The following is a story given me by Heather Holmes, Broker at Re/Max Hallmark Realty.
“Don’t discount the guy in jeans and flip flops shopping for an Aston Martin”
About 3 years ago, my office paged me with a duty rental lead; it was 2 days before the Easter long weekend, and all I could think was “Great, another dis-loyal renter to waste my time over the long weekend”. Renters typically shop around with an agent(s), search Craiglist, Kijiji, ask co-workers, etc. to find a new place. If you can get them to commit to you, a successful rental agreement often takes more work than a sale for the pay-off. I did a ton of rentals my first year in business, and it paid off in referrals, repeat business, not to mention the amount of property I was able to absorb into my knowledge base. But once you get going in sales, rentals seem like small potatoes.
Business-wise, I was doing well, and I didn’t need the “hassle” of a rental. I could have blown it off until after the weekend, or altogether. I called. John* was only in town that weekend, I found out (GREAT!!!!) and he really needed to lock down a place that weekend. After a few screening questions, I agree to meet him; he was looking for a higher end rental and seemed committed to signing that weekend. Turned out he did, we found the right place on the first round of showings, we closed a deal.
Fast forward a year. John’s lease is up, and his company wants him to stay in Toronto on a permanent basis. He is thinking of buying, and calls “his” real estate agent, me, and says, “Hi Heather, it’s John, I don’t know if you remember me, but I was really impressed when you helped me last year to find the place I rented. I know it was last minute on a long weekend, and you handled it as if it was a top priority for you. Well, I’m ready to buy a place now, and I’d like your help again, if you are available? My budget is $1.5 to $2 million.”
I think you get the message.
*Heather’s client’s name has been changed to protect his privacy.