Staging Your Rental Unit
Most homeowners know when it’s time to sell, their home needs to look it’s best. The process of putting your home on display for potential suitors is called home staging. But what if your goal is to get renters into your unit? Many successful landlords will put the time and extra effort to “stage” the unit in the same way you might for listing it on the market. In essence you want to “sell” the unit to potential renters.
It’s helpful for renters to picture themselves living in your space just the same as buying the home from you. So the next step is to figure out what we need to do to put our rental on display.
I believe you should maintain the unit(s) as best as possible while tenants are dwelling there. However when landlords receive notice there will be and upcoming vacancy proactiveness is paramount. People get their first impression of a home when they pull up out front so make sure the landscaping is clean and maintained.
If you have put off any jobs inside, now is the time to bang them off. Baseboards are all on, holes are filled there are no broken steps or hazards. A fresh coat of paint is a low cost way to make your home bright and clean.If you don’t have the time or constitution to scrub the tub and toilet, hire a maid it’s worth the investment.
I like to arrive a half hour before my potential renters arrive. If the home smells stale or stuffy open some window to air it out. A common realtor technique of staging is to turn on all the lights in the home. This results in a brighter larger feel to the rooms.
What if you have done this and are still having difficulty renting it out? The next level of helping people see themselves in a home is to furnish it. People often don’t have imagination to visualize how a bedroom set may fit, or where to put their flat screen. It’s in your interest to help them make this leap. I’ve used the rent-to-own furniture places instead of purchasing the pieces. Then return them once you have that signed lease.
In summary start with the low cost easy fixes and work from there. Investing in an empty unit may seem like an expense you don’t want right now but what would it cost you to pay the mortgage and utilities out of pocket?
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Glenn Brown is owner of My Rental Unit property management and has enjoyed success with multiple unit investing.