Posted by: Nick Fundytus

Question of the week:

How do I get responses from realtors?

Hey all, I am currently using to try and rent a house for me and a couple friends in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. We’re all students or Alumni at the local university, but we just can’t seem to get any responses. We don’t have a realtor for ourselves, we are just emailing the ones that are attached to ads.

So I’m sure we are doing something wrong, could someone give me some tips on how to catch the eye of realtor and get a response or even a showing?

Thanks in advance!

Nick's Answer:

Realtors in Ontario are able to assist in both listing rental properties and assisting tenants in securing rentals, although there are not many that focus on this. I have some tips for finding the right Realtor and also for securing a rental.

To find a Realtor:

  • Have your information prepared and ready to go as tenants. Full legal names, professions, current addresses, references and any information that you might need to run a credit check.

  • Ask for referrals instead of reaching out to agents directly. Call and talk to the managing broker at the local Royal LePage or ReMax, for example, and ask which agent at their brokerage would be a good fit. A lot of brokerages have 50, 100 or more Realtors associated with it and the managing broker will know who specializes in what type of business, including rentals.

  • Have your first and last months’ rent ready to go.

For finding a rental:

  • Use a combination of MLS (your Realtor can set up a specific search) and aggregators such as padmapper or, both of which are well-used in Ontario. Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace have plenty of rentals, but it’s really the Wild West on there with little organization.

Plan visits ahead of time and batch your visits (visit a few places one after another) and be on time! I can say as a rental listing agent that I’ve had many landlords choose a prompt tenant over a late one that had similar credentials. Try to plan at least two days ahead since many rentals are currently tenanted and will need to serve 24 hours’ notice to tenants for entry.

Dress business-casual and bring a notebook or clipboard to take notes on each place. The landlord/showing agent is looking for all types of clues about what kind of tenant you’ll be and it’s good to look organized.

Good luck in the search!

Source: I’m a Realtor in Ottawa, Ontario.

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