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6711 Forest Lawn Dr., Suite 107
Los Angeles, CA 90068

(323) 882-6606


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Ask Kari – 8 – Dressing A Vacancy – Los Angeles Property Management

Tips for Dressing Your Vacancy

Dressing an apartment can seem like a silly idea or even a waste of money, but we’re here to show you how dressing an apartment can give you an edge over your competition, and that it can be done easily and inexpensively. A new apartment can seem cold and sterile, and oftentimes people have a hard time visualizing themselves there.  That’s where dressing comes into play.  By adding simple touches, you can create a sense of home, and allow people to visualize themselves in what seems like a foreign place.  Once people can picture themselves in a place, they are more likely to rent!

For the purposes of this article, we spent approximately $150, in order to provide multiple examples.  However, most vacancies can be dressed well for under $100.

For buildings with a lot of vacancies, you may wish to spend a little more to give your apartments an edge that the competition doesn’t have.  You will also want to customize your dressing to the style of the building and apartment.  If the apartment already has colors, such as colored tile or walls, you’ll want to complement those colors.  If the apartment is really bright, you can get away with deeper colors.  If the apartment doesn’t receive much natural light, you’ll want to avoid dark colors; use bright reds and yellows to brighten up the room.  If the building is modern and chic, you’ll want to try and highlight that with the dressing items.  So perhaps, instead of some fun brightly colored kitchen sponges, you’ll want to stick with candlestick holders and rich towels.

Dressing a vacancy can also help to distract a prospective tenant from any unattractive qualities about an apartment.  For example, we had a unit in Los Angeles that had a balcony facing the 101 freeway, which turned many people away from the building. With the use of a palm tree, we were able to block the freeway view and were able to change the way the perspective tenant visualized the unit.

The senses are also important when dressing a vacancy.  Putting an apple scented air freshener in the kitchen and a cotton scent in the living room can go a long way, because people associate those smells with home.  Also, it can cover up the smell of fresh paint or cleaning products.  Or if you’re having an open house, putting a real apple pie in the oven makes the apartment smell like home all day long.  Putting out tasty snacks such as chocolate chip cookies can be helpful as well.  Lastly, playing soft music in the background, also gives people a sense of comfort and home.

Fresh flowers are great for open houses or when showing a vacancy several times in one day; they add life, color and cheer to what can be an otherwise bland apartment.  Just make sure to remove them from the apartment once they start to die.  Live plants are also great.  Living rooms with light carpet and white walls can appear very boring, but a live plant instantly adds color and life to a room.

The items we often use are from Target.  However, you could also purchase more pricy items from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, less expensive items from Wal-Mart, or even from garage sales.  Oftentimes, there are even some great finds at the 99 cent store or Big Lots.

Here are some dressing items to consider by area:

Kitchen Items

  • Sponges
  • Hand soap
  • Dish towels
  • Floor mat
  • Ladle or Cooking utensil
  • Candlestick holders
  • For a breakfast bar: Placemat, plate with napkin, fork and knife

Living Room Items

  • Corner house plant (silk or inorganic)
  • Flowers
  • Wall art adhesive
  • Air freshener

Bathroom Items

  • Hand soap
  • Hand towels
  • Flowers

I hope you can utilize some of these tips to help dress up your vacancies now and in the future.

Have a question for Kari? Please submit it to her via commenting on the: Ask Kari YouTube Channel
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