3 Tips for Setting Your Model Apartment Budget

Summer is here, and we all know what that means: beach days, camping, cookouts, and…budget planning for next year.

If you’re an owner or manager for multifamily or senior living communities, model apartments are a key line item that should receive an allocation of funds. This investment allows you to create an attractive, functional space that will captivate new residents and maximize occupancy in the coming year.

But budgeting properly for a model apartment isn’t always intuitive. It’s difficult to know how much you’ll need to spend. And it can be challenging to get buy-in for your proposed budget as well.

How do you develop a comprehensive budget for apartment interior design that isn’t wildly high or impossibly low? Follow our 3 tips for setting a model apartment budget that will deliver the best return on your investment.

3 Tips for Setting a Budget for Your Model Apartment

Tip 1: Base your budget on professional estimates, not DIY.

The purpose of a model apartment is to attract residents and fill your units. No matter how much or how little you spend on a model, if it doesn’t increase occupancy, it’s ultimately a waste of money.

When you base your budget on DIY estimates, you inevitably overlook some of the factors that go into furnishing a model apartment. It may seem reasonable to set a budget of $6,000 and get all the furniture you need. But what about the cost of shipping, installation, cleanup, and all the other details that ultimately contribute to creating a successful model?

With DIY estimates, you risk setting a budget that overlooks key factors that go into model apartment furnishing—factors that you’ll likely have to pay for regardless, which means you’ll be over budget anyway. A commercial interior design and installation service like Model55 accounts for the full range of costs associated with building out your model apartment at the quoting stage.

Tip 2: Budget enough money to get a quality model.

Let’s talk numbers. It’s important to budget enough money for a quality model—and in today’s market, a model apartment realistically costs at least $10,000 for a one-bedroom unit. If you budget too low, you’ll waste valuable time building out a model that won’t attract new residents.

We know from experience that it’s a better investment to build the model right the first time. Our team has been called in countless times to redo DIY model apartments that have to be recreated from scratch.

On the other hand, it’s also possible to overbudget for a model apartment. If you’re spending upwards of $50,000 on interior design services, you’re probably wasting money on excessive delivery and installation upcharges.

At Model55, we offer realistic, middle-ground price points, and our services cover so much more than a typical design firm. Contact us for an estimate that can help you confidently set a budget for apartment interior design and communicate your proposal to your executive team.

Tip 3: Go with a fixed-fee solution rather than an hourly rate.

If you hire a smaller, local firm for interior design services, you’ll likely pay an hourly rate for their time. But the problem is that their time isn’t what attracts people to your model. You should be spending the bulk of your budget on the products that go into your model because that’s what will ultimately increase occupancy.

Model55 is committed to offering furnishing solutions that put the bulk of your model apartment budget toward product. Every step of our process, from design to installation, is set up to deliver the best possible ROI on your investment.

Set yourself up for success in the coming year with a model that sells itself. To learn more about what Model55 can offer your organization, speak with our team today!

Sharon MacDonald
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