One of the best-kept secrets for business success
Acting in the best interests of any client pays off
Sometimes in business, you find a client who is such a perfect fit for your services that your entire business model seems as though it were developed just for them. My company found that client back in 2012 by sheer accident.
He was working in the tech industry in Silicon Valley, and like many of his peers, he wanted to invest in Colorado real estate. Unlike his peers, however, he came from a property management background, so he understood the importance of property management, especially when investing and owning a property from a distance. That's how he found us.
It started with a simple phone call. He gave us a simple checklist of what he was looking for in an investment property, along with a realistic price point to work with. We went to work looking for something that we felt would hold its value and provide a good steady rental income.
Within days, we had narrowed it down to two properties, although we felt strongly about the advantages of one, because we knew that a light rail station would be located very close by. He trusted us to choose the property, so sight unseen he secured the loan, closed on the property and turned it over to us for management.
We secured a great tenant, and because the property had been well-maintained, we encountered very few problems along the way.
This successful venture led to another. This time he wanted a different part of town, but otherwise the scenario was the same. By this time, we felt like we knew him very well, although we had never actually met him. Everything went smoothly through closing to securing a tenant. We now had two properties under management for a client who was always respectful and always very responsive, but someone we had yet to meet.
While this client was perfect in every respect, let's look, for a second, about what can go wrong in this scenario. Because this client was truly unknown to us, what would have happened had he died, for example, and his heirs didn't want these real estate assets? Probate can be long and miserable for everyone and really puts the property manager in a sticky situation.
Sometimes a property owner wants to move into their owned property, and it is difficult to explain that the tenant has a lease and would need to be bought out. What if the investor could no longer make his mortgage payments? The tenant has a solid lease, but the mortgage company takes over. It's a bad situation for everyone.
Fortunately, none of these scenarios happened, but with a client who is unknown, it is certainly a risk. Although this situation played out advantageously for all, those risk factors weighed heavily for our company for the duration of the relationship.
Over the years, he referred many of his colleagues to us. Suddenly, we were the “go-to” for the Silicone Valley crowd.
Fast forward to 2019, and the client's life changes dictated investment changes. With wedding plans in the works, he considered moving to Denver. He wanted to divest himself of his real estate investment properties. We managed the end of the leases with the tenants, spruced up the properties and marketed them.
In a parallel universe, another very similar client sold one of his investment properties and was on the hunt for another one. We showed him one of the two we had coming on the market and he bought it immediately based on our track record with the property. It fit his criteria on price and location, and the proven rental income was invaluable to him.
The beauty of this particular transaction was that the property we had found so many years ago, the one located next to a light rail station, the one that has been a shiny gem in our property database, was destined to stay with us for many years to come. Indeed, we have already secured a new tenant – a lovely young couple, just out of college, embarking on their first career steps.
Both properties closed in rapid fashion, and we were disappointed to realize that this perfect client who had been such a part of our business lives was about to leave forever — and we still had never met him. But such a great story is destined to have a happy ending. At the final closing, unbeknownst to us, our favorite client showed up.
At long last, we were able to put a face with a name. Hugs ensued and thanks were exchanged, along with a promise to keep in touch.
He is moving to Denver after his wedding and will be looking for a house. The story will continue, and by all accounts, positively.
The moral to this story? Acting in the best interests of any client, no matter the current relationship or status, pays off in dividends over and over again.
It's one of the best-kept secrets for thriving and for gaining new business. Even if you never meet the client face-to-face, behavior is everything. It's the key to having and maintaining a golden reputation.