Home staging may be a familiar term for anyone who has experience selling their home, but if you’ve never gone through that process, you probably have no idea what it entails. However, as an apartment leasing manager, there’s a lot you can gain from learning about home staging. In a nutshell, it’s the process of decorating a living space with the specific intention of making it look like an appealing living space. The process is usually carried out when homes are up for sale, as you want to create the most massively appealing, neutral look as possible.
By learning the basics of home staging, you can apply them to a model apartment unit, increasing the odds that people will be incentivized to move in. Are you new to the idea of home staging? Here are some things you should know.
You Should Consult With the Experts
Home staging is unique from interior design, because it’s not appealing to any one person; it’s meant to appeal to as many people as possible. For that reason, it doesn’t suffice to just be good at decorating things. Sure, you might be able to make a beautiful space according to your own tastes, but do those line up with the opinions of Average Joe and Jane?
Much research has been done by experts to figure out how exactly to appeal to widespread audiences, and these methods quite often differ from traditional interior design. When the pros do a home staging job, it’s not necessarily designed for long-term use, it’s strictly meant to look good. Granted, these two things can overlap, but the point is that the fundamental intention is different, and this can throw people off.
By hiring professionals, you’re ensuring that your little model apartment will look as appealing as possible. And, as leasing agents who have helped countless apartment managers to acquire more clients, we can testify to the power of a well-presented model unit.
Staging Should Be Safe and Neutral
Home and apartment staging is interesting, because you’re trying to create the most aesthetically-pleasing look possible, and at the same time, you can’t do anything that’s overly expressive or unique, because it may deviate too far from being “safe.”
We’ve seen certain apartment managers make very expressive choices in their model unit. We’ve seen “themed” models, where they might try to recreate the look of a child’s bedroom, placing rocket ships, unicorns, all over the place. We’ve seen units which pretend to have eccentric owners who have a specific interest, such as classic rock. All of these things are fun and good for normal tenants, but they’re not ideal if you’re trying to sell people on your unit.
The truth is, unique and expressive decorating can create arbitrary and subconscious reactions in people’s head, which may turn them off to the unit. So if you consult with home staging professionals, and you find their decoration to be boring, well, that’s kind of the point. It’s not supposed to dazzle and excite, it’s supposed to be safe, and home stagers use methods which are proven to increase move-ins.
Virtual Staging is An Effective Option
As it turns out, you can use the wonders of technology to stage your apartment! While we always recommend having a beautiful model unit for people to tour, virtual staging is nice because it allows you to show off alternative styles, allowing people to get a better idea of how versatile the space is.
If you’re wondering how it works, it’s pretty simple — you (or the staging professional who’s helping you) will take well-lit photos of your model apartment in an empty state, no furniture whatsoever. After that, a virtual staging expert will “add” furniture into every photo using state-of-the-art 3D rendering technology.
If you think it’ll make your unit look like something from a video game, think again. Virtual staging tech has become extremely sophisticated, and the final results are often indistinguishable from an actual photo. Virtual staging allows you to have several layouts for your model apartment, without having to move around furniture in the real one. Pretty cool!
Apartment Staging Might Require Some Renovation
While it’s possible that your current setup can be redeemed by simply rearranging the layout, the reality is that you’ll probably have to invest in some changes. In many cases, apartment managers don’t have an ideal combination of furniture unless they had already consulted with a design professional in the past. Furthermore, certain aspects of your model apartment may need to be changed entirely, such as the paint job.
If you really want to get the most out of a staging job, be prepared to invest in some renovations, whether it’s new furniture, a fresh paint job, or other little touches. Naturally, you don’t want to go overboard, because you could reach a point where your model unit doesn’t accurately represent the vacant apartments that tenants would be moving into. So furniture and paint is fair game, but you might want to avoid changing the cabinets, replacing faucets, and so on if you don’t want to have a false advertising problem.
Lighting Is a Big Deal
One surefire way to appeal to the subconscious desires of potential renters is to have a model unit that’s well-lit in all the right ways. Lighting is always a major factor that home stagers focus on. While you can bet that they’ll make the most out of any space, why not use your management powers to help them out a little bit?
In other words, you might want to consider moving your model unit if the lighting leaves something to be desired. You know how it is — some apartments are in the perfect spot and they bask in natural light for almost the whole day. Others are tucked away and they seem to be trapped in the shade 24/7. If your model apartment is closer to the latter than the former, consider using a different unit./
Consult With the Professionals For Apartment Leasing Solutions
Throughout this blog, there’s been one consistent point: the professionals can help. Sometimes you can’t do everything on your own, and that’s okay; it’s exactly why so many industries have dedicated specialists in the first place. At Class Leasing, our specialty is helping leasing managers such as yourself to maximize the number of new tenants in their complex. Not only that, we want to help you retain them, so that you can be as profitable as possible while having happy renters at the same time.
With years of experience and countless happy clients, you can bet we know a thing or two about staging, and we’re ready to help you create the best model apartment possible. Contact us today to get started!