You may be wondering what preachers, teachers and lawyers have in common and why I would choose to use them as a title for a blog. The only real thing that they have in common is that my World War II veteran father use to say never trust preachers, teachers and lawyers. Hardened by the war my father was pretty skeptical and opinionated. However, he was too far off the mark about preachers as we seen played out over the years on the news. You know the type, preach about some commandment on Sunday and then break the commandment on Monday. My father really didn’t have much respect for teachers either. He would say, “Those that can do and those that can’t teach.” While I found what he said funny I really didn’t understand why he wouldn’t trust a teacher. That was, until I had a child of my own. It was at that point that I understood why my father had his concerns. What he meant was never trust you child’s upbringing to a teacher. If a parent wants their child to have sound principles and values they need to take a leadership role and not leave such matters to a teacher’s discretion. What can I say about a lawyer which hasn’t already been said? Probably nothing, suffice it to say that my father felt if a lawyer was involved in a dispute the only person who was going to win was the lawyer.
So how does all of this relate to business and more precise, the real estate business? I believe the topic is preconceived notions and trust. It is obvious that my father had preconceived ideas about preachers, teachers and lawyers and decided that they couldn’t be trusted. However, in the real estate business there isn’t that luxury, one has to avoid any preconceived notions, i.e. prejudices when dealing with the general public. It is not just good business practice, in some cases it is the law. Enough said. Trust is a little more difficult to address because the term is thrown around loosely by real estate professionals when they talk about making business decisions. For instance, looking at a prospective tenant’s application to rent a property, the property owner questions whether they can trust the prospective tenant to make timely payment of the rent each month. A review of the prospective tenant’s credit history may provide the answer and if not, a call to a previous landlord may help. So, the question really isn’t one of trusting the prospective tenant even though that may be the word used in conversation. The question is whether the prospective tenant qualifies based upon a set of criteria that was established prior to marketing the property. Based upon that information is there a pattern of practice that would lead the property owner to believe the rent will be paid. The credit information is history and doesn’t foretell the future, so perhaps when a property owner signs a lease contract with a prospective tenant they are indeed trusting that they will pay the rent.