I’m not married. So, when my married co-workers talk about their funny little marriage stories, I’m always curious to get that peek into married life. Sometimes the stories are unsettling, sometimes they’re hilarious, and sometimes I can apply them to the multifamily industry. This happens to be one of those lucky times.
“Tell me again about the time your father-in-law critiqued your yard,” I requested of my co-worker this morning.
“My father-in-law critiquing my yard? Which time?” He responded. This was going to be good. “The most recent time was last Friday. He stopped by and just started walking around the yard. He mentioned that our flower pots were looking a little sunburned and asked if we’d been watering them daily like he told us to do.” At this point he slowly shook his head, sighed, and did a poor job of holding back his frustration. “He said ‘You guys need to be weeding a lot more than you are.’ We have three kids under five including a 17 month old girl and they’re all very very active. We don’t have time to weed.”
At this point another co-worker chimed in and said, in her dry way “She’s already walking. It’s time to show her the value of hard work and the difference between a flower and a weed.”
Curb appeal is a real thing; a book is, in fact, judged by its cover (which is why romance novels always pick those ridiculously attractive models). For all you single people out there, let’s compare it to that great and abominable Tinder. It’s simple; swipe right if you think someone is pretty, swipe left if you don’t. Let that sink in. It’s undeniable: we are shallow. Potential renters will do the exact same thing with your property— walk around and judge the heck out of it on looks alone. Aesthetics are a powerful thing and can make or break a sale. Are the grounds on your property up to snuff, or are they lacking in appeal? Are the bushes manicured into animal shapes, or growing wild and unkempt? Is the grass kept nice, even, and weed free? Do you have climbable trees? You get the point.
The grounds aren’t the only thing they’ll notice. A noteworthy leasing office can also go a long way to build that impression. It has to be clean, welcoming, and professional enough without being intimidating. It can also impress; do you use iPads in the leasing office? With tablets, a potential resident could sign anywhere on your aesthetically pleasing grounds, being wowed simultaneously by how beautiful and how modern the property is.
Your online presence is the final cornerstone in your aesthetic appeal. I’ve mentioned before how troublesome it is when a community doesn’t have a website. With younger renters, raised on the interwebs, you need a website that is sleek, a little sexy, and above all easy to navigate. People will lose interest and leave the site if they can’t figure out how to even apply online. You could be losing potential residents.
I know, I know, you’ve heard all of this before, but it’s a lot more serious than you may think. As Oscar Wilde wrote, “I choose my friends for their good looks…” If the looks don’t resonate, that lease won’t be getting signed. Do you want potential residents to swipe left or right for your property?