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So, you’ve done all of the hard work that goes along with finding and acquiring a rental property. You’ve looked at all the listings, made all the offers and finally gone through closing. You have a shiny new investment all ready to begin generating income for you for years to come, but there’s just one last thing—you need a tenant!
Finding quality tenants is one of the never-ending struggles that go along with being a landlord, but you can increase your likelihood of attracting them with some key steps. Taking your time while staging rental properties is a great way to demonstrate to tenants that you’re a committed landlord, while also giving them the chance to picture themselves inside of the space and see how they can project their dreams onto it.
I also find that a properly staged rental unit makes for more attractive property photos, further attracting tenants towards your investment property.
However, before you stage a rental, you will need mortgage financing. So, if your looking to finance an upcoming rental property purchase book a call with my team and we can help you secure the best available financing for investors.
Why Is Staging Rental Properties Important?
Staging rental properties is essentially adding furniture to a vacant space (or using different furniture in an occupied, cleared-out space) to show potential occupants what the space could look like.
This serves several purposes—it looks much more “homey” than a vacant space, it shows that you care as a property owner about what your units look like and it can help your place stand out from other competitive units in the area. Staging can seem like a big pain, but it’s not difficult once you get the hang of what you’re trying to do.
Staging Makes Your Rental More Marketable
Another key advantage to staging rental properties is the face that after staging, your property will be easier to market.
People hunting for rentals want a home that is going to catch their eye, so by taking the time and staging rental units to look bright and attractive, you are more likely to get applications.
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Establish a budget
Before you go about staging a rental property you should take a step back and think about how much you should be willing to spend on the endeavour. Finding a tenant should of course be your priority, but if you spend more money than you can expect to earn off of the unit, then you haven’t done yourself any favours.
That is why I recommend looking for cheap, high quality furniture and decor options to fill your rental with. Ideally, you are able to buy useful pieces that you can store and use for multiple properties in order to get the maximum value of your investment.
If you cannot afford to buy furniture for staging a rental, you could always rent furniture for staging instead.
Sometimes, if you have a larger staging budget, it may be worthwhile to hire a staging company to come in and handle the task for you. After all, their experience in staging rental properties in order to attract tenants can be absolutely invaluable.
Budget solutions can be your friend
There are some inexpensive tips that you can use in place of expensive professional staging. You can “soften” outdoor spaces that might not seem especially cozy by putting down an outdoor rug under furniture—it will make the space seem more composed and welcoming.
You can also make the place look like it’s ready for entertaining. Most people love to use their homes as staging points for entertaining loved ones, so you can play off that by having the scene set for a dinner party or a small cocktail party.
Additionally, you should never skimp on having enough lighting—especially if your showing is going to be in the evening. A dark home feels unwelcoming and cold, so you want it to be lit up enough where potential tenants can see a comfortable and welcoming space. A trick that I often use is that I will usually find an excuse to put lamps in a room while I am staging rentals, that way I can brighten up a room without making it too obvious that I am trying to brighten things up.
Financing a Rental Property For Less
Did you know that depending on the use of the property, there are lenders who will let you finance a rental property for less than 20 percent down? If you would like to learn how you can buy a rental property for less, you can book a call with me and my team and we can get you paired with the best available lender.
Clean, clean, clean
A staged home should be spotless. You don’t want anything visible that will distract the potential tenants and get in the way of them picturing themselves and their loved ones in the space. As a rental property owner, it’s truly in your best interest to either hire a reputable cleaning service or scrub every inch of the unit while staging rentals.
Ensure that there’s no stray dust in corners, or dried grease spatter on stovetops. Small, grungy details like this can prevent tenants from feeling a connection to the unit. Don’t let this be the step that you leave out just because it’s a pain—take the time to give the entire place a thorough cleaning each time you find yourself staging rentals.
Pro tip: some easy cleaning solutions to remember include solutions of half vinegar and half water for counters, and half a cup of borax mixed with two gallons of hot water to clean your linoleum, vinyl and synthetic floors.
Don’t forget your nose
Put yourself in the shoes of a potential tenant and think about how the unit smells. If a previous occupant was a smoker or owned pets, chances are that there will be some unpleasant lingering odours that you need to address. Scented candles only cover up bad odours, so clean thoroughly and use artificial scents sparingly.
If you find that the odours that are still lingering after some surface-level cleaning, I recommend renting a carpet cleaner to get any lingering scents out of the floors. If the unit has curtains, you may even want to have them professionally cleaned to remove any odours that have soaked into the fabric.
A fresh coat of paint on the walls can also go a long way towards the place smelling fresh and clean. Even if an entire coat isn’t necessary, an old realtor’s trick is to paint a bit of the wall near the main entrance—it provides a quick boost when potential tenants walk in and makes them realize that they’re walking into a rejuvenated and welcoming space.
Curb appeal matters when staging rental properties
No matter if you’re renting out an apartment in a multi-unit building or renting out a single-family home, it’s important to remember the exterior and the path to the home. Curb appeal is a big part of how tenants can picture themselves in a home, so it can’t be neglected while you are staging rentals.
Put yourself in the shoes of the tenant and take a look at your rental. Are overgrown shrubs blocking out natural light from entering the home’s windows? It’s likely time to prune them back or rip them out and replant new ones. Is an unsightly air condenser visible from the street? It could be time to plant a new shrub to obscure it. Don’t forget to weed any beds and add lighting to any pathways, especially if your showing is going to be in the evening.
Staging rental properties is something that gets easier and easier with time for most rental property investors. It’s an investment of time and money, but it’s one that will quickly pay dividends. Your unit will be far more appealing to potential renters, giving you access to a deeper tenant pool who are attracted to your unit—which is, after all your efforts, clearly in top condition.
Setting the Stage for Great Financing
Did you know, staging rental properties and brightening up the space can actually make it easier to secure a new mortgage or line of credit on those investments?
A well-staged rental is more appealing to the eye and appears more valuable. This means that by staging your property before an appraiser comes to visit, you might be able to get a higher appraisal amount on your property.
With that appraisal, my team and I can help you secure even higher financing on your property to further your investment career. All you need to do, is book a call with us and we can get started as soon as possible.