In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, landlords around Canada have been forced to think creatively to attract tenants. In the past, the competitive housing markets in larger cities like Toronto and Vancouver have been very landlord-friendly, with a much more limited supply of viable housing stock. This limited availability can be attributed to the growing populations of these urban centres, as well as the growing popularity of short-term housing sites like Airbnb.
Now, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected not just housing prices, but how tenants look at housing in general. With fewer people commuting to work in larger cities, it opens up the potential for tenants to choose to live outside of cities and suburbs. This has had a huge impact on the rental market across Canada.
Not only has it cooled larger markets, it has also made real estate investors wary about their current and future investments, leading many people to sell off their properties, especially in condo developments.
Despite this upheaval, the market won’t be this volatile for long. To weather the storm, landlords must be smart and cautious, and take steps to attract great long-term tenants that they can rely on.
How to Attract Great Tenants
A reliable, long-term tenant is a great investment in a solid financial future. Having a positive relationship ensures that lines of communication remain open, so you can step in to perform regular maintenance and handle issues before they become long-term problems.
In addition to being straightforward, honest, and communicative, there are certain incentives that you can put in place to help attract great tenants.
Here are some options we’ve seen used in the past to great success.
1. Financial Incentives
Some of the most popular incentives used to attract great long-term tenants are financial incentives. These can come in the form of a reduction in rent, a month of free rent, or even a set amount of money refunded back to the client in the form of a check or gift card.
These financial incentives are a great way to show potential tenants that you’re understanding of the volatile situation we’re all in due to COVID-19. It might feel like a risk to give up that much money before you’ve even got a tenant situated, but it will definitely help get the word out, and attract lots of interest so you can pick the best candidate.
2. Rate Increase Freezes
In addition to discounting rent or offering the tenant’s first month free, you can also promise to forgo rent increases for a set amount of time. The Government of Ontario recently passed a residential rent freeze for 2021, but that’s set to end on December 31st, 2021. To attract tenants, you can promise an additional freeze for 2022, or freeze payments for amenities like parking.
3. Free Amenities
If your listing isn’t getting the attention it deserves, make it more appealing with an incentive like free amenities in perpetuity. Before 2020, tenants were used to having to pay a premium for amenities like parking, storage, and more. Now, if you’re willing to cover these costs yourself, you can include them in the rent free of charge.
Even if you keep the rent the same, the idea that tenants are getting something free of charge that they’re used to having to pay for may help attract long-term, reliable renters.
4. Add Value
It’s much harder for tenants to picture themselves living somewhere long-term if the property in question lacks standard amenities. If you’re trying to attract serious, long-term tenants, you need to give them a reason to stay.
Before you put your property on the market, make sure it has as many amenities as possible. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on luxuries: we’re talking about basic amenities like a dishwasher, air conditioning, and an in-suite washer and dryer.
Get Help from the Experts at Goldmar Property Management
Retaining long-term tenants is all about creating a mutually respectful and communicative relationship that can stand the test of time. Offering incentives is just one way to get prospective tenants in the door. It also shows them that you’re sensitive to their needs, and may make them more likely to pick your property over another if the decision comes down to them.
At Goldmar Property Management, we’re dedicated to ensuring successful relationships between all of our landlords and tenants. Our team of Windsor property managers has been working in the area for years and loves to share tips on how to thrive in the local rental market. To learn more, get in touch with a member of our staff today.