What’s it like on the flip side? Advocating for tenants for the very first time after in excess of 25 years representing landlords has been an eye opener, there’s no doubt. Not many have stayed in property management long enough to have my experience and knowledge, and now using this to navigate and assist renter’s on their journey has been a hugely fulfilling albeit sometimes frustrating move.
Like many other renters out on the weekend looking at properties, I’ve experienced what it is like to be considered as a potential tenant, and I was left feeling underwhelmed to say the least. As an agent, I’m embarrassed, and as a business owner and potential renter (viewing on behalf of my client), I’m hugely disappointed at the lack of respect of my time, sacrifice and money.
Two separate agents did not show up for a scheduled viewing to show me through their advertised properties. For one of them I later received an email stating the appointment was cancelled as the property had been leased. This arrived in my inbox almost 6 hours after the scheduled time. There were 2 other disgruntled couples waiting next to me that day, cursing under their breath while trying to get through to the agent’s 1300 number that nobody was answering trying to find out if they were on their way. For the other no-show viewing, the agent was apparently unaware they were delegated to attend, making an appearance 30 minutes late. They showed up, although I am not convinced the attitude they brought with them would be something I would want to contend with if my clients were to rent the property.
Renter Respect is few and far between when it comes to dealing with agents. That initial opportunity to start on the right foot, make a good impression, in my opinion, will only bring opportunity to capitalise on the relationship between renter and agent, so it is disappointing to see those that are tasked with the job of showing properties, most likely have not had enough training to understand the importance of their job and the consequences of their actions.
Renters will, if they are not already, become landlords themselves, and if indeed we believe, as so many state, that real estate is a people business, what better start to a long term relationship with an agent than showing up. I’m pretty sure that the landlord of the property with the agent that didn’t show up to the scheduled viewing was not aware of same. In dollar terms, this could amount to thousands lost with the property taking longer to lease and the potential renters now moving on to the next property. In effect the disrespect was not only to the renter but to the landlord aswell.
When I am in the initial phase of searching for a client during the inspection and enquiry stage, I am solely focused on their journey ahead, which has a lot to do with the agent I’m dealing with. How has the agent represented themselves in terms of accommodating a viewing time? , how does the property present?, is it clean?, how has the agent handled my subsequent queries after the viewing?, etc. These are all indicators as to how my client will fare the journey moving forward when I am no longer representing them. Will they be able to get their repairs attended to in a timely manner?, or how will the agent communicate with my client during the time of their tenancy? If the journey starts off on the wrong foot, more than likely it will continue and end in the same manner. The allure of the perfect property in the perfect location will only remain that way and have a good ending if the agent is aware, responsive and experienced.