When you reminisce about anything that brought you joy or something that wasn’t so pleasant what is a detail that runs through your head? As for me I always remember the smell. When I think of my Fiancé, I reminded of how good he smells and how much I loved his cologne the very first day we met. When I smell a newborn baby, I think of my baby when he was just born I remember how good he smelled and how much I enjoyed digging my nose into his little tummy and neck. When I think about work, I think of my Co-Workers Scentsy Candle that she always changes up with fun scents of Candy and Tropical Breeze. Whatever the scent, memories good and bad come flooding back. Maybe that is one of my strongest senses, but I have a feeling I am not alone.
The Cologne and Perfume Industry is predicted to have reached $45.6 billion as of 2018. You can’t walk into a department store without basking in the scent of the latest fragrance. But this also includes other toiletries. After people make themselves smell good, the following would be their homes and then their cars. So, the smell does matter. Aside from the most important fact that it warns us of danger such as a gas leak or a fire, our nose is a mighty superpower if you ask me. Other times we come across an odor that makes our noses turn up, but if it weren’t for our nose the phrase, “Stop and smell the Roses” wouldn’t exist. Don’t let your rental property be that one thing people wish they would have never smelled.
Often it’s difficult for landlords or residents to smell what their house smells like because they are used to it. Science explains why we can’t smell our own home. We adapt to smell very quickly, this is called olfactory adaptation, and it’s the same reason we are unable to detect our breath or even perfume after a while. When we inhale, the molecules pass through the nostrils and stick to a wall of mucus on the back of our throat. The mucus is home to receptor cells that tell your brain what it is you’ve smelled. Our brain was programmed to “smell” and “sense” danger. Any change to our environment could be a potential hazard. After a few sniffs, we should know if the smell is of any danger. If it isn’t a potential threat, then your nose is no longer notifying you. Hence why we get used to the smell.
If you are like me, more than likely you are blind as to what your house smells like and are worried what people smell you can try these solutions to give your nose an awakener. Have you ever noticed the coffee beans in the fragrance department? What is the purpose of them? Smelling coffee beans in-between samples helps distinguish smells every new scent. You can use the same concept at home. You can leave for a couple of hours, smell some coffee beans and when you walk in you should be able to detect what others smell. If that doesn’t work, you can jump around a room for a few minutes. The blood flow can briefly improve your sense of smell. If that still doesn’t work, you can always ask someone close to you that don’t live in the house to be honest so long as your prepared for the truth.
As a Property Management Company, we understand the importance of smell. We surveyed 200 current residents, and prospective residents and 90% said: “smell matters, to the point of making or breaking the deal.” People are renting homes and do not want to rent a home that smells like cat urine, animal feces, cigarettes, and mothballs or even fresh paint.
Residents want to smell “at home,” they want to be greeted with smells of freshness and cleanliness. As the landlord you want residents to be taken back to a “memory” of joy and happiness, not wanting to run the other direction.
So how can you achieve this…
1. Professionally clean the carpets. Don’t try and rent a machine or use a home machine. They don’t have the suction power that the professional machines have. Request a citrus fragrance to be used in the cleaning solution. This scent will be subtle but just enough to please the sniffer. If there is extreme pet damage, no amount of cleaning will dilute the smell. You will be forced to pull up all the carpet and padding, treat the concrete before installing a new pad and carpet.
2. Walls hold smells, especially smoke and pet urine. The drywall acts like a sponge and holds on to the odor no matter how much you clean the walls. In most cases, primer and paint will do the trick. In extreme cases, you might have to replace all the drywall. During 9-11 special machines called the Deodorizer, was used to clear out the smoke smell from surrounding buildings, these machines work well in residential properties as well. In fact, they eliminate the odor it doesn’t mask the odor.
3. Use plug-in air fresheners strategically placed throughout the house. You don’t want one just at the front door and then nothing else throughout the home. Place one in each bathroom, the kitchen, by the front door, you want residents to remember the fresh smell as they walk through the house. There is absolutely no excuse for your house to stink unless your Oscar the Grouch.
We don’t recommend Oils or Warmers in the rental property for a couple of reasons. First being, they can be stolen easily. Secondly, the oils can be knocked over and make a big mess. Thirdly, you want something that doesn’t have to be turned off, and each time a resident comes to the house. Plug-ins are automatic. No-fuss, no muss.
Very Important. Make sure all your scents are the same from your deodorizer, plug in’s and solution on your carpet. We found citrus after leasing over 10,000 properties to be the silver bullet.
Don’t be Oscar, the Grouch
Just like you wouldn’t buy a car that smelled like smoke, a resident doesn’t want to move into a stinky home. Put a little bit of money into the home to remove any odors left behind by the previous resident or even yourself. Here at Management One, we practice what we just preached to you. We evaluate the carpet and walls. We advise the landlords of the best course of action, whether it’s painting walls or ripping out the carpet. We use the Deodorizer machines in every vacant home along with Air Fresheners and carpet solutions. By implementing these methods, we rent properties quickly, and with quality residents, because we all buy on emotions and smell is a compelling emotion, after all, I married the guy who smelled tremendous and is now my husband. Residents that see the landlord values the home and in turn take care of the house as well.