Helpful Tips and Info

Moving Tips

Planning for a successful move to your new apartment involves many things, one of which is arranging for help. Most people hate moving their own belongings let alone helping other people move. However, if you've helped someone else with their move recently, they owe you. If you haven't, you'll owe them! Once you find your next apartment or house for rent on a rental site such as och101.com you can begin to plan your move.

Tips:

  • Don't leave asking people until the last minute. It's much easier for people to give excuses if you ask them less than one week prior to the move. Give people at least 2 - 3 weeks notice so they can keep that day open for you.
  • Call in favours! Did you help someone build a fence, finish a basement or some other major task recently? Ask these people first since they are likely expecting your call.
  • Offer to help someone with another project in the future if they help you with your move.
  • Try to get at least one person with a pick up truck. Even though you may have a moving truck, pick ups are great for those last few items that just won't quite fit in the moving truck, saving you an extra trip (plus gas costs and mileage).

To keep everyone happy on move day, keep the following in mind:

  • Have coffee and donuts ready for when everyone arrives in the morning.
  • Be prepared to serve lunch to everyone. Pizza and wings are always a good choice. It is however, a good idea to ask people what they like if you don't mind giving people a choice.
  • Have bottled water available at all times. Moving is hard work and people get thirsty.
  • Have cold drinks on hand for the when the job is done. It's an easy way to say thank you!

The biggest concern most people have on moving day is damage. Since most often you have friends and family helping out, when items get damaged, the situation can be a bit awkward. Go into your move knowing accidents can happen and be prepared to let it go. Unless you're paying professional movers, it's not fair to hold people responsible. With a little planning however, you can decrease your risk of damage significantly.

Here are some tips:

  • Be super organized. Use good quality moving boxes that stack properly. Plastic bins are also great for moving items. Also, don't make your boxes too heavy.
  • Have a game plan in place before your helpers arrive.
  • Have all your big items wrapped or covered with protective material.
  • Use space in the truck wisely. Make sure there is sufficient padding between items where necessary.
  • Don't rush the people doing the heavy lifting. A few extra minutes will help decrease accidents.
  • Have people inside ready to take over for people taking stuff off the moving truck. This allows for your movers to carry heavy items for a shorter period of time which keeps people from becoming tired too quickly.

Remember, no one likes to move. It's going to be a stressful day and things may go wrong. But if you do everything you can to keep your help happy, it'll be over before you know it.


Hidden Moving Costs

So you've found a new apartment and you're getting ready for the big move. No problem, right? Wrong!

Moving is often described as one of the most stressful things we do in life. Part of the reason is because our lives are being turned upside down. The other part is all the little costs that tend to add up during the move process.

Let take a look at some common expenses people often overlook when moving to a new apartment.

  • Moving Supplies - boxes, tape, bubble wrap, markers, etc. it all adds up - fast! A typical 2 bedroom apartment can easily use more than $150 worth of supplies. Good moving boxes, however, are worth it. They save room in the truck (because they stack nicely) and are often sturdier which helps protect your valuables.
  • Moving Truck - you may want to get insurance on the truck if your home or auto insurance policy doesn't cover rentals. This can easily cost $40 or more per day on top of the $75 - $200 rental fee.
  • Gas Costs - moving trucks are not exactly fuel efficient. Prepare to spend about $30 - $40 per 100kms traveled.
  • Food - If you have friends helping you, it's customary to have pizza and beer on hand. Remember, hungry helpers break things! For you and 6 friends you should budget $50 - $75. Save money by buying the cheap beer!
  • Special Items - if you need to have professionals move a piano or certain valuables, be prepared to pay some big bucks.
  • Tips - If you decide to use a moving company, you should consider giving the movers a tip. $20 - $25 per person should do it. If you're serving food during the move, you should also feed the movers!

All told, the little extras can easily cost you $300 or more so be prepared. Knowing these expenses ahead of time will reduce your stress and lead to a smooth move.


Moving boxes and supplies

Good moving boxes are an absolute must. While getting boxes from the grocery store will save you money, they may add to your aggravation and make for a more difficult move. Here's why:

When you use boxes of all different shapes and sizes, it's difficult to maximize the space in the moving truck. They simply don't stack nicely and gaps and spaces are common. They are also prone to tipping over and can collapse under the weight of other boxes.

Boxes made specifically for moving are sturdy and meant to be stacked. You want to have a variety of sizes on hand and stack all boxes of the same size in truck. Keep in mind the weight of the boxes as well. The heavy boxes make for a strong foundation while the lighter boxes won't crush the boxes below them.

As mentioned, you will need a variety of box sizes. Dishes, for example, go in smaller boxes as they tend to get heavy quickly. Tupperware, however, can go in a larger box. Regardless of the contents, it's always a good idea to double tape the bottom of the box for maximum strength.

To help keep your move organized, mark all boxes on the front, back and top with a black marker. If a box is heavy, make a note of it on the box. Keep all boxes for each room in the same area of the truck (where possible) and make sure the markings are face forward. This will help speed things up when uploading as people will know quickly where to take each box.

As for packing supplies, it is a good idea to save newsprint to wrap items such as dishes. You may also want to use cardboard inserts for certain dishes such as wine glasses. Bubble wrap and/or foam chips are also good packing material used to help protect your items. You can purchase most of these items, including newspaper that has not been printed on from most moving supply stores.

When you are finished with your boxes and packing material, you can either recycle them or pass them on to someone else you know is moving. You can also try placing an ad on classified websites offering them for a small fee or even free.


Where to Rent Moving Trucks

Each company tends to set their rates a little differently. One may give you a low base rate of say $19.95 but then tell you that you also have to pay $0.69 per km! This can be a good deal if you can get from the rental depot, to your current apartment, over to your new apartment and back to the rental depot in about 40kms or less. Other companies will quote you a straight rate with a cap on mileage while others yet will offer unlimited mileage.

Then there's the different size trucks to factor in. Typical moving trucks are 16 cubic feet or 24 cubic feet. Here's something to consider that may save you money: if you can't do your move in one trip with the big truck, it may be cheaper to use the small truck and do 2 trips. Keep extra mileage and gas costs in mind though when figuring out your costs.

So how do you find a rental truck? Try the yellow pages or look online. We strongly suggest calling at least 3 different companies to ensure you get the best deal. Also, don't be afraid to play off one company against the other. It's a competitive world out there and companies will often drop their price to get your business.

Good luck with your move!

Ad Writing Tips

Over the past decade, the migration from print to online advertising of rental properties has brought about fierce competition. Online advertising has provided multiple media options that weren't previously available, such as creating picture-rich listings with multiple photos, video, and maps, along with rich detailed ad copy and social media links.

Since owners of rental properties have begun to look at their rental portfolios as real businesses, with themselves as CEO, competition can be fierce. How can you ensure that your property stands out? Strategic marketing! Businesses need marketing to retain and grow market share, so that competition from across the street with trendy name, logo, and picture-rich website won't lure tenants to where the grass appears greener.

How do we stave off this exodus and fill empty units before the competition? By producing descriptive, picture-rich, and eye-catching advertisements that are tailored to your target audience.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Utilize an Optimized Website. These days it is a must to have a quality, professionally built, website that has been optimized (SEO) for search engines. Otherwise, your website may show up on page #7 of a Google search, while a competitor's site shows up on page #1.
  • Include High-Quality Photos. In our business as an Internet Listing Service (ILS), our staff field many calls from landlords asking for help building or re-writing their ad to make it more effective. If you are not receiving as many calls about your property, the first order of business is to ensure there are quality photos in your ad. Many good tenants will skip over ads without photos, because they assume the landlord either doesn't care or has something to hide, neither of which will help you rent your unit.
  • First Impressions Count! In the online world, the first thing prospective tenants see are the photos. No matter how fantastic your ad copy is, your photos do most of the talking. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Use photos to showcase how great it will be to live in your unit. You may even consider hiring a photographer to shoot your building(s) as the photos will be useful for years, and can make a significant difference in a tenant's decision.
  • Determine Your Audience. When writing a rental ad, ask yourself: What type of tenant do I want to attract? Once you determine your target audience, you can tailor the ad listing to that crowd. When you focus your ad on attracting the type of tenants you want, the ad itself will do some of the screening for you.
  • Provide Specific Details. If you want to skip straight to interested tenants and avoid taking lots of calls from people who are simply looking for more information, be specific with your ad and provide all of the details up front.

Unlike rental ads in the classified section of local newspapers, which often charge by the letter, most online sites offer plenty of space for you to provide details. Take advantage of this space and provide information tenants are looking for up front. Along with great photos, the most important details to include are location and price. Be sure to fill out all of the fields when posting your ads, list all amenities, and be clear on the terms. If you require a 1-year lease or utilities are extra, state this upfront.

Several Things to Avoid when Posting Online Rental Listings:

  • Avoid all caps - Writing ads in all caps may have been a clever marketing tactic at one point, but is now avoided by the younger generation. It can make you seem either angry or desperate.
  • Avoid empty phrases - In real estate ads there are many overused words such as 'nice, great, and beautiful' which have become 'empty' words. Look for alternatives which really describe what your unit has to offer. Consider using one of the many Thesaurus sites on the Internet to find descriptive words.
  • Avoid abbreviations - Most sites give you plenty of space for your ad copy, so there is no need to use abbreviations. In your online ads opt for terms like 'dishwasher' over 'd/w' and 'finished basement' over 'fin bsmt.'
  • The bottom line for producing a great rental ad is to include high-quality photos and/or video, as well as clean and concise ad copy, targeted to your ideal target audience.

Ad Pricing and Fees

Please Note:

Advertising on the Off-Campus Housing 101 network distributes your rental ad over 200 website portals. Our network includes national, regional, state or provincial, college and university and various stretegic partners' websites attracting an international audience. Unlike many of our competitors, we accept all property types from rental houses, townhouses, condos, basement units, mobile homes, shared accommodations, roommates, dorms/frat, homestay, room and board etc.

Distribution is automatic, so you do not have to re-submit manually to the network site. Your ad will be active on the network sites within 24 hours of posting.

Pricing

Save more the longer you advertise.

Best Deal - List Until it Rents for $44.95 for up to a year - private ads (no apartment buildings) only please.

Ad Length Your Price Regular Price Cost per Day Savings
First Listing Always Free $24.95 84 cents per day $24.95
1 month listing $24.95 $24.95 84 cents per day ---
2 month listing $34.95 $49.90 58 cents per day $14.95
List Until it Rents $44.95 $299.40 12 cents per day $254.45

† List Until it Rents: maximum length is 12 months for the same ad - call to purchase.


Bundle Packs

Repeat Customer? Consider purchasing a bundle pack and save time and money by buying in bulk ahead of time.

# of Listings Regular Price Discount Savings Savings / Ad Bundle Price
6 Listings $149.70 10% Off $14.97 $2.49 $134.73
12 Listings $299.40 20% Off $59.88 $4.99 $239.52
20 Listings $499.00 30% Off $149.70 $7.49 $349.70
50 Listings $1,247.50 40% Off $499.00 $9.98 $748.50
100 Listings $2,495.00 50% Off $1,247.50 $12.48 $1,247.50
100+ Listings $2,495.00 60% Off $1,495.00 $14.95 $1,000.00

Bundle Packs save you from having to pay each time you list - and they never expire. Bundle Pack listing are added to your account and pre-purchasing saves time and money; no need to pay each time. Login to purchase.


Feature Properties

Network rental listings are sorted first by ads with photos, then by price from lowest to highest. Feature Property ads bump your ad up to the top positions in any given city or region. This ensures your ad that has to be rented quickly will rank in the top ten positions before the standard ad ranking resumes.

Position Private Listing Price* Regular Price*
Position #1 $79.90 $104.90 per unit
Position #2 $74.90 $99.90 per unit
Position #3 $69.90 $94.90 per unit
Position #4 $64.90 $89.90 per unit
Position #5 $59.90 $84.90 per unit
Position #6 $54.90 $79.90 per unit
Position #7 $49.90 $74.90 per unit
Position #8 $44.90 $69.90 per unit
Position #9 $39.90 $64.90 per unit
Position #10 $34.90 $59.90 per unit

*Prices include the initial cost of the listing and are based on a 1 month rental listing.

NOTE: Feature Property listings are on a first-come-first-served basis and expire when your rental ad expires. This is great news for landlords who list longer than a one-month ad as the feature will stay active for as long as your ad was purchased. For example, if positions #1 through #9 are not filled, and you purchase the #10 position for $9.95, your listing will show first in Search Results (until someone purchases a position higher than you) for the entire duration of your ad. This feature allows you to receive a higher ranking than you pay for if spots above are available; this saves you money, however, only guarantees the position you actually purchased.

We accept payment via secure e-commerce or check:

We accept Visa We accept MasterCard We accept American Express We accept Discover We accept check/cheques Participating banks for INTERAC online payments

Please send check or photos to upload to your listing to:

eCOM Media Group Inc.


info@och101.com