Advice for Creating Show-Ready Model Apartments
In today’s fast-paced, ever-evolving world, savvy multifamily organizations know that attracting the right residents is about so much more than blasting out vacancy promotions. As the world around us progresses, renters of all demographics are quick to keep up with the flow of things. As many providers know, in order to keep up with the competition, they need to create remarkable experiences for their residents on every level. From initial marketing, to outside and inside “curb appeal”, every detail and distinction matters when it comes to maximizing occupancy. Regardless of whether your organization provides luxury, market rate, affordable, or senior living apartments, one thing that is proven effective for increased occupancy is a beautifully designed and well-thought out model apartments.
What Comes After Curb Appeal?
If you haven’t answered this question already, it is time to pause and think about what comes after you have successfully attracted your prospective residents to come in to your communities for tours…
When residents enter your communities it’s important to have show-ready models on hand for viewing.
A professionally designed model is important because it touches all aspects of a prospect’s senses – and that is arguably one of the most effective forms of marketing around. After all, would you buy a car solely because the ad looked good online? The reason why you go to the dealership for a test drive is so that you can get a sense of what it feels like to be behind the wheel. Moving is no different than any other large investment an individual will make over the course of his or her life, which is why your communities need to be ready for test drives at any time. Once you’ve got your ideal residents through the doors, WOW them with model apartments that touch the senses – creating a feeling of home that can be felt, seen, heard, smelt, tasted, and most importantly remembered.
Below are a few suggestions for creating model apartments that WOW the senses and create lasting impressions that will stay with prospects as they weigh their options. In fact, these simple suggestions can make all the difference:
Create apartments that look appealing and up-to-date. It’s important to understand trends and themes that your target demographics are drawn to. For example, are you showing lofts that are perfect for the 20-something professional, who walks to the commuter rail from your location? If so, think about industrial themes that speak to urban demographics while sourcing art and furnishings.
It’s also important to create a model apartment that stays true to the design of the rest of your community. Show your potential residents how being in their apartments will blend seamlessly with their experiences throughout the property. Are bikes a common mode of transportation for your residents? Consider using a bike in the decorating process to demonstrate where and how they can store their wheels.
Have you ever heard of a realtor baking cookies before an open house? It’s to make the house feel like home for potential buyers. It is important to make sure your model smells fresh and clean at all times. If you know of a tour coming through, create smells within the apartment that invoke familiarity and a sense of home. One great way to do this is to put on a fresh pot of coffee just before they arrive. You’ll have a drink to offer as an icebreaker and the apartment will smell like home.
If potential residents are coming from a residential environment to a community, chances are the sounds that your current community members are used to will be unwelcomed and unfamiliar. Liven up your model and make it feel more like home by providing light, familiar music, or putting on the television to a popular station during a showing. If you’re running low on ideas, consider polling your residents and/ or employees that fit the demographics of your ideal residents to find out what will make the model sound more like home.
The reason why model apartments are so effective is because they are interactive experiences that leave impressions on the memory. The models allow potential occupants to be fully immersed in how it would feel to live in your communities. Rental furniture is often of a lower grade and quality, which is why purchasing is usually the better way to go. Ensuring quality furniture that prospects can sit on and interact with will increase positive associations with quality of life and your community. Imagine your ideal resident sitting on the sofa in your model apartment and thinking, I could totally see myself living here…. That’s the thought process you want to encourage!
While your visitors are touring the model, why not offer them a cup of that fresh, delicious smelling coffee you just brewed? Chances are coffee is a familiar taste most of your potential residents will associate with home. Also, consider having easy-to-eat snacks on a tray on the kitchen table. Offering visitors food will make them feel valued, welcomed, and more comfortable.
That’s a Wrap
There you have it, a few suggestions to get your model apartment on the right track. Remember that having a model apartment with the right look and feel creates an opportunity to increase the value of your property as well as occupancy rates.