Got a Client Prospect Call * SHE SAW ME IN COURT TODAY!

Property Manager with Gibson Management Group, Ltd.

I LVE new client calls.  The one I received just after lunch was unique.  She had just seen me WIN in court.

One of the hazaards of landlording is having tenants who dispute security deposit returns.  I have gotten my procedure down to where I rarely go and equally rarely loose. 

A tenant to departed in June disputed my $1,500 for yard work and mulch when it is in his lease that he is required to maintain the yard AND mulch 1x annually.  The tenant rented the home for 14 months and admittedly did not mulch the yard.

He sues, I counter sue with the use of my attorney and in court today, our JUDGE was to have been a DIFFERENT one from the one sitting....SNAFU as I manage property for this judge's wife...rather than come back, the Plaintiff/tenant agreed and we tried the case. 

I had my documents, my paperwork, my before, after and AFTER photos, my paid invoices AND my resident handbook.  I handed my exhitits to my attorney and he skillfully presented my case that the tenant did not mow, weed or mulch the yard when he departed NOR did he return the keys in the manner stipulated.  

I WON!  and rather than having a satisfied judgement against him, he wrote me a check on the spot and we dismissed the case.

I suspect he believed some of the online chatter regarding tenants who thought they had won.  They actually lost and vented like they had won.  I was willing to take his deposit and call it even and he had to push he wrote a check for $600+ which included my attorney fees.

Meanwhile, since we went first because I had an attorney, there was a DIY landlord sitting in the court that had their case heard after we had left.  They must have remembered my name because when I got back to my office, they left me a message that they wanted to talk to me about managing their home.

....NOT exactly how I want to let prospects know about my management services; however, it is a nice house and once it is cleaned up, it should rent quickly!


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Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


No surprise that you picked up a client at court.  I am sure you KNOCKED their socks off with your detail, planning and organization.  That's what Landlords need, so the phone call makes sense.

All the best, Michelle

Sep 21, 2011 04:52 PM #1
Sussie Sutton
UTR Texas Realtors - Pearland, TX
UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers.

It is crazy where we pick up clients...before I was a REA I thought that everyone called into the office and got assigned an agent...LOL how green could I have been!

Sep 21, 2011 06:21 PM #2
Mark Delgado
houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove - Benicia, CA
Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h
That is a GREAT story. Youre right that winning in court isn't something property managers brag about- but maybe we should?!
Sep 21, 2011 10:56 PM #3
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

I've researched the property * IT may not fit with my management portfolio because of it's age.  I try to stay away from pre78 properties for the lead issues!

Sep 23, 2011 06:34 AM #4
Nancy Pav
Long & Foster - Ashburn, VA
Nancy Pav, Your "GottaHave" Realtor

That's a great story.  It just goes to show you that you never know where your next client is going to come from

Sep 25, 2011 10:07 AM #5
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