Is Furnishing your Vacant Unit Helpful?

In the 1970s, an interior decorator named Barb Schwarz, delved into the real estate market and forever changed marketing. She “invented” staging, realizing it was easier to sell a home that was well presented, rather than just relying on people’s imaginations. Today, staging is a huge industry that helps owners sell homes or rent their units. But is it the right tactic for you?

  • A Difficult Layout Some units can be… unique. It can be hard for someone to walk in and visualize their lives in this new home. Proper staging can take away that confusion, allowing the client to visually react to how the room functions. For example, if you have an oblong nook off the kitchen, setting up a bistro table and a plant stand, transforms it into a quaint accent rather than a confusing bit of square footage.
  • Why They Rent – Good staging can also put a person at ease, as it provides an established aura, rather than just empty rooms. Many clients can feel uncomfortable in large empty spaces, making it harder to drive the sale. In a staged atmosphere, guards tend to lie lower and the agent can do their job selling the other aspects of the property like the common areas, neighborhood, and community.
  • Do You Have a Lot of Vacancy – If you are just opening up a large building with lots of vacancy, it might be worth your while to stage one as your “model” unit. If the building features mirrored floor plans, staging allows agents to bring clients to just one unit, rather than having them traipse around the property- preserving the quality of your common areas.
  • Cost Worth the ROI – You might be asking yourself if the cost of staging a unit is really worth it. It can be a bit of a price tag, averaging at $500 for the consultation and $300-$600 per month of staging. Higher end buildings often have the budget to stage elaborately, but smaller management companies and single owners might not find this sales tactic cost effective.

In the end, whether or not to stage is a personal preference for the owner. Buildings that are mostly occupied probably won’t find a benefit to staging. But new builds or rehabbed buildings that are just opening for rental will probably benefit. Staging tends to either bring out the beauty of a unit or help visualize potential layouts. It’s good to do some research before pulling the staging trigger.