Are you a property manager looking to attract future residents, or a private owner aiming to showcase your rental online? The secret to success is apartment staging. Transforming your space into a welcoming and visually appealing environment can make all the difference in capturing potential tenants’ attention.
In this Redfin article, we’ll delve into expert apartment staging tips and rental staging techniques to help you shine in the competitive rental market, whether you’re in bustling cities like New York and Los Angeles or thriving rental markets such as Austin and Seattle. Let’s get started.
1. Curb appeal matters
Curb appeal isn’t just for homeowners; it’s equally vital when staging a rental property. Before potential tenants even step inside your rental property, they’ll form their first impression based on its exterior.
Whether it’s refreshing the paint on the front door, adding potted plants to the entryway, or ensuring the walkway is clean and well-lit, small enhancements to the property’s exterior can make a significant difference. Remember, the goal is to make prospective renters envision themselves coming home to that space every day.
2. Start with a clean slate
Before staging, ensure your rental is spotless. Clean every nook and cranny, including carpets, windows, and appliances. A clean space feels more inviting and allows potential tenants to envision themselves living there.
Expert tip: ”To successfully stage your rental home or apartment, the first step is organizing and decluttering your belongings,” shares professionals Cut the Clutter RVA. “It’s essential to edit your possessions. This means assessing what you actually use and removing items that no longer serve a purpose – a critical step, particularly in smaller spaces prone to clutter. A well-organized and clutter-free environment creates the illusion of more space and enhances the appeal of your rental property to potential tenants.”
3. Focus on your audience when staging
Whether it’s a home or a rental, your first step should always be to consider your potential tenant. It’s not just about making it look nice; it’s about ensuring it resonates with those who might call it home.
Expert tip: “When staging a property, whether it’s a home or rental, the first step is to consider your potential buyer,” recommends international media group Inspired Spaces. “Identify your audience – young families, singles, retirees, professionals – and adapt the style, room arrangements, and color palette accordingly. For instance, if your target is young professionals, a secondary bedroom could serve as an office. But for a young family, that same room is best as a child’s bedroom. Focus on neutral, yet inviting color palettes in each space. This appeals to a wider range of buyers, aiming for sophistication that remains relatable.”
4. Use a neutral color palette
Opt for a neutral color scheme when painting walls and selecting furnishings. Neutral tones create a blank canvas that appeals to a broader audience and allows renters to add their personal touches with ease.
Expert tip: Broker Corrie Hayes emphasizes the importance of cohesive decor in creating a balanced room. “Have you ever thought, ‘something is off?’ in a room, but you can’t put your finger on it? Your space can unintentionally feel like it’s having an identity crisis. Whether it’s shabby chic, industrial, rustic farmhouse, or modern sleek, creating harmony in your decor is key. Mixing contrasting styles can lead to visual confusion, but it can be resolved with purposeful choices like coordinating grey couches with beige or cream throws, wall art featuring a mix of complementary colors, and bedding that combines various neutral tones. The result is an inviting space that appeals to a broad range of individuals.”
5. Choose furniture that fits the space
When selecting furniture, consider the size of the space. Avoid overcrowding rooms; instead, opt for appropriately sized furniture that complements the room’s layout. Don’t forget comfortable seating in common areas to highlight a cozy atmosphere.
Expert tip: According to Southern Maryland interior designers at Chesapeake Staging & Interiors, LLC, there are key logistics to consider when staging a rental property or unit. “The first is whether or not the property or unit will be listed as furnished. If not, you’ll need to state that it is an unfurnished unit to avoid confusing potential renters. If it is furnished, you’ll need to stage it with quality furniture that can withstand a renter’s use.”
6. Focus on lighting
Natural light is a key selling point. Open curtains or blinds to let in sunlight and add floor or table lamps where needed, to create a warm and well-lit environment. Adequate lighting enhances the overall ambiance.
Expert tip: According to Aspect Staging, “Lighting plays a vital role in enhancing your rental property’s appeal. To create a warm and inviting atmosphere, strategically illuminate key areas like the living room and bedroom. Use modern floor lamps to brighten dark corners, and consider matching bedside table lamps for a cozy ambiance. Opt for soft white light bulbs with a color temperature between 3000k and 3500k lumens to strike the perfect balance between warm and cool lighting, making your space feel spacious and inviting.”
7. Emphasize storage possibilities
Highlight the storage options in your rental property, as it’s a top priority for many renters. Keep closets and cabinets organized and clutter-free, allowing tenants to envision their belongings neatly stored. Well-arranged storage spaces make your property appear spacious and cater to practical needs, enhancing its appeal.
8. Use staging to define spaces within your rental
If your rental space lacks distinct areas, create them with furniture placement and rugs. Clearly defined living, dining, and sleeping areas can help renters visualize the functionality of the space.
Expert tip: Birgit Anich, CEO and Creative Director at BA Staging & Interiors, emphasizes that staging a rental property parallels staging one for sale. “Given that rental apartments often have limited space, a clear definition of how each area is used is key. The level of sophistication in staging should align with the rental price. A deliberate design that incorporates the renter’s lifestyle and aspirations into the details can evoke emotions and foster a connection with the space, making it more enticing.”
9. Accessorize your rental thoughtfully
Incorporate tasteful accessories such as throw pillows, artwork, and decorative items. These personal touches add character to the space and help renters connect emotionally with the property.
Expert tip: Professional real estate photographer Cynthia James Photography advises that, “When selecting a rental property, it’s crucial to create a welcoming home-like ambiance. In urban areas, consider faux plants for a touch of nature. Enhance the kitchen’s charm with decorative canisters, a recipe book holder, draped kitchen towels, and fresh flowers. In the owner’s bedroom, a queen-size bed with neutral bedding, layered pillows, a quilt, and blankets add comfort. Transform the bathroom into a serene spa with a small rug, neatly arranged soaps, and folded white towels. At the entrance, a welcoming doormat and decorative items like a wreath or home sign can make your rental feel like a comfortable long-term home.”
10. Be creative while staging
In the world of rental property staging, creativity can be your secret weapon. When it comes to making your space more appealing to potential tenants, a dash of innovation can transform ordinary into extraordinary.
Expert tip: For renters looking to make their space more appealing, Florida interior designers TOSCANO INTERIORS recommend creative staging techniques. They suggest, “Converting underutilized spaces and incorporating local art and craftsmanship to add authenticity. The key is to strike a balance between uniqueness and broad appeal, ensuring that unique touches enhance the space. This helps renters create a compelling narrative in their home through furniture, decor, and color choices.”
11. Use fresh flowers and greenery throughout your space
Adding a touch of nature to your staging can work wonders. Fresh flowers and potted plants breathe life into your rental space, infusing it with vitality and freshness. Fresh flowers bring color and a welcoming fragrance, while greenery introduces a calming presence. They are versatile, complement various interior styles, and require minimal maintenance. These natural elements make your property feel like a vibrant and inviting home, leaving a lasting impression on potential tenants.
12. Make sure the rental is clean and smells nice
Before each showing or photoshoot, ensure the space is clean and well-maintained. A final walkthrough is crucial to catch any last-minute details that need attention.
Expert tip: “Don’t underestimate the impact of odors on potential buyers,” says CC Staging & Design. “Unpleasant smells, whether from pets, cooking, or other sources, can quickly deter them. Take proactive steps to ensure your home exudes a fresh and clean scent. Deep-clean carpets, introduce air purifiers for a crisp ambiance, and opt for subtle, pleasant scents rather than overpowering air fresheners. Elevate your home’s appeal with an inviting and refreshing fragrance.”
13. Hire a photographer
Invest in professional photography for your rental property. High-quality images make your online listing stand out and attract more potential tenants. Make sure the photographer captures the best angles and showcases the key selling points.
Expert tip: AV Home Staging brings attention to the advantages of staging in your rental property marketing strategy. Their tip, “Marketing increases more viewings and showings. With a vast number of renters starting their search online, professionally staged photos create a lasting impact, piquing interest and yielding a larger pool of potential applicants – a win-win for any rental property owner.”
14. Be ready to show your rental
In the competitive rental market, readiness is essential. Whether it’s in-person tours or virtual viewings, your ability to promptly and flexibly present the property is crucial. Be flexible with showing schedules, maintain the property’s condition, have the necessary technology for virtual viewings, be well-informed, follow protocols, and prioritize prompt communication to make your rental more appealing to prospective tenants.
A final note on staging a rental
By following these expert apartment staging tips and rental staging techniques, you’ll increase your chances of attracting the right tenants and securing your rental property’s success. Remember, the goal is to create a space that feels like home from the moment potential tenants step inside or view it online. Happy staging!