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Staging From A Passive Income Investor’s Perspective

Published on Wednesday - January 21, 2015

Should rental property investors be staging homes and furnishing rentals?

There has been a lot of buzz about home staging, even in hot real estate markets like San Diego. The statistics and surveys appear to support the investment in staging when it comes to selling homes. The facts are pretty hard to deny. Staging helps investors sell a home for more money and on a shorter timeline. However, can the same be said about rental properties? Should passive income investors be staging their rental homes?

Advanced Home Staging

The numbers suggest that staging homes for sale can generate sales 73% faster, and result in sales within at least 32 days of properties being re-listed. However, many income property investors don’t even think about staging at all. It just doesn’t come to mind. Yet, at the same time; hotels, resorts, apartment complexes, and new extended stay properties have effectively been staging rentals for years.

Why Consider Staging a Rental Property?

The most obvious reason for staging rental properties is to generate attention and interest. Attracting buyers to your property is of the utmost importance. Taking a photo of a properly staged home can attract any number of potential suitors. In fact, you can’t afford not to take a good picture of a staged room in today’s market. The importance of real estate photography really can’t be underestimated. It will generate a great deal of interest. Conversely, consider the alternatives. What happens when you have poor photos? Nobody will even want to see the property.

Many lack the vision to see how great units could look. Home staging helps. If you’ve ever visited a rental complex or new home community and have witnessed the difference between the models and the actual units, you’ll see how true this is.

A well staged unit doesn’t only mean creating a willingness in renters to choose your property, but it wall also increase their desire. It can make all the difference in them trotting off to look around or coming to you with a generous offer.  This can have compounding benefits on yields, cash flow consistency, and property value. That said; staging can definitely help elevate value and speed in renting income properties, but how much should be done to stage?

Finding the Best Staging Solution

This only leaves one question: how far should you go in staging your particular rental? Where is the boundary between profit and excessive staging?

Those with multifamily properties, multiple townhouses, or a number of similar single-family rental homes might benefit from the ‘model’ model. In some cases, virtual staging can work just fine. Especially if it is just a matter of ads, and drawing online rental leads. In other cases, it may be cleaning the slate and touching up the trim and landscaping. Then there may be cases when fully furnished rentals are justified, even down to the finest accents and details.

Do the math, know your tenants, and find your sweet spot.

For those income property investors that think this sounds like too much work, too much time, or too much money, there is another option for realizing all of the benefits of staging without having to deal with any of it: opting for turnkey property investments. Turnkey means units are already leased, or at least sponsors already have waiting lists. It could be a great way to realize your passive needs without all of the work

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