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In my first post in this series owning an investment property in Toronto, I covered ins and outs of the different types of investment properties, and how to choose the one that is right for you. In my second post, I shared my insights about how to maximize your income potential with your property updates and upgrades. In this post, I will be sharing the different ways to market your income property in the city to get high-quality renters and maximum profits!  

My early days as a Real Estate Agent were spent helping renters find the right properties. Even though my focus has moved away from rentals, the knowledge I gained during that time has been incredibly helpful to my clients looking to buy investment properties. It also gives me the ability to share here what I know, so that you can maximize your earning potential too!

In this day and age, most are searching for rental properties online. Although some traditional marketing strategies may still help, you will want to focus on digital marketing and making use of search engines so that your target audience can find them in their search results. Although that is true for all types of income properties, there are obviously some nuances that will help you be more strategic in your marketing.

My early days as a Real Estate Agent were spent helping renters find the right properties.  Even though my focus has moved away from rentals, the knowledge I gained during that time has been incredibly helpful to my clients looking to buy investment properties.  It also gives me the ability to share here what I know, so that you can maximize your earning potential too!

Short Term rentals (AirBnbs)

As a reminder, in Toronto, short-term accommodations are defined as all or part of a dwelling unit rented out for less than 28 consecutive days, in exchange for payment. These include both Airbnb’s and Bed and Breakfasts (hotels and motels are not included).

Income Property, Airbnbs in Toronto, Christina Jackson Real Estate

AirBnB and VRBO are the two most well-known channels for marketing short-term rentals. These companies have brand awareness and allow you to list your property, along with photos, details, and pricing. The best part is that their online booking calendar makes managing availability and taking payment a breeze. The first step will be to create a great property profile on these sites.

There is also the option of creating your own professional website for your property, and even a Google My Business profile to make use of local SEO (search engine optimization) too, however, keep in mind this requires additional work and maintenance to ensure the information is up to date. AirBNB and VRBO already do a great job of getting in front of a large number of potential customers.

Using these platforms, you can then branch out to your social network to be shared and passed along.  Guest reviews are gold to short-term rentals, and I can’t stress enough how important every experience in your space is to future revenues. 

Word of mouth is another great way to find good quality guests. Tell the people you already know in your local area that you have a nice property in the city, that their friends and family can rent when they visit.  If you live in a condo that allows short-term rentals, marketing to other condo owners in the same complex, means you have a perfectly captured market of people looking to host guests for special occasions and holidays, but perhaps need a little extra space.

You can then branch out to your social media platforms to about your AirBNB.   Consider creating a stand-alone social account for your property and create social media posts with plenty of photos or even videos of the property to create a vibe. Your content marketing plan doesn’t have to be complicated – even 2-3 great property photos each week makes for great content. Ask your guests to tag your property in their posts too – word of mouth from an experienced user is the best advertising you can get!

Plan ahead, go the extra mile when you can, and you will be rewarded!  Positive reviews are gold to short-term rentals. I can’t stress enough how important every experience in your space is to future revenues. Don’t hesitate to ask for online reviews. If guests had a good experience, they often love to share! Often potential customers will focus on properties that have a lot of customer reviews first. It also helps you get to that next level super-host status with AirBNB, which creates a sense of trust for potential clients.

Monthly or Seasonal Rentals

There are many Realtors and property management companies throughout the city that work specifically with various industries to house employees, contractors, and consultants. It is well worth the investment to work with them since this tends to be a niche market. They will be tapped into a network that will keep your rental booked and profitable, and as well, most will oversee the turnover and any maintenance issues that come up during the stays. 

Income Property, Short Term Rentals in Toronto, Christina Jackson Real Estate

If you choose to have someone do the property management for you, most full-service property management businesses will also have listing services as part of their offerings. You might also reach out to contractors and businesses in your local community, as they may have clients displaced due to renovations that are looking for places to stay. Having a good relationship with referral partners such as this also helps your property be found by high-quality new clients.

Long-term Rentals

Income Property, Rentals in Toronto, Christina Jackson Real Estate

There are endless options for marketing your long-term rental property, however now, more than ever, the vetting of tenants is crucial. For this reason, it is a good idea to enlist the help of a Realtor with a track record for working with top-quality tenants, who has experience checking references and understands the rules and obligations of both Landlord and Tenant under the Landlord and Tenant Act. I stress the need for due diligence, as there has been a considerable increase in rental scams since 2020 in Toronto. 

But back to the topic at hand – Marketing your property! There are endless options here, but again I stress the need for due diligence, as there has been a considerable increase in rental scams since 2020 in Toronto. 

There are a number of free, or low-cost, platforms for you to use such as Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji, and Craigslist. Most Realtors will use these different platforms as a secondary source of online marketing, but most will focus on the MLS (Realtor.ca) and local connections in order to attract truly serious and qualified tenants. 

5 Important Income Property Marketing musts

At a bare minimum, for whichever type of rental property you have, here is what I recommend in order to get the most out of any marketing strategy:

  • Make sure the rental unit has been decluttered and professionally cleaned (a DEEP clean!);
  • Have professional photos taken, ideally with floorplans;
  • Stage the main rooms (living room, family room, primary bedroom) to make online photos more inviting (virtual staging programs are available if you can’t afford to actually stage your property);
  • Record a virtual walkthrough of the property highlighting aspects that set it apart from others in the area;
  • Include highlights about the neighbourhood and why someone would want to live there (e.g. community events, shopping, location)

Guests and tenants want to know they are getting value for their money.  If you present your property with it’s “best foot forward”, you will be able to list it for a higher price point and maximize your profits.  Marketing is not a step to skimp on.  Best to put the effort in and market your property well from day one.  It will pay off with greater momentum and earnings over time.

If you are looking to get into investment properties in Toronto, be sure to reach out!  Sign up for my newsletter for more Real Estate Insights and Toronto Delights!

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