Monday, October 24, 2011

You get what you pay for

Recently I had the chance to travel to Europe where I was able to compare property styling/staging in hotel rooms on each end of the scale. Several hotel rooms are of a similar size or offer the same form of accommodation, for example, queen bed, bathroom and kitchenette, however whether those fixtures are of the same quality and in a good location will dramatically effect the cost of the accommodation and what people will pay to stay there. So as the saying goes.......you get what you pay for!

The first place I travelled to on my recent trip to Europe was France. I stayed in a three star hotel about ten minutes out of the centre of Paris. The hotel was a five minute walk from a train station that proved to be fantastic to get around, and in prime location of several restaurants and even a shopping centre. Good location so most likely to be a good place to stay. We only paid around 60 euro's a night, so I was not expecting perfection but still something nice. I was hopeful, until we stepped out of the lift onto the 6th floor heading to our room. The corridor was dimly lit, had cream cement walls with big bulky bright yellow doors lining each side. Not the best start, but then we opened the door to our room, the effectiveness of the saying you get what you pay for sprang to mind instantly.

It was the smallest hotel room I had ever been in, it was lucky enough to house a double bed resting on a bright blue metal frame with generic bright multicoloured linen. We had two pillows only, a 19 inch television that was raised in the corner, probably because there was no room to put it anywhere else. Under the television was a small corner shelf that matched the small shelf sitting on the other side of the bed acting as a bedside table. So aside from the obviously miniscule funiture provided in this room, there was barely enough room to lay the suitcase on the floor. There was however an ensuite, which as you can imagine I was very happy about. This consisted of a basin, small toilet and a shower with doors that did not close properly. As far as accessories and decorations go, well.....there was none, there was not even a telephone, a bath mat or even spare pillows provided. Not a hotel I would choose to stay in again.

After the few days spent in Paris travels then went onto Geneva, Switzerland. The hotel chosen was on the other end of the scale, paying over 200 euro a night. The hotel seemed to be a much bigger hotel than our previous accommodation which I was hoping would be reflective on the size of the rooms. The foyer was much better presented and even when we stepped out of the lift onto our floor the feeling was much more prestigious. Beautifully wall papered walls lined with oak wooden doors gave me a much better feeling about this hotel. We stepped into out room and felt instant pleasure, not only did the hotel provide a queen sized bed with tables on each side but it also had a large desk/dining table with 2 chairs, a cushioned window seat, kitchenette and fully functional large bathroom with a bath and a separate toilet. The room was fantastic, you could even section off the bedroom from the rest of the suite.  All the furniture matched, the accessories and cushions matched the curtains and linen and even the benchtop in the kitchen and the bathroom matched. The quality of the fittings was spectacular and worth spending that little bit more on the room to give you that extra luxury.

This hotel clearly showed that a better presented room is worth a lot more. Expecially considering the room was about 10 minutes out of the centre of Geneva and the only thing close by was a shopping centre with a few restaurants.

So if on holidays it is safe to say that you would spend that little bit more on a hotel room to get the better quality better presented room, then it would be safe to say that you would do that for your home as well, after all you have to spend all of your time there, not just a few nights.

No matter what property is referred to, whether it be a home, a hotel room, an office, an apartment so on and so forth, if the property is presented well with quality fittings, the more likely a higher price will be paid. You would never pay to visit a day spa if it looked like a toilet block, however if the day spa was presented well and gave off a relaxing atmosphere with quality fittings and great presentation then you would most likely spend that little bit more, get that extra manicure on top of your massage.

Presentation is all about impression. The aim in property styling and home staging is to give that positive first and lasting impression. If a friend walks into your home you want them to feel comfortable and relaxed and most of the time you would love it if they commented on your place saying how great it looked, making spending that extra money worth while. Same goes if you are selling your home, if a possible purchaser walks into your house you want them to leave with a great first impression and a long lasting memory of how great your house looked and how perfect it would look with them in it.

So if you would pay a little bit more for a better hotel room, then you would definately pay a little bit more for the better house, and that house is better because it has been staged for sale.

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