The latest SQM Research vacancy data for June 2016 is telling: nationally, vacancies increased to 2.5 per cent for the month. While landlords in Sydney (1.8 per cent), Hobart (0.9 per cent) and Canberra (1.2 per cent) are seeing potential renters clamouring over one another to secure a lease, for those in Perth (5 per cent) and Darwin (3 per cent) it’s more like tumbleweeds blowing through open for inspections.
Across the board, rents are generally stagnant (with the exception of Perth, which has recorded ongoing falls in asking prices) with the national average for a house at $414 p/w and $341 p/w for units.
If an investment property is on the market, the way you present the home (or stage it to use designer speak) could be a deciding factor in not only whether you get a tenant, but also the kind of tenant and the amount they are willing to pay.
Staging a property (inside and out) goes beyond a simple tidy-up and is designed to excite a potential tenant’s imagination so they picture themselves living there.
Here are four tips to help you stage your rental when the time comes to put it on the market:
1. Appeal to your market
The staging of a home will depend on the target rental market. The way a student share house is decorated will contrast with a high-end apartment for a professional or a family home. A ‘small bedroom’ in a family home could make a good ‘nursery’ whereas in a luxury apartment turning it into a ‘study/library’ or ‘dressing room’ would make more sense.
2. Keep it classic
Belle and Vogue Living can be great inspirations, but err on the side of neutral. Turquoise or burgundy may be colours du jour but whites, creams, soft greys and beiges on walls and flooring have broader appeal. Accessories and soft furnishings are where the on-trend colours and statement pieces come into their own.
3. Call in the professionals
Getting professional stylists to help out could prove a good investment. A staging company will supply all the furniture, wall décor and other household items that give the home a ‘lived-in’ feel. A designer’s eye and experience can work wonders – they’ll know how to accentuate the property’s positives and downplay any negatives.
4. Focus on…
Make a great first impression. If there is a front yard, give it a tidy and some personality. At this time of year there are plenty of home and garden shows on, so take a wander and take in some inspiration – the update need not be expensive or high maintenance to be appealing. Set the scene with your entrance. Kitchens, this is the one room most renters are keen to see first. Beyond styling, consider updating fixtures and fittings. Ditto, bathrooms.
An added bonus: by staging the property it shows potential tenants that you care about the home – which just might help secure a tenant who will feel the same way.