The question you should be asking yourself is, “Do I want to get paid for the work I’ve done? Hmmm”
Lease verifications are essential in today’s apartment locating market. They not only confirm that the client was approved, but also confirm that the property and/or management will pay the stated commission to the referring locator.
A lease verification is an executed commission agreement, and is enforceable in court should it get to that point.
So, what does a Lease Verification have to have to be considered a commission agreement?
Every Lease verification should contain:
1. Client’s Name
2. Move In Date
3. Rent Amount
4. Commission Amount
5. The Locator’s Name
6. Company Information
7. The Property’s Information
8. And Their Authorized Representative’s Signature. (KEY)
That last part is imperative because without it, the property can refuse to pay, and without the agreement (Lease verification), the agents would just lose out on the commission.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of working for free, nor does it pay my bills.
So why don’t all agents and brokerages do lease verifications? Why, I never thought you’d ask. Because it sucks, trying to get them back from most properties can be quite cumbersome. Whether the assistant manager is just too busy, or they just don’t want to take the time to send it back. Some of the properties out there can be downright difficult to work with when it comes to lease verifications.
We have some tips for you. There are a few ways to get a lease verification signed, and you can create your own or use one that is provided by your brokerage (Please check with your broker to see what they want you to do). You can send a lease verification to the property via email, fax, or via digital signature.
Once you have one filled out with all the client information, the easiest way to get it signed is by digital signatures because the authorized representative will only have to confirm the details and sign the document with one click (most of these applications come with time stamps as well which help with procuring cause).
You can also email a copy of the lease verification to the property, but then the representative prints it out, verifies the information, signs it, scans it into an email, and sends it back to the locator. It is a lot more steps than digital signature and can make it take longer to get it back.
Usually, a good portion of people can get their lease verification signed on the first day by just emailing it over and calling to follow up. However, sometimes It takes a few tries. Another tip is to send it at the beginning of the day and then call around 10am – noon and ask if they received it. This I when they are less busy and more apt to answer the phone and take the time to get it done for you. If they didn’t get it then find out who signs them and get their email address and send it again.
On the rare occasion, some management companies have their own process that needs to be followed in order to ensure that you get paid by their company; for example, some properties require Apartment Registration to be done before the client goes to the property. Or, they may require you to put a PO number on the lease verification before they can sign it. Or, companies like Westwood don’t sign them at all but are good about paying anyways.
Other added benefits from getting a lease verification include:
1. Can catch if a client didn’t put the agents name down correctly or at all. Some properties will allow the client to go back up there and fix it if too much time hasn’t passed.
2. Fixing inaccurate data that was put on the lease verification. Most in fact will come back with some change on them. Whether its rent, move in date, apartment number, or having accurate information will save time later and allow you to get paid faster because the invoice was correct the first time.
3. Gives your collections team, or you, the ability to push back when a property says you weren’t listed correctly or something later during collections.
Here at Spirit Real Estate Group, we handle hundreds of invoices a month and when we have a signed lease verification on file, we will collect 99.9% of the time. Anything else, and the collection percentage takes a hit and the agent doesn’t get paid a good chunk of the time.
It may be a pain to do, but it will be well worth the time invested for you to pursue a lease verification for every locating transaction.