So you’ve renovated, refreshed and staged your Toronto rental property to be viewed by prospective tenants. After all that investment, how are you marketing it?
- Offer incentives for word-of mouth
Spread the word among business colleagues, current tenants, and friends that you are renting your property and offer a decent cash incentive for a referral that leads to a rental. Around $100 is usually enough to get everyone interested.
- Listing Online
There is a strategy to listing your property online. Try these top five websites for Toronto rentals first, and then if you don’t get enough leads open the floodgates of Craiglist and Kijiji. The reason behind this is that Craiglist and Kijiji have a wider reach, but with that reach comes more tire-kickers and potentially unqualified applicants.
- Newspaper Ads
Newspaper ads in community newspapers are an old-school way to find tenants, but it’s still effective. Many community newspapers also post these ads on their websites as well, and they tend to be inexpensive. NOW magazine and similar publications are good for Toronto rentals – for GTA rentals look into local community publications.
- Include all the info in ads
Write your ad in clear English and make sure to include the price, address, and number of bedrooms. Where you have more room online, describe the neighbourhood and proximity to a major intersection people will recognize.
- Yard Signs
This is a particularly effective marketing tool for single-family homes, and will attract people from the neighbourhood. Make sure the number is written clearly and can be seen from a passing vehicle.
- Be Available
List the property with a number that you can answer at all times, within reason. For after-hours calls, consider hiring an answering services to collect messages from prospective tenants – people who have a solid job may not be able to call you until 9:00pm, so don’t miss out on these leads.
- Make sure the property is ready to show
It’s ideal to wait until the previous tenant has moved and the apartment has been cleaned up to show the unit, but in today’s market it’s understandable if you want to line up your next tenant while the previous ones are still living there. This is what the Residential Tenancies Act says about your rights in this situation:
A landlord may enter the rental unit without written notice to show the unit to prospective tenants if,
(a) the landlord and tenant have agreed that the tenancy will be terminated or one of them has given notice of termination to the other;
(b) the landlord enters the unit between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.; and
(c) before entering, the landlord informs or makes a reasonable effort to inform the tenant of the intention to do so. 2006, c. 17, s. 26 (3).
That’s what the law requires, but of course you should try to be courteous and respect your current tenant’s schedule – for example, don’t show up at 7:58pm to show the apartment for 30 minutes unless they are fine with that.
If the unit is messy, make sure to stress that it will be thoroughly cleaned before move-in day while showing.
Vetting potential tenants and listing properties are two of the most stressful parts about being a landlord. If you’d like a property management company to do all this for you, and one that has experience throughout Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area, give us a call today.