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4 Tips to Strategically Increase Rental Value

The goal of any property investor is to see their investment increase in value. Keeping in mind that nothing lasts forever (and apartment buildings are no exception to the rule) it is important to continually monitor preventative maintenance programs and look for strategic opportunities to keep the property competitive and attractive to current and prospective tenants.

Like any living thing, a building also needs care and upkeep. Along with the ever changing styles and new technologies – preventative maintenance along with renovation programs are especially important when competing with newly constructed condominiums and apartment buildings.

The Prestige apartment building owned by Globe Capital Management and proudly managed by Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. in Calgary, Alberta is a prime example of an inner city apartment building that has a great building structure and is located in a vibrant neighbourhood at 824 – 13th Avenue SW.  With suite layouts consisting of one and two bedrooms ranging in size from 544 to 791 square feet, The Prestige showcases how effective and relevant it is to upgrade units to attract top market rents and quality tenants looking for more than just place to live, but a place to call home.


Here are 4 methods to improve the equity in your real estate investment and ensure you receive top rental rates:


1 – Focus on Kitchen and Bathroom Improvements

Kitchen and bathroom renovations almost always provide the biggest “wow” factor. Focus on improving kitchens, which are usually right off the entrances. Visually, the impact is dramatic and helps set the stage for the entire apartment. To maximize the impact, make sure to outfit these areas with new cabinets, modern finishes, upgraded lighting, quality porcelain features and ceramic tile details.

2 – Update Appliances

Does your rental property come with a dishwasher or washer and/or dryer? While it might be tempting to save some money and not provide these, if the building plumbing allows, popular tenant choice finds that you are typically better off if a full appliance package is part of the deal. Yes, it’s a little extra money, and yes, there’s always the possibility that something will happen to them, but they’re a big plus for residents – and the value of your property. Often today’s modern appliances are not only energy efficient but also small space compliant. They look smart and are an added benefit for the residents and the value of your investment.

3 – Flooring

Hardwood type flooring along with improved vinyl flooring continues to get top ratings for return on investment. Modernizing the color of existing wood flooring or replacing carpeting with vinyl, tile or a wood type product remains a popular choice from the standpoint of aesthetics, preferred choice, maintenance and durability

4 – Curb Appeal

Why? Because it is the first thing that people see and first impressions matter. Curb appeal and common areas provide a quick tip-off to prospective renters about what they can anticipate on the inside of the apartment.

Equally important to interior improvements is the quality of upgrades made to the exterior. This helps inspire customer confidence and is seen as a reflection of the interior condition. Well maintained landscaping, signage, amenities and common areas help a revenue property stand out from the competition.   

While its hard to say which of the above improvements or combination thereof produce the better return on investment, it remains proven that tenants see value in newly renovated properties and are willing to pay market rents for them.

The rental market in Calgary remains competitive as we head into 2018 with an average vacancy rate of 9.6%[1]. The importance of providing a quality home at a competitive price remains just as pertinent as it has been during the past two years that the city has struggled with a recession.

The initial result of the upgrades and renovation program at The Prestige has been positive in terms of increasing monthly rental rates, improving tenant retention and longevity of renters. While there are many variables impacting rents, experience has shown that injecting funds to improve properties will generate increased income and ensure properties are able to compete with other new rental communities and condominium-style rentals entering the market place.

4 Tips to Strategically Increase Rental Value

The Prestige, 824 – 13 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB


[1] Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Fall 2017

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. receives Nomination for 2018 Top Choice Award!

Each and everyone one of us at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is honoured to announce that we have received the nomination for the 2018 Top Choice Award for Top Property Management Services in Calgary, Alberta.

We are thankful to have received this nomination for the third year in a row and grateful for our dedicated team’s efforts to provide responsive asset property management for our valued clients, condominium corporations, and tenants.

The Top Choice Award is a consumer choice award based on votes and to be considered by our community as a top choice nominee, already makes us feel like winners.  To truly be considered a winner, we still need your vote.  By voting for us, you will automatically be entered into a draw for a chance to win $2,000 or one of the many Toppy T-Shirts being given away by Top Choice Awards.

You can vote for Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. by visiting:

Voting is open until January 2, 2018.  Thank you for your support and the opportunity to be of service.


Employee Engagement is Crucial

The words may have changed but the business relevance is the same, if not more important than ever.

Traditionally it was referred to as “company spirit” to motivate, inspire and create a feeling of teamwork. In the contemporary workplace, particularly with the recent speed bumps in many Calgary businesses, morale and employee engagement has never been more crucial.

“Whether in tough economic conditions, looking at remote workforces or any other business environment, employee engagement doesn’t change – yesterday, today or into the future,” says Vince Danielsen, an EO Calgary member who is president and CEO of INLIV and WELLO – innovative Calgary organizations that deliver premium corporate, executive, personal and family health services.

“To attract, develop and retain team members, employee engagement must be top-of-mind with every interaction. If we want to remain relevant and competitive, our organization has to be true to our values and hire people who believe in those values. How we treat our people will be a direct reflection on how our people treat our customers.”

The positive sentiments are echoed by Jodena Rogers, vice president of corporate services at Emerald Management & Realty and an EO Calgary member. “Engagement and retention is key for employers, especially during a downturn. It can be tempting to set aside strategic priorities and focus on business survival, but it is more important than ever to communicate with team members about the current climate and the challenges impacting the workplace.

“An integral part of employee engagement in a tough market is to have honest, respectful conversations and empower employees to focus on opportunity. It creates job satisfaction, engages them to be part of the solution and provides a sense of inclusion.”

For dynamic Bill Scott, co-founder of ReSourceYYC (the collaborative coworking office space for entrepreneurial Calgary professionals) and an EO Calgary member, “Employees have been through a lot in the last few years and engagement may be suffering, wondering if jobs are still at risk. Stressful environments wreak havoc on morale and productivity.

“But now is the time to build loyalty and increase employee engagement by asking employees to participate in strategy sessions, being part of more frequent team meetings and activities, and scheduling one-on-one meetings with senior management.” Most business leaders agree: sometimes employee engagement is easier said than done.

“Hire people who fit your core values and test them in the interview process. It’s much easier to engage employees when starting with the same foundation,” Danielsen suggests. “Each interaction with an employee is an experience, and that experience directly correlates with their engagement.”

“Be honest and transparent,” Scott cautions. “If times are tough, don’t sugar-coat it and don’t try to hide the obvious. Employees can feel when management is hiding something. Confront the facts head-on, and avoid injecting emotion into the situation. Ask employees to participate in brainstorming and problemsolving sessions. Have a plan! Even if it’s short term, employees need to feel that the company has direction and the next steps.”

Rogers emphasizes communication efforts with frequent checkins, a genuine open-door policy, team meetings and treating employees like partners. “Especially during difficult economic times, it’s more important than ever.

“Sharing the company vision and plan gives purpose and will go a long way to retaining employees when the good times return,” Scott adds with positivity.

The Family Business …or the business of family

The family business doesn’t need to be an empire like the Shaws, the Molsons, the Westons or the Southerns. But there is consensus that the family business is a unique dynamic.

The good news is that more than 80 per cent of all businesses in Canada are small to medium-size businesses. A majority are family owned and critical to the Canadian economy.

Unfortunately, only 30 per cent of Canadian family businesses survive into the second generation and 12 per cent are still viable into the third generation.

“It’s all about the family business versus the business of family,” says the focused and personable Jodena Rogers, vice president of corporate services at Emerald Management and Realty and EO Calgary member. “But relationships and communication are the most important aspects to family business success.”

The ‘Emerald family’ consists of Gary (father) who founded the business 40 years ago, Mary (mother), Jodena and her sister Laureta.

“As far as I can remember, I always wanted to work in the family business. It was my dream and something I grew up with. One of the most important parts of a family business is a respectful, professional environment with distinct boundaries. Separate business, family and personal relationships. Most people don’t know we are a family business,” she explains.

The successful family business comes with certain musts, according to Paul Valentine, general manager at Valentine Volvo and EO Calgary member. “Staff and clients must realize that the family has earned the right to work there. If they can’t do the job, the business loses staff and client respect. Family members must be active and involved.”

Valentine Volvo is a third-generation, Calgary family business that prides itself on selling more new and certified, pre-owned Volvos than anyone in Canada.

“Emotions are bound to be an aspect of a family business,” he admits. “But addressing things openly and early can ensure that emotions don’t run wild. The family, as a whole, must always be at the centre of all decisions.

”For Brittney Ramsay, president of the dynamic Britt Land Services, with an exceptional reputation for land asset management and an EO Calgary member, it’s all about trust and communication.

“My father Ray started the business almost 30 years ago. Now my sister Breanne and I are building this company and our team to live and breathe like a family. It’s all based on trust, engaging in constructive conflict, expecting commitment, embracing accountability and driving results – things that are also really important to what makes a family solid.”

She points out the positive that making decisions in a family business is actually easier. “We can have the tough conversations, respectfully, and then make a plan of action and commit to it. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and help or give each other a little push, if needed.”

Human nature will always create a stigma about family members in family businesses. “Family must work harder than other staff and prove themselves every day. I am not entitled to be here,” Rogers emphasizes. “I work hard to earn respect with leadership, collaboration, expertise and knowledge.”