Showing an empty apartment home to a potential resident may seem harmless, but without proper staging, an empty space can feel uninviting, lonely and uncared for – three feelings seniors and their loved ones do not want to feel as they tour senior communities.
Take a closer look at the importance of properly staging an apartment and learn simple tips to convert your space into a warm and welcoming home for potential residents.
The Importance of Staging an Apartment: First Impressions Matter
When a potential resident tours your community with their loved ones, they are trying to see themselves living in your community. Does the community feel warm and welcoming? Are the people friendly? Is the community clean? All of these more obvious aspects of a tour are important but can be devalued by showing a family and potential resident an empty apartment home.
Staging an apartment home helps potential residents to see themselves in their new home, not in an empty space they need to work on to make it their home. Instead of dredging up a to-do list that typically accompanies a move (i.e. finding new furniture, painting, hanging new curtains), families and potential residents can more easily fall in love with their space, becoming more excited about a new home than stressed about the logistics of moving.
Additionally, by staging a vacant apartment, you can show the potential resident and their family members the potential of the space. Staging allows space to be divided and residents to understand the use of the space. For example, one large living area could be divided into a living room and a dining room area, which is harder for a visitor to recognize without appropriate furnishings.
Ultimately, taking the time to stage your vacant apartment well can result in more move-ins. Realtors estimate that well-staged homes sell 43% faster than homes that are not staged. The same principles could be applied to an apartment home in a senior community as potential residents are able to make stronger emotional connections with an apartment that already feels like a home.
8 Easy and Effective Ways to Stage an Apartment Home
Staging a vacant apartment home does not have to be costly or time-consuming. Follow these tips to inspire an emotional connection with your community:
- Start at the door. Place a welcome sign on the door and flowers near the entrance, welcoming potential residents home.
- Float furniture away from the walls. This technique can make the space seem larger and is more user-friendly.
- Hang a shower curtain in the bathroom with a bath mat.
- Consider using essential oil diffusers with lavender to give the room a calming atmosphere.
- Take advantage of natural light while also dressing up windows with curtains and valances.
- Use neutral color to make the space warmer and more inviting. This can mean painting walls, adding throw pillows to couches, or adding area rugs.
- Display art on the walls to show off more of the space and create a more memorable tour.
- Use fake food to stock the kitchen. Putting a bowl of faux grapes on the counter and a few dishes in the cabinets will help potential residents envision their life in your community.
- When choosing accessories and paint colors, remember you are trying to appeal to the general public. Select colors that are warm, welcoming and neutral.
Managing Multiple Vacant Rooms
Make sure you give each potential resident a map of the community and the activities offered so you can reference it during the tour. If a potential resident asks to see a different, empty apartment because of its location (i.e. closer to the dining hall) just let them know that, unfortunately, the room they wish to see is not ready yet, but you can show them another apartment with the same floor plan. If it’s in your community policies, you could also let them know that because the apartment is not ready yet, they would be able to choose their own paint colors upon move-in.
Creating a Sense of Urgency
Do not let potential residents and their families know how many empty apartments you have. This will create a sense of urgency and can lead to a quicker conversion from visitor to resident. Residents should not leave your community wondering why it’s not at capacity, but instead wondering when they can move in and make the clean and warm welcoming space they just saw their own.