I’ve seen it many times throughout my career as an asset manager while touring new acquisitions, doing property due diligence and shopping comps. You walk into that unit that makes you want to immediately turn around and walk out. It’s filled with optical pollution and smells like a bowl of 20-year-old potpourri. There are frumpy dark patterned curtains with ruffles, a brown corduroy sofa that’s sunken in and shapeless, way too many doilies, knickknacks and faded faux foliage that has a layer of dust stuck to the leaves. That’s when you know it’s definitely time for a revamp!
Why Are Model Unit Renovations So Important?
Model units are a very important marketing tool that should be utilized to its finest. When you get traffic to your site and the interested renters are in the palm of your hand, it’s up to you to sell the property to them. As you do the grand tour, you take them on a nice clean path that showcases the exterior amenities such as the sparkling pool, fitness center, or bark park, which eventually leads you to the model unit. It is imperative to show the potential renter a clean, nice smelling apartment that allows them to envision themselves living there.
Based on the style preferences of your target demographic, the model unit should always showcase a sense of sophistication, a hint of some sort of renovation (new hardwood floors, new cabinets, updated lighting package or an accent wall for example). This shows the renter that the staff and management company take good care of their property, which shows value to the potential renter. If the property is undergoing an interior renovation (partial unit or full unit), the model unit is an excellent place to showcase what these newly renovated units will look like. It’s your place to “wow” them and show them what they could get with that premium charge.
The model unit also allows the renter to be able to picture how they may arrange their own furnishings into the apartment. They want a visual for inspiration on how they can make it their own cozy place they call home. When someone walks into that model unit (as well as the clubhouse or leasing center), all that they take in (sight, sound, smell) invokes some sort of feeling. You want your property and unit to invoke positive, inspiring, vibrant, sophisticated, cool, modern feelings.
So what can you do to refresh your model units? A fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest ways to add new life to a space that will give it a whole new look. I like to use a neutral main body paint (eggshell) with a bright white trim (semi-gloss) and add a couple of bold accent color walls, one in the living or dining room and the other in the bedroom. Another way you can sway a potential renter is to present the property and its lifestyle of living through the furnishings, art, and décor in the model unit. It gives the renter an immediate impression of the property so you want to make sure it is well put together. Style it in a way that is somewhat on trend but add some interesting eclectic pieces such as throw pillows, accessories and other décor that will make it unique and impressionable.
When is it Time to Bring in Professional Help?
Not sure where to start? Or do your model units needs more than a fresh coat of paint to attract new renters? Modern Gem Design is here to help! I’ve renovated several model units during my career and I absolutely love, love, love doing them! I have so much fun being able to analyze the space and envision a total transformation. There are several elements that need to be factored in to renovating a model unit including:
- Picturing the unit without the existing pieces
- Analyzing the floorplan and target demographic
- Assessing the existing pieces which includes furniture, art, accessories, and décor to see if any can be used and repurposed to fit within the new design
You can also repurpose existing pieces from the clubhouse into the model unit and vice versa. Doing so could save you thousands of dollars. All the fine details are something we focus very closely on to not only provide you with a beautifully updated model unit but in a cost-effective way.
If you are interesting renovating or refreshing your model unit, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.