The Brewing Brokers co-founder talks bidding wars, subpar units and the breakneck pace of the city’s rental market.
Realtor Paula Reznik co-founded her own brokerage, Brewing Brokers, in February 2022. These days, she spends half of her working hours helping clients find rentals.
You do business with buyers and renters downtown. What trends are you seeing in Toronto’s rental market?
I feel like I’ve seen it all in the past four years. In 2020, the market was very slow. Then, between May and October of 2022, I’d receive messages from three potential rental clients per week. During the hottest time, rentals would go on and off the market within a single day.
And what about now?
Home prices have stabilized enough to convert some renters into buyers. But I’m still busy. I’ve put in offers a few times only to lose to another renter with the same job and identical credit history. You can have a pristine resumé and still be beat out.
Is competition between tenants the biggest challenge you face when working with renters?
It’s that and price. These days, the minimum rent downtown is more than $2,200 for a one-bedroom. People who don’t have that in their budgets are stuck shopping for studios, and not everyone wants to live in a 300-square-foot unit.
What’s the worst place you’ve seen go for the most money?
In June, I showed a unit that reeked of animals—I think dogs—and all the floors were scratched. Somehow, it got three offers in 24 hours and leased for $3,000, which was $100 over asking.
Even standard one-bedroom box rentals can attract multiple offers. In July, I had a client, a lawyer with good credit, who wanted to rent a 1+1 downtown. We bid $3,000, a few hundred
over asking, and someone else bid even higher. We gave up because it was getting ridiculous.
Where do we go from here?
We might see more buyers, and that could cool the market. But the downtown prices we’re seeing probably won’t go down by much anytime soon.