Everyone knows the benefits of using mini-models in apartments. They catch the eye, can help move a troubled unit by creating a positive point of focus, and make the space seem just a touch more "homey." The problem is that so many places use the same mini-model make ups as their competitor down the street, so what your potential residents see isn't something that makes your apartment stick out in their mind. You look just like everyone else, which totally works if you're in Jr. High, but isn't so great for defining yourself in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Your Mini-Models should NOT look or smell like they came out of grandma's closet. A tea set looks great on a tray, but not if it's sitting on doilies and looks 70 years old. (Unless it's a cool looking 70 year old tea set, of course.) Pick something modern or Iconic. Pier 1 usually has some great looking mini-model supplies like tea sets that look interesting and are at a fairly good price. And they don't smell all moth-bally.
Your Mini-models should reflect the core of your demographic. It does no good to go out shooting skeet if you aim your gun away from the range. If you rent to students then put things in your apartments that students related to. In the kitchen, put out some packages of Raman noodles, a colander, and get a copy of 101 Ways to Cook Raman Noodles, as well as any of the dry/non perishable ingredients for a recipe that you can have to cookbook open to. It's a different twist on the old standard of the wine bottle, the pasta box and the plastic grapes, and your efforts are aimed at the market you're trying to shoot in.
Your Mini-models should be seasonal or topical. Recently, I walked in to an apartment with some very lovely mini-models set up in different places. The one that I remember, however, was the one of hot cocoa in mugs. Don't get me wrong. The mugs were nice and I do love hot cocoa, but given that it was the end of June, it didn't really jive with me.
Here are some random summer mini-model ideas that you might want to try on your property. You can decide if you want to leave the kits in the apartment as a move in gift for your future residents, or if you want to use them over and over again!
- BBQ Kit - Buy one of the one use grill sets that costs about 7 dollars at a local superstore and pick up a can of baked beans, small bottles of mustard and ketchup, and a box of pasta salad mix. Put it all out on top of a red and white checked cloth and you've got an eye catcher that can also double as a first meal in the resident's new home. When you do your walk through with them, make sure to show them the hamburgers or hot dogs you've left for them in the freezer!
- Lovely Lemonade- A nice glass or even fancy looking plastic pitcher with some real or fake lemons sitting out and a container of Country Time mix does the trick when it comes to tapping in to a space of comfort on a hot summer's day! If you've got time in the morning, why not go over and mix up a pitcher so that you can have a drink and enjoy looking around the apartment? Nothing says welcome home in the summer like a nice cold glass of lemonade.
- Patio Prima Donna- If you have an extra piece of out door furniture with a side table, why not use it out on the patio of one of your vacant units. A glass (real or the pre-filled fake kind) of wine and a good book make that the perfect setting for watching the setting sun and winding down the day. When the resident moves in, a real bottle of regional wine would make a nice move in gift and carry the marketing all the way to the finish line.
What are you using in your mini models this summer? Have you found any great tricks that really pop in your future resident's eyes? I'd LOVE to hear them!