Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to common questions
What are the steps in getting my place rented?
Here are the main steps in getting your place rented.
1. Get Listed
Call our office (250) 383-8183 for pre-view qualification. Someone will tell you whether your property is a good candidate for rental. If it is, read through all the materials on the site so you understand what we are looking for and what we offer.
2. Sign Your Agreement ~ Pay Your Fees
Once you have all the information you need make a listing appointment to sign an agreement and pay your listing and photos fees.We will help you get your property rent-ready and help you create your inventory list. After that your photo session will be arranged and you will soon be on your way to connect with renters.
3. Leave the Rest to Us
Make sure you provide us with a VOID cheque for direct deposit and several sets of keys. We will help you fill out your “Home Guide” for the benefit of tenants and begin our marketing plan.
4. Get Paid
Once your web page is created you should start receiving inquiries. We do all the leg work, fielding inquiries, showings, qualifying tenants, contracts and negotiations plus ongoing tenant laison.
How Are Rents Determined
In general, the marketplace determines rental rates. How people perceive the value of your place, current competition and their personal budgets will affect what they are willing to pay. Scarce property types like town houses, stand alone modern homes and 3 BR properties will enjoy a wider range of rents than standard 1BR’s which are rarely in short supply.
As a general rule of thumb, properties with a valuation under $900,000 can expect a 6-8% annual return on their investment. More expensive properties would see a 4-6% return dependent on market conditions. Or 2 & 3BR’s roughly $1500 per bedroom plus utilities.
What are the start up costs of getting listed?
Currently we charge a listing fee of $299 + tax and a photographer fee of $199-299 depending on the size of the property and special features. It is important to have the best photos possible as that is what sells the place.
What restrictions are allowed in a rental property?
Current laws in BC allow landlords to restrict pets on private property, however, new rules begin in 2018 which may preclude restricting pets. The new rules may not apply to strata properties. We are not allowed to discriminate based on age (except where legal documents are concerned), race, gender or children. As an owner you also restrict smokers from your property if you choose.
What types of properties are most in demand
Two bedroom properties always seem to be most in demand followed by one bedroom/den and then one bedroom. Aside from configuration, the location is of prime importance. Location is not just geographical but also the building itself as we get inquiries for specific buildings in the city. Downtown, James Bay, Fairfield, Cook Street Village and Songhees are the most sought after physical locations and new buildings are preferred over older buildings.
Nuts & Bolts
What is included in a furnished apartment?
Furnished apartments typically include basic utilities such as hydro, water, gas, cable and WiFi. Homeowners can opt for a hydro cap per billing cycle if they are concerned about high bills. Cable program upgrades and upgrades to WiFi capabilities may be added and paid for by the tenant.
In addition most furnished rentals aim to provide a home-away from home by stocking linens, towels, cookware and crockery for use by their tenants.
What types of customers stay in these short term rental accommodations?
Tenants who require long or short term furnished accommodations are wide and varied.
- Corporate suites for travel and business
- In transition, moving between homes
- Relocating to a new city
- Taking a graduate or training program
- Temporary work on location
- Insurance claims
- people who are renovating
Why Should a Homeowner List with You?
We strive to bring in the highest returns for our homeowners. Sometimes that even means cutting back our fees and commissions. More importantly we strive to find the best qualified tenants for your property so that it is in the end returned to you in the condition it was received less fair wear and tear.
In addition we believe in:
- preventative maintainance
- frequent property inspections
- we offer expertise and experience
- we are a preferred supplier of corporate housing for many international and local firms.
- no complicated exit clauses
- we are a small local business – low overhead, low fees but high in customer service – just one call and you know what your property is doing.
Do I need to Provide Storage?
If you can swing it, it is highly recommended to provide storage or a storage locker for your tenants. It is a very practical thing to do because:
- tenants have a place to store luggage and personal items without cluttering up your suite and banging into walls
- it’s a great little extra
- some tenants have expensive bikes that they like to store and this could be a deal maker
- convenience for the tenants.
What are Your Basic Quality Standards?
Your property must by a whole house or apartment – a whole rental. We do not accept listing for a room in a house or a share situation. We also discourage converted houses into suites as this is not what our clientele are looking for.
All properties need to have in-suite washer/dryer, dishwasher and modern kitchen appliances. Old fashioned stoves with drip-pan elements are dated and will likely be rejected by executive renters.
Executives prefer shiny and new so modern finishes such as stone, wood, stainless etc are highly valued.
Can I just rent my home for a few months while I am away?
- Availability. Your home must be available for at least six consecutive months of the year. Anything less than that runs the risk of being overlooked as most inquiries are for 6 months or more. We are not a vacation rental agency and do not rent for less than 2 months and normally more.
- Condition of home and grounds. To obtain the highest rate, homes should be clean and in good physical and operating condition. As a service to new registrants we inspect each property with the owners and, when appropriate, suggest reasonable cosmetic and other improvements that we consider advisable to the success of the rental.
- Contents and facilities. Homes must be fully furnished and come equipped with modern, functioning appliances such as fridge, range, washer/dryer and TV.
How do you Market your Rentals?
This website “downtown furnished rentals” has been around since 2006 and organically ranks in the top 10 for all our relevant search terms. Executives looking for furnished apartments in Victoria will find us on the the top of the search. In addition we utilize online classifieds from time to time and corporate listing sites. We have periodically bought Google Ads to supplement our traffic.
Once we get a new listing, and if it is suitable for our general clientele of executives we do an email blast to all the companies we currently work with to see if anyone has a need for our new listings.
What kind of properties do best?
We have found that modern contemporary properties with high end/gourmet kitchens, large bedrooms (2) with minimum two bathrooms do best. They are always in demand for couples, small families and even singles. The caveat is they have to be located in the right area of the city, the right building and be attractively furnished.
Ready, Steady, Rent
What does it take to get my place rent ready?
Your home should be ‘5 Star Hotel Standard Clean’, fridge clear, cupboard space available, personal effects gone, bedroom and bathroom free of clutter, any ‘priceless or objects of sentimental value’ should be stored.
Clear off your bookshelves so your tenants have room for their stuff. Anything that you would be broken hearted if it were missing or damaged – REMOVE!
Stemware and glassware need not be expensive as breakage happens. You should spend money of good stainless cookware which cleans up well and lasts.
What is your Occupancy Rate on Average?
That can fluctuate with seasons and market forces. For years I have enjoyed a 100% occupancy rate with virtually no calendar gaps for most properties. Rentals are generally selected on the basis of them renting easily which is why we implement high standards.
What is Your Fee and What is Included?
Agent fees are 16-18% and include complete and ongoing marketing and online advertising. In addition we:
- field inquiries
- schedule showings
- negotiate rates and contracts
- qualify tenants
- provide all tenant services
- provide property management services