Preferred supplier of furnished apartments, condos and homes
Hotel Standards

Hotel Standards

Why We Love Hotels

A CLEAN SLATE:
One big reason that we love hotel rooms is their emptiness. They’re free of the evidence of everyday life—the bills, stray socks, dirty dishes —leaving them full of possibility. They are a blank canvas that we the new occupant and ultimately make our own. A clean slate in which to begin a new day. No vistages or reminders of anyone who stayed there before us.

While your rental property is not a hotel, still as the owner it would be advisable to eliminate as much clutter as you can in preparing the place for renters.  Storage isn’t just closets and dressers. Don’t forget about trays, which hotels rely on to corral smaller items.
Yes, hotel closets and dressers stay empty for the simple reason that nobody lives there, but you can still go through your storage at home and purge it of unnecessary stuff. Many of us hold onto odds and ends, mystery keys, old towels, and the like—because we think we might need them “someday.” However, unless you have a definite date for that “someday,” you should toss these objects now.

RESTFUL ENVIRONMENT

Hotel rooms are so restful on the eyes because they feature soothing, neutral shades like beiges, creams, and grays. Brighter colors are limited, and they’re strategically deployed to provide pops of contrast.

Most hotel rooms make their beds with white sheets, because they seem so crisp and clean. And they help reinforce the impression that the room is a blank slate waiting for you.

Most hotel beds possess headboards because managers know that guests like to be able to sit up and check their devices, watch TV, read a book, or eat. Decor-wise, a headboard is also a chance to make a visual statement as the focal point of the bedroom. It also adds a touch of luxury especially if they are padded and upholstered.

LAYERED BEDDING, LINENS, TOWELS

Hotel beds have lots of layers to make them feel luxurious. The typical hotel bed is topped with a throw or blanket, which serves two purposes: to give extra warmth and to offer a different color, pattern, or texture, like nubby, woolen, or shaggy. Hotel beds usually contain at least three sizes of pillows—oversize, standard sleeping size, and small—which represents another opportunity to introduce a contrasting fabric, color, or pattern. Finally, fine hotels splurge on deep, pillow-top mattresses to coddle their guests, but placing a down featherbed or mattress topper in down or lambswool can provide a similar cushioning sensation. Just as with sheets, good hotels never skimp on towels. And just like sheets, hotel towels tend to be white. Hotels know that white towels send a positive message—of cleanliness, warmth, and comfort. So switch out colored towels for plush white ones.

PROPER LIGHTING

Hotel rooms are always designed to contain multiple sources of lighting. While some of them might be overhead fixtures, a greater number are usually freestanding lamps, with dimmers so that people can adjust for brightness. And having a light on each side of the bed—whether sconces or lamps—is a hotel-room must.

When was the last time you saw Venetian blinds in a hotel room? Hotels stick to curtains and shades because these can be layered to furnish different levels of coverage, including a sheer curtain to allow maximum light while maintaining privacy and a blackout lining to make the room dark for sleeping. The layers also add insulation, keeping air-conditioned rooms cool and heated rooms warm. While you may not feel the need for such layering at home, it’s a good idea to invest in a window covering that blocks out sunlight and keeps you from waking up at dawn.

 

 

 

 

Is Property Management Worth It?

Is Property Management Worth It?

A good property manager is worth their weight in gold. Lots of patience and hard work go into finding the right tenants, maintaining the property, and acting responsibly as a landlord/agent.  Unless owning and managing rental properties is a full-time job for you, or you want it to be, consider professional management to streamline your duties and do all that it takes to keep your property rented and maintained with quality tenants.

Advertising, marketing, screening applicants, drawing up leases, processing rent payments, maintaining tax and legal records, and dealing with maintenance issues and complaints are just a few things that crop up when managing a property. Depending on the size of your property, these tasks alone can constitute more than a full-time job. Don’t have time to make the mistake of trading your time to save a few dollars. You do not to step over dollars to grab a few dimes. When it comes to the notion that you can save money and build your portfolio by doing the management yourself, my only advice is:  Not so fast.

You get what you pay for. A good manager is worth their weight in gold because you the owner will not have the headaches of dealing with Landlord duties and obligations. This makes owning and renting Real Estate passive income when you don’t have to roll up your sleeves yourself. Making comparisons based solely on price will come back to haunt you when you end up with the wrong tenants, a property that’s falling apart, broken lease agreements, poor communication, improperly set expectations and tenant complaints.

The first thing to consider is whether you have the time and expertise to manage your own property. Are you comfortable doing basic handyman tasks (or do you know someone dependable who is)? Do you know a reliable electrician and plumber who offer same-day service? Do you mind being on call 24/7 to handle issues that inevitably arise? Are you comfortable confronting tenants over complaints ? Or would you rather spend the money to free up your time by delegating these and other responsibilities?

Good property management doesn’t just collect rent. They build a rapport with your tenants, ensuring that they feel welcome and valued. They listen carefully to complaints and maintenance requests and take appropriate action.

You Really Can Be a Passive Investor

The biggest advantage you have in hiring good property managers? You get to really be a passive real estate investor. They give you the security of knowing your property is in capable hands that will keep things running smoothly, leaving you room to focus on what you want to.

 

3 Pricing Strategies

3 Pricing Strategies

Your pricing strategy will determine your annual return on your furnished rental. Mark it up too high and you may have to wait for a qualified renter. Mark it too low and you leave money on the table.

Three main strategies come to mind when discussing pricing of furnished housing.

“Ninety percent of all millionaires become so through owning real estate. More money has been made in real estate than in all industrial investments combined. The wise young man or wage earner of today invests his money in real estate.”

1.  Quick Price: this price point refers to a slight mark-down from what the market will pay. The advantage is that the place will rent quickly and you as an owner or property agent will have several prospects who may want to rent it so you can be choosy. Often this strategy will provide the most consistent annual yield with little or no un-rented time and more often a long term lease.

2.  Market Price: this price point is what the market will commonly pay for comparable property. The advantage is the property is not under or over priced and should rent within the 30 days after being showcased to the market.

3. Select Price: this price point is at the highest-end of the scale. There are many reasons why a homeowner may choose this strategy. If an owner has recently done a lot of upgrading, has high quality furnishings and amenities or the property is especially beautiful even waterfront the owner will feel the place is worth the higher price. The disadvantage here is that there will be fewer prospects and the property is likely to sit for 60 days or more. Any takers it does attract may want only a very short-term rental – like summer holidays shrinking the annual return. Use this strategy only if you will not be adversely affected financially while the property sits waiting for a renter.

The best strategy of course is “correct pricing” which the market will see as fair and full of value. While at first it may not be apparent what the correct price is – the market will soon tell you. If you have begun marketing your suite and there are only a few calls your price may be high. If you have had 2-3 viewings and no one has decided to take it that is usually a red flag that your property is priced too high for what is offered.

A property that is offering good value and priced right rents after the first or second showing.

 

 

La La Land

La La Land

Welcome to La La Land

breathe | exhale | relax

Moving to Victoria? With some of the best weather in Canada, scenic architecture, a buzzing local economy, and a community you’ll be proud to be a part of . . . 

First Rule: BREATHE  | Second Rule: EXHALE | Third Rule: RELAX

It’s no secret that moving to Victoria is a good idea, maybe even a great idea especially if you are weary of the rat race, long hours and longer commutes. Most come here to exhale.
When you’re first here you’ll immediately notice the pace of life in Victoria is quite a bit calmer than the city’s counterpart across the straight, Vancouver. And if you’re moving from Toronto to Vancouver Island, get ready for a big adjustment. People move out here for a variety of reasons but one big draw is to get away from or minimize the “rat race” and fast paced living found in larger cities. Gone are long commutes, road rages and general frustrations of getting around a big congested city.

Everyone here is just more laid back

“Island Time” ~ yes, it’s a thing. People are relaxed and laid back for the most part and are not going to “jump to the pump” unless it’s crucial~

Don’t worry you will get used to it.

It’s a big town, not a small city and everyone thanks the bus driver when they exit the bus. Isn’t that sweet? It’s a place where you get all the world-class amenities  like universities, a downtown core and great outdoor activities with the friendliness of a small town. People living here for a long time do not stress out over inconsequentials and rather go with the flow.They tend to save their energy for important things like the big one (earthquake).

Retail, restaurant, home services and trades just about any service you can think of will appear slack compared to what you are used to if you are from a larger city. Slow, inconsistent and sometimes totally inefficient this aspect of living is a source of deep frustration until you realize there is not much you can do about it except perhaps take your business elsewhere only to experience the same anyway. For example if one of your main appliances breaks down you have to find a service/repair person who specializes in your appliance brand.That can mean several calls and waiting for return calls trying to get help. If under warranty, only specific certified technicians are allowed to work on it (there’s like 4 guys certified for Warranty work) and they are usually booked well in advance.

No store stocks parts so there will be a wait of several weeks especially if the part comes from the States. Hopefully, they ordered the right part and if not expect an additional wait time and no, you will not be compensated.

You will be without the use of your appliance for that time plus the time needed to accommodate the repair-person’s schedule for appointments.  You will get used to this and will learn to breathe then exhale. Although you will be inconvenienced, the world will not end. You will learn to wash dishes by hand if the dishwasher has broken down. You will rent a mini-fridge for a week or two while the fridge waits for a part and you will use the microwave or buy a hot plate if your stove goes on the fritz. You will get used to Island time. You will have to just to maintain your sanity. Meanwhile, look around you and take in the beauty of where you live. The  miles of oceanfront park along Dallas Road makes up for this. Breathe/exhale/relax; it will be alright.

 

 

ISLAND TIME:

SERVICES

ATTITUDES

PRIORITIES

They hang blooming flower baskets on all the lampposts in summer. Charming isn’t it?

The Island Factor  

The island factor will raise its head constantly, in ways you won’t think of. The island factor plays into more than you know and it plays into everything.

  1. You can’t escape.
  2. No one can visit.
  3. Real estate is crazy expensive. Rental housing, at least the affordable kind, is fairly scarce and when located, quite expensive especially with respect to average incomes.
  4. Ferries: If you want to get off the Island often, this is expensive and time consuming. You have to plan your travel accordingly, account for the extra costs (if you’re taking a car across) and be prepared for possible system failures. You will no be compensated when Ferry schedules change, stop or delay you.
  5. Pubs and bars close at odd hours, but if you aren’t crazy nightlife people, it won’t matter.
  6. Food costs are high because just about everything is brought over by Ferry
  7. You have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than finding a family doctor who is accepting patients
  8. Living here, you won’t have the advantages of a big city where you can step out your door and be presented with a huge menu of options
  9. It’s an island paradise, and like paradises anywhere it can be dull and boring. A lovely small city which seems to have engulfed the population with its smallness of vision and seemingly proud of it.
  10. Everyone already has all the friends they need (unless they are new to the city) and although friendly enough, speaking when spoken to, don’t expect to be invited to Sunday dinner.

YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY

WINTER

One of the biggest things you’ll have to adjust to is the weather. You won’t be updating your snow pants every year or buying winter boots on the regular, because it just doesn’t get that much winter in Victoria. One obvious bonus of this is not having to spend a serious amount of time warming up the car in the morning like in other provinces. Invest in water proof coats and boots for the wet days of endless drizzle but dress in layers so when the sun does pop out in the afternoon you are not overheated and overdressed.

DRIVING IN WINTER

This will be very frustrating for those used to normal winters in cities where streets are routinely cleared, everyone has winter/snow tires and most are skilled in driving in the white stuff on slippery roads. Not here. They only salt/sand the main artery roads – Victoria doesn’t even own a snow plough and the side roads connecting the rest of the city are left untouched so if there is a heavy snowfall, which on occasion we get, it can be crippling for those living in residential areas. People in Victoria do not change to winter/snow tires since snow is rare. But when it strikes it leaves a lot of hapless and inexperienced drivers on the road, slipping and sliding and ending up in ditches especially after 10 cm or more. People who should not be out driving inevitably are – very frustrating.

Some people get homesick

“The mountains and ocean will make up for anything you have left behind.”

Luxury Touches = Luxury Prices

5 Tips to Elevate Your Property to Luxury Status . . . .

Hotel Standards

Why we Love Hotels . .

Let There Be Light!

or how to make small spaces bigger and brighter

Should I Rent my home Furnished or Unfurnished

. . . .whether you offer nothing but bare walls and floorboards, or ……..

Is Property Management Worth It?

A good property manager is worth their weight in gold.

3 Pricing Strategies

Mark it too low and you leave money on the table.

A Picture =1000 Words

. . . before taking pictures of your property – remember,a picture is worth 1000 words

La La Land

Moving to Victoria from a larger city? You may be in for some culture shock . . . .

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