When it comes to posting a property listing, we’ve written about how it’s vital to have amazing, high-quality photos that will let your student rental stand out among the thousands of other ads online. But well-shot pictures are only a part of what you need. Students thinking about studying abroad want more than just a roof over their head; they want a (temporary) home away from home. Your photos should reflect that that’s what your rental could be.
Here are ten tips to rev up your France student rental’s overall appeal, both in pictures, and in real life:
Let there be (the right kind of) light.
Bear in mind that lighting isn’t just something you need to show property details; the right light can enhance and even transform a property. Outdoor shots should be taken on a sunny day – otherwise, colors will be washed out, and, more importantly, your rental will have a less “happy” vibe. More particularly, one rental expert suggests shooting at dawn or dusk, when the light is less harsh. Indoors, it’s generally suggested to keep windows open on a sunny day, and to keep all the lights on as well. This way, rooms will look bright and inviting. But I’ve also seen a different technique used: if your rental has warm lighting (more on that below), you can close the curtains and blinds and shoot rooms this way. The colors will look richer and more pleasant. This option is also a good strategy if your property is somewhere like Paris, say, where it’s not always easy to find a sunny day!
Make staged areas that students can identify with.
When popular decorating website Apartment Therapy asked a group of stylists, photographers, and journalists for tips on photographing apartments, one thing they mentioned was “staging” – that is, leaving little objects artfully arranged in the shot. For example, for a student rental, you could leave an open textbook on a desk or table, or a pair of slippers near the bed.
The idea is to make a place look lived-in, which will allow potential renters to more easily project themselves there. So, keep out a few key objects. But…
- Get rid of clutter. Regardless of your definition of “cozy”, a rental should always be neat and clean-looking. Who wants to live somewhere messy? Aside from those artfully arranged objects, everything else should be put away. This helpful blog post gives a quick de-clutter checklist that you can do just before you take the pictures.
- Use colour!
Colour is an inexpensive way to add personality and interest to your student rental property. Paint an accent wall or a piece of furniture a vibrant colour or purchase some cheap but cheerful décor pieces such as artwork, throw cushions or linens. The human eye is drawn to colour and invokes an emotional response. Your France student rental listing is bound to stand out more, which is the key getting more student enquiries.
5. Find inspiration.
Maybe you’re not a decorator, and maybe when you look at your own place, it doesn’t quite give off the “cozy” vibe. Luckily, there are a lot of free, easily accessible resources out there to inspire you. For example, rifle through an IKEA catalogue or do an image search online for “cozy apartments” or “cozy rooms”.
6. Shop smart.
Furnishing an apartment is an investment, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. You can find nice-looking, fairly sturdy, and easy-to-clean furniture from places like IKEA or Conforama. Beyond the necessities, remember that an inviting interior will invite more people to check out your property, rent it, and recommend it to friends, so throw in a few decorative elements like toss cushions and area rugs. You can find inexpensive-but-charming ones in lots of different places, from large supermarket chains like Auchan and Leclerc, to low-price knickknack stores like Babou and Gifi.
7. Picture (frame) this.
Students usually love to tack up posters in their dorms. But your rental is something they might take a little more seriously, especially since it’s likely to be a bigger expense for them. Investing in wall art – even simple, inexpensive prints of your local town or area – is a great idea. To give your place a finished feel, be sure to frame them. You can get inexpensive frames in all kinds of sizes and styles in stores like Babou and Carrefour, for example. Memo boards are another wall decoration that can make a place feel like home. Plus, by inviting your renters to post images, reminders, and other things in a particular spot, you won’t have any (or at least a lot less) holes and marks on the walls when they leave.
8. See things in a different light.
Not only is lighting important in your photos; as this Apartment Therapy article attests (and as many of us here at Allô Student Rentals can personally confirm), you can make your property instantly cozier by opting for “warm” lights – that is, bulbs that give off a yellowish or golden glow, rather than white. This website gives a good, quick explanation of warm and cold lights.
9. Curtain call.
Curtains are a great way to pull a room together, and they have a practical function, too. You can find inexpensive curtains in a wide variety of colors and motifs everywhere from supermarket chains to furniture and interior design stores. If your furniture has patterns, match the curtains to one of the colors. Or, if the furniture is all one shade, you can use the curtains to add a splash of color (say, red curtains in a room with black furniture) – another photographer- and rental expert – approved technique to make a room or photo more appealing.
10. Go for more than good looks.
Hopefully, these tips have helped you find inexpensive ways to make your property cozy in photos and in real life. But it’s also important to remember the practical side to being a landlord. When it comes to renters – especially students – you never know! Make sure everything you buy is not only inviting and charming, but easily replaceable, sturdy, and flame retardant. Inviting photos and interiors can be a key part of getting the edge in the student rental market today. So get out there and invest in some furniture and decorations that will make students want to cozy up with your property!