Furnishing your Model Apartment
By: Scott Blalock
Providing a properly furnished model at your community will afford prospective renters the occasion to visualize themselves living in that apartment home – facilitating your goal: Leasing Apartments!
Furnish the model just enough to give the impression of ‘home’ while still leaving ample room for individual interpretation. Inspire, don’t distract! Avoid personalized decorative themes, pictures of people, family items, and gender-specific décor so that the prospective renter wills envision the model as his/her home and not someone else’s.
Keep entrance ways, halls, and thoroughfares open and easily accessible so that the future resident (and the leasing consultant) can easily move about. A critical element of successful staging is to emphasize spaciousness. Choose smaller scale furniture that will show livability without becoming a distraction and making the accommodations appear cramped. For smaller living rooms, use a chair side table with a lamp on one side of the sofa and a slim-line floor lamp on the other. Using counter-height stools or a small pub table set can be an effective option when dining room space is limited. Placing mirrors on walls opposite windows will reflect more natural light and make rooms seem more expansive. Sparsely furnish the bedroom (most can easily visualize their own beds) and keep closets completely empty.
Keep it Fresh
When showing residential accommodations to potential tenants, first impressions are paramount. Many prospects reach their leasing verdicts when they first enter the model apartment. Use lamps and lighting liberally. Keep all the lights in the model turned on (prior to the tour) so that your prospects are entering a fresh and welcoming environment. Choose a light colored (white, linen, light grey) sofa for the living room and use throw pillows and framed prints to add some subtle color and texture. In the bedroom, use fluffy, stark-white linens on the bed. If your apartment has dark hardwood or laminate floors, use a light jute rug to brighten up the living or dining room without detracting from the spaciousness. Maintain freshly painted walls in a neutral color (white, bone, or a light warm grey), and make sure that the odor is pleasant but not overpowering and “perfumey.”
Always avoid dark colors, heavy rugs & curtains, floral patterns, and clutter.