End of Financial Year Ethical Dilemma

Here is the situation.  I have the opportunity to create for myself an income of $10,000 per minute for about 5 minutes. That’s it. I can generate about $50,000 for less than five minutes work.

At the end of each financial year, real estate agents send an end-of-financial year statement to their landlord clients. It saves a lot of time for them and their accountants as it clearly displays all income and expenditures for their investment property. The only extra thing that might be needed is accounting for any interest incurred on borrowings against the property.

My dilemma is that many clients are prepared to pay about $50.00 for this EOFY statement – at least that’s what they agreed to do when they signed the Managing Agent Agreement with most other agencies. What they may not realise is that it takes only a few minutes for me to get the computer to prepare 1,000 reports and email them to each client. At the same time, a copy of the statement is added to the Owner Portal so they can log in and retrieve a copy from there as well.

Marriott Lane manage about 1,000 residential properties. This year, as with all the previous 28 years we have been in business, we won’t be implementing this financial sugar hit. Business advisers tell me I’m crazy, but I feel I’m doing the right thing. I’ve always believed that sending a monthly & EOFY statement is just part of the property management job and not some special, time consuming task that deserves extra remuneration. That’s the same as a myriad of other fees and charges that agencies have invented to boost their income.  We have a single fee that covers everything – that’s transparent and fair.  Happy New Year.

PS. I recall being at one PM leaders conference recently when a principal pointed out that his PM system now automatically added the EOFY statement to his owner portal so his clients could now access it for free. He gleefully welcomed the proffered advice that he should implement a $50.00 per year Portal Access Fee. Another person said their PAF was $85.00 – it’s better than ever!

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