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Three ways to maximize a small space

Three Ways to Maximize a Small Space Using Furniture

With more than four decades of experience in the arena of property management, Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. maintains a range of condominium, commercial and residential properties in Calgary, Canada.
Emerald Management & Realty Ltd. encourages residents and tenants to decorate their spaces to make them feel more at home. For those living in small spaces, home decorating can seem daunting when trying to maximize every square foot. However, with a little creativity a small space can be attractive, comfortable, and functional.
Looking to maximize a small space? You might want to consider:
1. To maximize the space of a small home, consider purchasing pieces that can be used in multiple ways and that offer storage. For instance, some kinds of ottomans can be used as either a footstool or a coffee table while doubling as storage for blankets or other items.
2. When considering furniture purchases, make sure to measure the space before shopping to determine the correct size of your new furnishings. Buy items that actually fit the space; otherwise they overpower the room and make it look even smaller than it already is.
3. Finally, don’t forget about vertical spaces. Pieces that extend toward the ceiling, like bookshelves, lighting, and art pieces, redirects the focus of the room and can make the space appear more spacious. Taller shelving can also provide additional storage and added functionality to a smaller space.
Whether you live in a cozy studio apartment or want to get more out of a small room or cozy nook, these simple three tips can help create the feeling of more space regardless of the size of your home.

Three Ways to Maximize a Small Space Using Furniture

IKEA Bed Storage provides a functional solution by keeping items tucked away but still close at hand (photo credit IKEA).


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

Every second counts: Plan 2 ways out!

October 9-14, 2017 is Fire Prevention Week and Calgary Fire Fighters are working hard to remind residents of the importance of smoke detectors and knowing your evacuation route.


House fires kill and injure thousands every year … and many more are impacted by the loss of valued memories and personal possessions in fire related incidents that could have easily been avoided.

Whether you live in a house, townhouse, apartment, condominium, or commercial office – awareness combined with smoke & fire alarms perform the life-saving function of alerting residents and building occupants of a fire.

Every second counts …

Having properly placed and working smoke alarms is a very important safety and potentially life-saving precaution. While many people may think that they will know when a fire starts in their residence, this isn’t always the case. Every second counts, because if there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast – really fast, doubling in size every 30 to 60 seconds.

The following 5 Tips from Fire Prevention Canada are essential to making sure your smoke alarm works:

  1. Test your smoke alarm monthly by pressing the test button and clean it every 6 months. Make yourself and reminder and mark it on your calendar so that you don’t forget.
  2. Ensure that power is being transmitted to the alarm and that it will activate in the presence of smoke.
  3. Make it a habit of changing your batteries annually or earlier if they need replacing. Remember that your alarm won’t be able to protect you if it has no power or the batteries are burnt out.
  4. The lifespan of a typical smoke alarm is about 10 years, but some models last as little as 5 years. Learn how to determine your smoke alarm’s age by checking out FEMA’s Infographic:  ‘Don’t Wait Check the Date’
  5. To clean your smoke detector, open the cover and gently vacuum the interior of it. Be mindful that the alarm might sound while the unit is being cleaned.

Plan 2 ways out …

Before your smoke alarm sounds and a real emergency happens, plan an escape route and run fire drills. If possible, figure out two ways to exit every room. Make sure everyone in the household understands and can run through the escape route. The practice should include a safe post-exit meeting place outside.

In the event you are unable to leave your home, or in a life threatening situation, make sure everyone knows to call 9-1-1 for further instruction and assistance.

We’ve heard it again and again: smoke detectors save lives. Smoke detectors that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, you need to know how to get our as experts say you could have less than two minutes to escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds.

For more information on fire prevention and safety, visit The National Fire Prevention Association

Why every Condominium Owner and Tenant should have insurance …

We often hear that condo owners and tenants don’t feel they need insurance for a variety of reasons. Regardless of the reason, the importance of a condominium owner policy or a tenant policy should not be understated — because just like homeowners, condo owners and tenants face similar risks to their private property.

Most condo owners should already have a policy because it’s a requirement by many mortgage companies as well as a requirement of the condominium corporation bylaws. In the past, requirements for renters have not always been enforced, but this is changing with the growing awareness that the risk of loss and liability is real. No matter how careful residents are, unfortunately, your neighbors may not be as careful as you are.

Like homeowner’s insurance, condo owner and tenant policies  would cover the insured’s personal property and contents, third party liability, and additional living expenses in the event something happens (like a fire or burst water pipe) that prevents them from staying in their home. In addition, condo owner insurance also protects the unit’s improvements and betterments, condo deductible costs, the unit itself or a loss assessment on the building should the condo corporation have no insurance or have inadequate insurance for which that the owners policy would normally cover.

Note: Your Insurance Broker is the expert here. Call them and discuss your concerns to make sure you get the best possible coverage for your protection.

If you are a condo owner, provide your condominium corporation’s insurance policy plus your bylaws to your insurance broker. These documents are provided at the time of purchase and the insurance certificate is also typically mailed out once a year.

Why every Condominium Owner and Tenant should have insurance …|


  1. If my building suffers damage that started in my unit, what amount of coverage is provided in the event I’m charged back a condominium deductible and/or the cost of the damage?
  2. (If I’m a condo owner) Are the upgrades and renovations I did to my home covered?
  3. Are my contents covered for damage to theft, whether or not it’s my fault?
  4. If someone is hurt in my unit or because of damage that started in my unit, what kind of coverage do I have?
  5. If I have a storage locker of items stored in my parking space and they are damaged (or stolen), how am I covered?

Insurance is very important, whether you’re an owner or a renter, so make sure that you’re covered. A couple extra dollars a month can save you time and money in the event of an accident. For more information on insurance, visit the Insurance Bureau of Canada or get a free quote in just minutes from our partner, Nuera Insurance. Condo Owners and Tenants get a discount with Nuera.  Email us if you don’t have your discount code handy.