The practice of staging real estate for sale or rent has been around since the seventies, but it only picked up steam in the last decade or so. The reason it’s a growing trend is because most agents agree it’s an effective form of advertising and completely worth the cost. Staging an apartment might even be a little easier and less expensive than staging homes for sale because your units are probably just alike. This means you can either use the same decor over and over, or you can keep one unit staged for tours. Either way, you should take the time and care to do it right. If you don’t feel you have the eye for making the space attractive to renters, consider hiring a professional to get the job done.
Keep it simple
You don’t need much decor to make a great first impression. In fact, you want to keep the unit as clean and decluttered as possible. Little things, like a “welcome” doormat at the front entrance and a bouquet of fresh flowers on the counter will make potential tenants want to fill out a rental application before they leave the property, which should be a breeze when you opt to use landlord software services. The furnishings should also be simple. A couch, side chair, and coffee table are probably all you need for the living room. In the bathroom, you can hang clean, white towels on the rods. A bed that’s neatly covered with fluffy linens will make the bedroom an inviting place to be. And the kitchen needs little more than a neatly folded dish towel by the sink or hanging on the oven.
Don’t neglect the walls
Bare walls do little for any space. They can make a room feel cold and without personality.
It’s important to be careful with what you display, though. Try to find simple, elegant prints with mild colors and no controversial images. If you have trouble finding anything appropriate or affordable, you can opt to have a canvas print made from artwork online. This art should complement the space without overpowering it. One large print behind the couch is usually much more appealing than small ones scattered around the room.
If someone just moved out that the apartment, make sure that it is deep cleaned. One of the biggest deterrents of a potential buyer or renter is filth, and if they notice dirty windows your crew overlooked, or filthy cabinets, they’re likely to walk away. Cleaning is more than making sure the space looks good, however. Bad odors can reveal poor housekeeping practices faster than a dusty counter. If you notice even the faintest odor, try to eliminate it by having the carpets professionally cleaned or sanitizing the area it’s coming from. Don’t just try to cover it up. Strong deodorizers can sometimes be just as offensive.
Use high-quality furniture
If you use the same furniture for every staging, this expense shouldn’t be too high. You can even get away with using one or two quality pieces mixed in with some lower-quality ones as long as they look good. In the bedroom, for example, you can set an air mattress on top of crates and pass it as a bed in a guest room — as long as you cover the entire thing with nice linens. The dining room set and living room sofa should be chosen carefully, though. Since they stand alone, your renters will notice them first.
These things don’t have to cost you a fortune. Many furniture stores will rent out their best pieces for stagings and even deliver and set it all up. Some of them may even be willing to work out a deal with you that you will exclusively advertise their merchandise in exchange for letting you use it.
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