Whilst training up a new member of staff I was sent on a viewing in, well let’s call it, a less desirable area of Liverpool. My viewer was an out-of-town student with a young child. She was looking for somewhere reasonably priced, but suitable to bring up her child at the same time.
Whilst on the viewing I was asked the question that is impossible to answer – ‘What’s the area like?’. It is impossible to answer because, unless the viewing happens to be on my street, I honestly cannot say what it is like at night. This street however is different.
I am a firm believer that, as long as the property is in a decent condition, there is a suitable tenant for every home. Likewise, there is a suitable home for every tenant as long as they have realistic expectations.
This particular house was not suitable for my viewer. The house itself is actually quite nice, and will be great for a more local family, however for this viewer it was not ideal.
As an agent, or for that matter as a landlord, it is important that you find the right person for your property. If I had wanted to, I could have told this girl that the area was the greatest area in the world and ‘flogged’ her the property there and then. Who would this have helped though?
Had I flogged the property to my viewer the end result would have been the following;
- An unhappy tenant who will either leave her tenancy early or at its expiration.
- An unhappy landlord because they will be searching for a tenant again in 6 months or sooner.
- Bad reviews for Homesure as I would have immorally advised someone to take an unsuitable property.
- A disillusioned trainee who, upon watching her director in action, would have learnt some very dubious habits.
The end result of this whole situation was me taking the viewer to a better house in a more suitable area. She did not take the property as quite rightly she went away to do a bit more research into the area & to book some more viewings there (she had never heard of this area before, never mind view a house there). I hope that she will now find a safe property to bring her child up in whilst continuing her studies. I am sure that she has been left with a lasting positive opinion of myself as I basically was honest and offered her some good advice.
The whole experience was a perfect learning curve for my trainee. This is how I expect my staff to act, not trying to let a property at all costs, rather acting professionally & trying to match the right person to the right house. In the long run if the wrong person moves into the wrong property everybody loses.