Nina and Len Ross have been running a successful property management company in Muskoka for the past 20 years. They recently changed locations and moved their Maplebranch Property Management Limited office to Huntsville’s west end at 12 Main Street West.
On August 26, 2021, they officially inaugurated their new location with Huntsville Mayor Karin Terziano and Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Scott Aitchison on hand.
When they started their company they worked out of their home office but eventually decided greater visibility would be good for business. They opened an office across from McDonald’s on King William Street and indeed, the increased visibility helped their business grow.
Their core business is long-term rentals. When COVID hit, people were more hesitant to leave their rental apartments so there wasn’t as much turnover. Property owners also began taking advantage of higher property values and started selling and while demand for rentals was increasing, the rentals themselves were dwindling. That meant it was time to hit the pavement and look for more business said Len because their business is predicated on the ability to rent properties.
“We’re fortunate we acquired a lot of new business,” he noted. He said Huntsville is a growing and vibrant community and he’s glad that 25 years ago Nina chose this community as the place where the couple would live and work.
Len said many investors are drawn to Huntsville as not only a place to invest in but a place to bring their families.
They’re thankful to their clients but Len also had a warning. “We get paid to raise people’s rent, that’s our business,” he said. “At the same time, we worry about our ability to provide rental housing. We’re driving a chunk of our population to the sidelines.”
With the rise in rents, affordability has become a factor for many people, particularly those making minimum wage, he said. “And then someone like me comes along and says, ‘oh that two-bedroom apartment will be $2,000 a month.’ It may be creating a crisis, but I don’t believe you can blame the investor. In my opinion, it is not the investor’s job alone to worry about the lack of affordable housing,” he said.
Nina said the problem is urgent. Just that morning at 8 a.m. they had received a call from an elderly lady desperately searching for an accessible place to live. They felt bad because all of the rentals they manage were full. The need is very real said Len.
Len said it’s not more platitudes, it’s action that’s needed. “I see a public-private partnership that not only recognizes the housing problem but a working partnership that actually builds needed apartments and homes.” Both Aitchison and Terziano agreed.
Nina and Len thanked both Aitchison and Terziano for their efforts at trying to address the affordable housing crisis in the community.
Aitchison congratulated the couple for their success, their professionalism, and for being invested in the community.
Both Nina and Ross have volunteered for various organizations in the area including church groups, the Peninsula Lake Association, Hospice Huntsville, and the Rotary Club of Huntsville.
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