Why Staging Is the Most Important Lesson I Learned for Renting Out Properties Faster?

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Staged House Beats Vacant House for Lease in a Competitive Market


A few days ago I saw one of our neighbours put up a FOR LEASE sign on their lawn as I drove home.

I would have lied if I told you I didn’t immediately look it up online as soon as I got home.

Well, not literally immediately, because I normally forgot what I saw on the road as soon as I stepped into our house.  

But, I did look it up as soon as the sign reminded me when I looked out of our window.

I was actually excited with curiosity to see what it looks inside. Older houses tend to have much more character.


Vacant houses have a low energy, not always, but many do.

I was a little disappointed after I checked it out.

The interiors are renovated with new windows, walls, and freshly painted.

It is vacant inside, even though everything seemed fresh and new, but for whatever reason the energy is not right (some vacant house has better energy).

It not only felt cold, but also has a low energy. Human bodies count as energy too, aside from nobody living there thus no human energy, there was something else to being part of “energy” that I guess science hasn’t figured out.

If I were looking for a rental, I would not choose that house for the listing price.

There were less people looking for rental at that price, and there are more supplies on the market.

Considering other factors such as location, space, etc. are equal, guess which rental property is getting a tenant first?

Probably the one that has the best energy and is most visually pleasing!       


What could help to improve the energy?

Stage the rooms with the right furniture and accessories.

It doesn’t matter staging with your own stuff or hiring a stager, what matters is stage it right with the right stuff.

I have learned this from helping clients stage their properties as well as my own.

vacant home staging in Burlington, Hamilton, Niagara Region by Design Balance Inc.Photo: Design Balance Inc.


How I Always Rented Out My Property Within 2 Weeks?

Stay away from bad energy.

I have dealt with rental properties before both as a tenant and a landlord. I don’t recall I have rented any places that I regretted after.

I was always cautious about what type of person the landlord was, what the neighbours were like, and what the neighbourhood was like.

I call those “energy”.

If I felt the energy was weird or not right, I stayed away from it.


I am attracted to pretty things, aren’t you?

When I started working after college, I rented a recently built townhouse close to work.

I wanted to sublet the second bedroom. After I got the permission from my landlord, I put a comfy bed, a desk, and a chair in the room thinking it’s a nice room with everything  a tenant would need, and it should be rented out very quickly.

Two weeks  passed, I didn’t get any inquiry for the room. I started to wonder how come.


At that time, I had no idea about staging a room by sprucing it up to attract tenants at all.

Even though that’s what had attracted me in the first place when I was looking for a place to rent. I always cared about the look (sad, but that’s the truth).I rented the townhouse because its beautiful exterior stone siding (in a new graduate’s eye), newer kitchen and bathroom.


Pretty things come with a higher price tag.

I had to pay for its price though.

That’s one of the reasons  I wanted to sublet the 2nd bedroom which I never used, and I needed more body heat in the house(I am a big believer in space-to-human energy balance).

Back then, I wasn’t resourceful enough to think that there might be people blogging about how to stage a room for rent on the internet.

However, I did figure it out on my own by staring at the room and really wondered what could be done to help me get someone interested in the room sooner.


The room had all the basics, but it was not warm and inviting.

Plus the picture was taken when the room was dark. The room faces east direction, so it was bright in the morning and darker in the afternoon. Hard to admit, the room in the pictures was low energy.

I decided to pretty up the room with accessories for a better presentation.

So I went to a store called Homesense that my friend brought me to once to look for some décor accessories (I cannot believe I did not know that store sooner).


Staging for a better presentation.

With half a month’s rent of the room as an investment, I got a big size abstract picture up on the wall, three small decorative mirrors above the bed, and extra fluffy pillows on the bed, all of which made the room warm and inviting.

It had a better energy, like people could think “oh, that landlord seems to have a good taste and could be more friendly” sort of assumption.



Then within 3 days, I got 3 people to contact me and came to look at the place. They all wanted to move in. And this was not like the time in Toronto or Vancouver that 10 people competed for renting a basement apartment or rent a closet room with no windows for $800 a month.

Not only I rented the room out in just a few days, I also got to pick the best suitable tenant.

Who would know I already started staging right there back then.


Stage, rent out and repeat.

A little success as a temp landlord encouraged me to do the same thing for my spare bedroom after I bought my own townhouse 7 months later.

 I charged a little more for what I provided because my room looked more pleasant and coordinated.

My room always got rented out within 1-2 weeks, so before previous tenant moving out, I already secured the next one.


Staging the room to its best is the key to attract better tenants and lease it out faster.





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