Following on from Part One, we continue exploring the types of landlords that contribute to the success and failure of a rent-roll.
6. The ‘C-Class Landlord’
“A C-Class Landlord is like a packet of cigarettes and will take years off your life!” is a favourite saying of mine and these clients are the absolute bane of every property manager! The worst type of clients to have!
Typified by being over-demanding and unreasonable, taking up too much time and demanding 150% service, have already big discounts on fees and want too much in rent, will spend little to no money on repairs and therefore have a bad property that just attracts a bad tenant…
I wonder why offices continue to hang onto this type of client!
Unless you can increase their fees to make it worthwhile to do business with them, the only other option for them is giving them a ‘good-bye’ and pushing them out the door!
7. The ‘Committee’
When you manage a property owned by a community group, you’re likely to have decisions made by a committee! This could be a ‘church manse’ (a house where the church pastor would live), or a housing co-op group.
If you have or take on clients like this, just be prepared for the fact that decisions can be slow and painful to come to sometimes!
8. The ‘Demolisher’
Usually, this is a property developer and possibly a good client in the longer term, but right now they’ve brought you a ‘dump’ to rent out until the economic situation is right to demolish and re-develop the site.
Repairs are needed and together with a client who will only spend the bare minimum, balancing legalities and compliance with the Residential Tenancies Act keeps you busy. Attracting a good tenant to that type of property is difficult.
If they re-develop and bring back the management when the work is done – all good, but they might just re-develop and sell and all you’ve had is a poor quality tenancy.
9. The ‘Estate’
The parents are now deceased and the estate is controlled by their children who want to rent out the property.
Sometimes this type of business is okay, however, you might get stuck with a property that needs a good overhaul and renovation as the décor is old and outdated. Also, the property has had ‘low-impact living’ by an elderly person for many years and now a family has moved in, and the home has found the change in lifestyle hard to cope with, with a string of things breaking down, and the new owner’s finances now under attack!
Sometimes it’s also hard to get decisions made quickly by the holders of the estate, especially when it comes to spending money!
10. The ‘Transfer Landlord’
They’ve been upset with the services of another agent and now they’ve brought the business to you. They might be wary and find fault quickly as they are now in ‘self-preservation’ or ‘defensive’ mode.
In most cases, if you can provide a better service (this is not hard to do) and give them back their peace of mind, this business will be fine!
They are generally a good quality client to have but can be hard to get and difficult to win over through marketing.
11. The ‘Property Investor’
By far, this is the most desirable type of client to get. In most cases, they are disconnected from the emotion of the property as they’ve probably never lived in it, and it was purchased for investment purposes only.
They’ll probably have a ‘buy and hold’ strategy and that means they’re likely to hang onto the property for a long time and not sell for a while, nor will they be wanting to move into it as an occupier.
Generally motivated by the peace of mind as they’ve learned ‘you get what you pay for’. As long as you serve their needs, they are happy with your fees, and the management just ticks along fine!
Knowing your business is important!
The ‘John West’ principle works well and knowing what you must reject in terms of client selection will protect your future rent roll from being unprofitable and stressful. High levels of burn out for your staff equates to cost and frustration for you.
Choosing what clients are best for your business is simply good business and will reward you richly in the long run!
Taking on anything and everything will create a business that will give you 80% grief from 20% of your client’s so it’s smart to know what type of clients you will accept, and what types you will happily refer to your favourite competitors down the road!