Investing Basics

Stage Your Rental to Attract Better Tenants

Stage Your Rental to Attract Better Tenants
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In the past, staging a home or apartment rental was more or less optional. In a time when the options for potential renters are myriad, however, staging has become an integral part of creating the kind of comfortable, inviting atmosphere that appeals to tenants.

Table of Contents - Stage Your Rental to Attract Better Tenants

What is staging?

Staging is the process of dressing up an otherwise space in an attempt to showcase the home or apartment at its best. More often than not, staging involves the addition of furniture, potted plants, art and other decors. The overall goal is to make the rental space feel like a home.

Staging is a simple concept containing an infinitely complex array of possibilities. Staging a rental space is about more than just tossing some furniture in to fill the space. It's about capturing the perfect look and feel that will lure in reliable tenants.

Before you dive into the staging game, here are some dos and don'ts to ensure you're putting your rental property's best foot forward.

DO start with some old-fashioned upkeep

When a potential renter first enters your rental property, they'll expect a few things. Most landlords already understand the value of a fresh coat of paint and near-spotless floors and surfaces. That said, some overlook the importance of working toilets, faucets, and the like. No amount of staging furniture will make up for an apartment or home that hasn't been shown any love before the showing.

DON'T go super generic

Don't just head to the nearest IKEA to pick up the cheapest furniture and hotel art you can find. Once again, staging isn't about filling the space, it's about curating the space. Check out your local area and determine what the current tastes are. Is it a funky, artsy neighbourhood or is it more upscale? If you can, visit another apartment or house showing nearby to get an idea of what professional stagers are doing.

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DO make sure there's plenty of light

Perhaps the most critical aspect of staging a home or apartment is making sure that there is enough light. Begin by removing any window blinds or curtains to allow for the maximum amount of natural light. Cunning homeowners can then use lights throughout the home to cultivate a nice, warm feel as renters explore the property.

If your property is in the shade and you're in desperate need of more light, adding reflective surfaces and mirrors can cultivate a brighter feel throughout a home.

DON'T keep personal effects around

Though you want your rental to have some personality, you should be careful to avoid making it your personality. It may be tempting to include personal items (like photos) in your staging to allow potential renters the opportunity to imagine themselves in the space. Fight that urge. Personal items can subconsciously deter potential renters from feeling comfortable. After all, no one wants to feel like they're exploring someone else's home.

DO incorporate plants

An assortment of potted plants can breathe life into your rental property. Adding one or two plants to each room in the home will add a splash of colour while cultivating a natural atmosphere to your home. It's highly recommended that you go for fake plants over real ones. Not only are artificial plants reusable, but they're also less work, and they're unlikely to stir up a potential renter's allergies.

DON'T overstuff your space

Avoiding a generic look and feel to your rental property is admirable, but it's also not a license to stick a bunch of stuff throughout your staged property. No matter what kind of renter you're hoping to attract, it's a guarantee that they won't be swayed by a home or apartment that's stocked with knick-knacks and tchotchkes. When you set out to stage your rental, make sure that you're adding a voice without adding a bunch of stuff.

DO visit discount stores and antique malls

Since minimalism is the order of the day, every piece of furniture you include needs to add panache. That said, there's no need to blow your entire investment fund on expensive accent furniture. If you put in the time and effort to peruse outlet malls and second-hand stores in your area, you may be amazed at the treasures you'll uncover. In particular, focus your attention on eye-catching side tables for the bedroom and a coffee table or end table for the living room.

DON'T underestimate the importance of hand towels

One of the most often overlooked aspects of staging a rental is the hand towel. Hand towels are immensely valuable in staging. They lend your home a lived-in feel without adding a bunch of unnecessary clutter. Even better, they're lightweight, which makes them highly portable.

Add a hand towel to the handle in front of the oven. Make sure to put a matching pair of hand towels in the bathroom. Strategically placed and folded hand towels can even hide blemishes on your surfaces.

DO control the flow of your space

If your rental property has one sweeping area that serves as a multi-use area, you must use your staging furniture to create a natural flow to the home that feels like several rooms at once. You'll need to create the illusion of an entryway, a sleeping area, a dining room, and a living space. You don't have to add dividing screens or anything drastic, but specific pieces of furniture can be used to differentiate between areas. This tip is more of a concern for those renting out an apartment, but it's still something to keep in mind if you're staging a home.

DON'T Undercut Your Sense of Space

It's critical to leave the impression that your rental property has as much space as possible. The sense of space can be reinforced or diminished based on a variety of factors you may not consider. An overstuffed couch or a table that's too large can make a room seem smaller than it is, while furniture that's slimmer in design can accomplish the opposite feat.

Many landlords don’t stage their space or rely on the current tenant to present a picture of how space looks when occupied. Going the extra step and staging your rental can make all the difference in attracting a quality tenant.

Why Must You Stage Your Rental Properties?

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