As Realtors, we always get upset when we see a badly treated property. Whether it is a house or an apartment complex, the first emotion that comes to mind is a sadness at the loss of value and the loss of potential for happiness. Then, usually, a little hope.... Imagine if....
I must admit that I am addicted to real property. We always look for the bright side and we take it personally when it is damaged. When we see a property that has been abused, abandoned or mistreated it is like a pet to us. How could somebody do that?
It makes no sense. Unless it does. When people lose their property and are treated poorly by those with an interest in it, I understand their frustration and lack of care. Foreclosures are the saddest aspect of our business. I hate them and believe that 90% of foreclosures could be avoided by a settlement process such as a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure. The fact is that dealing with banks is akin to calling the fox because of a problem in the hen house. BTW bankers - if it takes you 3 months to respond... too bad if I am 3 months behind. Sorry to my buddies in the business - but you all secretly agree.
But what about those properties that are under-supported by their owners for no good reason other than greed and stupidity? When an owner/landlord defers maintenance, or allows the property to degrade a neighborhood...at everyone else's expense, I turn into Don Quixote. I am up on my horse and charging into the unknown.
Our solution? Find a new owner. After all that's what we do. We have had many agents ask us how we can represent a certain seller. Our answer is to tell them to focus on the property not the seller. Vote with your dollars. After all, the seller is gone the day your client buys and it is a new ball game.
Best advice -
- Forget about the seller and depersonalize them in the transaction. They are just the seller, and will be gone tomorrow if we are successful. You may get a thank you card from tenants or neighbors.
- Look to the future and understand the real potential of the property. What the seller gains from deferred maintenance is lost in potential income and future possibilities. What I mean is that they think they are winning but they aren't. Show your buyers the path to success. We usually see a 15% increase in revenue from properties badly managed by previous owners. Figure a 15% increase in NOI. Big bucks for sure!
- Farm the neighborhood because you will be shocked at your new found popularity. You are the folks that solved the problem.
Send us your thoughts and ideas!
Doug and Lorena Foster - June 2010