How are renters finding your property? What is influencing their decision? What are they looking for? These are all questions a recent survey by Multi-housing News (MHN) was designed to answer. Its results reveal the following top 10 trends in the multifamily rental process:
- Ratings & Reviews. Managers and owners tend to fear review sites. After all, anyone can post, and that includes evicted tenants with an ax to grind. But, research reveals that fifty-two percent of prospects go to review and rating sites as a first step in their apartment search process, while seventy-eight percent of renters use these sites to gather property information. Therefore, having a review page that is updated and representative is necessary.
- Top Sites. Wondering which sites are most relied-upon? Results reveal the most-visited sites to be com, Yelp, and Google.
- Social Media. While residents tend to like social media-based communication from and about their property, prospective tenants do not tend to consider it as part of their search.
- Top 3 Sources. Remaining virtually unchanged since 2012, the top 3 lead sources include Internet Listing Sources, drive-by, and word of mouth.
- Desktop Dependency. While mobile becomes increasingly popular, it’s not at the expense of desktop use. Sixty-two percent of residents still use and prefer their desktop computers for use in their apartment search efforts.
- Brand Recall Issue. If you’re worried about the brand recall of ILSs, consider these stats: “In 2015, Generic Internet search has more than doubled since 2012 (2015: 23 percent, 2012: 10 percent). Apartments.com (26 percent) and ApartmentFinder.com (23 percent) are the two most widely reported ILSs for apartment search.”
- Website Design. While parallax websites are all the rage, prospective renters say they aren’t necessary. They are searching specifically for unit and price information. Instead of a high-tech design, keep it simple while instead providing extras such as high quality photos, virtual tours, and online applications.
- Generation Considerations. It comes down to this: Know your audience. Baby Boomers design peace and quiet, while Millennials prefer community and value for price. Make sure you use the right language.
For more information and to read the full article, visit MHN.