5 Steps to Furnishing Your First Rental Property
Are you looking to furnish your rental property? Here are 5 tips to remember before making any decisions.
Looking for tips on staging and furnishing a rental property?
1) Opt for durable furniture for rental property, easy-to-clean and withstand wear and tear.
2) Consider a neutral color scheme for broad appeal.
3) Maximize space with multifunctional pieces like sofa beds or storage ottomans.
4) Don’t skimp on quality mattresses for tenant comfort.
5) Provide sufficient storage solutions to keep the space organized and clutter-free.
From investing in multi-purpose furniture and covetable décor to functional and practical lighting, these tips will teach you how to furnish a rental property, create a warm and inviting space for tenants without breaking the bank.
So let’s get started!
By George Nicola (Expert Stager)
Table of Contents
With over 44 million households in the US renting their homes, there’s no doubt that competition is fierce! In fact, Austin, TX saw rents increase by an astonishing 48.4% (or $2,707) in the first 3 months of 2023 – so you need to make sure that your property stands out if you want to attract potential tenants.
But don’t worry – I’ve got you covered. Here are five tips to help you furnish your first rental property and maximize its value:
1. Keep it simple – too many decorations can clutter up a space and turn off potential renters.
2. Choose neutral colors and timeless pieces – this will give tenants a blank canvas they can use to personalize their home.
3. Think practically – provide essential household items such as kitchenware and linens for convenience.
4. Focus on comfort – choose furniture and décor that create a welcoming atmosphere.
5. Invest in quality – invest in high-quality materials that will last longer and look better.
By following these tips, you can create a beautiful rental unit that both you and your tenants will love.
Now let’s move on to the next five tips that you need to remember!
How To Make Your Rental Property Stand Out
To make your rental property stand out, start by enhancing its curb appeal with fresh paint and landscaping.
Focus on creating a clean and inviting interior with modern amenities.
Offering unique features such as pet-friendly policies or flexible lease terms can also attract potential tenants.
5 Tips to Remember Before Furnishing Your Rental Property
1. Your Budget Is Your First Priority
Furnishing a house from scratch can be hectic, and the cost of expensive décor and furniture may take years to recover.
On the contrary, cheap furniture can take up most of your time on repairs, cleaning, and maintenance. Hence, keep your budget in mind and put resources into a few decent household items that are sturdy and can be utilized for a long time.
2. Invest in Multi-Purpose Furniture
Choosing functional, practical, and durable furniture is crucial for your rental property. You should consider investing in multi-purpose furniture that can save storage space.
Nowadays, double-duty tables, sofas, and other multi-purpose furnishings can adorn any place on your property. Regardless of the furniture you choose, make sure it is functional and suitable for the desired room.
3. Shift to Budget-friendly rental décor
When decorating a rental home, it’s best to keep things neutral rather than opting for décor of personal choice. People appreciate a place that makes them feel comfortable, so the interior design should be inviting but not overbearing.
4. Functional and Practical Lightning
Proper lighting is the simplest way to make a home feel warm and spacious. Good lighting in the kitchen aids in avoiding accidents. And in bedrooms allows a soothing and peaceful sleep.
Illuminated bathrooms, hallways, and corridors help the tenants to establish their mood, navigate their way around a house, and complete crucial chores.
A bright and feel-good atmosphere has a far more pleasurable effect on the tenants than an under-lit home.
5. Don’t Overdo It
Your rental unit may appear cluttered and overwhelming if you have too many decorations. Don’t fill every inch of the room. Try to keep it simple and clean.
Essentials, Decorating and Furnishing Each Rental unit
Choose a decor that provides comfort and a calming effect. Additionally, you should consider nude or beige color shades for furnishings and flooring rather than bright colors that make the space appear smaller.
Outlined below are the minor requirements for every room of the property.
Here are some basic things to include:
- Basic metal or wooden framed bed with a comfortable, budget-friendly mattress
- Wardrobe or clothing rack for hanging clothes
- Compact dining table with chairs or a small breakfast nook
- Budget-friendly curtains or blinds for privacy
- Wall-mounted shelves for storage and display
- Foldable or stackable chairs for additional seating
- Low-cost, durable area rug
- Inexpensive, easy-to-clean artwork or wall decor
- A few hardy, low-maintenance houseplants for visual interest and air purification
- Multipurpose storage bins or containers to keep things organized
- Simple, sturdy TV stand or wall mount for entertainment setup
- Entryway storage bench or coat rack for organizing outerwear and shoes
- Basic desk or workspace area with an affordable, ergonomic chair
- A few decorative throw pillows to add comfort and color to seating areas
- Small, easy-to-move side table for added functionality and convenience.
With just these basics, you can create a warm, inviting atmosphere that will draw tenants in.
The kitchen is the busiest and messiest place in the house. Creating a list of the furniture and decor for the kitchen requires more time than all the other rooms on the property.
An excellent rental kitchen includes essential items and high-quality appliances. In short, it should be unique and functional.
Your kitchen inventory list should include the following items:
- Refrigerator: A basic, energy-efficient model with sufficient storage space for a small household.
- Stove: A simple electric or gas stove with at least two burners for cooking.
- Oven: A basic oven for baking and roasting, preferably combined with the stove as a single unit.
- Microwave: A budget-friendly, compact microwave for heating and defrosting food.
- Sink: A single-basin sink with a basic faucet for washing dishes and food preparation.
- Countertop: A small, durable countertop for food preparation, made from a low-cost material like laminate or wood.
- Cabinets: Basic, sturdy cabinets for storing kitchen utensils, cookware, and non-perishable food items.
- Trash bin: A simple, durable trash bin with a lid for maintaining cleanliness and controlling odors.
- Basic cookware: A set of affordable, durable pots and pans for various types of cooking.
- Utensils: A basic set of cooking utensils, such as spatulas, ladles, and tongs.
- Cutlery: A simple set of forks, knives, and spoons for daily use.
- Plates and bowls: A basic set of durable, easy-to-clean plates and bowls for serving food.
- Glasses and mugs: A set of basic drinking glasses and mugs for hot and cold beverages.
- Dish drainer: A simple dish drainer for drying washed dishes and utensils.
- Dish towels: A few inexpensive, absorbent dish towels for drying hands and dishes.
- Cutting board: A low-cost, durable cutting board for food preparation.
- Can opener: A basic, manual can opener for opening canned goods.
- Kettle: A simple, electric kettle for boiling water.
- Fire extinguisher: A small, easily accessible fire extinguisher for safety purposes.
The lounge is the heart of the home as it is the ideal place for family and friends to hang out, relax and spend quality time. So what should a good sitting room include?
For cheaper rentals:
- Stick with basic furniture pieces such as a sofa, coffee table, end tables, and an area rug.
- Add accent pieces to bring color into the room, like throw pillows, wall art, or a few plants.
- Keep accessories minimal; think one or two lamps and knickknacks.
For more expensive rentals:
- Invest in higher-end furniture pieces such as a sectional sofa, armchairs, and ottomans.
- Choose statement pieces that will attract potential tenants, like an eye-catching chandelier or artwork.
- Incorporate larger accessories like floor rugs and bookshelves to really give the space character.
The bedroom is where your tenants will unwind and let go of the strains of daily life. An essential item here is a good quality mattress. Items such as the bedframe, bedside tables, and lamps are equally important.
One should choose decor with relaxed and calming colors to maximize the airy and restful ambiance. Additionally, bedroom sets, including sheets, pillows, blankets, drapes for windows, and wardrobes with hangers, are also helpful in your bedroom furniture list.
The bedroom is where your tenants will unwind and let go of the strains of daily life
An essential item here is a good quality mattress. Items such as the bedframe, bedside tables, and lamps are equally important.
One should choose decor with relaxed and calming colors to maximize the airy and restful ambiance.
- Bed frame: A simple, sturdy metal bed frame is an affordable and durable option. Alternatively, a basic wooden bed frame can also be cost-effective.
- Mattress: Choose a budget-friendly, medium-firm mattress that can suit most people’s preferences while being durable.
- Bedding: Provide basic bedding essentials such as a fitted sheet, flat sheet, pillowcases, and a duvet or comforter.
- Pillows: Include at least one or two pillows per person, with synthetic filling for easy maintenance and durability.
- Curtains or blinds: Install simple and functional window coverings for privacy and light control.
- Wardrobe or clothes rack: A basic wardrobe or a free-standing clothes rack is sufficient for hanging clothes and storing a few personal items.
- Bedside table or shelf: Offer a simple, inexpensive bedside table or a wall-mounted shelf for guests to place their belongings, such as a phone, book, or water bottle.
- Lamp: Provide a basic, energy-efficient lamp for the bedside table or a wall-mounted reading light.
- Waste bin: A small, easy-to-clean waste bin is a necessary addition to any bedroom.
- Smoke detector: Ensure the safety of your tenants by installing a smoke detector in the bedroom, as required by law in many locations.
Remember to choose low-cost, durable materials and items that can be easily replaced or maintained to keep expenses low while ensuring your tenants have a comfortable stay.
The bathroom is often overlooked and treated as an insignificant part of the house. But its decor and furniture play a vital role in creating a positive impression on the potential occupants.
Following are some of the necessities:
- Toilet: A basic, water-efficient model with a durable seat.
- Shower: A simple, water-saving showerhead with adjustable pressure settings.
- Sink: A durable, easy-to-clean sink with a basic faucet.
- Vanity or pedestal: A simple vanity or pedestal to support the sink and provide minimal storage.
- Mirror: A basic, wall-mounted mirror above the sink.
- Towel rack: A wall-mounted or free-standing towel rack for hanging towels.
- Toilet paper holder: A basic, wall-mounted holder for toilet paper rolls.
- Shower curtain or door: A basic shower curtain with a liner or a simple shower door.
- Bath mat: A durable, non-slip bath mat for safety and comfort.
- Ventilation: Ensure adequate ventilation, such as an exhaust fan or window, to prevent mold and mildew.
- Bin: A small, easy-to-clean trash can with a lid.
- Basic cleaning supplies: A toilet brush, plunger, and all-purpose cleaner for tenants to maintain cleanliness.
The dining room should be functional and welcoming, with cozy and long-lasting furniture. Modern tables and chairs, a vase, and some fresh flowers are a great addition to maintaining freshness and providing the tenants with a homely feel.
- Dining table: Choose a simple, sturdy table made of materials like wood or metal that can withstand daily use without showing wear and tear easily.
- Dining chairs: Provide at least 4-6 chairs, depending on the size of the accommodation. Opt for chairs with a simple design and durable materials, such as wooden or metal chairs with cushioned seats.
- Lighting: Install a basic, energy-efficient overhead light or pendant light that provides sufficient illumination for dining.
- Curtains or blinds: Install basic window coverings for privacy and light control.
- Floor protection: Add an inexpensive area rug or floor mat under the dining table to protect the flooring from spills and scratches.
- Wall decor: Hang a simple, low-cost piece of artwork, such as a framed print or poster, to add visual interest without breaking the bank.
- Tableware: Provide a basic set of plates, bowls, glasses, and cutlery that can accommodate the maximum number of tenants the dining room is designed for.
- Table linens: Offer a set of inexpensive, easy-to-clean placemats and napkins.
- Serving utensils: Supply a few basic serving spoons, forks, and a serving dish or two for tenants to use when hosting guests or for everyday dining.
- Bin: Place a small, lidded trash can in the dining room for easy disposal of food waste and napkins.
Your goal is to provide functional and durable furnishings without overspending. Look for deals on used or discounted items to save money, and prioritize durability and easy maintenance over aesthetics.
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Good Vs. Poorly Furnished Rental Properties - US and UK
Narrowing down the perfect choice for your rental property comes down to the home’s overall aesthetics. It’s best to look for a spacious place with a minimalistic aura rather than going for something with old furniture and cluttered rooms.
Let’s look at a visual comparison between good and poorly furnished rental properties:
This furnished rental property is located in the city of New York. It offers a spacious living and dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and in-suite laundry. The furniture is minimal and tasteful, featuring a modern sofa, flat-screen TV, and dining table.
The above rental property in the US is anything but desirable with its worn, outdated furniture and decor.
It appears to be a mismatched collection of second-hand pieces, with a leather sofa several generations out of date offering little comfort or modern amenities.
Source – PlumGuide
The above furnished rental property in the UK is ideal for large families. It has a modern and spacious living area with stylish furnishings. All utilities are included making it a perfect and affordable option for anyone looking to rent in the UK.
Source – rightmove
This rental property in the UK is poorly furnished with outdated furniture. The living room is sparsely decorated with an old, battered couch. The kitchen has limited space and single-paned windows that don’t provide adequate lighting.
Recommended Shops for Rental Furniture in US and UK
For someone living in the US, online stores such as ZZ Driggs, Fernish, and CORT are the perfect places to get their hands on first-hand furniture.
Moreover, for homeowners in the UK, stores like CORT, Instant home, and Bradbeers are ideal places to acquire new and stylish pieces.
IKEA, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and second-hand thrift stores are good choices if you can find economical and timeless pieces.
Importance of Marketing Your Rental Home
A solid marketing plan is essential when showing your rental home to potential renters. Always ensure that your images and videos are of the highest quality, which allows potential renters to visualize the space properly.
Your advertisements should include as much information as possible, so potential tenants know that the apartment meets all their requirements. According to Trulia, 84% of home renters only look at listings with photos.
In addition, marketing your first rental property with fine-quality furniture can hugely impact its price. For instance, the average rent of a suitable property in the UK and USA is between 1800-1900. Whereas for a poorly furnished property, it drops to a low level of 900-1100.
Here’s an example of how professional-looking images can make or break your marketing process:
Once you’ve decided which aspects to emphasize, describe them with creative and powerful terms while allowing the prospect to visualize the space through images.
Virtually Staging Your First Rental Property
When marketing your rental property, it’s best to have as many tools as possible. And one such tool is virtual staging which is currently trending in the real estate world.
Virtual staging refers to using 3D computer technology to create visually pleasing images that allow potential tenants to grasp a house’s full potential. From enhancing natural lighting to fine-quality furniture, visual staging allows homeowners to meet specific needs and change them according to a renter’s taste.
Whether you are looking for a fully furnished space or a blank canvas to play around with, virtual staging will make your property stand out among the competition.
Conclusion: How To Furnish A Rental Property?
To furnish a rental property, assess the space and determine the essential furniture items needed.
Opt for versatile pieces that can accommodate different tenants’ preferences.
Consider budget-friendly options like thrift stores, online marketplaces, or rental furniture services.
Ensure durability and functionality while maintaining a neutral and cohesive aesthetic that appeals to a wide range of tenants.
Predicting tenants’ demands during their stay is the key to effective hosting. You can work hard or spend little money to furnish your space.
Renters will be happy to name the area their home because of the little, considerate initiatives that have been taken.
For virtual staging queries, feel free to try our staging trial at Get A Staging For Free.