Sunday, 27 March 2016

Real Estate Moguls

Once upon a time there lived in the flash classy town of Melbourne a little lady. She had watched For Sale signs go up and down like yoyo's on their strings since was she was but a wee lass and had longed to be apart of the fun, until one wonderful Saturday, when it was her turn! She was the big old winner at an auction for a nice little cottage in Fitzroy, on the border with Brunswick, maybe it really was Brunswick, anyway it didn't matter cos she was a winner!

She set about setting it up so that nice decent folk would be able to rent it out for a few days while they wore their best clobber and enjoyed the romance and elegance of her town.

She charged top wack for a night or two and figured that that would separate the careful kindly folk from the dirty arseholes, but sadly she was wrong.

Once an elderly couple who had booked in for a week, just didn't show up. She was left in the lurch, the old man had died enroute, so the old lady was almost as woebegone as our heroine, who never made that mistake again cos she insisted that all her short term tenants paid in full, a month in advance and made it clear to them that if they changed their minds for whatever reason, she would just keep all their cash.

Another time, unfortunately the holiday makers were remiss in polishing the coffee machine to a sufficient shine and so she now charges for 3 hours cleaning, on top, in advance, and no the cleaning fee is not refunded if punters change their minds, even though no cleaning would be necessary if they didn't spend time in the cottage.

And along the way our little lady was clearly bitten on the arse by all manner of unscrupulous holidaying folk who did all manner of damage and so now she must charge a deposit of $500, which is of course refundable, except that there is no incoming or out going inventory so when she says that one of her Waterford glasses has been nicked, how can there be any argument? She sends a security code as a hearty welcome and so there is none of that messy dealing with actual people.

Our heroine has been lucky at auction 4 times and is running a damn fine little business. It's a shame that her book keeping skills are ever so slightly lacking in that she can send emails requesting more money, before she finds the time to receipt moneys received, but hey ho off to Melbourne we go.

In Adelaide there is a little lady with a flat to rent who sounds lovely on the phone. For a week's holiday she was happy to take a credit card number but not charge it, to confirm the booking, and efficiently popped a friendly email to me confirming everything, no bond was requested and no cleaning fee. She is looking forward to greeting us and showing us around.  I guess she figures that to run a little business there has to be some slight risk and there needs to be some outgoings to get the in comings, or maybe she does the cleaning herself, after all she may not be as posh as the little lady from Melbourne.    

Or maybe people who holiday in Melbourne are turds and folk who go to Adelaide are salt of the earth (what does that even mean?)

We had a holiday flat here on the Goldie for few years. There were managers in charge of the bookings. Sometimes after folk had been in and paid rent, we would still owe the managers money, cos they gave discounts on the rent and we paid for every-fucking-thing - cleaning, linen, towels, Welcome Packs, lightbulb changing at $50/hour etc etc, and when something got broken we paid for that too cos we didn't take a bond!! When it was costing us more than it made, we sold it, cos that was clearly just silly, but we always accepted that there would be some outgoings involved.

We have parted with a good chunk of wonga as a deposit for Melbourne and now are reading the fine print - yeh I know we should have read that first. The rest of the cash is gonna fly out next week. I fucking hope this place is a a bit of a palace, cos already I have a bit of a shit feeling.