Imagine your future tenant is starting the process of looking to rent a home. They open their Zillow app and they filter through all their settings of what they’re looking for. A house pops up that is in their price range, has the right amount of bedrooms and bathrooms and they start scrolling through the pictures. They’re having a hard time seeing the flow and potential of the house because it’s totally empty. They decide to still look at it and schedule a tour. They walk into the house and it feels stark, cold and anything but cozy. They have a hard time picturing where things might go. They still can’t see the potential of the house. But what if the house was staged?
Staging a home is simply furnishing and decorating it so that it looks more appealing to a prospective tenant, allowing them to visualize themselves living there. Many times this isn’t a requirement to listing your property, however, we’ve seen it decrease days to lease and increase the value of the property driving top dollar rent. Here are a few of the key benefits to staging your rental property:
It creates a move-in ready feel. People looking to move are likely stressed and overwhelmed. They may have already seen quite a few places and they’re not sure how to decide. But when they walk through yours, it invites them in and gives them comfort, making them feel like they’re already home. Those that already feel like it’s home are more likely to pay a premium.
It creates a higher demand. When prospective tenants are looking for properties to live, they usually start by looking online through Zillow, or rent.com. They look through pictures. When a home is professionally staged well, it stands apart from the other listings creating a higher demand to tour your property. An increase in showings will decrease the number of days your listing is on the market.
Key areas in the home drive greater demand. There’s no need to stage every room in the home – just focus on the key areas like the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom. These areas are proven to drive decision-making and help prospective tenants most visualize themselves living in that space. Use light decor to fill in smaller spaces like a half bath with a simple hand towel and soap dispenser. Or a second bedroom with just a desk and a chair to show potential for an office. Spend more time staging the areas people are most likely to spend the most time in when living there.
The goal to staging a home for rent is to make it look ready to move in so prospective tenants can visualize themselves living there. Moving can be an emotional and stressful time, but when you walk into a home that’s already furnished and feels ready to enjoy, you feel a sense of calm and invitation that makes you not want to leave. Stage the home to capture the emotional pull on your prospective tenants. You’ll likely drive a higher demand, higher rent price, and a happier long-term tenant.