Last week I wrote that “Rentals Suck”, as I very delicately put it.  The message was that although rentals don’t add up very well in terms of pay earned for hours expended, rentals can be used as a lead system, and in that regard, they can become a very profitable part of your practice.  If you missed that article, you can read it here.

But the best part of working rentals is what I call “Rental Karma”.  Stick with me folks, this is a fun ride, I promise.

Rental Redemption Reason #2 – Positive Rental Karma

Rentals are good “karma”.  Okay, I don’t want to seem all new age and mystical here.  As far as I know, there isn’t some kind of real estate agent’s cosmic bank account from which you make withdrawals providing you first pay it forward to someone else.   Or is there?

I’ve seen this happen so many times that it seems like the universe actually IS keeping score.  How can that be?

I’ve thought about it, and I think I figured it out:  “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”  Let me explain.

When an agent agrees to take on a tenant-client, that agent has done something interesting—she’s put her client’s needs ahead of her own.  Yeah, I know, we do that with every client, fiduciary duty, etc, etc, yada, yada, yada.   True enough.  But there are some clients with whom some agents would rather not choose to work — the burden of fiduciary duty and the hours required to land a rental contract with a tenant-client is probably not going to pencil out well based on most agent’s annual income goals.  So an agent’s efforts with a tenant-client are more about helping the client, and less about helping herself to a lucrative commission.

So back to my previous statement.  It’s a universal truth that “people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”   But a tenant who knows how much you care still doesn’t pay enough to have much impact on your success.

So what gives?  The answer is, it’s not about the client this time.  It’s all about your own subconscious mind.

“The subconscious mind can’t take a joke”, as Mark Victor Hanson used to say.   That’s why the old adage of “fake it ‘til you make it” works.  We all know that if you re-tune your brain to see yourself as a success, then your brain will fall into the patterns of success.   Same for how we treat our clients.

If you focus on helping your client, your subconscious takes note.   When you know the financial reward just isn’t going to be there (even if you find the perfect rental house), you free yourself from all kinds of baggage.  Your brain gets real clear about your goal.  And your goal on that transaction is not about that $300 rental commission check.  Your one singular goal on that transaction is to make your client happy.   Quite simply, on a rental contract, that’s the only thing that matters.  It certainly couldn’t be about the money because there pretty much isn’t any!

So working with a rental client causes a re-tuning of your brain, a re-focusing of your subconscious on making happy clients, rather than on making huge commissions.  Please understand, huge commissions are not bad, and I’m not trying to imply they are.  Rather, I’m trying to point out that huge commissions are a by-product of happy clients.  Start by focusing on creating happy clients…and the huge commissions will take care of themselves.

I believe that when you train your brain to focus on your client’s happiness, you become a better agent.  You can’t help but show that you care about your client.  I believe your client, and even your next client, can pick up on that.  So your next client is able to see “how much you care” and respond exactly as the old adage predicts.

When I have an agent who is in a slump, I often recommend that they work some tenant lease transactions.  It gets them out there wearing their Realtor® hat.  It creates positive activity and positive habits.   But most importantly, it re-tunes their subconscious mind to focus on what matters to the client.  It’s good karma.

Final point – At United we don’t want you to pay big broker fees on teensy rental commissions.  Creating a happy rental client will have a positive effect on your future earnings.  And when that happens you’ll get a real adult-sized commission check, and that’s our mutual goal.  So to encourage you to take on those rental clients and generate some Positive Rental Karma, we take just $49 and cover all of our costs including E&O with that.  You get the rest.

So, do rentals as a crafty lead system, or do rentals for the good karma.  But now matter why you do them, I don’t want you to be frustrated by a punitive split or a high transaction fee.  And that, I believe, is good karma for all of us!