Turn a hard-to-market small studio apartment into a high-demand property with simple tips to boost the appeal.
Small studio apartments are often thought of as challenging units for property owners to fill. Striking the right balance between affordability and profitability is the challenge to finding tenants, but if the space is marketed correctly, the pool of potential renters opens up significantly. Proper marketing requires capitalizing on a product’s appeal. Small spaces offer many advantages for smart renters. All it takes is basic marketing prowess and thinking outside the (small) box.
The Basics on How to Market an Apartment
Marketing means knowing your target audience. Leasing agents should look at the apartment marketing trends and how they apply to the target renter. In the case of small studio apartments, you want to appeal to renters who are comfortable in small spaces—often young, single tenants are drawn to small-space living and looking for an affordable rental. These renters may be students or young professionals who embrace the advantages of apartment living.
Target Your Market
Finding young renters means going into the places where they get their information. The renters interested in studio apartments often don’t read print classifieds. They’re even unlikely to check out very many online listings. If your rental unit isn’t on a website within the first five hits of a search engine, the listing won’t be seen. You want to reach your audience on their level. Some landlords shy away from Craigslist, but it’s listing option appealing to a younger demographic. Young renters are also engaged with social media. Ads don’t need to sound cool or use slang, of course. But running an ad on Facebook or Twitter directed at potential renters will connect on their level.
Creating a social media presence for your rental units also helps build a sense of community, which is a key to attracting good tenants. Holding open houses, get-togethers and apartment tours, allow new renters to connect with others in their building. Younger single renters enjoy the opportunity to get to know their new neighbors. Creating a social space and building connections also helps foster an apartment community of long-term tenants.
Provide Visual Examples
Renters have a hard time seeing the potential of a small space if they only see it empty. Offer them ideas of what’s possible with a studio layout. Consider “staging” a vacant unit to maximize the space and give renters a visual to really connect to. Offer ideas for studio apartment layouts that feel open and efficient. Include attractive furniture and easy storage solutions to fit the space. Then take photos of your impressive setup so renters imagine their life in a studio. These visual examples are perfect for social media marketing and promotion in ads. Images sell.
Another attractive trend for new renters is building owners conscious of their ecological impact. Small spaces already offer a minimalist and simple appeal. Highlight the advantages of “living with less”: smaller units allow for less waste of heat, electricity and other utilities. Going green is a win-win proposition for many landlords. Improving energy efficiency saves overhead for the property owner. Modern renters feel good about choosing a green space too. Even hotels, from small boutiques to the large international chains, are realizing the advantage of eco-friendliness.
Small Studio Apartment Upgrades that Attract
One of the big misconceptions about studio apartments is a lack of basic appliances or that the living room and bedroom spaces are lost to kitchen needs. Dispel this misconception and ease renter’s concerns.
Small apartments can still be well-appointed thanks to compact space-saving appliances. All the appliances renters expect – like stoves and refrigerators – exist in smaller, more efficient versions found online. Most big box stores only carry the biggest appliances because those offer the best profit margins. Small efficiency appliances have existed for many years around the world market. But they’ve only recently shown up in common retail chapters, with more American consumers looking to reduce energy costs and space concerns. Property owners and managers with small studio apartments should seek out these scaled-down appliances to fit the space.
Even washers and dryers exist in small room units, which might speak to renters who don’t want to lug their dirty clothes to a laundromat or a basement laundry room. Upgrading these appliances to energy-efficient models is a worthy investment that will continue to save you money on water and energy costs for years, and it provides a great selling point when marketing your property.
Storage solutions and an efficient use of space is an important upgrade for studio apartments. Renters still need ways to store their stuff. Offering organizing ideas right off the bat means they don’t need to head to Ikea or build their own options. A studio with built-in bookshelves will get college students and book lovers to take a second look with interior design appeal. Do-it-yourself shelves offer a solution for organizing books, food or anything tenants need to store. Well-deployed storage opens up living spaces, making them feel bigger and spacious.
Studio Apartments fit Market Trends
Microunits are an emerging trend within rental properties. With higher demand for single units rather than family units with multiple bedrooms, many property owners are turning larger units into super-efficient smaller spaces. Most tenants coming out of college don’t share the dreams of their parents for eventually moving up and out of the city into the suburbs. They are managing money in different ways: balancing student loans, credit card debt, and living expenses. They also don’t want to manage the social dynamics of roommates, splitting costs and communal living.
Landlords with a big unit that’s been vacant for over a year might want to consider converting it into a few microunits instead, especially in urban areas. In busy cities, there’s often a higher demand for single-occupancy spaces. Check your city zoning laws and restrictions before making changes to your building, of course, but converting to micro-units has advantages.
Renters looking for studio space have different priorities than renters looking for large units. These renters prize accessibility over square footage. Take a lesson from large cities like New York and Los Angeles. Tenants want to stay close to downtown and active urban centers and are willing to sacrifice space to stay there. Small spaces still get high rent prices when an apartment is located close to public transportation, business hubs or nightlife. Studio apartments are the way people can get the amenities they want at a price they can afford. Get the word out to them and finding renters for these units becomes a lot easier.
Studio apartments are in demand. Property managers simply need to direct marketing efforts in the right places. Realizing the different desires of renters allows property owners to adjust their studio apartments to meet those demands. Reach out on social media to potential renters. Making a studio space even more energy efficient increases value for renters. Take a little time to look into compact appliances and storage space solutions to maximize the appeal of the unit. You may become so sold on the benefits, you’ll decide to look into converting larger apartments into microunits.
Everyone needs a space to call home, big or small. Studio apartments present a huge and growing appeal. Marketing small studio apartments simply requires getting the message in front of the right people.
Featured image “studio apartment” courtesy of Flickr user Taras Kalapun licensed under CC by 2.0.
Images “Design Studio Home Office Inspiration” courtesy of Flickr user I am Ronna licensed under CC by 2.0.