Toronto Income Property Newsletter: July 2009

Happy Canada Day everyone! We’re at the midway point of 2009 and the Toronto real estate market continues to hum along. Quality income properties are still in high demand as the best ones still seem to attract multiple offers. Last weekend I had three central triplexes on my radar for clients and all three sold for at least $50K more than asking. I think that we’ll see a bit of a natural summertime slowdown but I expect this bustling market to continue right into the fall. Let’s hope that we get a nice run of warm days, that the garbage strike ends soon and TFC can get their act on the road together.

Some of you will be happy to note that May was the first month in some time where 2009 sales beat 2008. June numbers when released will be similar. Take a look at the numbers that were released by TREB below. This shows the uptick in the market. Duplexes and triplexes continue to be in high demand and will likely help fuel the real estate market going forward.

HOW TO FIND GOOD TENANTS:

Finding good tenants starts with having a good place to rent to them. Even in a bad part of town, no decent person is going to live in a bad place (at least not for very long). Never show a vacant apartment to a prospective tenant until it has been painted & cleaned. Don’t show a rundown unit to someone & then tell them how you’re going to fix it up. Always do the work first, make it presentable, then bring them in. You can’t expect a tenant to have a ‘vision’ of what the place will look like after it’s fixed up. Remember, the crummy tenants will take anything. I once had a girl tell me over the phone that she needed a place immediately & she didn’t care if there were holes in the walls or if the apartment was a total wreck. I politely told her I couldn’t help her and hung up the phone. What kind of renter do you think she would’ve been? Always paying on time? No problems? I would’ve gotten a security deposit and first month’s rent and then be fighting to get her out. Good places attract good tenants. Bad places attract bad tenants. It’s pretty simple.

If you ever purchase a multi-unit building with a few bad tenants you should work to get them out as soon as possible. I call it re-tenanting a building. You cycle out the bad and bring in the good. Your good tenants won’t put up with crazy behavior and late night loudness; they’ll simply move out without notice one weekend and leave you scratching your head. Better to be proactive & let your good tenants know your on top of the situation rather than let them slip away.

So you’ve got a decent place & it’s ready to be rented. You didn’t go overboard on expensive countertops and imported ceramic tile. It’s clean, sanitary and presentable. You could give the keys to someone & they could move in that night. How do you get people to come and see it? The answer is as simple as it seems: Craigslist and view-it.ca

I’ve used these sources many times and it works. I like these avenues better than a sign in the window. Using the Internet will save you a ton of headaches. You don’t want volume. You want quality. Having 90 people respond to your sign & ad with phone calls may sound great to a novice, but I’d much rather spend a half hour of my time with a targeted gathering of prospective tenants. An added benefit when you acquire more buildings is that you can direct someone to the right place for them. They may not like the apartment your showing right now, but the apartment being vacated in another building at the end of the month may be perfect for them.

As any good salesman will tell you, it’s all about getting qualified leads. I’ve rented apartments a week before Christmas & remember people telling me beforehand that nobody would show up. If you have a decent place, they will come. There will always be exceptions; bad weather, lull in the rental market, etc. But in good parts of town and bad, this advertising system has proven itself. It works.

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That’s it for this month. Enjoy the summer everybody!

P.A.

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