Landlord Life

It is no secret that the Canadian real estate market is on fire right now. Apartment owners have seen the value of their properties double in a short period of time, and it may be tempting to consider selling your property. Here are some things to work on over the next year to prepare your building for sale and to achieve the best value for your building.


With cap rates as low as they are currently, every dollar can make a significant impact on the value of your property. Landlords know to push rents to market on turnover wherever possible, but with rising rental rates across the country, tenants are not moving as much, resulting in less turnover and opportunities to increase the income are becoming less common. Take a proactive approach to find operational efficiencies in your property to reduce expenses where possible. If you are paying for water – this could be checking for running toilets or installing low flow faucets. It could include changing lights over to LEDs. Small improvements will lead to a better sale price for you. $1,000 in added NOI, is $25,000 in the property’s value at a 4% capitalization rate.


First impressions are important. For your building to command top dollar, it should be presented in the best possible light. Paint the hallways, do some landscaping, add some modern finishes to the common areas. A wise Realtor will have professional photos taken of your building prior to marketing – and to most Buyers – their first impression of your building will be on their computer or cell phone screen. Marked up walls, dirty floors, or ceilings with water stains are not a good first impression. It’s a hot market and your building will sell without these improvements, but it will attract a different type of investor – and likely one who won’t be willing to pay top dollar for your property.


Let’s not be greedy – your building has doubled in value in only a few years, not decades… it’s been good to you. Show your building some love and upgrade some features that will need to be done in the next few years. Do you have an original boiler still but could break down in the middle of winter, or a roof that is in its final years? Buyers will factor these replacement costs into their valuation of your property – so why not remove these concerns and do the work for them.

It is a great market to sell your apartment building – maybe you aren’t ready to sell just yet. If this is the case, I challenge you to take a proactive approach and invest in your building before you put it up for sale, as it is your last opportunity to increase your return on your investment.

Kyle Church is a broker with Royal LePage Commercial focused solely on selling apartment buildings in Southwestern Ontario.