Excuse me...they found my ad on Craigslist * You won't do the paperwork * You want a Referral FEE?

Property Manager with Gibson Management Group, Ltd.

As times get tougher, many real estate agents are looking for ways to make money and have turned to rental referral fees....so the following is ENTIRELY MY FAULT and I'll put on my "big girl pants" and deal with it.

For many years, I have given a referral fee for property and tenant referrals.  My fee is more generous than other local property managers and all totaled I have paid out over $80,000 during the last 15 years.

As of last year; however, I stopped listing my rental properties in our local MLS rental section.  It was not an effective use of my marketing time AND agents would call with questions when the answers were in the listing  under AGENT REMARKS.......this is a SUCH a BIG DEAL to where our local MLS is now mandating agents attend a  class before the end of the year to remain in MLS. 

So....I've elected to spend my time creating my online web listings and established an AGGRESSIVE daily routine to post listings on Craigslist  and am no longer dealing with the arcane listing form of our MLS.

Unfortunately, this procedure has NOW created another effect that I need to deal with.  Because many area property managers also no longer list rental properties in the MLS, rental prospects are now finding our listings on Craigslist.  In the instance of my properties, they realize my eLeasing procedure requires a pre-qualification step so they find a Realtor thinking that an agent can get them in to see my listing.....like the agent is the "magic key" to get around my procedure.

Agents may or may not realize that the property is currently occupied * my listing photos show the property vacant * and while a homeowner selling may welcome people coming through their home on short notice, rental residents do not.  The pre-qualification step is to allow me to sort through prospects whose moving time-frame might not match the current residents' lease end and property availability; who might have pets that are unsuitable; and, yes, who might have credit issues....I am the GATEKEEPER to my residents' homes and not everyone gets to go inside.



So now I am dealing agents who say they represent rental prospects who, in all likelihood, I have already been in contact with either via e-mail on on the phone and while the agents may or may not even have the rudimentary information on these prospects, they expect a rental referral fee.  They have forgotten that my offer of compensation would normally be in the MLS listing * where these things are agreed to per MLS rules * and since my listings are no longer there, there is no compensation offer.

Fortunately, I am leasing 2 to 5 home a week through my process and while agents question my methods and procedures, my client owners are happy to not have ad costs and lost rent and my residents are happy because they do not have strange people coming into their homes.




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Wayne and Lynda Gomillion
Real Living Hagan Realtors | Pinehurst ~ Southern Pines, NC - Pinehurst, NC

Thanks for the thought provoking post... It seems like everyone is getting squeezed these days, but not everyone responds in the same manner. 

Mar 05, 2010 06:29 PM #1
Barry Block

Why am I reading your post at 4 in the morning?

Mar 05, 2010 07:14 PM #2
David Jirasek
Jirasek Realty - Temple, TX

Some farm & ranch, and most commercial and industrial is not in mls, so agreements between brokers/agents is common. However, I've not seen much cooperation in the rental market between agents, and our mls is not even being used for residential/multifamily rental marketing.  

Mar 05, 2010 09:34 PM #3
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Wallace if you did not make an offer of compensation I don't see why it should be expected.  Even when listed in my MLS the listing agent states that the other agents will have to get compensated by the person looking to rent.

Mar 05, 2010 09:48 PM #4
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Wayne and Lynda * yes, and e-mails got snarky and her clients are probably wondering what it is going on.

Barry * go back to sleep

David * our MLS DOES have a rental section and I have used it faithfully for over 15 years; however, our rental market is very BRISK and agents in the mix are a distraction as they want to do it "old school".

Jennifer * I agree or the agent goes back to when Realtors did this as a courtesy to potential-would-be-buyers!

Mar 05, 2010 09:56 PM #5
Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer
Russel Ray - San Diego State University, CA

Oh, Wallace, you mean, mean, mean property manager. You give property managers a bad, bad name by not wanting to do all the work and then share the rewards with the lazies out there. LOL

 Don't mind me. I'm just the court jester!

Come join the fun in ActiveRain's Guerrilla Marketing Team Contest.

Mar 05, 2010 10:27 PM #6
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Yes * I am guilty. My bigger issue is working twice as hard to get past them and their bias of what they THINK I should be looking for an a tenant for the property.

Mar 06, 2010 06:06 PM #7
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


We actually changed the co-op info to say xx% if you show, yy% if I show.  I've had agents tell them to call  me to see it and they want the fee.   

It works!  We do use FMLS though, we have to as we sell and any place with our sign has to be in the FMLS.  

Funny all the agents that don't actually read the info!  Well, not so funny.  But funny when they complain about something you already spelled out for them to read.

All the best, Michelle

Mar 07, 2010 01:25 PM #8
Kaera Mims
Liz Moore & Associates - Fort Monroe, VA
Associate Broker, e-PRO, REALTOR; Hampton, Newport News, York Co.

Very thought provoking. We list our rentals on the local MLS and actually just started with Craigslist recently. Property management is a whole other animal :-)!

Mar 20, 2011 09:19 PM #9
Stella Barbour
NoVa Brokers LLC - Vienna, VA
Principal Broker, Serving Virginia and Maryland

Not sure why people expect something when it is not even on the MLS.  Lazy agents will always be around for us to Post about.

Mar 27, 2011 02:43 AM #10
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