Go Ask Jen: Factoring rental properties into gift capacity/wealth ratings

A post on the Apra forum recently asked about rental properties. The poster said that they were researching their prospect and discovered that the prospect owned a variety of single-family home and retail storefronts, all located in the town where they lived.

The screening capacity rating was all based on the real estate value, but was that valid? It felt high.

Dear Researcher-

I love the skepticism coming from you and another reply on this topic!

And I can’t help but comment because it’s the kind of conversation -and research- that I really enjoy. Because there’s no “right” answer, but there are approaches to solving the question.

The first thing that I thought of was that maybe these rental properties represent someone’s active management of their retirement funds? But I don’t know anything else about your prospect. If I were doing the research I would be taking a step back from my blossoming masterpiece profile, to see what this wealth picture looks like from a distance.

How is wealth being earned? What kind of occupation? What do we know about the couple, especially the primary wealth earner, that might inform whether this is continued growth in wealth (e.g., so much money was earned that this investor personality grew a side-gig of investment properties) or wealth preservation (e.g., someone who is affluent or even HNW, like a professional lawyer, doctor, etc., but not entrepreneurial)?

And once I’ve stepped back and generated tons of new questions, I can go back in and start searching for answers that might help further solve the ultimate question of capacity.

The joy of this profession is that every time you bump into a new aspect of wealth that you have never seen before, you can take a little time out to explore ABOUT the wealth type, not just your prospect. And maybe even write up your notes, because you are very likely going to run into this or a similar scenario again!

(And after enough years I need to hire a librarian to help me index all my notes and saved articles so I can find them…)

Thank you for the great question and I look forward to more responses.



P.S. Being able to step back and ask bigger questions really ties in with a recent blog post of mine: https://www.jenniferfilla.com/i-want-to-be-a-major-gift-officer-say-very-few-researchers-ever-but-should-they/