Styling your investment property to maximise returns

While it is common practice to consider styling when selling a property, many investors fail to consider how styling could affect the possible rental returns on a property. Taking the time and effort to style a rental property correctly can make or break the potential profit margins.
“The more desirable the home, the more a tenant will be willing to pay for it,” explains Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. “In some cases, a landlord might even be able to charge more in rent and avoid having to do expensive renovations simply by staging the property to best showcase its potential.”
When it comes to selecting the styling items, Goslett notes that there will be a difference depending on whether the property is rented as a fully furnished rental. “When the rental comes fully furnished, a landlord will need to carefully consider the durability of all items that are included within the home – avoid fabrics and materials that can stain easily and select solid furniture pieces that are scratch resistant and hardwearing,” he suggests.
However, if the home is being staged simply to attract a new tenant, then Goslett suggests that landlords focus on the areas that best showcase the home’s lifestyle offering. For example, if there is an outdoor space – even if it’s just a small balcony area – it could add great value to stage it as an extra liveable space simply by adding some outdoor furniture and a pot plant.
“Empty rooms can be detrimental when trying to attract new tenants because it can be hard for the potential tenants to visualise how much can fit into the space. This becomes particularly important for smaller apartments. Staging the property with the correct furniture can make a space feel much larger and can showcase the overall functionality of the room,” Goslett notes.
He adds that the tried and tested methods of sprucing up a space remain true for rental properties too. “When selling or letting a home, a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for making the home feel more modern and updated. Updating simple fixtures and fittings, like lights, faucets, and/or cupboard handles can also make a space feel more modern and welcoming.”
When considering how to style a rental property correctly, Goslett suggests that having a real estate professional involved can prove invaluable in this regard. “As experts in the industry, a RE/MAX agent will know what tenants are looking for in the area and can share insights into what sorts of styling tricks could help set the home apart. The best thing a landlord can do to maximise their returns on a rental property is to involve a rental agent right from the very start,” he concludes.