Broker/Owner Conference Breakout Sessions Proposal April 2018 from Robert Locke
1. When Agency Duties and the Law Collide
Sales trainers in all aspects of real estate hammer licensees on the duties they have to their owners under agency laws. Agency law seems clear to sales agents but it’s quite different for property managers. The problem is, there are higher laws we have to follow, even when our decisions are in direct conflict with our client’s instructions. When the owner wants us to deny comfort pets, we have to push back because of the law regarding service animals and those rules override the owner’s wishes. When owners say, “I lived with that broken door lock, so can the tenant” we have to insist on making sure the door locks work. So, how do we sort out this conflict when our agency duties collide with the laws that govern this business? The idea of owners pointing their fingers at us and saying “you work for me, do what I tell you to” doesn’t work out so well in the day-to-day operation of the management business. In this workshop we’ll examine several situations that create challenges for the manager when they have to balance agency duties and the law.
2. Biggest Mistakes Managers Make
I prepared a breakout session for Florida State Conference and the storm prevented it from happening. The workshop covered the most common mistakes property managers make and I’ve made them all over my 35 years in this business. So many managers treat property management as a sideline and don’t give it the attention it needs and many go out of business (or sell out) to escape the chaos they created. As I consult with managers around the country I see these mistakes repeating themselves over and over again with other managers and I’d like to help them avoid these common mistakes. We have watched several management companies close down in Atlanta and I’ve done autopsies to understand WHY they went out of business. Crown actually did a controlled crash in 2000 from 750 houses to 300 because we built an unprofitable model. I can bring valuable insights to these Most Common Mistakes Property Managers Make.
3. Small a vs Big A Agency
The word AGENCY means different things to different people depending on the situation and business model. Some managers take charge and make decisions for their owners/clients arguing, “what does the owner know about it” (Big A Agency). They operate under a limited Power of Attorney given in them in the PMA to act on the owner’s behalf regarding many issues of day to day management. Others defer to the owner for most of the day-to-day decisions and argue “they own the property so they should make the decisions” (Small a Agency). Who’s right? Which model makes most sense? Will it change as we grow and learn the business? Is one safer than the other (generate less litigation)? We’ll examine the different models managers settle on in this workshop and help managers choose the one that is the best fit for them. one that is the best fit for them.
4. Things You Never Put in Your Property Management Agreement or Lease
Managers have property management agreements and leases that stretch 12-15 pages on legal paper with type size eight to fit it all in. It’s hard to read and owners become intimidated, but that doesn’t seem to stop managers from writing long agreements. They keep adding stipulations to it every time they get burned in an attempt to prevent it from happening again and end up with an intimidating agreement worthy of the owner’s attorney reviewing before signing. Is that really necessary? Without realizing it we add things we can’t track, things we can’t enforce, operational issues that don’t belong in the agreements, things that create additional liability for us and things that ultimately make the owner mad at us. The solution is to examine carefully things you should never put in your property management agreement and lease so we can bring some thoughtful conclusions to the conversation and stop creating more and more unnecessary minutiae.
5. Building a Killer Management Agreement
After reading dozens of management agreements as a consultant I’ve figured out what language is best, which stipulations to drop and which ones to add. Managers often copy and paste from other’s agreements without realizing they’re handcuffing themselves to archaic language that only hinders them from being scalable as a management company. Agents that adopt their realtor association standardized agreements seldom realize the limitations of the language in those agreements while others just keep adding more and more stipulations in hopes of managing through their document instead of giving themselves the freedom they need to maximize profits and protect themselves. I have 40 managers using the Crown property management and lease documents and many testimonies on my site as to their success with them including MPMs, CRMCs and franchise holders. This is about building a killer management agreement.
6. Policies and Procedures for Managing Litigation
We’ve all figured out that the landlord tenant relationship is often litigious and occasionally results in threats (and actual legal actions) from lawyers and hostile customers. So, how does the manager prevent litigation, and when it threatens, (or an actual legal action is filed against us), what strategies should we use to respond, minimize the damage, control the legal process and manage it. We’ll introduce forms, policies, documents and checklists we’ve developed over 30 years to get our arms around these issues and Manage Litigation.
7. Rules for Becoming Scalable
Managers tend to set up their systems and documents based on experience (the past) or their current situation without realizing that the way you do it today probably won’t work at double the size so, I’ve developed rules for being scalable (or what do I need to do in my documents and procedures today, to be able to handle 50% or 100% more properties). Without realizing it, managers build into their systems roadblocks, speed bumps and hindrances to scalability and the processes they have in place today won’t allow them to grow. This is a forward-looking workshop and alerts managers on what to do today that will prepare them to double in size.