Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Crunch of Relocating

As Realtors we do our best to make the search for a new place to live or vacation as easy as possible.

Asking all of the right questions to define what you need and want,  whether you are purchasing or renting. Scheduling at the convenience of the customer, and in the most efficient pattern to save time and gas. Previewing to make sure it is what the customer to name just a few things we do.

I have a few buttons when it comes to customers. This is a synopsis of a rental situation I recently experienced:

 Lateness, I had  customers yesterday, who I called after waiting a half hour. They forgot. I guess a reminder call on my part might have headed this off. Tried that. The cell said I could not leave a message. After contacting them through their new employer;  turns out with the relocation they had cut off the cell number I had, they forgot to give me the new number.

 Not giving pertinent information. With the first round of showings, since our initial contact,  they have decided they will be moving all of their furniture, okay. So you need an unfurnished place. This information comes as we are standing in  the second of a string of appointments. Scratch the rest of the showings and regroup.

 So, I review the parameters of what the customers are looking for. We clearly define what they need; bedrooms, bath rooms, pets, none smoking, school for children, time frame of move, commuting time, and price range.

Too much flexibility. We are in the middle of looking at places during a second appointment and the neighbor has a pet. He remarks "oh, clearly pets are allowed here". Answer, "yes, in this particular apartment". Statement,  "I thought you didn't have any pets".  Response, "We don't, I promised my kids we could get a dog when we move". He forgot, again, to mention that; to placate the children about the move, he'd made this promise after the first round of looking at places.

Many rentals don't allow pets and this severely limits the choices.

Not enough flexibility. The customer has two children to accommodate in a single bedroom due to budgetary restrictions.  Every bedroom in each apartment I show is too small. I couldn't figure it out. Twin beds would fit comfortably in all of the bedrooms in the apartments I was  showing. Finally, it is mentioned that the children have one queen size bed and a double bed, which they want to put into one bedroom.

I understand when relocating you want to keep as much familiarity as possible, especially with children but at times common sense needs to take precedence and if you want to put two children in one bedroom their furniture may not fit from two separate bedrooms, a compromise is in order.

Next, we are in a brand new, apartment building,  where no pets are allowed, looking at a two bedroom, they ask to see a three bedroom which I have explained is about $1000 over their budget. Well, they want to see it anyway, we were right there and what harm could it do? I reluctantly conceded.

OOh's and Ahhh's abounded. Of course they loved it, it is the best thing they've seen. Then they wanted to know if the landlord would give them a break and rent the three bedroom at the two bedroom rate? And why couldn't the dog stay out on the balcony?

This is not going to happen in a new building even in a down market. Now we have unrealistic expectations, although I have done my best to focus them in a realistic direction.

Relocation is difficult and overwhelming to everyone. Managing the customer's expectations can be a challenge, especially when they are downsizing to a rental apartment from a home.

Taking time, communicating and listening is so important.

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