Is it Worth Dressing an Unfurnished Property for Prospective Tenants
If you browse through the listings on Rightmove it's not difficult to find plenty of rental properties that aren't being shown in their best light.
It's not uncommon to come across that "lived in" look. The rooms may be strewn with clothes, the beds unmade and the occupants choice of takeaway and beverage clearly displayed for all.
Clearly this isn't going to help you find the best tenants.
But what happens when the photography shows a completely blank canvas; no furniture, no touches of home, no signs of life? Unfurnished properties are often shown in their raw form, ready for the prospective tenant to 'colour in' with their own possessions and lifestyle.
Ben Hall, MD of landlord furniture specialists Loft Interiors, argues; "An empty property is so much harder to rent out than a ready furnished home. Make it easy for prospective tenants, showing the potential of the space and sell a lifestyle. “
Is this a good idea? Is it better to give at least some sense of what life will be like in your property?
Almost half of our landlords let unfurnished properties and 60% don't "dress" the property. So we ran an experiment to find out if it was worth the effort.
In December 2013 we advertised the same property twice:
One listing had photos of the property completely bare:
Whilst the other saw the same property dressed with classic items from Landlord Furniture specialists Loft Interiors. This included sofas, made beds, blinds on the windows, rugs on the floor, a table in the kitchen, etc.
After 3 weeks these were the results:
•25% more people clicked through to the look at the dressed property's page
•75% more people enquired about the property
•The successful tenant came from the "dressed" property ad
This was by no means a conclusive test, but the results do tell a story and support the key advice we give our landlords on the subject:
• Creating that ‘show home’ look can really help maximise tenant enquiries
• Tenants are looking for a home. Touches such as flowers and bed linen make easier to visualise
• You only need to dress an unfurnished property once. You can reuse professional photos every time
• Some simple classic items may also increase the rent achieved, particularly if you're looking for a premium versus the local market
About the authorA portfolio landlord with over 20 years’ experience, James had the foresight to harness the power of online to tackle the challenges faced by a sector that had traditionally operated offline.
Taking the EasyJet model to the property lettings industry, Upad.co.uk has quickly grown to become the largest online lettings agent in the UK - a new-breed online business, grasping the benefits of web technology and applying them to the every traditional property channel. James continues to lead the Upad team as well as speaking at many property events throughout the year.
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