Should Your Real Estate Agent be Your Property Manager?
As a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of California focusing on Property Management, I have heard many horror stories from residential property owners who decided to have a residential real estate agent perform the services of a property manager.
This decision is akin to having a family practice doctor perform a knee replacement. Both doctors are technically licensed to do the procedure but do you really want your family practice physician performing your knee replacement? Even if they are a good family friend? Even if they really want to help you? Chances are you would look for the best specialist you could find and call your family physician the next time you got the flu.
We often take over the management of residential properties with tenants already placed by real estate agents. Many times we are brought in to manage these properties because the owner is not able to get the tenant to do the two things every owner wants a tenant to do: pay the rent on-time, in full every month and take care of the property.
Most tenant related headaches can be traced to back to the screening process used in the tenant placement. Real estate agents are simply not accustomed to doing a thorough screening process and looking at potential applicants as tenants and not buyers.
Think about it:
- If I’m trying to find a buyer for your home, do I care if they don’t make their mortgage payment on time? That’s the lender’s problem not mine.
- Do I care if they trashed the home they live in now? That’s how they choose to live and doesn’t concern me.
- Do I care if they qualify for the loan on your home with fake pay stubs and a phony landlord verification? Again, that’s the lender’s problem not mine.
- Do I care if the down payment check (Security Deposit for renters) bounces? That’s escrow’s problem.
As a property manager, all of the above actions are reasons to deny a tenant.
Property management is a unique and specialized area of real estate and should only be performed by a trained specialist, just like your doctor.