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Interview: Kimberly Sears of Menkes

A chat with Kimberly Sears of Menkes Developments

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A chat with Kimberly Sears of Menkes Developments

Kimberly Sears is director of condo rentals for Menkes Developments and oversees the company’s Rental Suite Management division.

Kimberly has a background in hospitality and more than a decade of experience in real estate investment management.

Condo Life: Menkes offers condo owners rental management services… What does that entail?

Kimberly Sears: Menkes Rental Suite Management offers a full range of landlord services to owners renting out their suites. We want to be there for our purchasers, rather than just walk away after delivery, and we noticed a real demand for landlord assistance from our purchasers.

CL: What are some of the services you offer?

KS: We offer condo owners a wide range of services, including assistance with leasing, tenant screening, accounting, insurance claims, sourcing affordable repairs and HST rebates. We also help coordinate moves. We have an online 24-hour portal with access to each unit’s accounting and statements. In some circumstances, we also help mediate difficult situations between owners and tenants, helping determine each side’s responsibility to the other.

Harbour Plaza Penthouse
Harbour Plaza Penthouse

CL: What’s the benefit to using these services over dealing directly with the tenant?

KS: Owners get the benefit of a professional and knowledgeable team overseeing their investment, like a financial planner does with an investment portfolio. We also extend full privacy so owners can remain anonymous should they choose. Owners can feel more relaxed about their investment. We’re also familiar with the trades, warranties and have access to some of the best service pricing.

CL: What are some of the biggest challenges that homeowners face when renting out their suites?

KS: Inexperience, lack of resources and time. Most people already work full time, and being a landlord is a huge commitment, so this allows condo owners to be more hands-off and enjoy what little free time they have.

Finding the right tenant can also be challenging, so we provide some guidance in that area and alert our owners of possible red flags to look out for. The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) in Ontario is very pro tenant and rather strict on the landlord’s rights and responsibilities, so you really want to ensure you choose the right tenant.

CL: What are some of the ways to avoid or overcome these challenges?

KS: Hire a professional service. You hire an accountant to do your taxes, a hairdresser to do your hair and a mechanic to fix your car, and purchasing a home is one of life’s biggest financial investments, so it’s definitely a good idea to work with a professional. Do you really want to take a risk on such a large asset?

CL: What’s something you think people often forget to consider when renting out their suite?

KS: It’s important to be aware that your tenant is not responsible for everything, so you need to assume general wear and tear to the unit. I suggest budgeting some of your rental income for maintenance and repairs – five per cent for units less than two years old, and 10 per cent for units that are three to 10 years old.

Try not to be short-sighted or stubborn when it comes to setting rental fees. Remember that vacancy can cost you more than a lower rent.

It’s also important to note that the rental rate is not established based on your monthly payments, but off the market, which changes monthly.

CL: What’s the biggest misconception about condo investors?

KS : People assume that condo investors are foreign investors, when more often than not, this isn’t the case. In our experience, 80 per cent of our management properties are owned by Ontarians. Quite often, these individuals are the average person; someone who saved up to make their first investment purchase, teachers planning a retirement or parents investing in a place for their children.

We are so grateful that people trust us with their biggest asset and we want to make it successful for them.

Visit Menkes Rental Suite Management for more information or call 416.775.7500.


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The Eglinton

Menkes welcomes homeowners to their elegant new building at The Eglinton

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Menkes welcomes homeowners to their elegant new building at The Eglinton

Nestled in the heart of Yonge and Eglinton, one of the city’s hottest, growing neighbourhoods, residents at The Eglinton are settling into their new home, Menkes‘ recently delivered midtown project.

Actual photo, January 2019
Actual photo, January 2019

The striking 34-storey glass tower designed by Giannone Petricone Associates is set on the south side of Eglinton Ave. East, at 125 Redpath Ave., just blocks from the corner of Yonge and Eglinton.

Residents are ready to live their best lives in their vibrant new community, which already boasts some of Toronto’s best entertainment venues, gourmet restaurants, boutiques, retail services, schools and corporate head offices, offering occupants the ultimate in convenience. Transit is a top priority these days and it’s easy to get to any part of the city from the building, which is close to both the Yonge TTC subway line, as well as the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, expected to open in 2021.

Children's play room
Children’s play room

Although the neighbourhood abounds with lifestyle choices, The Eglinton offers an impressive array of amenities designed by Mike Niven Interior Design, including a state-of-the-art wireless lounge with private entertainment pods featuring Wi-Fi and high definition screens, party space with dining area and gourmet catering kitchen, billiards/games room, theatre, and fully-equipped fitness studio, with separate yoga room and change room facilities.

Dining area
Dining area

The area — once commonly referred to as Yonge & Eligible due to its popularity with young single professionals — is now one of the city’s most desirable neighbourhoods, suited to any lifestyle. Recognizing the trend toward condo family living, The Eglinton was designed with families in mind. It features a colourful 400 sq. ft. dedicated kids’ room where parents and their children can escape from their suites, to explore, play and make new friends.

Outdoor terrace
Outdoor terrace

The gorgeous interior elements are matched only by the exterior landscape design, created by NAK Design Group. The Eglinton boasts a stunning landscaped outdoor terrace, featuring a sun deck, lounge seating, barbecue facilities and an outdoor dining area, all with spectacular views overlooking the homes of Forest Hill, North Toronto, or the office towers south to the Lake.

There are currently a number of elegant suites available for purchase starting from $430,990. Layouts range from 397 sq. ft. studios to a 741 sq. ft. one-bedroom plus den. Features and finishes include laminate flooring throughout, porcelain or ceramic tile floors in the bathroom and in-suite laundry area with stacked washer and dryer. Kitchens feature custom cabinetry designed by Mike Niven Interior Design, quartz countertops with ceramic or porcelain backsplash, stainless steel under-mounted sinks with single lever faucet, and brand name appliances. The master ensuite includes a custom vanity with cultured marble top and integrated sink, as well as a soaker tub.

Intersection of Yonge and Eglinton
Intersection of Yonge and Eglinton

Menkes condo rentals

There are a limited number of rentals available, including one-bedrooms starting from $2,000 per month and two-bedrooms starting from $2,500 per month. You can also take advantage of Menkes Rental Suite Management, a service dedicated to helping homeowners secure the perfect tenants for their suites and assisting with a range of services. Click here for further information and available listings on rentals, or email.

Fitness Studio
Fitness Studio

For further information, call The Menkes Store (416.591.7700), email or visit the website.


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