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Renting Red Flags

Which is more important renting the unit or satisfying the residents?

We, at, wish to share with you some tips on what renters look for and what sets off Red Flags in a rental. It’s no secret that prospective residents look at a rental as their future home. They are thorough and unforgiving when it comes to what they look for and what they want to see. We want to offer you some insight on what we have found renters like and don’t like in rentals. Some of these points are ‘no brainer’ ideas, but you would be surprised to know most of these are not followed in many buildings, causing many renters to turn away and look elsewhere.
    1. Cleanliness. If you have not staged your unit, at least make sure the unit is free of garbage. Vacuum the unit, wipe down the counters, clean the bathroom, and make sure outlet switches are free of dirty fingerprints.
    2. Professional onsite-manager. Residents will have plenty of contact with this individual, so make sure you pick someone professional, friendly, honest, and personable.
    3. Safety. Residents want to feel safe where they live. Working security cameras, proper lighting, and functioning locks are the main things residents look for.
    4. Modern and functional appliances. When a resident sees an old stove or fridge they immediate get turned off. This doesn’t mean you must only have the newest appliances on the market today, just make sure they are current and in great working order. Having high efficiency appliances is not only a bonus for your pocket book, but if the residents pay their own bills, they will appreciate them as well.
    5. Clean and modern laundry facilities. It doesn’t hurt to have smart card machines so residents do not have to save their coins. Or perhaps if coin operated machines are all you have, install a coin machine in the laundry room so residents can convert their cash into coin in a pinch.
    6. Ample parking or well maintained and well lit parking area. Residents can sometimes tell what the interior of the building is like just by inspecting the parking lot. If the parking lot is full of beat-up cars, cars up on blocks, or garbage, residents will be turned away assuming the interior will not be kept up as well.
    7. Flexiblity. Renters want to be able to visit the building on their schedule, not yours. So set up a model suite for anyone to view at anytime and then work out a schedule for viewing the actual unit at a later date. If the property manager or onsite staff aren’t willing to be flexible with potential residents, they won’t be willing to give them a chance.

Are you giving residents what they want?

Or are you setting off Red Flags???


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Why Use Video?

Why should I use video advertising? Landlords and property managers across the board are asking this very question today. Many of them feel a video ad is too flashy and completely unnecessary for their advertising campaign. Some feel it’s not worth the expense. Most truly don’t understand video advertising and should start to consider not only the short term benefits but the long term effects of video advertising. Video advertising accomplishes what text ads can’t – It delivers more information in a shorter time. Forrester research estimated that a 60 second video was worth 1.8 million words. Not only can you include more information in a video ad, but your information is 3x more likely to be retained when delivered with video. So bring life to your advertising and acquire a professionally crafted video for your building. How do you get started? We suggest you consider the benefits of your building and what you think attracts renters. In video you want to first convey the information the tenant would need to know such as where the building is located, what type of suites are offered, and any onsite amenities. Then turn their attention to what they want to know like where the nearest grocery store is, what types of restaurants and shopping malls are nearby, and if there is convenient access to a transit stop or subway station. Now that you’ve created a video that will attract tenants, it’s time to think about exposure and of course the benefits. Your target audience is looking to the internet as their first resource when hunting for a new apartment. So you will want a high ranking on Google and other search engines. An informative website with professional quality photos is great, but that alone won’t get you a high ranking on search engines. Since Google assumes all websites with video content are more relevant than sites without, adding a video (along with a video site map) to your website will get you a higher ranking. Additionally, if you embed your video on your website through YouTube, you automatically get the benefits from Google without the added hassle of creating a video site map for video search engine optimization. Aside from top rankings on Google, a major benefit to video advertising is qualified leads. Consider tenants with physical disabilities, these individuals will find apartment hunting far more difficult than anyone else. For a person with limited mobility, video advertising is the answer. These prospective tenants can watch the video to see if the apartment and building meets their check list. If it does, then they can plan one trip out to visit the location rather than trying to plan out a day or two of appointments and go from apartment building to apartment building with nothing to show for it but a lost day and endless frustration. This is also true for anyone who has to relocate. Anyone who has ever relocated knows the hassle involved in finding a place to live when you have travel time to think of. One usually ends up planning for a few days off to take a trip to the new city, where they will attend several pre-planned appointments and often times head home with no prospects. An apartment building with a video ad would help tremendously for those individuals. They can watch a few videos, pick their favourites, and spend an afternoon visiting only the apartments they know fit their needs. If you were to share all the pertinent information about your rentals within a video, the prospective tenant will feel more confident towards your building; becoming a more qualified lead. Furthermore, they would most likely sign a lease agreement during their first appointment. This quote from Marketing Sherpa – Video Marketing Benchmark 2009: “Online video is second only to word-of-mouth for its ability to influence decision makers in every stage of the purchase lifecycle.” is exactly what we at Apartment Video are finding. The feedback we receive from companies who have asked us to produce videos is amazing. Everything from immediate contact and offers, to appointments set and inquires requested – All immediately after viewing one of our videos. For a little money upfront (less than what you’d expect), a well produced video can generate high quality leads, top rankings on Google, and therefore money in your pocket and recognition for your company.

Ideas for creating accommodations for all

There are many apartment building owners and property managers that are embracing the renovations needed to accommodate the handicapped. There are also many who want to make changes, but have no idea where to start. We at want to provide you with a basic check list of items you will want to consider before making the decision to renovate a building. First of all, let’s go over the exterior and the common areas of the apartment building that you will need to consider renovations for: 1. Parking lot: make sure there are handicap spaces for residents as well as visitors. Keep them close to the doors, highly visible, and enforce permit only use. 2. Ramps: include a ramp from parking lot surface to the sidewalks and up to the door of the building (both front and rear entrance), if necessary. **Ramps should be at least 40 inches wide and 30 feet long. 3. Front Entrance doors: think about width and install auto push button door openers. Ensure the threshold is minimal or flush with the floor where possible. 4. Lobby/Mailroom: make certain there is easy access to the mailboxes for all accessible units. 5. Laundry Room:  Do not raise laundry machines from the floor. Keep all doors (for either top loading or front loading) for each machine 36 inches or less from the floor. Clear and clean floor space is necessary. 6. Additional Common Areas: if your property includes a pool, lounge area, fitness room, library, or other onsite amenities, you will want to think about providing accessibility to those areas as well. Before any renovations commence, please check with your city’s building department to obtain proper permits. Next time we will touch on interior standards you should consider for each individual unit you want to be accessible. If you have any questions or would like to discuss creating a video for your building now, or after your renovations are complete, contact Ian. He will personally discuss your options for video promotion. Call 888-762-7181 or email ian(at)

Ideas for creating accommodations for all Part 2

With more and more landlords and property managers seeing the need to create accessibility in their buildings, we are finding many looking for advice on where to start and what to think of. In order to make one of your units more accessible, you need to put yourself in the position of someone with special needs and see the unit through their eyes. Test out the heights of the fixtures (counters, sinks, etc), the hall widths, and doorways. Here is a list of areas and accommodations to think of when renovating a unit:

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Ideas for creating accommodations for all Part 3

Over the past few weeks we have discussed how more landlords and property managers have seen the need to create accessibility in their buildings. We have discussed what to think of when renovating your building and suites in order to create ‘Barrier Free Living’, Now, let’s touch on how to promote your accessible units. It is very important to promote your buildings first with use of professionally crafted video and second over the internet on rental websites, your own company website, free ad posting sites such as Kijiji or Craigslist, and your local March of Dimes office.

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Why use a corporate video?

Our corporate videos help your company to stand out from your competition. These videos are cost effective, help drive traffic, and are a 24 hour advertisement. Your target audience will be able to clearly and easily learn about your company and the message you want to share in a quick 30-60 seconds. Engage your audience in an entertaining way. No one will watch a long drawn out video, so keep it short to maintain your audience’s attention. Short targeted videos can be watched over and over again, passed on through social media outlets, and added to your email marking campaign.

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Seeing is Believing

 “Online video is second only to word-of-mouth for its ability to influence decision makers in every stage of the purchase lifecycle.”
~Marketing Sherpa – Video Marketing Benchmark 2009   Using video to market your rental space, apartment unit, or company helps your audience gain a better understanding of what you are offering in as little as 90 seconds. If you have an industrial or retail building with space for lease, use video to market the space to your target audience and show the specific details you want to promote. Send the video to your listing agent so they can include it in their marketing. If you are a new or growing company that needs or wants more exposure, use video to express your message clearly. Include the video on your website to promote traffic, raise your search engine ranking, or share a new product or feature.

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Tips for decorating your model suite

Having a model suite is a huge selling feature for most tenants. This space will give potential tenants a preview of the suites possibilities. There is something to be said for a blank canvas, but giving the prospective resident a well decorated model suite, will allow them to imagine their furnishings within much easier. When we see an empty space, our minds tend to see it larger than it is in reality. This causes us to misjudge the space and furniture we own. Decorating your model suite in a contemporary style allows the space to feel like a blank canvas while giving it a home feel and something most residents can relate too. To create a simple contemporary suite, feel free to follow these suggestions:
  1. Focus on neutral colours, browns, earthy greens, taupe, white, and off white. And add in small splashes of vibrant colours throughout the suite.
  2. Metal accents such as an iron table, bathroom fixtures, and mirrors add a sleek finish to the decor.
  3. Add in a wool throw and a silk or linen table cloth for a little texture. Place plants in the suite within large wooden pots or on wooden shelves.
  4. Don’t forget lighting. If the room doesn’t have an overhead light, place floor lamps of metal or bold colour finishes within the space.
A decorated model suite also gives you, the landlord or property manager, the freedom from arranging viewings around the current residents’ schedules.

Is it possible to rent an apartment without visiting it first? Part 3

As we have discussed in prior weeks, a professionally crafted video is essential when promoting your building. Last week we explored three of our key features to include in your website. This week we finish off the list to provide you with a complete report. 1. The rental agreement. It would be best to provide a downloadable PDF file of the rental agreement so your prospective tenants can review it prior to your appointment. 2. The rental application. Again, provide a downloadable PDF file of the rental application. This allows anyone to print it out and fill it in before the appointment to speed along the meeting. 3. A brief company profile. Every prospective tenant wants to feel secure with the company they are renting from and like to hear that you will treat them with respect and provide them with a safe, comfortable place to live.

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