First impressions count …. a lot! Buildings that appear unclean or poorly maintained suggest that owners care less about their home. Visitors, including prospective buyers, are less likely to look for problems or walk away with a “bad feeling” when a property looks good.
Curb appeal, when it exists, is the favourable impression others have of a property during a first visit. When lacking, it reduces interest in properties for sale in a condo community.
Curb appeal means different things to different people. In a condominium it is a combination of many things sought by a prospective buyer. Generally speaking, curb appeal refers to the outer package that entices a buyer inside.
A condo building that looks good, and is thought to be managed well, has curb appeal. Lobby, hallways, finishings, lighting, amenities and landscaping all play a role along with location. Buildings that look old, appear stale, smell funny or have visible damage lack curb appeal. Damaged and unmaintained parking areas, strange or bad smells, noise, water damage, and landscaping all contribute to a lack of curb appeal. Buyers in buildings lacking curb appeal are less optimistic, have lower expectations and will pay less to purchase a unit.
Painting is one of the more economical ways to make a building, and unit, look better. It hides many minor problems visitors and potential buyers may view negatively.
Curb appeal is the by-product of doing many things well. It is not a project or initiative with a start and end date. Maintaining and enhancing curb appeal should be part of everyone’s job to ensure a property does not look or become neglected. Management should understand resident priorities about how to best keep common areas updated and maintained. Dealing with problems quickly without allowing them to escalate increases both curb appeal and resident satisfaction.
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