Entry by Pat Tristram

Communication: First experience!


First experience & first entry:

We live in a University Community where, at this time of year, phone calls from students (and parents) looking for places to rent occur. I received such a call from a parent who lives 6 hours away asking for help with his son in locating a rental . We normally don't do this type of business and attempted to convert this situation to a purchase. In the hopes of doing so, I agreed to make enquiries for possible rentals. After a long distance 20 minute phone call and several emails providing invaluable knowledge on properties, market rents, location etc, I was informed that, in addition to his son, he had 3 friends to room with as well (important info to know). Their expectations were unrealistic and It finaly came to light the boys were looking by themselves and I was only communicating with a concerned parent about the possible living conditions his son would be faced with.

Yesterday I emailed him back and explained that I would not be receiving compensation (except of a minimal amount typical on a student lease) for my time, expertise etc unless there was a commitment on their part to work with me. I wrote that I am not your typical realtor, instead I conduct my business as a consultant and offered my services for an hourly rate of $75.00 per hour which would be refunded should a purchase evolve. I received a reply from the parent which stated "thank you but I will pursue other avenues". That was it - no further comment.

What a wonderful feeling I had. I felt like I was free of being pulled into constantly providing emails, phone calls etc knowing I likely would never received compensation for my efforts and time. I can now move on to locate someone who will appreciate what I have to offer or spend my time learning more on how to implement ACRE®

We are so ready for this program and way of doing business.

Have a great day everyone!


Good for you, Pat! Consumers will only VALUE the time, expertise, and commitment of good agents when the AGENTS do!!! How the real estate industry got into the habit of giving away so much for free (to the point that now the consumer EXPECTS it, and worse, often COMPLAINS about much of it) escapes me. Those boys will likely find rentals which may or MAY NOT ultimately be what they want or need, and may or MAY NO have the involvement AT ALL of the concerned parent who made contact with you! But the good news is YOU NOW HAVE THE TIME YOU WOULD HAVE OTHERWISE INVESTED on those folks to do other, more productive things!

It all begins with valuing your own time! It's the one thing that NO ONE CAN GIVE YOU BACK! Congratulations!!

Pat, we've had several ACREs comment on how when they stated that they needed to be paid for their time, they "lost" the customer. My response is that they haven't lost a thing but have gained (as JudiB said so eloquently) the time they could have wasted.

By putting a value on your time, expertise, and experience you have provided a sieve to your real estate practice, shaking out those clients that will value you and ultimately, result in real business, not busy unpaid work.

Good stuff, Pat! You did the right thing.

Your experience in this is a reminder of how much consumers take for granted. One side of their collective mind expects us to work for free; the other side complains about commission being so expensive (which it is). Few realize that consumers who pay traditional commission are subsidizing those who obtain free services. Over time that inequity smooths out for the agent, but offers only cold comfort to those who pay commission.

The elite society known as ACRES® offers the only real solution to this problem (notwithstanding that humility may not be our greatest virtue).


I have a similar situation where I live, parents from out of State looking for rentals close to the school the child will attend.

If this happens to you, let me tell you what I did that worked because I don't do rentals either.

I asked the parents if there would be more children going to school in the future. If so or even if not, there are lots of parents trying to find a rental so they are very scarce.

The best thing to do is BUY a property, say a 3 or 4 bdrm and charge rent to the roomies to cover the mortgage. then if they have another child going, you have a place already. Once all kids are out of school, you do a 10-31 exchange and avoid taxes. If they don't want to do that, then they will still have had benefit of a mortgage interest deduction, real estate taxes, etc.

Once I do a side by side comparison of rent vs buy and sell later their eyes light up. It is no problem to resale a property or continue to rent it for the income.

These properties are very scarce here and the benefit of buying a 3/4 bdrm and charging rent to the others as well as being able to write off mtg interest and taxes FAR outweigh throwing their money away on rent. When they decide to sell, they will get TOP dollar or if they want to continue to leave it as a rental, they can still get top rental income.

Problem solved. Hope this helps!

This page contains a single entry by Pat Tristram published on January 14, 2010 6:12 AM.

A Dozen Benefits of Offering Consulting Choices was the previous entry in this blog.

Should You Be Licensed to be an ACRE? is the next entry in this blog.

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