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Here are some recent testimonials from some of clients and tenants!

Thank you for everything. You are always easy to get a hold of and very helpful!
Britt T. and Ryan N.
My wife and I would like to thank you for finding us these great tenants! I should email you earlier but we were also in the process of moving. Now things are settled, once again thank you for a gre ...
Alex C.
We really appreciated your meticulous professionalism and will definitely refer you to our friends, and look forward to using your service again soon!
Peter W.
Carey, you are a great landlord and I do had great time in this apartment, it was hard for me to decide moving out.
Kathy J.
As a working professional looking for furnished rentals, I can honestly say that Carey is what you are looking for. He is prompt, professional and honest. What a breath of fresh air and a joy to work ...
John D
Latest Entries

What Are The Benefits of Using a Property Management Company?

Posted by Urban City Rentals
Urban City Rentals
Urban City Rentals Inc. provides professional rental property leasing and manage
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 04 October 2011
in Property Management

A knowledgeable property manager can add significant value to your asset, which is why many seasoned real estate investors will tell you that a good management company is worth their weight in gold.  Here are several ways an excellent property manager earns their keep:

Higher Quality Tenants

It is certainly possible to get a bad tenant out of your home once they are in, but it’s a real hassle and you are so much better off never accepting them in the first place. A thorough screening process results in reliable tenants that:

•    Pay on time
•    Put less wear and tear on the unit
•    Generally cause less problems
•    Rent longer

An experienced property management company has seen thousands of applications and knows how to rapidly dig for the real facts about applicants and examine that information for warning signs. By permitting a management company to handle the screening, you are also protecting yourself from rental scams directed at owners, and discrimination lawsuits resulting from an inconsistent screening process. This kind of experience takes time, and insomuch as it means avoiding bad tenants, it is arguably one of the most important benefits a property management company will provide.

Fewer costly and time consuming legal troubles

Expert landlords know it only takes one troublesome tenant to cause significant legal and financial headaches. A good property manager is equipped with the knowledge of the latest landlord-tenant laws and will make sure that you are not leaving yourself defenseless to a potential law suit. Each state and municipality have their own laws, these plus federal law cover a number of areas including but not limited to:

•    Tenant screening
•    Safety and property conditions of the property
•    Evictions
•    Inspections
•    Lease addendums
•    Terminating leases
•    Handling security deposits
•    Rent collection

Avoiding a single law suit can more than pay for the property management fees, and save you time and distress.

Better tenant retention

While it’s simple to see the effects of lost rent, there are other equally grave problems with a high tenant turnover rate. The turnover process involves a thorough cleaning, changing the locks, painting the walls and possibly new carpet or small repairs, not to mention all the effort associated with marketing, showing , screening and settling in a new tenant. This is a time-consuming and costly process that can often be averted by keeping tenants pleased and well cared for.
A good property management company will have a time-tested tenant retention rule that ensures happy tenants with lengthy stays in your properties. These kinds of programs need a reliable, systematic approach, which is where a good property management company will shine.

Shorter vacancy cycles

A property manager will help you do three critical tasks that involve how long it takes to fill your vacancies:

•    Improve and organize the property for rent - A property manager will advise and oversee cosmetic improvements that maximize revenue.
•    Establish the best rent rate - Too high and you are trapped waiting, to low and you’re losing cash every month the tenant is in the unit. Determining the best price requires knowledge of the local market, data on recently sold comparables, and access to rental rate tools.
•    Effectively advertise your property - A skilled property management company has written hundreds of ads and knows what to say and where advertise in order to get a larger pool of candidates in a shorter period of time. Moreover because of their volume they can usually discuss cheaper advertising rates both online and offline. Lastly, they are familiar with sales and know how to close when they field calls from prospects and take them on showings.

Tighter rent collection process

The way you handle rent collection and late payments can be the difference between success and failure as a landlord. Collecting rent on time every month is the only way to maintain consistent cash-flow, and your tenants need to understand this is not negotiable. By hiring a property manager, you put a buffer between yourself and the tenant, and allow them to be the bad guy who has to listen to excuses, chase down rent, and when necessary, evict the person living in your property.

Assistance with taxes

A property management company can help you understand which deductions you can claim, as well as organize the necessary forms and documentation to make those claims. Additionally, the property management fees themselves are also tax deductible.

Lower maintenance and repair costs

Good maintenance and repairs keep tenants happy and preserve the value of your investment which make them a very important part of land-lording. By hiring a management firm you gain access to both their in-house maintenance staff, as well as their network of licensed, bonded and insured contractors who have already been vetted for good pricing and quality work. This can translate into significant savings compared to going through the yellow pages and hiring a handyman yourself. Not only is the firm able to get volume discounts on the work, they also know the contractors and understand maintenance issues such that they are capable of intelligently supervising the work.

Personal benefits for owners

•    More liberty - Invest and live anywhere you want without the need to be near your properties. In addition, you can live and travel without the requirement of always being present in the event that your tenants have a need you have to tend to. Once you have found a good management company, it doesn’t matter if you live in the same state. Some landlords live in other countries and simply collect their check every month without ever seeing their rental units.
•    More Time - Time is money, and for many businessmen, their time can be more profitably spent in areas other than servicing their properties. Also, you have more time to spend with you family and friends doing things you like.
•    Less worries - Avoid having to deal with middle of the night emergencies, chasing down rent, evicting people from your property, tenants who wreck your property, rental scams, terrible vendors, piles of paperwork.

A last consideration

Of course, this is an ideal scenario.  These results can only be expected if a management company is experienced, truthful and a good fit for your property.  A poor choice of a property management company can create many dilemmas of its own.

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Rental Pricing Strategies

Posted by Urban City Rentals
Urban City Rentals
Urban City Rentals Inc. provides professional rental property leasing and manage
User is currently offline
on Monday, 01 August 2011
in Property Management

After the initial stages of comparing one's property to those in the surrounding area, and assessing an approximate rental price based on location and amenities, a property owner must then adopt a strategy to attract potential applicants.  Below is a description of the advantages and disadvantages of having a lower, middle-range, and higher end rental price. 

Lower End

Having an inexpensive rental price will attract more applicants, which allows an owner to be selective about potential tenants.  However, the property owner must make an accurate assessment of the property's amenities and ensure that the rental price matches the cost of ownership.  Setting a monthly rent that is too low may result in a loss of annual rental income and it may attract questionable or unreliable applicants.

Middle-Range

A middle-range rental price will still attract a large number of applicants while also whittling away those who may have unreliable or sporadic sources of income (i.e. tenants who may not be able to pay rent on time).  Many property owners are unaware that renting quickly and at a slightly lower amount is more profitable than waiting a month (or more) for a potential tenant who can afford a high amount. 

For example, say an owner wants $1500/month and is unable to find any prospective tenants.  If he keeps the price where it is, he will lose a month's worth of income with no guarantee that the vacancy will be filled in the following month.  It is better for this individual to lower his asking price to $1400/month, which will result in more applicants and the ability to rent the unit out sooner.  This makes financial sense in terms of yearly numbers:

$1500 x 11 months = $16,500
$1400 x 12 months = $16,800

The larger applicant pool will also allow an owner to select a higher quality tenant.  This means that the condition of the property will be better maintained and the individual will stay longer.  A responsible, long-term renter will result in less costs associated with finding new tenants and less wear and tear on an apartment.

Higher End

A higher end rental price will attract individuals with considerably more disposable income.  However, an owner still has to be careful about his eventual selection since an initial impression is not always indicative of a renter's reliability.  Appropriate backround and credit checks should be done before renting out a higher priced property. 

The disadvantages associated with higher rents is mentioned above.  An owner must be prepared to have his property lay dormant until an ideal candidate comes along.  However, if a property owner is able to find someone who is willing to pay a higher amount, then the potential profitability on this unit may be quite substantial.

Conclusion

A property owner must therefore be strategic when deciding upon their monthly rent.  This can be tricky for individuals who are new or unfamiliar with property management.  It is therefore a good idea to seek professional advice in the form of a property management company.  A good management company will reduce the stress associated with renting a unit on one's own.  Urban City Rentals offers such assistance in the form of professional property leasing and management services for properties in the Vancouver, Richmond, and Burnaby regions.  We can help clients with setting asking prices and finding ideal potential tenants. 

For more information on the property management services that our company offers, please contact Urban City Rentals at 604-677-7369 or visit our webpage at http://www.urbancityrentals.com      

 










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The Potential Tenant Interview

Posted by Urban City Rentals
Urban City Rentals
Urban City Rentals Inc. provides professional rental property leasing and manage
User is currently offline
on Friday, 22 July 2011
in Property Management

The tenant interview is perhaps the most important part of the screening process. You can only get so much information from credit reports, employment records, financial statements, and even previous landlord references. If a tenant’s application passes the early tests, the interview is the place where you have one final chance to catch those red flags.

Yet, many landlords fail to make the most of this opportunity. Here are some things to do during the interview that will help you determine if they’re the right tenant for your property:

·         Follow all of the rules. There are things you can ask and things you cannot ask. Issues of race and religion are off the table, and can bring serious legal headaches if you’re not careful.

·         Start with the rental application. The information on the rental application should be a good springboard for discussions. Before the interview, circle a handful of items on the application as topics you’d like to bring up. Pull aside anything that jumps out at you, and be ready to ask about it.

·         Discuss their employment. Even if you have a completed application with employment dates, or even if you’ve talked to their employer, ask what they do and for whom. Make sure that the dates they tell you match (at least within a reasonable amount of time) what they put on their application. Tenants with long-term employment are a safer bet than those who have only been with a company for a little while.

·         Ask who will be living with them. Find out how many children will be living in the property, if any. Ask if anyone other than immediate family will be living with them. Ask about pets, and make sure you clearly articulate any pet policy you have in place.

·         Inquire about credit problems. If you ran a full credit report (which you should) ask about any glaring issues. A few slow payments aren’t much to be worried about, but defaulted loans or collection activity should be discussed. In many cases, there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation, and the issue may be resolved. In other cases, it can let you know they’ve got real financial trouble.

·         Talk about length of stay. Explain various lease options (such as a month-to-month contract). This helps you in a number of ways. For example, if you have two roughly-equal tenants and one wants to stay for two years while the other wants to say for three months, the safer bet is the longer-term tenant.

·         Get to know the potential tenant. There’s only so much you can learn about a person in a relatively short interview, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn all you can. Sometimes, you’ll just have a gut reaction (good or bad) when talking to a given tenant. Those instincts can, in some cases, save you a ton of headache.

Urban City Rentals wants you to find the best tenants out there. Our extensive experience in tenant screening help match you up with the right tenants for your property. Click here to learn more about our rental property management services or contact us today at 604-677-7369.


 
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How To Determine A Rental Property Price

Posted by Urban City Rentals
Urban City Rentals
Urban City Rentals Inc. provides professional rental property leasing and manage
User is currently offline
on Sunday, 17 July 2011
in Property Management


Determining a property rental price should not be an arbitrary process.  It takes research and a knowledge of current rental listings in order to decide upon an appropriate amount.  A price that is too low can result in substantial losses on the part of the property owner.  A price that is too high often results in a unit that sits dormant and never attracts tenants.  Here are some factors to take into consideration when estimating the price of a rental property.

Look at rental prices in the surrounding locale – The location of a property plays a vital role in determining the price of rent.  This price must reflect the desirability of the neighborhood and the distance between the property and the city centre.  Generally, the closer a unit is to the downtown core, the more the asking price will be.  Access to grocery stores, public transportation, and proximity to ocean views are other things to take into consideration.  

In order to make a fair assessment, one must do the proper research with regards to rentals in the surrounding area.  While searching through the classifieds in newspapers is a viable option, it can be extremely time consuming and not entirely fruitful.  The best idea is to embrace newer technology and search the internet. 

One of the best websites we use at Urban City Rentals for scouting rentals is PadMapper.com  A person can scout the area around a specific address or they can search an entire city.  Once at the website, a prompter will ask for an address, a city name, or a zip code.  After this has been entered, a wide variety of rental property listings will appear on a map.  This map can be expanded or reduced and every listing will be acknowledged with a pink marker.  By simply clicking on a marker, a person will be able to view the rental details including the address, the type of rental (i.e. apartment, house, or room), and the asking price.  In some cases photos will be included as well.  Even better is the fact that the median of nearby rentals is stated, so one can deduce the average rental price in the surrounding area.  This website is a great tool for those who are deciding upon an appropriate asking price.

Make a fair assessment of one's own property – After looking through PadMapper.com, it is best to then look at what one's property can offer potential tenants.  Is the property an unfurnished room or a furnished one?  Is it a bachelor or a one-bedroom?  Is there a kitchenette or a full kitchen?  What is the square footage of the rental property?  Generally, the more privacy and convenience a unit offers, the higher the asking price can be.  Use PadMapper to finalize a decision by comparing one's unit to those in the surrounding area.  If a bachelor apartment with a private entrance and full kitchen is asking for $900 a month, and your rental is similar, then know that that is the general range that you can work within.  Assess as well the cleanliness of the unit and if there are any bonuses that come with the rental (internet access, cable, a parking permit).  It is these little details that can boost the price and the desirability of a unit.  The combination of what a unit offers, where it is located, and the average asking price in the surrounding neighborhood will help in determining a fair monthly rent.

Deciding upon a good rental price does not have to be a difficult decision.  One only needs to do research on a property's locale and to be truthful about what a unit can offer.  If one is fair and reasonable about the prospects of their rental property, then deciding upon a price that will attract the right tenants should not be an issue.   

At Urban City Rentals, we have helped hundreds of investment rental property owners determine the best rental price to attract quality tenants efficiently and quickly.  To learn more about our professional rental property management services, contact us at 604-677-7369 or visit our webpage here.

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Tips for New Landlords

Posted by Urban City Rentals
Urban City Rentals
Urban City Rentals Inc. provides professional rental property leasing and manage
User is currently offline
on Friday, 15 July 2011
in Property Management


If you’re new to the rental property management business, you should know that there’s something of a learning curve. Not only do you need to be able to keep your properties in line with code regulations from all levels of government, you also need to follow some seriously strict rules when dealing with tenants. Thankfully, there are a wealth of materials out there that outline your obligations.

There are some things, however, that you can’t get from simply reading the rules. You need the wisdom that comes with experience. Here are some of the top tips we’ve found from landlords that have been in the business for a while:

·         Pay close attention to discrimination laws. Landlord discrimination laws can be punished severely, and they can put you out of business.

·         Rely heavily on the rental application. Make sure it’s filled out and complete. Verify the information on the application, too.

·         Require and follow up with references. One of the best ways to weed out potential problem tenants is by speaking to former landlords. Don’t base your entire decision on what a previous landlord says, but instead look for long-term patterns.

·         Consider a credit check. A credit check tells you whether the applicant is in the middle of major financial trouble. Don’t turn down a tenant because of a few late payments, but if they’ve got numerous serious delinquencies it should send up a warning signal.

·         Give tenants a written list of conduct and living rule. Have a signed copy on file in your office. That way, there aren’t any misunderstandings.

·         Be as crystal clear as possible. There’s nothing wrong with being redundant when talking to a client. Make sure they understand repair procedures, rent payment methods and dates, as well as emergency contact numbers.

·         Maintain your property. Nothing will convince good tenants to leave faster than neglected repairs. Not only does the rental property need to be habitable and in line with regulations, if you don’t keep it up it will lose value and you will lose tenants.

·         Get the right insurance. Talk to your insurance agent in-depth about the kind of insurance you need to carry. Make sure you’re covered against fire, personal injury, theft, and more. Be clear with your tenants about what is and isn’t covered by your insurance, so that they can obtain the correct renters insurance.

·         Understand landlord entry guidelines. While the specifics can vary from one location to another, most of the time you’ll need to give your tenants at least 24 hours’ notice before entering the rental property.

·         Document everything. Send any important written notices via a certified carrier and require a signature. If there are incidents with the tenant not following property rules, document the occurrences as well as any response you made.

·         Stick to late fee policies strictly. Don’t forgive late fees, except in rare or extreme circumstances. Otherwise, tenants will begin to see them as optional. Make sure to enforce a late fee from the first occurrence.

·         Regularly raise the rent. Don’t gouge your tenants, but realize that small increases each year are much more palatable for your tenants than large rent increases every couple of years.

·         Maintain a professional distance. It’s easy, especially if you only own a couple of properties, to get attached to your tenants. This almost always ends badly, and should be avoided whenever possible.


Good luck and all the best in all your rental property management endevours.  Don't hesistate to contact Urban City Rental's if you are interested in having your investment property professionally managed to avoid all the above headaches and let us do the dirty work for you!



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How to Attract the Best Tenants

Posted by Urban City Rentals
Urban City Rentals
Urban City Rentals Inc. provides professional rental property leasing and manage
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 28 June 2011
in Property Management

The best way to avoid problems with your tenants is to get the best tenants in the first place. At Urban City Rentals, we know that the process of finding good tenants is much easier than it sounds. It’s a renter’s market right now, and chances are pretty good your potential tenants are going to be selective. If you’re not spot on in your marketing and presentation, those no-hassle, long-term tenants are going to pass right on by.

There are several key things you can do to increase your property’s appeal and draw in those quality clients:

  • Identify your ideal tenant. Depending on the type of property you’re renting and where you’re located, the “best renter” might be something different than what someone else has in mind. Once you’ve identified that ideal tenant, begin to craft a marketing campaign that’s specifically aimed at that target tenant.
  • Carefully choose which amenities to advertise in your marketing campaign. You’re going to draw in a different type of renter if you advertise, “easy access to mass transit” than you will if you advertise “easy highway access, perfect for commuting.” Both statements may be true, but one will bring in better tenants than the other.
  • Clean presentation is all-important. People don’t want to live in other peoples’ filth. Reglazing a tub, repainting walls, and getting dead insects out of the windowsills send a message that the dwelling is a nice place to live. The same goes for your landscaping and external presentation. Common areas, too, should be given plenty of attention prior to a showing.
  • Use your existing best tenants as a resource. Chances are you already have some rapport with your good tenants. Talk to them about vacancies, and consider offering a “finder’s fee” for when existing tenants refer a new customer.
  • Exude professionalism. Dress professionally for a showing, or make sure your leasing agents do the same. Demonstrate to those good tenants that you take property management seriously, and that you’re all about helping them find the ideal place to live.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the lease terms. When you discuss the lease with a potential renter, spend a little time on issues that may have been problematic for other tenants. Noise ordinances, late fee assessments, repairs, security deposits, and other issues. Talking about those things shows the potential renter that you’re serious about them, and will instill confidence in the best tenants.
  • Maintain a high level of customer service. When a tenant needs a repair, get it done fast and get it done right. If there is an issue with a neighbor or with a facility issue, address those as well. Offer customer service extras, such as helping new tenants connect with utilities or other service providers. World-class customer service can be one of the most effective marketing tools you have.

Tenants can fool you. Sometimes, you’ll think you’ve landed an ideal tenant, only to be sending eviction notices in less than six months. Still, by focusing on these few key areas, you can increase the likelihood that you’ll draw in some of those no-hassle, happy tenants we all like to have.

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Announcement: Urban City Rentals launches it's Affiliate Program

Posted by Urban City Rentals
Urban City Rentals
Urban City Rentals Inc. provides professional rental property leasing and manage
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 12 April 2011
in Property Management

If you have a website, then you can be earning easy commissions on every rental property management leads your website sends to Urban City Rentals.  We have just launched our state of the art Affiliate Program which will track and record every visitor from your website to ours who becomes a client.  Everything is automated and all you have to do is place a link on your website to ours!

 

Here's how it works:

 

It's that easy!!  Plus, if you join our Affiliate Progam today, we'll even give you $20 bucks just for joining

We are all ready working with several realtors and mortgage brokers in the Lower Mainland who are partnering with Urban City Rentals in assisting their investment real estate clients.  Leave the headaches of rental management to the experts and focus your time on selling!  (Urban City Rentals does not provide Trading Services).

Join today or call us at 604-261-4560 for additional information - we are dedicated to working with you in getting you started with our Affiliate Program so don`t hesitate and start today!

http://www.urbancityrentals.com/affiliate/affiliates/

 

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Realtors - Partner with an experienced Rental Property Manager!

Posted by Urban City Rentals
Urban City Rentals
Urban City Rentals Inc. provides professional rental property leasing and manage
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 15 March 2011
in Property Management

Do you have investment real estate clients needing help with tenant placement and rental management?  Leave the headaches of rental property management to Urban City Rentals Inc.!  

 

- Urban City Rentals acts as a partner, complimenting your trading service activities

- Our professional approach and client assistance will always reflect positively on your service

- Urban City Rentals does not provide trading services

- Your clients' future purchase and sale requirements will always be referred back to you

- You will find our years of experience and expertise in all tenancy matters invaluable

- Maximize your clients' return on investment

 

To find out more about Urban City Rental's Realtor Referral program, click here.


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Announcement: Urban City Rentals launches Live Chat!

Posted by Urban City Rentals
Urban City Rentals
Urban City Rentals Inc. provides professional rental property leasing and manage
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 16 February 2011
in Property Management

Urban City Rental's has launched it's brand new Live Chat service available to for all tenant prospects and clients alike! In our efforts to provide superior rental property management and tenant placement services to our investment rental property clients, our Live Chat offering aims to provide immediate real time contact with potential tenants to maximize exposure and market responsiveness. 

With the number of competing rental properties on the market, our Live Chat services can pro-actively engage with our website visitors which increases the response rate from viewers, resulting in quicker rental turnaround for your investment property rental.

For more information on our Tenant Placement and Rental Property Management Rates and Fees - call Urban City Rentals today at 604-677-7369 and speak to one of our licensed and experienced property managers to discuss your rental needs today!

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Investment Property - Unfurnished or furnished?

Posted by Urban City Rentals
Urban City Rentals
Urban City Rentals Inc. provides professional rental property leasing and manage
User is currently offline
on Friday, 11 February 2011
in Property Management

One question we often receive at Urban City Rentals from investment property owners is whether to rent their property as an unfurnished or furnished option.

If your property is a waterfront suite with exclusive views and top end furnishings, it may do well as an furnished rental.

However, in our experience, renting an investment property as unfurnished is often the best long term strategy for the following reasons:

- Unfurnished rentals are generally longer term (1+ years minimum), leading to less turnover.

- Tenants tend to treat the property better when they settle in long term with their own furnishings.

- Less overall vacancy (compared to 30% annual vacancy for furnished properties).

- Minimize the wear and tear from tenant turnover as furnished rentals tend to be short term (1-3/6 months).

- Tenants seeking furnished rentals are typically from out of country, making it more difficult to effectively screen and qualify.


Also, when considering the addtional expenses involved with running a furnished property (linens, plate, glassware, utensils, bedding, etc) PLUS utilities (Hydro, cable, internet, phone) while also factoring in the high potential for vacancy and increased wear and tear on your clients investment property, it is clear why we always recommend to our clients at Urban City Rentals to rent their investment properties as an unfurnished option!

If you have investment buyers who are looking for professional tenant placement and rental property management services, please contact Urban City Rentals!

- Urban City Rentals does not provide trading services

- Urban City Rentals acts as a partner, complimenting your trading service activities

- Our professional approach and client assistance will always reflect positively on your service

- Your clients' future purchase and sale requirements will always be referred back to you

- You will find our years of experience and expertise in all tenancy matters invaluable

- Maximize your clients' return on investment

 

Please call Urban City Rentals at 604-261-4560 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit our website at http://www.urbancityrentals.com  for more information.

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