While many investors consider having their investment property styled by professionals to increase its value, there are still some people who prefer to do it on their own in order to save on cash— however, is this actually a good strategy?
Evolve Styling’s Tanya and Edward Giuffre has spent years making investment properties more appealing.
“Our job is to achieve the highest price possible for the client,” Tanya said.
According to Savills’ sales executive William Chan: “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 going to get the money back.’ ”
There are many factors in play when one decides to style a property to increase its value, but all three property professionals agree that half the battle is won when the investor or his agent has figured out the preference of the market in which the asset is going on sale or up for rent.
“If you know who is going to buy the property, you can tailor the styling [and] the marketing to that person. When they're looking at a piece of marketing, it almost jumps out at them and they say, ‘Oh, that property is for me’ or ‘That's perfect’,” William said.
He explained further: “If you can tailor it to that market, they can connect to it better. If [agents] know that, [they] can advise [their] clients [and] it gives them a big advantage.”
Here is a four-point guideline to keep in mind when styling your own investment property:
1. Start styling right at the front of the house
According to Tanya, there’s no better way to make a good first impression to your buyers or applicants for tenancy than to have a beautiful exterior—after all, it’s the very first thing that they will see.
She said: “[When] somebody is driving past and they see the sign ... [and] your house is beautifully presented, it [makes a good] first impression.”
“Have you painted the front door …? Is there a nice setting outside [like] a pot and a plant? Think about your house from the front fence to the back fence. It's not just [about the] inside.”
2. Declutter and make room for ‘open zones’
Many property investors equate good styling with eye-catching furniture and elaborate designs, but Tanya believes that the simple key to a good interior is decluttering.
“The most important things you have to think about is that you're going to have groups of people, ideally, coming through your home all at one time. You need to have really free, open zones in the room so that people can access all the rooms and move around freely without bumping into furniture,” she explained.
Simplicity gives out a more positive aura for your visitors. Store away things that you can personally go without on a day-to-day basis in your own home and have the furnishings compliment each other.
“If you've got bookshelves that are crammed full worth of books, I say to most people, ‘Take half of them away and have some negative space’," Tanya said.
3. Pay attention to the little things
A fresh coat of paint, a well-functioning tap, and a secured doorknob say a lot about the overall beauty of a property, according to Tanya.
As a vendor or a landlord, your goal is to make the house look well-loved instead of simply well-designed.
Tanya’s advice for investors who are styling their own properties: “If there's a broken window pane, fix it. If there's a stain on the roof, get it painted so people don't think that there's a water problem.”
“Little things like fresh flowers [or fluffy towels in the bathroom] make a big difference ... Everything has to be immaculately clean.”
4. Make a statement — give your property a bit of personality
There will be a lot of properties up for sale or for rent in the same area and most of them will have been styled as well. Make your asset stand out by including a personal touch.
“If your property is the one with the yellow front door, [buyers or tenants will] talk about it after they have been to all properties. They'll go, ‘Do you remember the house with the yellow front door? That's the one I really like’,” Edward said.
“[Have] that differentiator … a bit of personality—something they can remember and take away.”
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.