Back From The Future: Leasing Services

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I’m just back from the future! When I started in this industry leasing services were a big thing, a major business element for property management firms, and a significant source of revenue for many consultants. Vacancies were high in the less desirable buildings—can you imagine 5% or 10% vacant in Toronto? That’s what it was like, and landlords were willing… Read more »

Maximizing Rent Increases

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In this post I’m going to revisit a topic I looked at in a post dated March 18, 2020: rent increases on turnover. In that post I compared several scenarios in which a hypothetical landlord raises rents by different amounts on turnover. I found that even in high vacancy markets in which large rent increases mean units might sit vacant… Read more »

Don’t Dodge The Solution!

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One of the things I’ve noticed over the years is that almost everyone, myself included, has a tendency to avoid or dodge solutions to problems, especially if those solutions require lots of hard work, lots of resources, and lots of discipline (the most difficult of all). Instead of implementing a solution that will fix a problem, we tend to indulge… Read more »

Rental Housing Types: Risk vs Reward

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For some reason the other day I started thinking about the risks and rewards of different types of purpose-built rental housing. Risk is a complex thing and varies from project to project and developer to developer, but, at least from a high-level perspective, it’s probably best defined as absorption risk (how fast will available rentals be leased?) and to a… Read more »

Some Further Thoughts on Target Renters…

I remember that the first serious job I had to do when I started as a consultant in the rental housing industry (in my first week!) was to review a rent roll for a high-rise rental building in central Toronto, an older concrete slab tower almost entirely composed of 1 bed and 2 bed apartments. The landlord had kept reasonably… Read more »

The Dumbest Thing I Have Ever Seen Written About Rental Housing

I have been in the rental housing industry for over seventeen-and-a-half years now and I have heard a lot of dumb things said in meetings with clients, customers, and colleagues. I thought I couldn’t be surprised anymore, but this past weekend, while reading the Saturday edition of the Toronto Star (April 24, 2021), I burst out laughing at the dumbest… Read more »

Construction Costs Are Rising

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Altus recently released their annual report on construction costs in Canada and you can read REMI Network’s article discussing Altus’s report here. The overall gist is that construction costs for multi-unit housing projects are increasing across Canada and are projected to increase, in most markets, by 1% to 4% by the end of this year, but by 5% in the… Read more »

Rents Always Go Up!

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By now we’ve all heard the famous quip thrown around by an online celebrity talking about equity markets in the United States: “stonks always go up!” Although it’s not true when talking about individual stocks, it’s definitely true when talking about broad-based indices such as the S&P500, at least over multi-year periods. There has been much discussion in Ontario about… Read more »

Question: Who Are The Target Renters For New Rentals?

Here are two important facts it is essential to understand about new rentals and their target renters: Overlooked Fact #1: Anybody and everybody can be a renter. No really, it’s true. Readers who work for property management firms should think about the rental buildings they manage: can you provide a profile of a typical renter? You can’t because your buildings… Read more »

Toronto Star Article: “Toronto’s Rents Were Supposed To Drop”

Recently the Toronto Star published (on March 21, 2021) a long article examining vacancy rates and average rents across the city of Toronto. You can read the article via the link below (the article might be behind a paywall). https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2021/03/20/toronto-rents-were-supposed-to-drop-as-people-fled-the-city-during-covid-19-the-data-tells-a-much-different-story.html This article uses data gathered by CMHC and explains that in most neighbourhoods in Toronto average rents increased from 2019… Read more »