Last week I posted tips to attract the right tenants to your rental property, focusing on it’s exterior and curb appeal. However, before you can lead them up the garden path, so to speak, how do you get them physically out to your property in the first place, especially if you are advertising on line.
Presentation of a rental property is paramount in attracting the right tenant and maximum dollars. If the property is vacant, or you have messy tenant photos, it can be difficult for some people to visualise how they may live in a space. Also, your property will be competing with other rental properties in the area, so it’s therefore important yours stands out. This is where home staging can make all the difference and it doesn’t mean staging every room in the house, renting the basics and adding your own touches, can be all you require.
Firstly, I hear you say, “home staging can be expensive” or “my tenant is still in the property and the place looks a mess”. I believe that it is worth the money to have your property vacant for a few days and void of any tenants furniture to be able to stage it and take photos that you will be able to use for future advertising. As my blog focuses on images, I found some inspiring photos to guide you through my tips. If you are a new landlord, there is a great post on “Being a Better Landlord” which you may want to read later.
The two images below are an example of how welcoming a room can look after staging. This living room has been staged by thelook.co.nz, staging has been kept simple but the impact is big.
- What type of tenant you are you looking for; A retired couple, business couple, student or family. Home stage to suit your prospective buyer.
- Think about the size of a room when selecting furniture and keep furniture to a minimum, don’t fill the entire space, this allows prospective tenants to visualise how their furniture may look/fit.
- For example, if it is a small two bedroom apartment you won’t want to fill it with ornate, large pieces. Opt for contemporary, stylish furniture and style the spare bedroom as a guest bedroom not a child’s room, as you are more likely to be attracting a young couple or maybe retirees.
- When renting furniture yourself, don’t choose your personal style, if you are into antiques, shabby chic or French style steer clear of trying to re-create this look. Think clean lines, modern, minimalist, yet stylish and keep any vignettes simple, this way you will attract a wider audience.
1. Entry hall – This is the first impression so make it welcoming. A console is perfect if you have wall space and width. A simple vase of flowers can be used for styling. A chair and small side table with flowers are all you need if you are tight on space. If you have polished floors, keep them clear of rugs in entrances and hallways.
2. Kitchen – All that is required in a kitchen is a little colour, green and lemon work well, in a white kitchen. You can’t go past a bowl of crisp green apples or lemons (image below). Alternatively a clear glass vase of green foliage and flowers on an island bench can look fabulous.
Above: A rustic bowl of green vegetables can make a statement – Image is my own, shot from Interior Designer, Irene Creans home
3. living room – Keep it minimal, a clean lined, modern sofa in white, beige or pale grey and two contrasting chairs are all you require for seating. A modular sofa could be selected for small rooms. If you have room and budget, a coffee table or two side tables or lamp table can make all the difference. Use cushions on the sofa and chairs to soften the space and introduce a pop of colour or pattern. A simple glass vase with flowers and maybe a couple of books stacked on the coffee table is all you need for styling. Remember to keep things simple, no clutter. A throw is not necessary, however it can add warmth and texture.
Above: A throw can add texture and make the image look more welcoming. You may wish to use a rug and if you do, make sure it is the right size for the space, you can read more about this in a previous post – Image via Janis Gosbee Design
Above: A tray can hold a couple of items and be placed on a coffee table or ottoman such as in this image via – Cynthia Hayes Interior Design
5. Dining area – Select a dining table and chairs suitable for the size of the space, if it is open plan, remember it must compliment the rest of the room. I would keep the table top clear apart from a vase of flowers in the centre. White lilies are economical and look great or a white moth orchid if you happen to have one in your own home and can borrow it for a week or so. Round tables suit smaller spaces. For a very tiny space if you are renting the furniture, opt for transparent, ghost chairs which makes a space seem larger.
7. Child’s bedroom – A single bed or a single blow up bed on boxes. If you place the bed against a wall you only need to use one side table, lamp and some pretty patterned cushions on the bed. If there is room in your budget, a small chair with a soft toy or cushion can add further interest.
8. Bathroom – The bathroom can be styled with a vase of flowers (nothing ornate, think simple), maybe a white moth orchid and some crisp (new) white towels. I like to style the towels with a large towel and a medium towel draped over the top on a towel rail. If there is no rail, you could fold a towel neatly and place it on a low wooden stool with maybe a bar of soap on top.