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TVG Marketing Blog

Leaping Lizards

Monica E. Simmons

September 29, 2020

A Day in the Life...

I suppose I was pretty fortunate in the years I worked onsite. The owner of our management company had sold several of the communities in his portfolio except for the property I landed on.

As I was collecting stories for my book, I Have A Complex, But I’m Managing It!, I received several submissions about the interesting things that can occur when a property is on the market. Here’s one such tale from a manager in Houston.

Leaping Lizards

I was working at a property that was selling to a new owner and we had to do an occupied walk-through before closing.  Most of the units boasted the typical “lived in” décor—clutter in the corners, dirty dishes on the counter-tops, wrinkled laundry on the floor, etc.  Some apartments were worse than others, but nothing outside of the normal living conditions.  However, after making our way through the majority of these apartment homes, I should have known better than to think our luck would hold out.

With the end of a very long day slowly coming to a close, we only had a few more units left to check.  I was already envisioning a glass of wine and my comfy clothes at the finish line when my lead maintenance man, George rapped his knuckles on one of the last front doors.

“Management,” he called out loudly after he received no response from his knock.

“Well, this one should go smoothly,” I said to George as we made our way into the apartment.  “This resident is a quiet guy who always pays his rent on time.”

I Swear It’s Not Mine

We meandered through the unit uneventfully and I laughed when I saw George stifling a yawn as he reached for the doorknob of the guest bedroom. “Hang in there!” I told him. “We’re in the home stretch!”

Following him closely with my clipboard, I almost ran into George when he abruptly stopped and murmured quietly, “Umm...”

Stumbling around him after our near collision, I squeaked in dismay. “Seriously?”

When I looked up, I realized why he’d stopped dead in his tracks.

Inside the bedroom was an enormous cage.  In fact, it took up more than half the floor space.  But it wasn’t the enclosure that captured my attention.  There, basking in the warm glow of a heat lamp, was a two-foot long iguana!  The reptile nonchalantly turned its head and stared at us as if we’d invaded his space.

I raced out of the apartment and back to my office as my fingers pounded the resident’s cell phone number into my phone.  The guy picked up on the second ring.  

“That huge iguana, lizard, baby alligator or whatever it is,” I began, “It goes! Today!”

“But . . . wait! I swear it’s not mine!” he stammered. “I’m just keeping him for a friend for a while!”

My eyes narrowed as I responded, “Either the lizard goes today and you can stay, or the lizard goes and you go with it—take your pick!”

With that, I took off for the sanctity of my living room and my well-deserved glass of wine!

From the book "I Have a Complex, but I'm Managing It!"  Stories from property managers compiled by Monica E. Simmons.


Monica E. Simmons, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for JDC Enterprises, LLC, has worked in the multi-family industry in several different capacities since 1987. She is a published author whose books include; I Have A Complex, But I’m Managing It!, It Happened in The Hill Country and 30-Love.  

Contact her at:

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