Everything You Want To Know About Leasing Your Property!
Do you want to learn more about how to lease out your investment property? We interviewed our Leasing and Investment Consultant, Spiro Vrysellas, to get an inside scoop at all things leasing.
What are the key things tenants look for when choosing a place to rent?
Spiro: Just like you, tenants want to ensure that they have a secure and safe place to live. The first thing a good tenant will notice is the accuracy of the ad posting. If the unit actually looks as it is advertised, people are more inclined to rent out the unit as they feel more comfortable with the property management team and landlord. To get the best tenants efficiently, we create detailed and accurate marketing plans with each leasing unit.
What really impresses potential tenants are updated and modern renovations. Quality materials like stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops, and beautiful vinyl-laminate floors are value-added upgrades that can maximize your rents.
What are some qualities of a great tenant?
Spiro: Great tenants come in different shapes and sizes. You can have a tenant that is quiet and never has a complaint, a tenant that is willing to pitch in and shovel the snow in the winter and maintain the lawn in the summer, or a tenant that is extremely clean and well organized. Each of these types of tenants are great to have! Some qualities that great tenants share are:
Responsiveness: This ensures that the tenants will be quick to respond to emails or messages sent. Responsive tenants are great to deal with and easy to get a hold of. When responding to leads, make a note of anyone who quickly responds to your emails or messages as they are more likely to be responsive down the road.
Responsibility: Responsibility is a key characteristic of anyone you would like to work with. Think of potential tenants as employees or business partners. You would much rather work with someone who is responsible for their actions than someone who is not. Look for signs of responsibility in applicant. Great places to look for this is on their social media profiles or reference checks with past and current landlords and employers. With this information, you will get a good sense of what type of person your applicant is.
Cleanliness: A clean tenant is obviously a tenant you want to have. Even so, a tenant that leaves dirty laundry out, old pizza boxes everywhere, or does not make their bed is not necessarily a bad tenant! However, it is much easier to complete inspections or show the unit to other applicants if the unit is clean.
Respectfulness: A respectful tenant will understand that your job as a landlord is not easy, especially when you have to deal with surprise issues and repairs that may arise. From our experience, respectful tenants are amazing to deal with! They are willing to accommodate, understand where you are coming from, and do not cause unnecessary issues.
How long does it take to get a unit leased out?
Spiro: The time it takes to complete a lease varies on the condition of the unit, the location of the property, and the time of year. There’s a large demand for rental units in Toronto, so if you spend the time to do the work, it can be leased out relatively quickly.
As a rule of thumb, we generally take less than 21 days to lease out a unit! I have completed leases as quickly as in one day, and one lease being completed without ever being marketed! Our database of applicants allows us to match leads from different units we manage to other units. For example, if one basement unit has 20 applicants and one is accepted, that leaves 19 applicants that can be just as qualified to be tenants available. With this information, I am able to pair applicants to different units in our portfolio which greatly reduces the time it takes to lease out a property.
How long does an average tenant usually stay in a unit?
Spiro: We find that our average tenant typically stays at a unit for anywhere between 1 to 3 years. Depending what a landlord is looking for from the tenant, length of tenancy can also vary. Some of our units gear towards tenants that are looking for a place to stay while their personal residence is being renovated, so typically they will sign a lease for a year, while some of our landlords prefer to find a tenant that will stay long term.
Walk me through how you lease a unit out.
Spiro: Here are the steps I take when we lease out a property for our clients:
First point of contact: An existing tenant will usually give you 60 days notice. After you receive the notice, let us know as soon as you can so we can start advertising your unit and minimize vacancies. For vacant properties undergoing renovations, we recommend you letting us know as soon as the property is ready for photos.
Marketing Your Unit: With that information, our team will visit the unit and take quality photos to maximize the appeal. After this, we will advertise your unit on various platforms to maximize our reach.
Reviewing The Leads: Once the leads start rolling in, I reach out to each lead to get more information and set up a showing time period. Our listings tend to get well over 100 leads each, with some reaching closer to 500+. This is the most time-consuming but also the most important part of the process, so we take care to review each lead carefully.
Scheduling The Showings: Generally, we will schedule showings at a property a few times per week to maximize availability and time slots for leads. At the showings, I point out all the facts of the property that I know while asking questions to get to know the potential applicants better.
Performing Due Diligence: After we receive applicants for a unit, I complete a thorough background check. This includes calling current and previous employers and landlords, checking credit reports, photo IDs, paystubs, letters of employment, and social media accounts. After I have narrowed the applications down to the best options, I will send the landlord a summary of each application. I will also give my advice on which tenant I think will best suit the property.
Signing The Lease: When we prepare the lease, we use our electronic signing platform to make it easy and secure for you to sign and keep records.
Collecting Your Rent: Now, you reach the best part of the process…YOU GET PAID! I will have the first and last month’s rent transferred to you before your new tenants move in.
Coordinating The Move: Finally, we coordinate the move with your existing and new tenants, so it’s a seamless process from your end.
What’s your most memorable leasing story?
Spiro: It was the first snowstorm of the year and no one was expecting it. The streets were slippery, the skies were covered with snow flakes, and the temperature was well below 0°C. Because of the weather conditions, I called everyone that was scheduled for a showing to confirm their attendance. Everyone cancelled except for one young couple. In fact, they left extra early to ensure they would make it on time. I drove through the snowy streets during the storm and met the young couple at the unit. They loved the place and immediately made an application! They are currently tenants at one of the properties we manage and are great tenants. This experience showed me that if potential tenants are willing to travel through a storm to see a unit, they will most likely be serious and strong applicants.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Spiro: Landlords trust our expertise in leasing. It is great to work with landlords who empower me to find perfect tenants and lease their units quickly and efficiently while getting a great price! The trust that I share with landlords and tenants is great and makes this job feel meaningful and enjoyable everyday.