Eleven Different Landlord Types That Will MAKE or BREAK Your Rent Roll! – Part One

Wednesday, December 06, 2023

In a traditional rent roll found in a typical PM/sales real estate agency, the sales department refers all different types of properties and client types to the rent roll.

The traditional rent roll builds (without structured criteria) a selection of client types – not just different property types, and they aren’t all good for business.

This all reflects on results and outcomes and dictates the type of attrition of natural loss you’ll receive, as well as staff burn-out levels.

Some clients may even display more than one client type and might be a mixture of two, maybe more.

Let’s have a look at the different types of landlord you could come across:

1. The ‘DIY landlord’

This type of landlord originally managed the property themselves because:

• they either had too much time
• were money tight
• liked to have complete control
• thought they could do a better job than a property manager
• or they may have had a bad experience with an agent previously

They’ve now given up on doing it themselves and now have handed the reins to you.

Typically this type of client can have a property that is not in the best condition with high wear and tear (perhaps due to poor quality tenants in the past, and/or a high number of them). They find it very difficult to relinquish the control that they once had and they might be a B to C-Class landlord.

They might call you because the tenant didn’t mow the lawns last weekend, or didn’t bring the wheelie bin in the last few days, and are ‘concerned’ at the tenant quality you’ve given them.

I don’t know about you, but my experience says this type of client isn’t usually good for business and I like to avoid them if possible.

2. The ‘Default Landlord’

This is when a property owner needs to move away from their home and relocate (for job transfer reasons etc) and needs to rent out the family home.

Typical issues can be that they have unreasonable expectations with property maintenance and upkeep and their expectations around wear and tear might also be unreasonable. If they move back, later on, they come with a photographic memory and an unpleasant emotional reaction to the level of wear and tear. It can be a very difficult situation to manage!

The client may only be short-term (1-2 years) and so not the management of long-term worth to the company.

Personally, I like to only take these clients very selectively or avoid this type of client all together – especially if they are unreasonable with expectations at the start.

3. The ‘Sales Landlord’

When the property has been on the sales market for too long, the property owner/occupier may decide to rent it out instead and either try and sell the property with tenants in place or place it back onto the sales market later.

With the obvious short-term lifespan and instability of the management, finding tenants that are happy for open inspections and an invasion of their privacy is hard, as most tenants want peace, quiet, and stability of tenure.

Tenants willing to live under these conditions may not be the desirable type either, further highlighting the fact that the client isn’t the best but you feel obligated because the sales department insists you help out here!

4. The ‘Controller’

Every now and again you come across a client that will really keep you on your toes!

These people will want to re-write your management agreement conditions and if you still decide to proceed with the management (you might just end things right then and there!) this client is hard to please and will dictate and be controlling during the management, questioning your actions.

Not the best type of client to have, and can be as painful as a ‘C-Class Landlord’!

5. The ‘Multiple Property Landlord’

In most cases, they walk into your office with a number of properties for you to manage and make it clear they aren’t paying full rates!

Regretfully just about every office will do just that and happy to sign them up at rates that eliminate the profit margin from the deal, or leave very little to make it commercially viable!

Coupled with the fact that the owner is likely to have a lot more control over how you manage things, is tight on fees, and also may be tight on spending money on repairs, this type of client can be unprofitable and energy-draining for the team overall.

Further, having too many of these types of clients in your management portfolio may affect the value of the rent roll, reducing its attractiveness to potential buyers should you ever want to sell.

Unless you can sign them up at full or near full fees, you really need to ask the question – what is the benefit of taking on such a client? – unless you simply want to get busier for more work sake!

Click here for part two of our article for the next six landlord types that make or break your rent roll.


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