When we moved in, we were referred by a friend and co-worker of Collin's who pitched the place by saying, "If they'll rent to me, they'll rent to anybody." Seriously, it's a great place. When it comes to "location, location, location," they got it right. A number of troublesome neighbors aside, it's almost perfect.
The day we were approved, we gave the property manager the name of the tenant who referred us so she'd get her bonus. It never occurred to us to even try to sell the referral to her or anyone else. We just did it because it was due her. It was the right thing to do.
A co-worker moved in a short time later. He offered to sell his referral form to Collin for $100--and asked Collin to help him move in. Collin said, "I'll do it for $100." The guy refused. He wanted free help. He didn't get it...and Collin didn't get the referral. But at least he was open about it, unlike those that followed.
Not long after that, Collin recommended it to another co-worker. But he wasn't the only one who had, and he lost out on the bonus.
A couple of years ago, he made another recommendation to another co-worker. She told him she'd be sure and give him the referral form as soon as she got it, which would have been the day she moved in. Days passed. She kept putting him off. Finally, she did a complete about-face. She got angry. She told him she didn't even know he lived here. She even unfriended him on Facebook. Collin was blindsided...but cynic that I am, I knew where she was coming from. He hadn't offered her any money. Because he hadn't, she wasn't going to let him get anything, either.
Apparently, not many of Collin's co-workers understand that a renter referral bonus is a reward to the tenant who brought in new business--the new tenant isn't supposed to share in it.
I told him he should stop referring his co-workers, but in the past month, we went through the bullshit once again. This time, the co-worker was someone he considered trustworthy. She was planning to move in on the 26th. Right up to the last minute, she assured him he was going to get her referral. I tried not to be negative, but I had my doubts. Wasn't it Einstein who said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result? I guess I'm not nuts, after all!
Sure enough, I got a text from him when he got off work yesterday. He was angry (and Collin is extremely slow to anger, unlike his hotheaded mother). I asked him why, but I already knew the answer.
He said he wasn't getting the referral. Again. She was apologetic, of course, but it was out of her hands. She told him another co-worker who also lived here had convinced the property manager to not run a credit check on her, so the manager gave the other co-worker the bonus. (Yes, I know it makes no sense.) This woman, who had lost her job at the previous restaurant where she and Collin had both worked because a co-worker had lied about her, was herself lying about someone else. Had her story been believable and told to someone who didn't know the manager and the procedure for getting approved, she could have caused the manager a lot of trouble.
In short, she not only lied to Collin, she insulted him by expecting him to believe that lameass story. Had he not been so angry, I would have laughed. Nobody was going to believe that garbage. I knew what had happened. The other tenant/co-worker had bought the referral.
I wonder if the property owners know how many bonuses they've paid to tenants who didn't really earn them....
For those of you who are following the latest installments of my memoir and Sam's Story, I'll have new posts up late today or sometime tomorrow. We just installed a new modem last night, so I'm at least a day behind on everything!