Creative Rental Strategies – Think Outside The Box

Let’s talk condo and house rentals. You’re not sure if you’re ready to purchase a property and your only option is to rent a condo or a house (chances are you’ll be renting a condo unit because of the available inventory and the price). Here’s the deal, if you don’t know by now, the South Florida market is appreciating. Prices are rising at a rapid pace. Whoever purchased real estate 2-3 years ago are probably making a lot of money by selling their property in a market where all the prices have inflated (which is the market today). This also includes the South Florida rental market. For instance, Sunny Isles Beach, which is located 3 minutes away from Aventura, has seen rent increase by at least $100/month (that’s being conservative). A year ago, a one bedroom unit in Ocean Reserve and the Ocean View Condos on 193rd on Collins were renting between $1,100-$1,200/month. Presently, a one bedroom unit costs between $1,300-$1,400/month.

It’s time to get creative when putting in an offer for a rental. I’ll give you a perfect example of how I negotiated a discounted rental for a client of mine. My client was desperate to find a two-three bedroom apartment in Sunny Isles (specifically one of the Ocean View buildings). After dealing with unprofessional agents I landed myself a fantastic agent who was listing a two bedroom unit for $1,650/month (mind you this was only a few weeks ago so $1,650 is a great deal considering that other two-bedroom units were going for $1,900-$2,000). The unit had brand new carpeting however, my client was allergic to the carpet (keep in mind that dust accumulates and stays more in a carpet than in  wood, tile or laminate floors). To make a long story short, my client proposed to pay for new laminate floors (on her own expense) in agreement to lock in $1,650/month for two years. Basically, if the rent increases in the next two years (which it will), she would still only pay $1,650. I also forgot to mention that instead of three months worth of rent, I negotiated with the landlord to accept two months rent and to not charge my client until the new flooring was installed – he gladly accepted.

A few of things here that took place:

1. My client was willing to pay for the flooring herself as long as it made sense to her.  Also, I had a contact that was able to do the flooring for her for a fraction of the cost.

2. We used our heads and thought outside of the box. There are no rules to being creative in real estate, as long as it’s legal and ethical.

3. Landlords love this proposal because they are getting brand new floors for free which adds value to their home – it’s a win win.

4. When tenants are willing to pay for added values in a property and are also paying their rent on time, landlords are extremely happy. Having a good tenant is one of the most important things you can have as a landlord. Do you think after the two years are up the landlord will be open to extending the lease to the tenant with an open mind? You bet.

If you are looking for a rental unit in the South Florida area, send me an email to and I’ll be happy to help. Food for thought: When putting in an offer for a rental unit, make sure to pay attention to the cooperation of the landlord. If the landlord is giving you problems early on, I recommend looking elsewhere. Where there’s smoke there’s fire and a stingy landlord is difficult to convince. Follow me on facebook or post your experiences with renting apartments.