Home staging has become an important step for landlords in today's crowded housing market. Property managers agree that home staging makes it easier for tenants to visualize the rental unit as a future home. Staged homes are more likely to have a lower vacancy rate and allow landlords to command more rent than unstaged homes.
What is Staging a Rental Unit?
When potential tenants come to view your rental unit, you want them to connect with the property on an emotional level. Staging often requires temporarily furnishing, decorating, and renovating various rooms to make them more attractive. It is possible for landlords to stage the home themselves. But this requires a good understanding of the home’s strengths and weaknesses and time to understand the best tweaks to make.
But is it Necessary to Stage a Home for Tenants?
This answer depends. Do you want to attract high-quality tenants who pay their dues on time? Do you want tenants to sign long-term lease agreements? Is the housing marketing tenant-friendly?
If the answer to all those questions is yes, then you should consider staging your home to stand out from the crowd. Moreover, it also helps you lease the home for a higher monthly rent in a quicker timeframe. This is why it is best to stage your home, even if it’s a landlord’s housing market.
Home Staging Creates a Greater Sense of Urgency
You can use home staging to strengthen the tenant’s connection to the rental unit. This could also create a greater sense of urgency, and they may be driven more by emotions and first impressions. A staged rental unit could also instantly attract multiple tenants' requests after listing it in the market.
Most tenants are looking for properly decorated homes to visualize living in the space. It is worth noting that you should stick to neutral colors as opposed to busier patterns; otherwise tenants may feel more disconnected from the property.
When Home Staging is Not Worth It
There are a few disadvantages of home staging - especially if you already have several tenants who want to sign the lease agreement. Depending on how extensively you rearrange the rental unit, home staging can take time and money. It can take a lot of time to get it right, especially if you decide to do it on your own.
Even professional home stagers will require more time to organize everything, including bringing everything needed to decorate the home properly.
It also costs money. Depending on the process, home staging could cost several thousand to create an appealing decor. You may not want to spend this much to stage the home if demand is high or if the rent is low.
Moreover, there are absolutely no guarantees that spending all the time and money could result in a lower vacancy rate.
These are the kinds of questions you should ask your property manager.
Other Things You Can Do
If you have decided not to invest the time and money in home staging, there are other, more affordable alternatives you can consider:
Focus on Deep Cleaning: Deep cleaning the property can go a long way in attracting more tenants. Consider hiring a professional cleaning expert to get rid of those stubborn stains. Prioritize high traffic areas such as the kitchen, living room, and entryway.
Declutter the Home: Remove any pieces of furniture in the room that are not needed. Tuck them away in the basement or closet to create the illusion of more space.
Repaint the Walls: Rather than staging the entire home, you could focus on giving the walls a fresh coat of paint. This is relatively less expensive and can significantly improve the value of your property.
There are many ways of improving the aesthetic appeal of your rental unit that will attract high-quality tenants. Always consult with your property manager before taking any step to see if the ROI is worth the effort.