Article in La Presse: Renting Using an Agent? Terrie’s Advice
Hire a professional to rent or manage your properties?
Read what Terrie had to say to the French-language newspaper La Presse
Terrie Schauer is a real estate coach, speaker and author. Her domain of expertise: rental properties. She’s also a real estate broker and the owner of a property management agency. MyRoom Gestion manages around one hundred units in Montreal.
Most of the work associated with renting units is done by an administrative assistant. The person posts Ads, screens tenants on the phone and coordinates visits. “I only sign leases,” says the owner of the agency.
It’s possible to advertise on a variety of sites, but in Montreal, Kijiji works best, says Terrie Schauer.
“An Ad posted on Kijiji in the morning ends up on page 24 by lunch. It’s enough to make you want to pull your hair out if you don’t know what you’re doing.”
Answering the calls and emails generated an Ad is also demanding. First you have to make sure the caller actually read the whole advertisement, and that the unit matches their needs. Next, you have to question prospective tenants about their employment- and living situations.
Knowing the rental market helps maximize the price you’ll get for your units. “We track the stats of all the units we advertise,” explains Terrie Schauer. “If one unit is getting less clicks, we can reduce the price or take better photos. Sometimes a price adjustment of 15$ – 20$ makes a difference between no calls and twenty leads.”
Once someone applies, the agency does a full background check: credit score, criminal history, references from the current landlord and employer, and lastly, priors at the rental board (Régie du logement). In some cases, the company also runs similar checks on co-signers, if the prospective tenant is a student or a new immigrant with no credit history.
This service costs one month’s rent, whether the tenant stays in the unit for a year or more. MyRoom Gestion can also offer a full management service for a fee of 7 % of gross rent.
Is this advantageous for the landlord? If he or she lives outside the country or absolutely doesn’t want to deal with bad tenants, certainly it is.
It can even make financial sense. With her knowledge of the rental market, Terrie Schauer often manages to rent units for more money than if the owner handled the rental him- or herself. “If I can get you 10 % more on your gross rent and my services cost 7 %, you win without lifting a finger!”
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