Landlords who are looking for tenants should be encouraged to engage a stylist to ensure it's presented appropriately. As Sarah Latham writes, it can help property managers gain the best return on the property.
Blogger: Sarah Lathman, Latham Cusack Property Services
Owners selling their vacant properties engage a stylist, so why is it so unreasonable to suggest this to your landlords?
As our new property management business grew, we were often signing up clients whose rental properties were empty - so we started off adding a few styling touches here and there in the kitchens and bathrooms, mainly in preparation for the professional photography. Then, before we knew it, we had a couple of styling boxes strewn across our office with all sorts of goodies ranging in them from bath and hand towels, candles, recipe books in stands, lanterns, fake orchids and plants, coffee sets, trays, cushions, throw rugs… you name it, it was in there.
What a difference it made! A few tasteful pieces carefully added here and there made an otherwise cold, empty property come to life with lit scented candles and warm, soft furnishings.
Then we got to thinking, what if we could find a reasonably priced local stylist whose overheads were low, and who would appreciate that landlords don’t want to spend the same amount of money styling their rental property as what someone would on selling it?
During one of our open for inspections, we came across someone who had just started her own styling business from home and was looking for clients. Perfect! Just what we were looking for. We negotiated a reasonable package for four weeks of display, and we’re now currently using her for our newly listed and vacant high end properties. Not only does it improve the presentation of the property for inspections with prospective tenants, but combined with professional photography, our properties are shown on the internet in their best possible light. Not to mention that we now have these photos to use every time the property comes up for re-letting.
We were quite surprised actually just how many landlords were open and agreeable to paying for a stylist. Particularly where we had properties in excess of $1000pw, it has proven to be great value for money and not only guarantees us a maximum rental return, but we’ve managed to get substantial increases on the previous rental amounts.
Good Property Managers know that gone are the days of just collecting rent and carrying out property inspections. To be the best in this field, we need to be able to go above and beyond what is expected of us and offer our landlord’s ‘value added services’. It just takes a little thinking outside the square, but if you can convince your landlord to style their property, it enables you to increase your rental returns which in turn increases your revenue, as well as raise the profile of your agency by promoting top quality rental properties.
If you’d like more information on the above, please feel free to give me a call. (Below is a photo of one of our recently styled rental properties. Whilst we have replaced the carpet and repainted, we’re currently advertising it at $120pw above the previous rental)
Sarah has over 20 years’ experience in property management on Sydney's Lower North Shore. She previously managed a large property management department for eight and half years until mid last year when she made the decision to team up with an ex-colleague of hers, Jaala Cusack, and open her own boutique property management business called Latham Cusack Property Services. Based in Cremorne, they manage properties along the Lower North Shore. Their main focus is to offer a more personalised and proactive style of property management – one dedicated to listening to and meeting their clients’ individual needs.
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