Posted May 13, 2023 | by Keaton Bessey, Managing Broker
This is a very simple question with a very complex answer. We have systemized our process enough that we can break it down to the following steps, but the gist is if you run it like a business trying to attract customers, you will succeed:
1. Prepare and professionally photograph the rental property
The unit should be entirely empty, no furniture, photos on the walls, Kleenex boxes, items in the fridge, empty. Walls do not have to be freshly painted, but any gouges fixed, walls cleaned (magic eraser gets rid of most scratches), all light bulbs and switches working, and any obvious repair items sorted, and cleaned. Get professional photographs done by a real estate photographer. The difference between a professional and you with an iPhone is amazing.
2. Prepare a good advertisement at the right price
There are tons of rental property listings online. We encourage Landlords to literally copy our ad template from our listings and use that. Its tried, tested and true, clear, reasonable, and easy to find. Pricing your property is a whole different story. Find comparable properties on the popular listing platforms (Facebook, Zumper, Craigslist), and check the best rental property management websites in the area. More information about pricing your rental property in our blog:
3. Simplify showing appointments
The best way to show a property in Greater Vancouver is by first collecting the contact information of anyone interested (name, phone number, email), and then sending an invite to everyone once you have established dates and times for 3-4 hour blocks, twice per week, 15 minute private showings. Its best to have a template message to respond with for the first time a prospect reaches out, then a second template message to invite them to a showing, then you simply confirm which 15 minute slot they are assigned to. You will have around 30% of bookings no show to their appointments, but this is all part of the process.
4. Have a standard application (not too invasive)
Many small Landlords so are worried about getting a "bad tenant" that they scare away all the good ones with their application and screening requirements. This is unnecessary. We breakdown our application in our blog:
5. Screen effectively
Now that you've done all the important work above, its time to make sure not to drop the ball on the most crucial part of the process. Screening tenants is like a water filter, you have to pass through all the stages to make sure you get a 99.9% great result at the end. Do not miss steps here as the best practise screening techniques are all there to catch an issue with an application. There is no magic bullet here except for one thing: diligence. We cover all the steps in our blog:
6. Have a standard and simple lease (not too restrictive)
Same as the application, you do not want to have a lease that is too invasive or restrictive. In most cases, restrictive leases are not compliant with the Residential Tenancy Act anyway, and a good/smart tenant knows this. If you're trying to get a new tenant to agree to something they know is not enforceable or legal, they may get cold feet and walk from an otherwise great opportunity for both of you. Make sure you source a well drafted lease. If you're a small Landlord with 1 or 2 properties, do not try to make one up yourself or just use the RTB-1 (RTB-1 is not nearly enough!). We strongly suggest signing up with LandlordBC, paying the membership, and getting their lease. It is very well drafted, in compliance, and has been drafted and vetted by some of the best Tenancy lawyers in the province. Its a steal of a deal:
If you've successfully pulled off everything above, you have an incredibly high chance of finding a great tenant who will pay the rent, take care of the home, and best yet, be reasonable and easy to deal with if something goes wrong (accidental damage, insurance claim, bylaw infractions, etc.). Good luck!
If this article helped you or was missing something, we would love to hear your quick feedback on google: https://g.page/r/CY9STzAnxG_9EBM/review
Here are some links to other resources, information, and content I've put together:
Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/hodo1z
Quick Videos for Landlords: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpdS5qJnxxTc50AtTqiYL3Q