Renters are Future Customers

Spring is in the air and I have been inundated with renters. I currently market through Realtor.com and have been getting an inordinate amount of rental requests. I have, on occasion, been privy to the fact that some Realtors complain about rental customers and many even will not put any effort into helping them find housing because there is no payday at the end of the deal. Many think that is not worth their time for a couple of hundred dollars in a lease or referral fee. I take a different approach.

I get it. Renters can be difficult to work with. Usually this is because they are unaware of the fine art of securing a rental. They often do not understand that renting a home is not like negotiating the price of a home that is for sale. I just had one that I was working with decide to negotiate a rental rate. In the area that I live in this is not something that landlords appreciate or ever do.

The rental market is very competitive and she did not get the home. I explained that this was not recommended but she did it anyway. The fact that she did not heed my warning will not prevent me from continuing to work with her when she call me with the next home she found listed on Zillow or Trulia that she is interested in. Water under the bridge.

Of course these can be frustrating situations to deal with. However, renters are potential buyers in the future. Building a relationship with those who may not be financially ready, willing or able to purchase a home yet is important, even if it may not pay off on the front end. You have the opportunity to educate them about the home buying process right out of the gate. You can become their resource while they begin taking the first steps towards homeownership in the future.

When a renter contacts me, I always ask the reasons why they are choosing to rent. Many think that this is their only option. This conversation opens a dialogue and allows for the opportunity to begin explaining the home buying process.

One of the biggest challenges that I deal with as a real estate agent is when a first time home buyer comes to me and has no idea about what they need to do first when they are ready to buy a home. They want to look at homes and have no idea about if or how much they qualify for. Many do not know their credit scores or anything about lending.  I have the opportunity to plant the seeds that may grow into a future sale.

I wish that more agents would realize the diamonds in the rough that renters are. Many rent because their finances are shaky or their income is not yet where they would like. Many do not know that buying is within their reach. Explaining what lenders require before you can qualify for a loan is one way that can help them begin to take the necessary steps for future home ownership. I let them know that looking for homes is the last step in the home buying process. They usually have a very confused look on their faces.

I will always do my best to show homes to renters. Not only is it a great way to meet new people and expand my network but it also goes a long way to showing someone that you are helpful. This is why I do what I do. I remember the days of renting. It can be difficult to find housing and often landlords are all business.

For younger clients this is their first go around on their own and helping them to ease their concerns about where they will live is just kindness. No, I do not plan on making the millionaires circle by working with these renters. I do walk away with the satisfaction that I have done a small part to help meet the needs of a future potential buyer.

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