A New "Niche" for Stagers

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with InvisibleAssistant Services

I've seen a few posts lately that mention staging rental properties, and how effective it can be to help rent these units faster. Having had many years in the Property Management Industry, let me say 3 little words...

Jump on this!

While I believe you would find more success targeting luxury high-rise apartment communities vs. the single property landlord, this is an area that I think will soon take off. It might be difficult at first to locate a landlord or property manager that currently needs your expertise, but I believe it could pay off for you.

Many of the luxury high-rise communities actually have more than one model apartment, and I can't tell you how many I've seen that have very 90's, dated, boring decor. With the real estate market in flux like it is right now, Property Managers are looking for a way to bring people in, and stand out from the crowd. Even offering inexpensive consultations on ways to bring the model up to date, and give it some more memorable character might give you an "in" for when they are ready to fully redo it. And I wouldn't be surprised if a full project came sooner, rather than later once they see how effective a memorable model is at bringing in renters. And having some great pictures for advertising is just an added bonus!

I'd love to hear from anyone that has already done work like this, and how it has gone for you.

Best of luck!

Rebecca

Comments (11)

Kathy Nielsen
http://atlantahomestaging.net - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

Great recommendation, Rebecca.  This IS something I'd like to offer and will definitely make some changes to my web site to represent that change! 

Kathy

Oct 01, 2007 11:21 AM
Terry Haugen STAGE it RIGHT! 321-956-2495
Stage it Right! - Melbourne, FL
Rebecca, I've been marketing staging for rentals for a while now.  So far no takers, but it sure does make sense.  Same as selling a house, you want people to envision themselves living there.
Oct 01, 2007 11:39 AM
Rebecca Invisible Assistant VA
InvisibleAssistant Services - Kalamazoo, MI

Kathy and Terry: Staging is just now starting to become standard with realtors in some areas, so property management may take a little longer to catch up, but I really do think it will. It may not pay off right away, as they may not be quite ready to redo them, but I think if you touch base with postcards or little notes every so often, when they are ready, they'll think of you!

Oct 01, 2007 01:19 PM
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento

Yup, yup, yup!  It could be the new trend.  Here is my Blog on this very thing.

http://activerain.com/blogsview/192219/A-new-Avenue-Staging

Oct 01, 2007 02:51 PM
Cindy Lin
Staged4more School of Home Staging - South San Francisco, CA
Host, The Home Staging Show podcast

I thik it's a great thing, but I don't see it catch on very soon. I used to manage a high-end SFH where it was $6000/month to rent. It took 7 months to rent out. Staging would definitely had helped it, but I find it a little bit difficult to push staging a rental home. In comparison to selling a home, the profit margins are too low to justify the staging cost. It will cost roughly $6000-$8000 for initial labor to stage plus rental for first month, then after that you are looking at $3000-$4000 per month for rental furnishing. Plus it will take at least 3 months to move a high end rental property. It just doesn't work price wise.

But it could work in high end condos where there are many models for sale, like you suggested.

Just my 2 cents,

Cindy 

Oct 01, 2007 03:59 PM
Kim Dillon
Creative Eye Home Staging - West Chester, PA

Thanks for the food for thought!  I'm going to give it just that and see if i can come up with an adaptation that will work for me.

Kim Dillon, Creative Eye Home Staging

Oct 01, 2007 10:37 PM
Jaynee Acevedo
Capital Style Home Staging - Kensington, MD
Capital Style Home Staging

I've read about the staging to rent, and actually helped a fellow stager (in VA) do just that for a townhouse.  Of course, it was very effective, but price point is an issue.

Must consider this in the DC/MD market, and see if I can come up with a creative/favorable offering for property managers.  Rebecca:  Exactly WHO in a project do I connect with....what title, in other words....and what are some key phrases I might use in opening the door?

Thanks for your prompting, and for what you can do.  Cheers! from DC...

    Jaynee

Oct 01, 2007 11:31 PM
Becca Briggs
Rochester, NY

This is how I became interested in staging.  A property manager came into my store and was looking to do 5 apts in 4 of his complexes.  It took about 4 months to complete.  They bought everything, the total bill was about $75,000.  However since this was through the store, I only got paid my regular salery.  I'm a visual merchandizer in a furniture store.  It was a huge amount of work, I stripped my store of accessories, and that created a ton more work on my part - but it was a blast - I loved every minute of it.  If only they came along like that every day = huh!!

Becky

Oct 02, 2007 12:03 AM
Rebecca Invisible Assistant VA
InvisibleAssistant Services - Kalamazoo, MI

Cindy: I agree, high-end rental homes may not be the area to focus on. Cost compared to profit just isn't right. But I really think condos and apartments can be staged affordably and effectively.

Becky: What a cool story! It would be great if they came along like that everyday. It would definitely keep everyone busy!

Jaynee: You will usually want to speak with the Property Manager. Now keep in mind, they will almost always be very budget minded, but a lot of the keywords you use for home staging should interest them as well. If you know they are running specials, you could talk about how the cost of a consultation is less than the special on one apartment (if they're giving more than a week or two of free rent it will be) - and when they're leasing several apartments a week, that would help them see that it's do-able.

This might be blasphemous to leasing agents everywhere, but here is my idea of the best way to get in and get a few minutes with the manager...Stop by the office, and ask for a quick tour of the model. Say, you have a friend who may be moving to the area in the next few months, and just wanted a quick look. You will need to show a drivers license, so be prepared to use your real name! After you see it, call or stop by later and ask to speak with the manager. Mention you are a home stager, and that after you had the opportunity to see the model, had a few ideas that might "perk" it up and help them rent more apartments. Ask if you might be able to stop by for a few minutes just to show them what you do/how you do it. I think this is the fastest, most proactive way to interest the manager. Otherwise, you're just waiting for them to decide they need help (which as we all know could be a while!)

HTH - Rebecca

Oct 02, 2007 10:06 AM
Jaynee Acevedo
Capital Style Home Staging - Kensington, MD
Capital Style Home Staging
Great, Rebecca.....thanks so much.  I'll dip my toes in this water, and will come back to let you know my results.....
Oct 03, 2007 12:04 AM
Jackie Peraza
Perceptions AdverStaging(TM), LLC - Framingham, MA
Home Stager - Framingham, Massachusetts

Rebecca - I can't believe I missed this post!  Interestingly enough I started my business because of the vacation rental market.  The better the property is merchandised the more frequently it is rented and the more income it generates.  Of course as is the case in any real estate transaction, location, condition and other factors are considerations as well - but I think if more folks understood the impact merchandising space plays they might be surprised!  Great post and thanks for sharing.

Jackie

Oct 09, 2007 02:31 PM