First Impressions

First Impressions

**Disclaimer – this blog post ended up with a ‘Dr. Phil’ vibe – just telling it like it is (which may include a bad word or two)**

This past month, I had a great pleasure in taking two wonderful people around our city to look for a rental property (they have been transferred to Calgary for work). Their wish list wasn’t a mile long and in doing some research ahead of time for them, their desired location just happened to be a ‘hot’ area. As soon as I thought I found a property for them to view, I was notified that it was rented out.

Fast forward to our full day of viewing properties. What quickly became evident to me was that there was a reason these homes were still available. Bluntly speaking, for the most part, they were gross. There’s no other way to put that nicely. If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you will know that I am obviously organized and love a clean home. If you know me well, you will also know that I tend to have high standards. And by high standards, I mean that I expect things to be done correctly the first time and that a half-assed job is just that. So what exactly did we come across?

First Impressions

As you may know, you only have one chance to make a first impression. We viewed six properties on the first day and out of six, there were only two that I knew by driving up that they would be potential properties. The other four – we really should have just kept only have one chance to make a first impression

Image credit

So what exactly am I talking about?  The four properties I’m talking about had ‘red flags’ from the first glance and all had very poor curb appeal.  Broken lights, filthy siding, un-kept front entrances…makes me gag just thinking about it. There is nothing worse than dreading the fact that we have to touch the filthy front door just to get in.

It doesn’t take a lot of work or a ton of time to get outside, grab a garbage bag, some soap and water, and get at it.


Since taking my True Color Expert™ training, I see color in a whole new way. The only two words I can honestly share with you are, ‘Holy shit’. In our experience of seeing six properties it was evident that:

  1. The landlords or property owners either bought the cheapest paint and had no regard for having the any flow in the home, OR
  2. Someone really doesn’t care as it’s a rental property, OR
  3. They truly don’t know what works and what doesn’t.

Whatever the reason is…what an instant turnoff. One of the homes we toured had orange oak wood throughout.   All of the walls were newly painted a very fresh lime green/yellow! When we walked into the front door I think my eyes bulged out. Lime green (yellow) will never go with orange cabinets nor will it ever go with the new brown carpet that was being installed. It was just a hot mess. In another home there were a lot of holes in the walls, dated paint colour (not sure if the home had ever had a fresh coat of paint), and filthy walls. Ugh.

You can make such a huge improvement with paint IF you know how to pick the best paint.  Your fixed elements have to be taken into consideration when choosing paint.  The cost to have a Colour Consultation will far outweigh the costly mistake you may make in choosing the wrong colours (like the image below)!

badly painted homeImage credit


We viewed a couple of properties where there had obviously been ‘renovations’. I really had to bight my tongue with a few that we viewed. While yes, there are many ways to improve a home on a tight budget, and I’m all for saving money – there are also a million mistakes you can make! Simply adding new handles to a kitchen can make a huge impact IF they are the right handles. Modern new handles will never look right on old, dated, dirty cabinets. It ends up looking like new handles on old cabinets. Truly a waste of money.

In one kitchen we viewed they were adding new white appliances. Nothing worse than screaming white appliances shouting, “Look at me! Look at me!” Simple black appliances would have looked a thousand times better as stainless steel was not an option.  This house below has a foundation palette that is cream.  White appliances simply stick out and look out of place.  You’ve got a mixture of white and cream – and in most instances, they do not go together.

white appliances look horrible Image credit

I really wished I would have taken some pictures of the homes we saw.  You would have been able to see for your own eyes what we had to see!

What I saw was a lot of money being spent on renovations that were NOT making an impact. In fact, in my opinion, they were making the house worse. You all know how I detest wasting money. You may as well have been flushing money down the toilet!


Let me ask you a question: when you walk into a store or a restaurant and it’s dirty, would you stay? I know I certainly wouldn’t. Out of the six properties we saw, five were filthy! I know I have high cleanliness standards but I’m telling you now – those homes were filthy. In fact, one property manager told us that that house was professionally cleaned. I happened to not bite my tongue on this one. I believe what came out of my mouth was, “Well then you need to hire new cleaners. This house is disgusting.”  Come on!  You either have very low standards (and that’s clearly a reflection on how you manage properties) or you are just cheap and paid someone to kind-of clean the home.  Either way, there’s no excuse.

It is clear to me why the properties we saw were still vacant. I absolutely love this quote:

you attract what you are not what you

How does this relate to properties and real estate? Simple. If you want to attract the best renter or the best buyer for your home, then your property needs to reflect that.

If you’re not sure how to get your home or rental property to attract the best buyer or renter, see how I can help! I’ll set you straight. 


Sheri Bruneau Get It Together

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