There are common complaints from owners, managers, and developers in new communities, high-rises, and resorts. “Vacant apartments are a challenge to rent. Units filled with worn or dated furnishings are a turn-off, too.” If the rooms in your online listings are in need of paint, new furnishings or updated decor, chances are prospective tenants will look elsewhere. You cannot expect to lease an apartment unless renters can see it, but they won’t schedule a showing unless beautiful photographs are available that showcase the property’s true potential.
A recent article in Multi-Family News, written by Sarah Anderson, addresses that dilemma. Fortunately, multi-family property owners now have a wide range of virtual staging tools that enable prospective tenants to envision the property as their next home and shorten the time the apartment is on the market.
Virtual staging is gaining popularity as a cost-effective solution to broaden a property’s online appeal. Tools such as virtual paint, virtual redecorating, and virtual declutter show how a home could look post-sale. This is especially important when addressing such headaches as foreclosed units or properties appealing to foreign buyers unable to visit in-person.
With virtual staging, a professional will photograph a vacant home or apartment from a variety of angles in order to capture the rooms with different lighting conditions. The images can then be enhanced digitally by a specialist who can insert virtual furniture, apply virtual paint, install virtual carpet and window treatments or virtually remove clutter.
The costs of traditionally staging a property, including furniture, wall, and floor coverings, can be very expensive – as much as $3,000 – $10,000 per month to rent furnishings. Virtual staging slashes that amount by a staggering 90%!
Without furnishings and decor, a property may stand vacant for months, because the space looks less appealing to potential renters. Showing how the space could look will enable the future tenant to see the possibilities, and virtual staging helps them see that vision.
Virtual paint, for example, can change the appearance of any flat surface. Bright pink nursery walls can be transformed into neutral colors for a library or office.
Virtual redecorate transforms any room with wide-ranging design styles and furnishings. A room is photographed in its existing condition, and then its furniture, paint, carpeting and decor are virtually stripped down to bare walls and flooring. Owners, managers and renters can then decorate their properties in styles that fit potential buyers’ profiles.
Virtual declutter is an apartment manager’s dream. Gone are the days of crossing fingers in hope that they will present an apartment free of cluttered counters, tables, dressers, and floors. Listing photographs are virtually decluttered of distracting personal effects such as family photos, trophies, knickknacks, and refrigerator artwork.