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Top 6 strategies to avoid if you want to find a tenant and minimize vacancy loss

Are you desperately seeking to rent your property and find the perfect tenant?

If that’s the case, here are 6 rental strategies to avoid … unless you absolutely want to make sure your rental property doesn’t rent. 😉

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. actively manages thousands of tenant relationships and has built its reputation as one of the leading property management companies in Calgary.

Top 6 strategies to avoid to if you want to find a tenant and minimize vacancy loss:

  1. Don’t do minor repairs – Minor repairs show you care. If you want to give prospects impression you don’t care and aren’t interested in how they treat your property – don’t fix anything.  

To find the right tenant, keep your rental in a good, clean and safe repair. This provides tenants the reassurance that you are a responsible landlord and that your relationship with them … is a valued one.

  1. Don’t care about the curb appeal – Don’t mow the lawn, shovel the snow, or maintain the exterior of the property. Curb appeal gives prospects a pretty good idea of what the inside looks like.

If you want to rent out your property, be mindful that first impressions matter! It takes seconds to form an opinion. A well cared for exterior demonstrates pride of ownership. If the outside looks good, it’s a great indication that the inside looks good too.

  1. Make the leasing interactions as awkward as possible. Don’t know anything about the rental or its location and waste your time and that of potential renters.

Looking to minimize vacancy loss? The experience during your appointment is important. Be on time, organized and prepared.   Prospects expect you to know about the property. Again, first impressions matter – the goal is to create a positive experience and rent the property.

  1. Price way above market. If you have overpriced the property – tenants know. Checking comparables can be done right on your phone. If you over price the rental, you run the risk of incurring unnecessary vacancy loss.

In order to rent your unit – price it based on market conditions. Implement a good sales strategy and research your competition. The online culture is strong and tenants are savvy about their options.

  1. Blurry & bad photos – If you don’t want to stand out from your competition – post bad pictures.

To stand out from the competition and get your property, post quality pictures or maybe even a video tour. Use social media to maximize online marketing opportunities. Having good quality on-line material helps to visually communicate the quality or your rental and promote yourself as a quality landlord. As they say, “A pictures is worth an thousand words”.

  1. Feel like you have to do this on your own.

Our team at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is here to help! We understand that the decision to hire a property management company can bring immense peace of mind. With over 40 years of experience and voted as the Top Choice in Property Management for 5 years in a row, demonstrates that we have the experience to help make being a landlord easier for you. Let us help you by reducing the number of hours spent finding the tenants, solving tenant-related problems, and dealing with those middle of the night emergencies.

Contact us today to find out how our team can assist you!

Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.

www.emeraldmanagement.com

403-237-8600

 

 

 


Your Responsibilities As A Condo Owner

When you own a condo, you can reap the convenient benefits of a maintenance-free lifestyle similar to that of apartment living but you have your name on the title — all while sharing ownership of the common areas. Amenities are also often abundant for most units as most condominiums are relatively new to our market, with air conditioning, landscaping, modern kitchen appliances and laundry included in most properties. 

Condo living is available for everyone: from first time homeowners, working professionals, families and seniors. There are some communities or buildings that are childfree, so be sure to do your research!

Usually, Condo Board of Directors, (as it’s commonly referred to in Alberta) are elected by you and the rest of the owners of the condominium corporation community — and must be composed of at least two-thirds owners or mortgagees within your community. The Condo Board typically sees management from a governance perspective and leaves the day-to-day operations to a property management company.

However, as with most living situations, there are caveats of owning a condo. Living in a condominium unit isn’t like owning a single-family home.

Here are just a few of the regulations that you’ll be expected to follow:

Follow your condo’s, bylaws and rules

Condominium owners are subject to contributions (commonly referred to as condo fees) — which include costs for insurance, professional tasks, exterior repairs, maintenance of items such as siding and windows and landscaping, and funding the Reserve Fund. Failure to pay them on time, can result in being charged interest, or in extreme cases: legal issues or even foreclosure.

Condo owners are also responsible for looking over and understanding all documentation on bylaws provided to them by their Board of Directors. This  includes  important resources like board meeting minutes, insurance certificates and notices advising of specific changes in your community’s day-to-day operations. Voting and the administration of the Owner vs. Board of Directors is outlined in the Condominium Act of Alberta. 

 

While your province’s specific guidelines can vary, common bylaws include condo owner insurance requirements, pet restrictions — commonly weight restrictions or certain breeds disallowed. Noise level restrictions are also common, with quiet hours sometimes enforced. 

Failure to comply with these bylaws and regulations can and will have consequences for you as a condominium owner , so we suggest you ensure that you’re knowledgeable on all bylaws and any new developments with your particular building or condominium community. 

Repair and maintain the unit

Some may not be fully aware, but you are 100% responsible for all plumbing, appliances, fixtures and wiring in your condo unit (unless its defined as common or management property. Another good reminder to understand what is in your bylaws!)There’s a common misconception that just because you pay condominium fees or perhaps live in an apartment style building that your internal maintenance will be covered. Be sure to consistently keep your unit in good working order, with all plumbing and wiring issues attended to as soon as is reasonably possible. 

Other responsibilities

Your guests can also be subject to regulation — specifically, the number of nights a guest is allowed to stay over consecutively. Rules regarding guests have been a source of light controversy, but this is mainly in place to avoid too much noise or as a reminder that owners are responsible for their guests when on common or managed property. Some legislative bodies have also placed restrictions on numbers of people allowed during COVID-19 as a health and safety measure.

Your exterior space can  also subject to some restrictions — particularly hanging clothing to dry, barbequing and hanging decorations.  

Most communities have regulations on renting your , but most allow it on the basis that certain standards are met and to be in compliance with Human Rights legislation. In the same vein, use of your condo as an AirBnb usually is not permitted, although specifics on this can be verified with your Board of Directors. 

Call your Calgary property management experts today!

Our team at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. is more than ready to help Condo Boards and Condominium Corporations address their Condominium management needs. . We service Condominiums  in Calgary, Airdrie & Area Our property management offerings can be tailored to fit your condo community.

Give us a call at (403) 237-8600 or contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your next steps!


Top Tips for New Landlords

Getting your first investment property and transitioning from being a tenant or an owner to a landlord is an exciting change! However, first-time landlords might find that getting the right tenant and navigating through the rental process can be much more complicated than it first seemed.

Here are some of the tops tips for new landlords to keep in mind when renting out their first property.

 

Screen Tenants Thoroughly

Screening tenants is probably the most important stage because making the right choice can set you up with a long-lasting and beneficial relationship. Making the wrong choice can lead to problems and unexpected costs.  Errors in judgement do happen as human behavior can be challenging to predict — but taking the time to screen prospective tenants is worth its weight in gold!

Assessing whether or not your tenant is able to pay rent in time is a priority and there are legitimate ways to go about this. Asking questions about employment is a good start. Reference letters from previous landlords can also offer quite extensive insights. Finally, checking their credit history can provide a clear picture as to whether or not they can cover the rent. 

In addition to financial inquiries, there are other questions landlords should ask to see if the tenant is the right match. These include:

  • How long tenants have lived in their previous home
  • If they pay their rent on time
  • What their reasons are for moving out
  • How many people they will be living with
  • If the tenants smoke
  • If they have pets

Another important inquiry to check is to see if the tenant has received their full security deposit at their previous residence and, if not, what sort of deductions they incurred. A quick online search can also be performed to see if they have had any issues or have left negative reviews because of being evicted, being charged for not cleaning, having outstanding rent, etc. when having moved out from their last residence.

 

Familiarize and Follow Appropriate Laws and Regulations

The terms of rents are regulated by rental agreements as well as applicable laws, such as the Residential Tenancies Act. These regulations define landlord rights and obligations as to:

  • Making necessary repairs and maintenance
  • Providing for uninterrupted supply of utilities
  • Timely notices
  • Rent increases
  • Evictions
  • Security deposit

 

Although many of these regulations are common, some of these may vary by province. For example, in Alberta, landlords can use the security deposit to cover the costs of damages or cleaning when tenants move out. This would not be allowed in Ontario. 

A licensed property management company will be aware of the local regulations and be able to provide the right expertise and relationships with attorneys to ensure compliance.

 

Take Advantage of Extra Income Opportunities

As any rented property is an investment, landlords should maximize all of its opportunities. For example, separate storage spaces are great amenities for tenants with bikes/many belongings and should be charged extra. Other opportunities include shed, garage, or parking spaces. 

Professional property managers will be knowledgeable of current market conditions and can assist you in maximizing your rental income potential.

 

Know What Resources Are Available to Landlords

Landlords can get more valuable information and advice when participating in landlord associations available in their province. These non-profit organizations were created with the purpose of educating landlords about their legal rights, providing them with the best strategies and showcasing any available opportunities.

Another option is to hire a professional property manager who will take care of most issues while providing valuable tips to new landlords. Having a real estate professional by your side when renting out for the first time can help you build confidence and experience.

 

Contact Us Today!

At Emerald Management & Realty Ltd., we have been assisting landlords and providing property management services for several decades. Our professional team works with apartment units, houses, condominium corporations and commercial property.

We are happy to provide you the full gamut of our inclusive services — such as more landlord tips, tenant screening, rental agreements and settling any issues which may arise during the lease. Don’t hesitate to contact us today — we will be happy to bring you the right tenants and peace of mind.


COVID19 Update Mandatory Mask Bylaw

Mandatory Mask Bylaw

On August 1, 2020 the Calgary temporary mandatory masks bylaw comes into effect.  This bylaw requires the wearing of masks or face coverings in any indoor space that the public has access.  Businesses are also required to post signage where applicable along with maintaining a safe work environment.   

As we continue to work together to help flatten the curve in Calgary, a sign requiring the use of a mask is posted at Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.’s front entry as the main reception area could be perceived as a public area.  Current social distancing and sanitizing protocols remain in effect for the protection of our team and clients.  

We understand that some people may be unable to wear a mask due to various medical reasons.  This is a situation that we will address with kindness and understanding.  That being said, our team understands that it is important to be in compliance with this bylaw for the safeguard of fellow team members, clients and customers.  Everyone’s support and cooperation as we work with this new bylaw is most appreciated.  

Our goal at the onset of Covid-19 was to keep our team and clients safe, healthy and working.  As we enter this next phase, wearing a mask, practicing good hygiene, maintaining good health and wellness,  in addition to remaining diligent to the habits already developed continues to be important.  Our team is aware that when it is not possible to maintain social distancing in accordance to Alberta Health Services recommendations, a mask is required when in public, on a job site and when working with customers.  

In support of this temporary bylaw, half a million masks have been made available for free around the city of Calgary.  Free masks in packages of 10 are available at select recreation centres, Calgary Transit stations, bus terminals, and animal shelters. 

For more information on this Bylaw and for helpful tips to help limit the spread, visit: 

 COVID19 information continues to be fast moving.  Please let us know if you have any concerns or notice a sanitation issue in properties being managed so that we can work together to minimize the risk of transmission.    

A big thank you, from our team to all of our clients, customers, trade members and third party contractors, for your support and collaboration during these difficult times! Stay well!