a prospective tenant to check out what the agent's attitude is toward your property? If your property is interstate I wonder if Robert's organisation could do this as a paid service?

Second issue: From that list I chose a couple for inspection to make a comparison and liked the first one so went back to the agent's office and placed a deposit to take the property off the market. One issue I pointed out was that I wanted the tenancy to start from 29th May . The agent said it was rather quiet at the moment and the landlord should agree. I arrived at the agent's office after the agent who told me that the landlord was notified and was agreeable, so I filled out the form with references for their checks. I handed over the deposit money and signed the document. Two days later I get a call from them saying that the landlord had informed them that the property had been let by another agency. Apparently, the landlord had placed the property with multiple agents and not told them. Apparently, this practice, while not prevalent is not unusual and is not regulated so the so-called agreement and deposit is purely for the benefit of the agent and landlord but not the tenant.

While this situation is unfair for the prospective tenant, speaking now from a landlord's POV, is this a good strategy against unmotivated agents as in the first example above? As with a multilist situation for selling property the successful agent gets a finders fee and gets the property to manage. What do you think?

Regards, Mike
 
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Reply: 1
From: Michael Yardney


Mike you make 2 interesting points.
The first one is a great lesson to landlords - you don't get a 2nd chance to make a good first impression.
You drove past prospective properties and if you didn't like the looks from the outside, you wouldn't even bother finding out what was inside!
And I'm sure that's what happens with a lot of buyers and tenants.
The lesson - spend a few dollars and make sure your property has "street appeal"
Michael Yardney
Metropole Properties
 
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Sim

Administrator
Reply: 1.1
From: Sim' Hampel


Personally, unlike other "outsourced" work like maintenance, the management of your properties is an ongoing thing. As such, I spend a lot of time working on my relationship with my property manager.

I need to be confident in their ability and willingness to help resolve a situation as required and to perform their duties efficiently and to my specifications. I also need them to communicate with me freely and when required, make decisions using their own initiative, which requires quite a lot of education from me on what my expectations are.

If I don't have the confidence that my property manager has the ability or the inclination to perform as to my expectations, then I'm going to spend all my time trying to find a new property manager who will.

I read a great article in an issue of Fast Company magazine about managing employees and other such things. One of the maxims they promoted was to "trust but verify".

By this they meant developing a relationship with the people who work for you so that you can trust them to go and do what you need them to do. But then also verify that they are actually performing as to your expectations as you go, so you can take action to correct any misaction before it becomes an major issue which could cause conflict.

 
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Reply: 2
From: Felicity W.


I had a situation with a property that wasn't letting (christmas time yuk), after a month I listed it with a second agent, but I certainly told the first one exactly what I was doing. To be fair to them, they weren't 100% happy but they understood why I was doing it.
The first agent got a tenant a week later. Not sure if that was coincidence or just the way it worked out!
This time round the property has been rented out before the previous tenant's lease finished!
Keep smiling
Felicity :cool:
 
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Reply: 2.1
From: DB Bear


I agree with Michael Y about "street appeal". I'm both a landlord and a tenant. (With my Landlord Hat on) we decided that it was important to have street appeal for two reasons.

1. To impress the tenants.
2. To impress the bank valuer who will most likely do a valuation based on a drive-by.

Now, just taking my Landlord Hat off and putting on my Tenant hat... just a sec...

There are a lot of crappy looking properties in Melbourne. In fact, the one we are living in at the moment, I took a big breath before I walked in the front door because the outside looked so ordinary. However, once I was over the threshold, I was sold. Now, whenever we look at new properties to rent, we EXPECT it to look awful on the outside so we give it a second chance until we walk in the door.

Now taking my tenant hat off... just a sec... here goes and putting on my Investor's Hat...

Doesn't that scream out loud to you that there is a gap in the market for properties that tenants can be proud of. Also, it will rent out quicker and make the Bank Valuer feel justified in giving you more equity when they do the quick drive by! Oh, and you'll more likely get more rent for it too.

Deb
Tenant... Landlord... Investor
 
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From: Bill Whittaker



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Subject: Multi-listing for tenants
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From: "DB Bear" <dbambridge@yahoo.com.au>

I agree with Michael Y about "street appeal". I'm both a landlord and a
tenant. (With my Landlord Hat on) we decided that it was important to have
street appeal for two reasons.

1. To impress the tenants.
2. To impress the bank valuer who will most likely do a valuation based on
a drive-by.

Now, just taking my Landlord Hat off and putting on my Tenant hat... just a
sec...

There are a lot of crappy looking properties in Melbourne. In fact, the
one we are living in at the moment, I took a big breath before I walked in
the front door because the outside looked so ordinary. However, once I was
over the threshold, I was sold. Now, whenever we look at new properties to
rent, we EXPECT it to look awful on the outside so we give it a second
chance until we walk in the door.

Now taking my tenant hat off... just a sec... here goes and putting on my
Investor's Hat...

Doesn't that scream out loud to you that there is a gap in the market for
properties that tenants can be proud of. Also, it will rent out quicker
and make the Bank Valuer feel justified in giving you more equity when they
do the quick drive by! Oh, and you'll more likely get more rent for it too.

Deb
Tenant... Landlord... Investor




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