Management Mantra: stay consistent to stay successful

Services for Real Estate Pros with Homepointe

If there is one thing I learned early on in renting and managing property is that consistency proves successful.  We as managers need to be as dynamic as the people we encounter and properties we manage.  What separates some of us in this industry is the intestinal fortitude to stay the course and be consistent.  Consistent in our marketing and consistent in our management practices.  We need to be especially consistent in our strategies and interactions with our landlord clients.  They hire us to rent and manage their property by keeping their best interests in mind.  Keeping their best interests means doing our job and not allowing anyone else--including the owner client--to move us off the right course in doing so.

I recently had an unfortunate experience with a returning client.  4+ years ago this client moved out of their primary residence and hired me to rent out their property.  After 3 years of management they thanked me for finding such a wonderful tenant but now wanted to save money and manage the property them self.  After more than 4 years of tenancy with only one resident the client calls to sign up again--the good tenant had purchased a home and moved.  We met at the rental and went over the contract.   We spoke about the same marketing strategies I intended to employ to find another qualified tenant.  They agreed and the marketing began.  Within a 2 week period I received several forwarded emails from the client from an ad they had previously placed for $100.00 less than my ad.  These inquiries wanted me to show the home to them at odd hours and on very short notice.  I responded to each of them with our company information and the prescheduled dates and times I was to be at the home--most were pleased with the responses and attended the showings.  Others informed the owner I was unwilling to meet their needs.  Inexplicably, the owner lost faith in my ability and gave me a five day deadline to rent the home or cancel the contract.  I opted to immediately cancel the contract as I know my strategy to rent property works.  I do not fully understand why they changed course so drastically but I do know the problem was not mine or my company's.  In looking at the notes from the first time I rented their home--it took 27 days to rent their home.  This time they gave me an ultimatum after 14 days.  I never want to lose an account but this one I believe I am better off without.

Homepointe uses 12 or more websites, an insert in the Sacramento Bee, 24 hour voicemail + email and daily updated hand outs at all 3 offices to market our properties.  We establish prescheduled open house showings 2-3 times per week for all our vacants.  We certainly do make appointments as well when time permits--usually with 1-2 days notice.  I manage to rent an average of 10 properties per month and company wide we average 50-65 per month. 

James Safonov


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  1. Robert Machado 01/17/2010 10:50 AM
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Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

James * systems as well as policies and procedures are the keys * literally * to making a successful property management organization.

Kudos for acknowledging the lack of faith on the part of your client and that ANY and ALL of your efforts were not being appreciated. 

When I take on a client that has self-marketed in the recent past, I request that they remove the ads ESPECIALLY the ones in Craigslist and I insist that all of their prior contacts be directed to me.  I too have had those contacts go back to the owner when I did not jump to their snap so you are well served to decline the management and allow you BOTH to move on. 

Had what they were doing actually been effective, they would have rented the property and NOT needed you a second time.


Oct 19, 2009 09:54 AM #1
Diane Rice
Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL - Lansing, IL

Hey this is a powerful post WITH the comment from Wallace...

Will have to do a NEW post called,


Oct 20, 2009 07:34 AM #2
Thomas R. Martin Broker/Owner ICPM
Investors Choice Property Management - Sacramento, CA
Property Management the way it SHOULD be.

You can't please everyone, and there will always be clients with unrealistic expectations. Although we consider ourselves more flexible in our policies than most, we still encounter the same issues from time to time. I think you did the best thing you could given the situation- cut the losses and move forward.



Nov 23, 2009 04:46 AM #3
Balboa Real Estate San Diego, CA - San Diego, CA


When I take the client, I am the boss. They don't get to market their own property or tell me what to do or when to do it. I tell them this from day one and I have had to fire a client or 2.


Cancelling the contract was very smart, and a great stratgey. You KNOW your market, and you KNOW that your strategy to find a tenant works. If it didn't why would you be so succesful?

I say "Goodbye and good luck" to these clients. Working with them is always an uphill battle and who needs the stress?


Feb 02, 2010 10:37 AM #4
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