It never ceases to amaze me how irresponsible, forgetful, or just downright rude people can be. For instance, if you’re a landlord, you know that 50% of people you set appointments with to see a rental property will never show up. Not only will they not show up, but they won’t even call and let you know they’re not coming.
Of course, potential tenants aren’t the only ones who are often unreliable, it’s everyone in the real estate business. (It’s actually everyone in any type of business.) For instance, a while back I was looking to hire an assistant to help me with my properties and a bunch of other things. I interviewed several people (which is a nightmare) and finally found someone I thought was perfect. We signed the employment contract and everything was all set to go.
But guess what?
She never showed up for her first day of work. I never heard from her. She never emailed me. Yes, she might have had a terrible accident and she might be dead, but the chances are highly unlikely. On paper, she looked great and she was far superior to anyone else I interviewed.
My point is…
It doesn’t matter if it’s a tenant, a Realtor, your painter, plumber or whomever, there are a lot of unreliable people in this world and you need to learn how to deal with them so they don’t waste your time and drive you crazy.
How do you do this?
You control the situations that you meet in.
Lets look at one example… When showing a property to potential tenants, you set appointments with each tenant. You should always tell them that they must call you 15 minutes before their assigned time to let you know they’ll be there. Be sure to let them know that if they don’t call you, you will not be at the house to show it to them. If you have an office, just have tenants show up at your office and you can then go to the house together. Lastly, you can put a lockbox on the property and have the tenants see it themselves, but only after they’ve faxed you a copy of their driver’s license and filled out a tenant information form.
As for real estate agents and other people, have them meet you at your convenience.
In other words, don’t make a special trip to the house just to meet with them. Have them come to the house when you’ve scheduled several other appointments too. That way, if they don’t show at least you have your handyman or inspector out there too.
As far as people who do flake out on you, give them one chance only. If they don’t show up on time or they’re not doing their job, get rid of them immediately. When I first started out in this business I gave people way too many chances. I’ve learned one thing over the years: “once a flake, always a flake.” In other words, don’t hold out hope that your painter is going to all the sudden do a better job, or that the rehabber who keeps saying he is going to partner with you is actually going to come through for once.
I know you want to be successful, just as we all do. And one of the major keys is not letting people waste your time, and perhaps more importantly, finding quality people that you can build a team around.