Trending in the US: renters investing in the décor and design of their apartments for display on social media – and getting paid to do it. A landlord’s worst nightmare or new promotional avenue for real estate marketing?

Renters – your next best house marketing weapon?

Sharing your home life with the world isn’t new, but some renters have turned it into a profit centre, investing in décor and design to capture an audience and make money from product sponsors and other collaborators.

The New York Times (NYT) reports that one tenant’s $10,000 investment (including tapware and light fixtures) in her $1,400-a-month apartment generated $80,000 in income from social media content and brand deals with companies, such as Ikea and Walmart — enough to quit her job as a project manager.

Check out her aesthetic on Instagram.


The hearts of design-minded tenants will skip a beat at the possibilities  Landlords should be intrigued, too.

If attracting future tenants or deep-pocketed buyers is an exercise in showcasing a home’s potential, then why not leverage the unpaid interior design handiwork of a talented tenant?

Certainly, the approach isn’t without risks. Home improvement can go pear-shaped. Remember the 90s DIY show Changing Rooms? Though bear in mind that under the terms of a tenancy agreement you’re able to veto proposed alterations should they make you squirm.

But keep an open mind. Just because the decorator’s ideas jar with your tastes, that shouldn’t necessarily be a showstopper. Take a dispassionate view, because the idea is about appealing to the imagination of the next house dweller.

A whole new audience

The tenant profiled in the NYT story took her social media friends on a journey with her during her hunts for trinkets and as she painted walls and stained her Ikea Gjora bed frame with Minwax. Soon, hundreds of followers on TikTok and Instagram turned into tens of thousands. An outright influencer, you might say.

But then simply holding a degree of sway over an audience, her centre stage is the landlord’s asset. This is a symbiotic relationship that could work for both parties.

For the landlord, at least, the tenant’s social media followers could augment a more traditional marketing campaign to rent the property (when the incumbent gives notice) or bring it to market in the future.

Clearly, you’d need the cooperation of the tenant who, for a fee, could alert their followers to the upcoming availability of the dwelling, or its pending sale.

Why not?

Good tenants are hard to find. So, it pays to think laterally when trying to reach them. Call your Goodwins property manager 0800 GOODWINS to hatch a plan.