It’s been a while since we’ve been in touch since I have been happily living at my current apartment since 2007. However, as the rent on my place is going to increase at the end of the summer, making it no longer worth the sum I’d be paying for it, it looks like we’re going to get reacquainted and fast. So, to make this transition easier, I’m putting out some general guidelines to make things happier for everyone. Ready? Okay.
1. If you’re posting an ad online, put up some pictures. I am sure your masterful words can conjure a magnificent mental image, but unfortunately, I’m more of a realist when it comes to real estate. I am not going to drag my butt across the city for a hypothetical apartment, only to be sorely disappointed. I want concrete proof that the place you’re offering me has something to offer.
2. When you post the pictures, please make sure that they:
i. are in focus/aren’t distorted by resizing. They shouldn’t be blurry and if you’ve got to make the picture smaller or larger for any reason, make sure you’re scaling the image correctly. There are far too many anoxeric hallways and bloated looking breakfast bars on the internet.
ii. are of multiple rooms of the apartment. Way too many times, people will post five shots of the same room from different angles. Not helpful and makes me think you’re hiding some Buffalo Bill style pit room if I can’t see everything.
iii. are of the rooms at large and not just of random bits of architecture. I am sure your radiators and baseboards are nice, but I want to be able to figure out what the space looks like as a whole.
iv. do not show the apartment you’re trying to get tenants for as dirty. Clean it up and then take pictures.
3. Don’t lie about your location. Scarborough is not Upper Beaches. Etobicoke is not Bloor West Village. Mississauga is not Toronto.
4. Don’t overvalue your apartment. A 800 square foot two bedroom in Cracktown is not worth $1500 a month.
5. A 20-25 minute walk isn’t “steps from the subway”.
6. We all know cozy means small at this point, so can we stop with the cutesiness of the word? Anyone who’s ever set foot in an apartment in Toronto can tell from pictures whether or not something is a decent size, and for everyone else . . . well, truth be told, you’re hurting your prospects by calling attention to it. Would a guy write a personal ad referring to his manparts as “cozy”? I don’t think so. Let the uninitiated figure out for themselves whether or not they’re into what you have to offer.
7. Don’t mention there being a fireplace in your ad if it doesn’t actually work. I don’t want to get all jazzed up about a mantle.
8. Don’t mark it as utilities included and then make all sorts of exceptions.
9. A rusty fire escape is not a balcony.
10. Say basement when you mean basement, not “lower level”.
Also, just as a sidenote, I don’t need you to hard sell me on the apartment or trying to guilt/pressure me into filling out an application. It’s a major turn off and will make me want to run screaming in the opposite direction. If I think it’s a good fit, I will ask you to sign on the dotted line.
I think that’s everything. I look forward to the hunt ahead and I hope to find something that works for all of us.
P.S. Other renters might comment below. They have valid things to say, so you might want to take heed of their suggestions as well.