At the core, staging a home is ultimately your attempt at giving off a good first impression of your home, and really, we stage our homes all the time without even realizing it. When you have friends and family over for the holidays, you make it a point to make sure your home is presentable for your guests. Cleaning up, setting up your living room and dining room in a certain way, and even burning candles to make your house smell good are all part of staging in real estate. In your mind, you’re just preparing your home for company…
And ultimately, that’s what you’re doing with your rental property as well… getting it ready for company. Some would argue that finding and acquiring a rental property is the hardest part of being a real estate investor, especially the loan process of it all. That part can indeed be time-consuming and daunting, but there are lenders out there that provide a smooth borrowing process… you have to know where to look.
On the other hand, others would argue that the marketing process is the hardest because it’s the phase of actually getting your property out there to an audience of interested prospective tenants. Many think this is the hard part because many real estate scams people have fallen prey to, including rental rip-offs.
Because of those scams, people are a lot more skeptical these days… But no worries, as long as you list your property on a credible website or online platform, people are more trusting of that and will take your listing more seriously.
But whether you’re holding a home showing or creating your listing online, people are still going to want to see what the property will look like with furniture in it and how each room is laid out… So how can you paint that picture for your prospective tenants? Through home staging. You can take this same approach if you’re trying to sell a home as well.
Here are some helpful tips to follow if you’re new to real estate investing or need a fresh new take on home staging.
How to Strategically Stage Your Rental Property to Prospective Tenants
Clean, Clean, And Clean Some More
The number one rule in staging is that you need to make sure the property is clean and free from clutter before bringing in any furniture or accessories. There’s no need for unnecessary knick-knacks that attract more dust. Adopt the minimalist approach when it comes to staging.
You also want to make sure the property smells good as well. It doesn’t necessarily need to smell like a cleaning solution or like it’s just been cleaned… it just needs to smell fresh and inviting.
Neutralize The Home
When it comes to the furniture and accessory selection process of staging, keep your selection neutral, where when prospective tenants visit, they can envision themselves living there and actually see their own furniture there as well.
Mirrors, art, and plants are great ways to paint a picture in a home without going too deep into detail. You really only want to bring attention to the highlights of the home. A fresh coat of paint will also enhance the ambiance of the entire home.
Don’t Forget About Curb Appeal
A major part of house showings is drawing prospective tenants in from the moment they arrive. Keeping the yard and bushes trimmed, pressure washing the entire property, and adding planters are all great ways to draw people in. If your property has a front porch, you can even place some nice patio furniture out there. The whole point is to make the exteriors of your property look just as inviting as the interiors.
Clearly Identify Each Room
Every room has a purpose, and the way you stage your property should be reflective of that. Of course, visitors will know what each room is, but you still need to make each room’s identity known through your decor as the property owner. It’s a basic necessity of staging.
You’re going to have a couch, accent chair, coffee and end tables, table lamps, and an accent rug in the living room. You have a kitchen table and chairs in the kitchen, place settings on the table, fresh fruit on the counter, and maybe even a bottle of wine with two wine glasses in front of it. The bedrooms will have beds with nice bedding (still simple and neutral) and dresser drawers… You get the picture.
Of course, there are many more ways to stage your home properly, but these are some of the major parts of it. Once you get your experience buying and renting out your properties, you’ll find your own flow and style of how you like to stage your properties, but these tips are the foundational blocks to get you started.