Evolve Styling’s Tanya and Edward Giuffre has been styling properties for quite some time, and more than making a home pleasing to the eyes, their main goal is to help a property investor achieve a higher value for his investment.
“Our job is to achieve the highest price possible for the client,” Tanya told Smart Property Investment.
According to Savills’ sales executive William Chan, about 90% of the properties he’s tasked to sell has had some styling done, whether it’s partial styling or complete furnishing of an empty property.
He said: “I think when you have furniture in, it's very easy to sell to a [buyer. I say,] ‘Look, if you spend a bit of money ... to put hard furniture in, you're gonna get the money back.’ ”
Tanya, Edward, and William share the process of styling investment properties as well as the reason why they always encourage investors to spend a few more dollars on making their home beautiful:
How do you determine the financial requirements of styling a property?
Tanya: That comes from the real estate agent side … unless the client has come directly to us. Normally, it would be the real estate agent that would be talking to the client about the benefits of presenting it the best way possible—I would imagine, from marketing to styling the whole end product.
How do you encourage investors to style their property instead of selling it empty?
William: We notice when buyers walk through an empty property, they spend [a] lot less time at the open home. They walk in, [then a] couple of minutes [after they] have a look at the empty rooms … [they] walk out.
When you have a property styled, people tend to connect more [with] the property. They can sit in the lounge room. They can visualise the sizes of the rooms—something that may look like it can only fit a single bed, you've got a double bed in there. It creates more value and use of that space.
Can you put a benchmark price—like an extra 1% or 2%, depending on the styling, for example?
William: With apartments, for example ... say it's a two bedder [worth] $1.1, 1.2 million, we might get an extra $30,000 or $40,000. So, an investor could potentially 10x their investment if it's $3,000 [to $5000] for a styling … It's pretty tangible if you look at it that way.
Are more investors willing to have their property styled nowadays?
William: In the early days, a couple of years ago, it was a little bit more difficult [to get clients] because it wasn't as mainstream as it is today. Now, we walk into a presentation ... [and] they've already decided to style because they've been to so many open homes and a lot of them look so beautiful with how they're presented. They feel as though they want to be a part of that and have their home looking great as well. They are already pre-framed to think the styling is an option, so they ask me about it.
They may be sold [to] 70% of it, and it's just getting the opinion of an agent to make sure that their money is best used. They are already thinking about [styling]. Then, they just need us to reaffirm that that's a good decision … At the end of the day, it comes back down to return on investment and that's what they're getting with styling.
What kind of ‘return on investment’ can property investors expect?
Edward: Return on investment is really important. The majority of our clients see a 20x return on their investment. We see it range from 5x all the way up to 70x. We had a property only about six weeks ago in Drummoyne—they spent $10,000 on it and they get $700,000 more than their expectation. Obviously, there's a whole number of factors there, but we can see that type of return.
You also see shorter leads times … for those properties that are styled. They sell quicker versus those that are, perhaps, unstyled or, perhaps, have a tenant in there and they can't get the styling done. They take ten, twelve weeks to sell versus your standard four to six weeks.
What would be your final advice for budding property investors?
Tanya: The reason that real estate agents recommend it to their clients now ... is because it actually works. It gets them a higher price for their client. The property sells quicker, so everybody is in a win-win situation. Real estate agents are not going to recommend something that costs money to their client unless it's actually really going to work [and] it does work. That's why there are so many property styling companies and all the agents recommend it now.
Tune in to Tanya Giuffre, Edward Giuffre, and William Chan’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about the secrets to creating a connection between the property and potential buyers by selling them a “lifestyle and a dream”, as well as the importance of logistics, demographics, and target markets.