Two years ago I had a procedure altering epiphany that drastically changed how I ran my properties and those I manage.  It all started when I met a fellow investor at a networking event. After getting to know him for a few months, our conversations became more in depth and…well….useful. They transitioned from weather, etc to nitty gritty real estate.

I was expressing how I was frustrated with some of the newer tenants being demanding and flighty at the same time. I went on to explain who Iit was getting hard to get rent on time, tenants would scheduled repairs but then changed their minds one hour before appointment, and they only followed the rules that were convenient for them.  Immediately he began asking questions.

He asked me if the showings for these particular tenants were scheduled in advance or if the showings were done on demand.  He then asked if we had a security deposit and holding fee procedure.  Was the tenant late to any appointments in the beginning? At first I thought it his questions were unrelated and he had forgot what we were talking about.  Then I realized that his inquiries weren’t unrelated but were all funneling to a major point he was building up to.

After many questions he smiled and said “I know what your problem is.”

He went on to explain that from the moment my staff initially spoke to the prospective tenant we had already begun seceding power and establishing the tone of the tenancy.  My mind was blown.

When we reacted and scheduled a showing for a few hours from the time of the call I was showing them that their time was more valuable than ours. I furthered the problem by asking the leasing agent to stay 10-15 minutes later and her agreeing to show it when they eventually waltzed in. I thought we was being understanding turns out I was being a sucker.

Then the investor said the life-altering sentence “You have been setting the tone for a tenant dominated relationship from your first action.” I spent the next hour of the event going through scenarios and scribbling out notes and procedures on a stack of cocktail napkins. Yes I was that cliched person.  But those many napkins have turned into an amazing procedure and now…this blog series.

The next two blogs will take an in-depth look at some of the ways the tone of tenancy is set in the first 60 days of the relationship. Common landlord mistakes and ways to change it so you are establishing control of the relationship from the beginning.

Corina Eufinger

CEO of Brio Properties

Owner CRC Investments

Owner Brio Properties & CRC Investments