Renting Your Property Using a Tenant's Sense of Smell

Use a Tenant's Sense of Smell to Get Your Property Rented

Renting Property Using a Tenant's Sense of Smell
Get Your Property Rented Using a Tenant's Sense of Smell. Tara Moore/Taxi/Getty Images

Getting your property rented can be a stressful experience. A tenant's sense of smell can play a role in how quickly you are able to get your vacancy filled. Marketing your property to appeal to a tenant's nose could favorably affect the way they see your property and could lead to that lease being signed. Learn why the sense of smell is so powerful, where to check for odors, and which smell is the most universally appealing.


Why Is Smell So Powerful?

According to an article by the University of Washington, our sense of smell is directly linked to our “emotional behavior and memory.” This is why certain smells bring us warm fuzzy feelings, while others make us want to cover our noses in disgust. You certainly do not want a tenant to enter your property and instinctively cover their nose. Your goal, rather, is for your property to smell pleasant, but not overwhelming. 

Dealing With Offensive Odors

Step away from your property for a while because our noses become accustomed to familiar smells. When you come back to the property, take note of what it smells like, or better yet, get a second opinion. Have someone who is not familiar with the property come in and see what they have to say.

7 Common Places to Check for Odors:

  • Sink drains or garbage disposals
  • Toilets
  • Carpets
  • Hardwood Floors
  • Sofas or Any Type of Fabric
  • Hampers
  • Garbage Cans

Worst Odors:

According to a survey by, people consider rotting garbage to be the worst odor, followed closely by pet odors. You definitely want to make sure your space is free from these most offensive odors. Step outside and make sure any garbage is properly disposed of.

You may also want to wash down the actual garbage cans as they can smell pretty foul themselves.

Getting Rid of Odors:

As you step back inside, focus below your feet. Carpets and even hardwood floors can trap odors. Clean any carpets to get rid of unwanted smells such as lingering pet odors or tobacco. Woolite makes a full line of carpet cleaners and odor neutralizers.

If you have many units, it could make sense for you to invest in an actual carpet cleaner. Bissell and Hoover are two well-known names in the carpet cleaning business and have machines available at all price points. If you want to leave the dirty work to someone else, you can call a carpet cleaning service, such as Stanley Steemer. The price will vary by location and size of the room.

Igniting the Senses With Pleasant Smells

Since smell is a highly personal preference, it is hard to find one that will appeal to everyone. Just because you like the smell, doesn’t mean others will. Some love the smell of freshly cut flowers, while others are highly allergic. In general, you want the apartment to have a pleasant or neutral smell.

Most Pleasing Scents: lists vanilla as an almost universally pleasing fragrance. Lavender and freshly baked cookies are also known to promote relaxation and happy feelings, respectively.

You can generate these smells by placing plug-ins or candles throughout the property. You can, of course, put a tray of cookies in the oven to generate that freshly baked smell, just make sure not to burn them!

Bottom line, if the property smells good, the potential tenants will feel good and you are that much closer to renting out the space.

Using the 5 Senses to Attract Potential Tenants