A well-furnished apartment is an essential part of the marketing program for apartment communities and the great thing about an attractive model is that it expresses a lifestyle that cannot be verbalized. A model apartment could be the missing piece to any communities lease up puzzle, but there are some important details to remember when setting up a model apartment in a community:

1. Determining the number of models to setup.

• Often times it is beneficial to setup multiple models, depending on the community’s budget, if the community has numerous floor plans. Setting up multiple models could also allow for multiple decorating schemes, as well as make smaller apartments look more appealing with a creative furniture layout, or make those non-traditional floor plans (i.e., 2 Bedroom/1 Bath) have a more practical appeal.

2. Determining which apartment to use as the model.

• A less desirable apartment should be used as the model, rather than the best apartment available in the community. More desirable apartments with great locations will sell themselves without the use of a model staging. Decorating an apartment with a less desirable location will help offset the negatives and make this apartments location seem more appealing.
• Choose an apartment that is close to the office. Doing so will make the leasing agents tour more convenient, as well as make those time crunched prospects less likely to refuse a showing. The last thing a community wants to do is spend all of that money to stage a model apartment and not have every single prospect see it.
• Apartments that are on the first floor tend to be more convenient for model showing. In addition, some individuals have problems negotiating stairs, so the bottom floor will allow for the most convenience and accessibility for the prospects.

3. Decorating the model apartment home.

• Make the decorating and furnishing of the apartment truly alluring to the eyes. While the apartment should be decorated nicely, it should not be so exuberantly decorated that the prospect feels as if the apartment is out of their budget the second they walk in the door. Decorate the model apartment to appeal to the clientele that will be living at the community. If the community is a more modern and luxurious property, then nicer furniture placed in a more ornate setting would be more appropriate. If the community is a college property, then more comfortable furniture in a more laid back setting would apply. Don’t make the prospects qualify themselves out by walking into too nice of a model apartment.
• Don’t clutter the model. Setting up too much furniture in a model can make the apartment feel smaller, especially if the prospect has to constantly squeeze by furniture to maneuver through the room.
• Always make sure the model apartment is clean. Keeping the model in first-class condition should be the top priority with having a model apartment. If a prospect were to walk into an unclean model apartment, then he/she will automatically probably assume the property is one that does not care about its current residents if it doesn’t show its future residents the nicest thing possible.
In addition to these basic things to keep in mind when setting up a model apartment, here is a great article that shows, mathematically, how a model apartment can be beneficial.