Guest Article by Julian Maurice
We are all familiar with the magnolia / white colour combination – an interior theme that has been used consistently on investment properties for decades. Don’t do it!! There are so many benefits of using colour that you really shouldn’t be considering magnolia at all.
It’s just common business sense – make your product better than your competitors and you’ll win their business. It’s why Apple are able to sell their products for £100’s more than their competition and make far higher profits.
Nowadays the best place to market your property is online which means your product needs to sell itself, on the screen. Potential customers can view hundreds of similar properties and simply click on the one they like to arrange a viewing. With so much choice why will the customer choose your property if it’s practically the same as all the others?
Image and making your product jump off the page is a basic marketing strategy , one that very few property investors seem to grasp and yet careful use of colour and co-ordinating accessories can give your property the all important WOW factor, stirring interest and making the customer book a viewing (and ultimately decide to take the room).
So don’t follow the trend or shy away from colour, use it with confidence and you will really see the benefit in your profit.
Differentiate Your Product
Thinking carefully about your product in terms of design and colour theme can have a dramatic impact on long-term profits as such a big part of the buying decision is visual.
Using a neutral (not magnolia) and adding some finishing touches in a brighter colour, such as a lampshades and window blinds etc could be all you need to substantially differentiate your product from your competitors. Doing this will get you more interest, the property will let faster, and for substantially higher rental income than the average.
- Colour can be overpowering or can make a room feel dark if over used, so choose carefully. If you are unsure what colour to choose, a ‘feature wall’ internet search will give you plenty of inspiration.
- Don’t always paint the largest wall in the room just because it is behind a bed, be more subtle. If you are unsure which wall to choose, always go for the one with the least surface area.
- Using more than one colour by adding a complimentary or harmonious colour as an accent is going that one step further and gives a major style boost
- Colour works best on furnished accommodation, so if you are developing property, or have an unfurnished let then stick with a neutral (just not magnolia as you will be losing money the moment brush meets wall).
When venturing outside the ‘Neutral Zone’ you will undoubtedly encounter some resistance. Your agent, property colleagues and contractors are likely to raise eyebrows and some may even try everything to dissuade you, don’t listen to them, they do not understand the value of branding or good product design.
Be bold, not bland, the consumer of your product does not want to buy a bland product, they pay more for a product that makes them feel good and it doesn’t take a genius to realise that higher rental value (not number of rooms) is what makes profit.
If it’s a bland room it’s simply not going to make the same profit as a well presented room, in fact you may find it takes some time to even attract a viewing. So while the well presented room is already producing income, the bland room has to wait in line.
You can add at least £10 a week to the value of a room in a 5-bedroom HMO using colour and accessories, which increases your profit by 20%.
Achieve that £10 increase on all rooms in the property and you have added the equivalent profit of another bedroom. 5 rooms making the profit of 6. 5 tenants giving you the same profit as 6. 5 houses producing the same income as 6. If it’s profit you’re after rather than turnover then make more money from each room, be more efficient and it’s all down to presentation.
If you let your room in a single viewing you have increased profit again, if you find a better quality tenant you win again as you will find your maintenance costs are lower.
This is why differentiation is so important and why colour is so effective. People are visual and their buying decision is visual, why do you think a viewing is called a viewing?
Effort on property presentation adds more than just cash flow, it helps with customer retention, attracts higher quality customers, can significantly raise your profile and attract JV partners. It will impress surveyors and HMO officers, making your property journey so much smoother.
So don’t paint the town magnolia… be brave and make real money from property by making your property stand out!
Written by Julian Maurice. Find out more about his services at www.iconliving.co.uk