Many investors are already considering professional styling when putting their investment properties up for sale, but those who find their properties selling quicker than others have one more secret that they keep—good photography.
Evolve Styling’s Tanya and Edward Giuffre style properties to increase their value, and while there are a couple of properties that seem to be beautiful as they are, a simple addition of beautiful cushions or another layer of tactile can make a big difference.
Tanya explained: “I did walk into a home and I'm thinking, ‘Okay. Why am I here?’ But when I really got down and knotted through the house, I'm going, ‘Yeah, there's missed opportunities here.’ ”
“The house was already outstanding, but … that extra layer—the texture and the warmth—just photographed more beautifully ... because it had that overlay on it as well. It did take it to the next level,” she added.
Having that “wow shot” always catapults an investment property to the top of the market, making it more appealing to buyers.
Find out how photography and property styling work together to manufacture the best returns from a real estate investment:
Is there any way that you style a property to make it better when photographed?
Tanya: Yes. My job when I walk in is to think about how it's going to be photographed as well because ... it's the photos that get the clients into the property.
When we go to look at a property, generally, the photographer will shoot towards the window. I know what angles they're going to shoot with. I try and lay out the property so that, for example, when you walk into the room [and they] shoot towards the window, the TV unit and the TV is not the first thing you see on the wall because there is nothing attractive about a TV and a TV unit, but you do have to show it in lots of properties. I always place it on a wall where it's not going to be in [the] shot. You put your beautiful piece of furniture, which is a beautifully dressed lounge with cushions and throws, in [the] shot.
How big of a role does photography play in property styling?
Tanya: I always try to think [that] ... photography plays a really big part in how [we] style. We do style so that ... you get that winning shot. We often talk about that saying, "This is your winning room. This is your wow room." If that's going to be your wow shot, you put all your focus into that room and you really think about how it's going to lay out so that you get the best shot for it. Definitely.
Edward: Some people buy their properties remotely. Some investors, in particular, won't even go to the property. They'll look all online. They could be interstate. They could be overseas. It's the imagery that's going to capture their attention. If you don't capture their attention online, you're not going to get them through the door ... [or] capture their interest in your property.
How do you convince vendors to style the property they are going to sell?
Tanya: People are a lot more savvy about design. If you don't consider styling, your property is just not going to look up to speed with other properties that are on the market at the same time.
If you think about a family ... usually, they have to look for months before they are able to get into the market. They go to three or four different house opens or apartment opens in one day ... What's going to stand out to them? [It would be] a beautifully presented, well laid out [home] ... It actually gives them ideas about how they can see themselves living in the property as well. A lot of people don't have that vision to think about where is the lounge going to be, particularly if it's a little bit of a difficult layout or the rooms are a little bit smaller than normal. They just would walk in and think, "Oh, I can't fit a double bed in."
What are buyers looking for in a property, in general?
Tanya: Always, what people look for when they buy a property ... is that it feels spacious and beautiful, light, and fresh. I always keep that in mind [and I try] to keep the rooms feeling open, [with] good circulation spaces.
Edward: Sometimes, that could mean ‘Take down those old curtains that you've had up for ten years and just put sheers in’ or ‘Go down to Ikea or K-mart and buy a rod and some sheers.’ Just let that light in.
As property stylists, what’s your commitment to your clients?
Edward: What we do is we create a look that attracts a maximum interest for the target market. It may not be your specific taste, but we are creating a look to maximise interest. That's really important to bear in mind.
Some people may be a little bit insulted when we come into a property and we say, "Look, we love your furniture but you know what? This isn't going to work and this isn't going to work, but we can use this piece." We can't use a lot for these very reasons. It might be the flow zones aren't right or the pieces are too big … Your personal taste, put that to one side. Property styling is about selling your property for the best price and getting the maximum interest.
Are high returns guaranteed when a property is professionally styled?
Tanya: You'll always get more. You'll always get more if you style... It will always get you more money regardless [of the state of the market].
Edward: By at least five to seventy times … It is a big spread, and the average is about 20x … We've seen some amazing results. You won't get that unless you ... put some money into it. It's like selling a car. Would you sell a nice car and not detail it …? Of course, you would.
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.