I am trying to help one of my clients find a little single family property to rent. He’s a single guy. He has two cats. His Equifax credit score is 795. He’s a commercial and residential landlord. He makes plenty of money. He’s almost the perfect tenant candidate. He wants to find a little place so that he can hide away for a while. I finally found him a little place near Lake Pearl in Wrentham.
Here’s where things go wrong…
I submitted a rental application package on my client’s behalf on Thursday night. I patiently waited for an answer. I received this email response on Friday morning…
“Thank you for this. I will need your client to fill out one of our own applications and background checks. It is a soft pull so it will not affect your client’s credit. I will use this application to hold your clients place in line. They are now second. here is the link to the application I will need filled out if your client wants to proceed.”
My Spidey Sense immediately tingled.
Me: What do you mean by: “I will use this application to hold your clients place in line. They are now second.“?
Listing Agent: I don’t submit all rental application packages to my landlords. I submit them as if they’re in a queue and have the landlord make a decision on the first application before moving on to the second application.
Me: (Appalled) Are you kidding me?! I have been selling real estate since 1999 and would be opening myself open to litigation if I ever decided to withhold offers from sellers. I could get sued! I could lose my real estate license!
Listing Agent: Why are you being so aggressive? Gah…
Me: And why do I have to use your application process? Shouldn’t you have mentioned that you have your own special application process that nobody else uses anywhere within Pinergy so that I didn’t waste my time or, more importantly, delay my tenant’s ability to secure a lease in your listing.
Listing Agent: Call my boss.
I was so pissed. I’ve been trying to be nicer to other real estate agents and brokers lately. I think I have a reputation for being a bit rough with them. I want to be more compassionate to people in general, because I’ve come to more fully believe in the Golden Rule, and real estate agents, more particularly, because I’m trying to build a brokerage and I want to attract real estate agents to my company. This guy, with his audacious bravado and blissful ignorance, sent me over the edge.
I called his boss and, thankfully, the guy could sense my frustration and was nice enough to listen to my rant.
My tenant, as you might imagine, did not get the property but I told him what had transpired, most importantly, and I gave him a 10% of securing a lease which was an improvement over the 0% chance of securing a lease.
Put yourself in that landlord’s shoes. Would you, as a landlord, be upset if you found out that the listing agent you hired had not presented any and all rental application packages to you? Imagine if you, as a landlord, didn’t know about a rental application package that included a 795 credit score?
I’m not here simply to rant. I’m here to implore real estate agents to really think about their processes from a selfless point of view. It’s not hard to put yourself in your client’s shoes if you only take the time to think about them first.