Ref: 809161. Furnishing a small new condo
Subject: Quality and appropriate type of furnsihing
Comments: Furnishing helps in getting Tenants but rental must be perceived as value-for money as Tenants are not fools and will have seen at least 20 - 100 other units since the expatriate wife has more free time generally.

September 16, 1998
From: Anne Brocklebank
To: First-time Landlords.

How should the new small Condo be furnished?
Tanglin Regency Condominium.

The 2 photographs (see www.asiahomes.com/singaporerealty/james

answer many FAQ from first-time Landlords as to how they should furnish their small condo for rental. This is a real case and unit has been rented to a Japanese despite construction work seen outside the living room.

This Tanglin Regency Condominium has 3 bedrooms but it is only 1,200 sf. Here are some tips for furnishing:

  • Caucasian Tenants like pastel colours in furnishing as shown by the light yellow night curtains and living set in the photographs. Many Owners do not provide the white (day) curtains, trying to save money but this is penny wise pound foolish. Some Tenants do not mind having night curtains only but no the flowery, multi-coloured Walt Disney types. Definitely no pink, orange, green or grey curtains.

The night curtain in the photographs should be of a thicker material to stop any sunlight coming through or should have another backing. This is important in bedrooms with bright lights coming up from the tennis court (as in UE Square Condo case) and expatriate wives may want to sleep later than 6 am when daylight brightens the room.

  • Mirrors make the small condo look spacious. One clever Landlord in a Fifth Avenue Condo uses a long mirror outside shoe-rack cabinet, near main door. Another one in Costa Rhu has a big mirror in the private lift lobby flanked by imported brick like tiles so that Tenants can check their appearance before going out. These are expensive ideas.
  • Furnish with smaller living and dining sets as show in the photographs, otherwise the apartment looks cluttered. Usually the living set should be 2+2 and the dining table should have 4 chairs.
  • In this case, the Owner uses fabric covers for dining chairs with the idea they can be washed. Expatriate families with small children will find this difficult to maintain and will avoid renting such units, thereby reducing your catch. Best is to buy light brown wooden chairs with plastic-vinyl type cushion covers.
  • Wood is a favourite but use light-coloured ones like pinewood.
  • Glass-top dining and coffee tables give a contemporary and expensive appearance.
  • Ceiling lights should be one or maximum 3 electric bulbs rather than chandeliers which are suitable for bigger houses.
  • Master bed for master bedroom. Owner had a queen-sized bed plus 2 side tables bought as a set. This unfortunately restricts prospects to those who do not need a king-sized bed as the Owner is reluctant to change and the other 2 smaller bedrooms can't even take the queen-sized bed. Caucasians prefer king-sized beds. Japanese do not mind them.
  • Decorate the whole condo like a show flat as in this case. There is still no guarantee but an apartment furnished with upmarket quality furniture tends to rent out faster. This is called "differentiation" or "positioning" in marketing terms. You still have to look for realtors specialising in rental and be pro-active yourself in advertising as "Owner" in the Straits Times Classifieds. You can email your property particulars to drsing@asiahomes.com to expose your property for rent to our realtors.

Good luck.

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