Protect Yourself Against the Unthinkable
Today I wanted to get some short and sweet thoughts down on paper, or keyboard…whatever.
Ever hear “you get what you pay for”? Of course, of course you have.
We had a new client contact us off the website the other day who has 5 properties he wants to bring on and wishes to grow his portfolio bigger in the near future. Great!
It’s always an experience listening to every client’s story, because believe it or not, we don’t inherit just people’s investments; we get their stories, emotions, successes, and, well, misfortunes, too. We’re like the bartender or rental property investments; we hear it all.
Ahhh man, I love it. It’s become like an addiction almost. After doing it for so long, you almost look forward to hearing your client’s problems so you can show them nothing’s impossible to solve. It’s almost selfish…sitting across from someone so upset pouring out their terrible experiences, sometimes ever in tears, and you have this almost sort of, internal grin, because you know you can make it all better. Well, today, that was more difficult than normal
As our meeting continued, and the details of our arrangement began to unfold, our new client began to explain his situation.
The gentleman sitting across from me explained that his properties were managed by an old realtor friend, someone who he trusted to take care of his investments. The agent did it all, even set up escrow accounts in his name for security deposits, maintenance funds, last month’s rent, etc. He seemed to have it all under control.
He just recently died.
What do you do when all your tenant’s security deposits are associated with accounts of a deceased person you have relationship to? How long will it take to resolve? How much money will it cost to resolve?
It’s something we’re currently working on and are treating the problem like our own, because now that he’s on the Douglas team, it is our problem.
This isn’t a sales pitch about Douglas Realty. Rather, it’s a comment on the reality of life. Sometimes the most unexpected happens, and you need to be prepared.
A very secluded case? Yes.
A lesson to be learned? Yes.
When talking about something as important as your investments, you must make sure they’re in the right hands.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard horror stories after friends, family, or neighbors looked after a client’s property and it ended in disaster.
The analogy we use: think of your investment as a car. When it needs a repair, would you rather have your neighbor or friend have a look who’s not professionally trained on the matter and causes further damage? Or would you take it to a professional with good reviews and spend a little extra money to prevent further costs. Exactly.
It’s the same thing here, chances are your friend, neighbor, or whoever doesn’t have a professional management team behind them with the tools and resources to ensure you’re always protected.
No story surprises me after doing this for so long, but, there hasn’t been one that we haven’t resolved. People taking the cheap way out by not hiring true professionals has led to grow houses, tenants not paying rent, tenants destroying properties, human feces being smeared on walls, appliances and A/C units stolen, neighbor’s animals being shot, stabbings, and yes, even a murder.
Even with all those incredibly unpleasant things I just listed, I manage to smirk because it’s an unbelievable world we live in, and you always, and I mean always need to be smart in who is handling your investments.