In recent years the demand for rented homes has steadily climbed, which is good news for landlords since it means property spends less time empty. Rental popularity can be a double-edged sword however, because just as demand has risen, so too have the number of rental properties available.
Competition in the world of rentals means landlords need a new trick or two up their sleeves, so here’s how self storage options can be your ace in the hole.
Staging Attracts the “Right” Tenant
The property you’re renting out must demonstrate in practical ways how it matches your prospective tenant’s lifestyle. The idea is to show tenants what’s possible, how furniture fits in, how the property will make their life easier or give them a touch of luxury. The most obvious examples of good staging are those seen in show homes. Going beyond basic furniture, show homes have kitchen equipment on display, beds fashionably made, ornaments and cut flowers to cheer up living spaces, and pictures on the walls. In short, the houses look like desirable homes.
The problem is that in order to stage effectively you need a range of furniture and accessories that you won’t necessarily leave in the house once the contract is signed. So if you’re removing items, where do you keep them so they stay in good condition, ready for next time? Self storage is a cost effective solution, offering storage units in varying sizes to suit all needs.
Meeting Tenants’ Furnishing Needs
The more flexible you can be with regard to the furnishing options you offer, the more quickly you’ll let at the best price. Established families are, in many cases, more likely to want unfurnished accommodation, whereas singles or young couples just starting out might need basic furnishings to get them started.
If you can meet the needs of both types of tenant, your pool of possibilities increases exponentially. Using self storage is a cost effective way of managing a furniture inventory. Not only can you furnish a house at a moment’s notice, if you have a few items in store they can be used as ‘swaps’ in times of emergency. Being able to solve tenant’s problems swiftly and efficiently helps both parties build a good relationship.
Storing Bulky or Awkward Items
Self storage units are clean and dry, so what you put in won’t suffer unduly. But it’s still a good idea to take some precautions, especially if storage is likely to be longer than a month or two. Here are some tips to help keep your stored furniture at its best:
- Store sofas standing upright on their arms, except for fragile, high end sofas which should be stored on their feet. A couple of folded blankets beneath the arms will cushion them and help them withstand the pressure of their weight.
- Wrap mattresses in plastic covering designed for the purpose. These are quite easy to get hold of in supermarkets or DIY shops (and also self storage companies), and will help mattresses keep their shape.
- Wooden items benefit from a wax and polish before going into storage to help protect their surfaces, and a blanket or two (or a scrap of carpet) between stacked wooden surfaces will help prevent contact scratches. Dismantle items if possible to save space and make storage easier. Put the screws in a plastic bag and tape it to the item for safe keeping.
- Gardening equipment like lawn mowers, or any other metal-based item such as bicycles or tools, will stay in pristine condition if you treat them with a rust inhibitor or give them a fine coating of oil.
It’s not rocket science, but sometimes before you can think outside the box you just need someone to lift the lid a fraction. Hopefully you’ve gleaned some ideas about how self storage can really boost your rental business and help you stay ahead of the competition.
Drew writes for – for more storage information for landlords see their business section or blog – Big Yellow Self Storage.