By Patty Middleton
It all starts when the phone rings, âCan I see the property now?â, âWhat do I need in order to move in?â, âIs this a safe neighborhood?â These are just some of the questions that you will have to come up with answers for in a split second. How do you answer these questions and abide by the License laws, State laws, Fair Housing and Ethics? So, here are some of the crazy questions that I deal with on a regular basis every day:
- Can I see the property now, like right now, Iâm sitting in the driveway? Appointments are needed to keep some order in your day. You need to show property in order to lease it but you canât be everywhere at once. Scheduling by area is important so that you are not running all over and backtracking all day. Try to schedule multiple appointments for the same property during the same time-frame. Thereâs not enough hours in the day and thereâs just ONE of me!
- What do I need in order to move in today, my moving truck is packed and ready to go since my landlord evicted me? This is based individually on your brokerâs policies and procedures. Itâs always a good idea to try to do a quick per-qualification with the potential leasee over the phone….Important questions to ask; âDo you have an open bankruptcy?â, âDo you have good rental history?â, âDoes your income support the rental price?â You may or may not get straight answers from the leasee but at least you have made the attempt to get some answers up front.
- Is this a safe neighborhood, I think I saw the house down the street on the news/would you live here? This is not a question we can answer but you have to say something. Advise them to do their due diligence and make their own evaluation of the neighborhood by visiting at different times on different days. Talk to the neighbors. Crime statistics can be obtained online or from the local police station.
- I know this house rents for $1200 but do you think the owner will take $650.00? Really??? You need to protect your ownerâs interests and make sure they receive fair market value for the property. If you priced the property correctly to start with, there shouldnât be much room for adjustment. Advise the potential leasee to check market rents in the area. Also, advise the owner that a potential leasee has made a lower offer to keep them informed of everything pertaining to their property. (Just for kicks)
- I donât like the carpet or the appliances, Do you think the owner can install brand new Stainless Steel appliances and re-carpet the entire house? This is something you should be prepared to answer, having already discussed any additional possible rehab with the owner. You may have prior permission to do something that could potentially be a deal breaker. Always double check with the owner and never make any promises. Owners can be notorious for changing their minds.
- Who is going to mow my grass, get rid of the ants or change my light bulbs? This is another question that should have an easy answer. This should have been discussed prior to the owner signing the lease management agreement. Your tenant lease should cover in detail all of the tenants responsibilities. This is our company policy, yours may vary. Make sure you know how to address this question as it pertains to the specific property before it becomes an issue.
At the end of the day being a leasing agent is a very rewarding job. You have made a difference in the lives of two families when you place a tenant. The tenant family has a new home and the owner has the security of a qualified tenant in their property. After all the crazy questions and nonsense, I feel a sense of accomplishment and that Iâve made a difference. And thatâs why I am a Leasing Agent who loves her job!