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How to Attract Tenants


Winter months are more difficult times to find tenants compared to spring and summer.  There are several reasons.  Moving is not an appealing endeavor in winter months for potential tenants.  Apartment hunting as well, is not a desirable activity in the late fall and winter as it becomes difficult to travel to visit apartments, the days are shorter (being dark, it becomes tough to gauge sunlight coming into apartment).  July 1st also being the unofficial but prevalent moving day in Quebec


makes it that much more difficult to find quality, appealing tenants.


Because competition for a small number of potential tenants is high, it is important that owners attempt to make their units as appealing as possible.  Here are some ways owners and landlords can attract tenants.


1.     Appliances


Many tenants believe that a unit is more appealing when in general appliances and most certainly fridge and stove are included.  It prevents tenants from purchasing these items which can represent a significant initial cost to them.  Furthermore, moving large and heavy appliances is difficult, can be costly and can make the moving experience that much less appealing.  By simply purchasing like-new appliances and including it in the apartment, an owner can make an apartment more desirable.  Good quality appliances such as stainless steel can transform a unit from good to great.


Although fridges do not last as long as they used to many years ago, a good fridge will very rarely need repair and maintenance.  Owners should be certain that good-quality used appliances are purchased as one’s that break down often will cause greater cost and headache outweighing or balancing out the advantages of attracting that great tenant.


2.     Rebates


Rebates and discounts attract customers.  People love sales and getting good deals on products and services.  Offering a discount on the first month’s rent is a great method to attract potential tenants.  The discount does not even have to be a significant amount but a few hundred dollars off the first month rent – say a “Move in for Free discount!”  When all is said and done, a yearly rental contract represents several thousand dollar contract.  The average apartment that rents for $500 per month represents a $6000 per year contract.  Offering say a half month discount for the first month represents only a tiny 4% rebate off the total cost of the $6000 contract.  Would you sell a product that you were offering for $1, for a reduced price of 96 cents?  Of course you would, you wouldn’t even think twice about it.  Let the sale of an apartment be thought of in a similar manner.



3.     Renovations


It goes without saying that clean and renovated apartments are more attractive then ones that show their age.  Renovations need not be on a grand scale where entire rooms are gutted and restored – not at all.  On the contrary, even a simple fresh coat of paint can make a difference between an apartment appealing to someone or not.  If a unit is having work done to it, its best to wait until the work has completed.  Even though you may promise the candidate that things will be completed soon and how great it will be, the visual they see during the visit stays with them. 


4.     Extras


Often potential tenants have a difficult time in deciding between one apartment over another.  Identifying this uncertainty is a trait that takes time to develop among landlords, especially when these feelings are not expressed by the tenant.  To help them make their decision, I often decide to add some extras with the apartment.  In the past, I have added free parking, free cans of paint, even the option of moving in a few days or weeks early free of charge as incentives.  A landlord that offers such things versus one that doesn’t even contemplate it, is one that will be able to rent his or her unit much quicker.


In summary, do not be afraid to be a salesman and keep the dialogue flowing with identified good potential tenants.  It is well worth the trouble and the effort to attract these individuals with the aforementioned perks.  And remember a unit that stays vacant and unrented for even one month, can represent rather large lost revenue.


Finally, give us a try - we will find you a good tenant quickly.  It costs you nothing until we have you a client with a signed lease.