When deciding to invest in a rental property it’s important to factor in the cost of staging! Staging the property will set you apart from other rentals competing for tenants in your market. In the world of Airbnb, vrbo, homeaway etc. it’s important that your rental property photographs well if you want to get any action.
By staging your rental properly, you accomplish several things. First, it makes your property look “homey” which will attract most potential renters. It tells people you care about your property and take very good care of it, which gives people a sense of safety and cleanliness. It will help you stand out if you choose your décor wisely and finally, its makes for great photos!!
When your property hits all those important markers you will have regular bookings and will be able to command top dollar in your area because people are willing to pay more for what they consider “luxury”.
Here are a few tips and tricks to pull it all off without breaking the bank!
Make it “homey” by painting the walls in neutral, crisp colors. See our post about paint colors that help and hurt your bottom line HERE. Choose suitable furnishings with easy to clean materials so you aren’t put in the position of having to replace furnishings after messy guests. Opt for fabrics that focus on easy maintenance with a mixed blend of materials. A trick I picked up years ago is to reupholster furniture in designated eating areas with beautiful shower curtains!! Make sure to stick to the ones that are a “blend fabric”. You can make several seat cushions out of one curtain and they are a dream to clean up. What’s even better… they are super affordable and come in amazing prints to help add personality to the space without out breaking the bank. If they get worn or ruined, simply replace! Just pop out the cushion out of the dining chair or bar stool, cut a piece of the shower curtain with enough slack to pull tight and staple away!!
You can easily add fragrance by plugging in an air freshener, just make sure it isn’t overwhelming since most people have allergies and/or aversions to strong perfume smells. I always suggest a soft vanilla fragrance or a simple clean linen scent.
Add wall décor by printing beautiful designs from the web (or etsy) and use stock paper to print, frame it in a nice frame that suites the space et voila!
Make the space user friendly by leaving manuals to the tv, remote, alarm system etc. in a basket by the entry way. You can design covers to add a nice touch and laminate the pages, so they last longer. Alternatively, you can design a brochure and pdf it so its included in a welcome email when they complete their booking online!
Make the home functional by leaving plenty of extra linens and towels. The fee charged to clean the space afterwards will cover cleaning of such things and the rental deposit will cover lost, stolen or damaged items.
Stock the kitchen with all the utensils necessary to make a home cooked meal. Today, families who choose to travel and rent a home/condo rather than stay in a hotel want to be able to cook a meal and spend time together at “home”. You can make an itemized list of items left for their convenience and make sure to do a thorough accounting before and after each guest, especially of bigger more expensive items like coffee/espresso machines etc. You can head to a local dollar store to stock up on cups, plates and the like that are simple and easy to replace. Another trick is to frequent estate sales or garage sales in great neighborhoods. You can pick up all sorts of gems at unbelievable prices!! I also like to hit up antique shops for unique décor to add some personality to my spaces.
If you are investing in a rental property with outdoor space, don’t cut yourself short by failing to invest in curb appeal! Keep grass freshly cut, no matter what! Plant annuals that are in full bloom, not the dinky starter plants. You want a robust, colorful garden to say “welcome to your home away from home” …
Lastly hire a professional to take great pictures and get them online stat!! If you can’t afford a professional photographer in the beginning, remember to take the pictures on a sunny day with the curtains open. Use the photo editors that come stock on most cell phones and laptops to brighten, crop and highlight the best features of the room. After you have a few bookings under your belt you can always readdress the professional photography at that stage.
BONUS TIP: Invest in properties in close proximity to attractions, shopping and nightlife. It will increase your ability to up-charge during your areas peek season and bring in more potential renters!