Do you represent Tenants?

Real Estate Agent with Local Hawaii Real Estate

Background:  The programmers at HIS  - the most advanced MLS in Hawaii, have been working hard on making sure we can do rentals in our MLS.  Pat Scullary, and I (both of us are HIS Directors) are pushing this implementation very hard. Our goal is to see short term, long term residential, vacation and commercial rentals in our MLS this year!

The reasons are simple:

1) It is good business for all of us professionals to be able to go to one resource to locate available rentals in Hawaii. 
2) Most MLSs already include Rentals in their listing service.
3) There are more people looking for rentals in Hawaii then are looking to purchase property in Hawii.
4) Once rentals are included in our MLS -- our public web site will get more hits, more hits means more people looking at our rental listings AND our for sale listings as they compare costs.
5) Our code of Ethics also covers Tenants and Land Lords.
6) With our accumulated rental data we can offer better rental market data to ourselves, appraisers, owners and investors.
7) Property for rent can be ported to our web sites via our existing HIS IDX feed or our HIS RETS feed (which is currently in Beta and soon to be released).
8) launched a nice mobile app which includes rental listings (
Sources of information you can use:
Here is url to search for rentals in the USA so you can see how they are advertised by other Brokerages please notice the lack of rental Hawaii listings===>

Many Brokers and Agents have asked me how do we represent tenants. My answer is very simple. Just like an ABR® represents a Buyer -- by contract and adhere to the Realtor Code of Ethics ( 

Here is a url to a Residential Buyer/Tenant Representation Agreement from the Austin Board of REALTORS® ===>

Often I am asked how do you get a tenant to sign a Representation Agreement.

Here is a url to a Realtors® Commercial Alliance presentation on Selling the Tenat Rep Agreement ===>

Here is a url for a hand out on Working with a Commercial Realtor® ===>

Here is a url for Free WEbinars from NAR Commercial ===>

Here is a url for a speaker on commercial tenant representation ===>

The most passionate two questions I have heard so far are:   "How do we compensate the agent representing the renter?" and, "Just what does the agent representing the renter have to do to earn that compensation?"

The answers to these questions seem to be not so complicated.


Due to anti-trust laws Brokers can not set a uniform commission rate. Compensation is really up to each Broker and what policy or policies they wish to implement. In my opinion, it can be very simular to how we compensate a buyer's agent for residential real estate where buyer's agents are usually paid when an accepted contract is fully executed. Others collect a fee from the Buyer. Sometimes both happen.

The methods I have seen in other MLSs are:
- a percentage or dollar amount of the 1st month's rent paid when the rental contract is completed and the 1st month's rent is collected.
- a percentage or dollar amount of full rented term paid each month the renter remains beginning with the accepted contract and 1st collected payment from the renter.
- nothing at all (which means the agent representing the renter receives any fee he or she wishes to charge for their services directly by agreement from the renter).

Earning that Commission:
- vet the renter and make him or her a client by a contract that fully describes your services
- research and show properties the client is qualified for
- guide the consumer on how to complete a rental contract
- present and negotiate the rental contract to either the land lord or land lord's agent
- advise on lead paint and other hazzards
- advise on using professionals like home inspectors
- follow Hawaii Law and protect the general public from Fraud

 Let me conclude by observing that the way we currently handle rentals is very similar to the way residential sales used to be done back before we had an MLS. Now it is the time for us to modernize and include Rentals in our MLS. Our clients will be better served and the public will be better served.

John Petrella, ABR®, GRI, SFR
REALTOR® Broker/Owner
Hawaii License RB-18892

Local Hawaii Real Estate
Honesty • Integrity • Commitment

Direct: 808.640.3953

REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is Member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.



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Sidney Kutchuk
Property Management & Sales at REALTY WORKS TEMECULA, CA 92590 (951) 217-6745 - Temecula, CA
Property Management & Sales Experts 951-217-6745

I question why rentals have not been in your mls system from the very start?
They are a big part of the whole real estate picture.

Jan 28, 2011 08:41 AM #1
John Petrella
Local Hawaii Real Estate - Hilo, HI

Hi Sidney,

It seems the Brokers here think of the MLS as a place to list property for sale.  Many have evolved to listing their rentals on company web sites, craig's list, and or in some from of print media. 

Do you use a have a copy of a renter's rep agreement you can share with us?






Jan 28, 2011 10:00 AM #2
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