Recently a close friend of mine came across a killer condo in Yaletown. This place was serious pimp (opposite of ‘falsely pimp’ where the pimp-in-question tries too hard whereas ‘serious pimp’ is au natural and just…flows) with views of False Creek marina to the South and Downtown core to the North. Spacious and bright with an artful decor in a tasteful red, white and black motif, this place had everything a perfect bachelor pad should have; even down to the Heineken Beer-Tender Krups B95. Unfortunately it was short lived. The landlord decided to move back in after less than 2 months tenancy and was ‘evicting’ my friend. Now normally this wouldn’t have been able to happen according to the BCREA, but there were extenuating circumstances which would be best left to another posting on its own.
He found another place in short notice though. This new place was 2 buildings down and was higher and larger. It was leasing for a great rate so there were multiple applicants for the condo. Being a landlord, when multiple people apply to rent your condo, you want to look for several differentiating factors such as: will they pay you on time? Will they trash your place? Will they stay for the term of the lease and not bail early? Applying for a place to rent (or buy) is like applying for a job. You put your best foot forward and hope the interviewer/landlord/mortgage broker likes what they see and deem you better than the rest. As a landlord and manager though, one thing I rely on more so than what the applicant tells me is what their references and experiences tell me. People will often lie for themselves, but other people are less prone to lie for other people.
My friend had 3 references on his application. The first reference was his company which he owned. It’s a franchise company and he’s been very successful at building and growing the business to a thriving, self-sustained enterprise. The 2nd reference was a friend whom he’d grown up with who was now an RCMP and his 3rd reference was me. Needless to say, the landlord never made it to calling me as a global company with franchises worldwide and a police officer was good enough. He had enough credibility to beat out the competition and he’d spent a lifetime building that credibility. On the opposite spectrum, I had a friend who wanted to purchase a condo this past month with his girlfriend and was turned down because his credit was horrible; because he didn’t do what he said he would do and pay back the money loaned out to him by the banks. Now, 7 years later like that little Italian kid you used to pick on, it’s come back larger and stronger and kicked his ass.
When you tell your friends that you’ll do something, do they believe you? Do you come through? What about if there is a deadline at work? Do you deliver? Your ability to say what you mean and do what you say. Personally I always do what I say, otherwise I wouldn’t say it. If I’m unsure if I can deliver, I’ll say nothing first until I’m sure. Everybody has that friend who says “I’m going to start a business!” or “I’m going to do this or that!” and never end up doing it. Like the boy who cried wolf, people will eventually tune you out like the bathroom fan that stays running all day. It’s a simple enough principle and one that has been drilled into our heads since we were young but why is it that it’s such a hard concept for some people? I notice that a lot of monkeys will say what they say in the heat of the moment and worry about the consequences later. The thing with credibility though, is that it takes a lifetime to build. Each and every action that we take and every word that we speaks increases our cred meter, both personally and professionally. All we have is our reputation and once that is tainted it takes a long time to build it back so be good with your actions and words, you never know what references you’ll need in the future.