Love, actually

  • Published January 2016

Walkable neighborhoods, onsite fitness classes, package pick up, online rent payments. What do these mean to you? This is what your residents love about you. At least according to the recent 2015 Renter Preferences Study. But wait. There's more. Only continue reading at your own peril. Once you do, you can never again plead that you didn't know.



Love, actually

Fresh off the clipboards, the National Multihousing Council (NMHC)/Kingsley Associates 2015 Apartment Resident Preferences Survey is out. Findings were calculated from 120,000 responses across the country and covered renter's preferences on in-home features, community amenities and more based on a number of demographic factors. With comprehensive analysis available for 44 local markets, the study is touted as the largest of its kind.

The power of location
Apartment renters have strong opinions about walking versus driving to their regular destinations. Walking wins over driving for getting to the grocery store (by 7 percentage points), restaurant and bar (by 6 percentage points for both) and public transit (by 19 percentage points). Conversely, driving is preferred over walking when traveling to work/office (by 24 percentage points), school (by 7 percentage points) and college/university (by 6 percentage points).

Can you hear me now?
Over 91 percent of apartment renters use a mobile phone all the time. In fact, over half tested connectivity during their apartment tour. While 98 percent report good reception is important, only 68 percent say coverage at their current community is great.

Electronic payments grow
Writing a rent check is so yesterday. Apartment renters (by 78 percent) prefer paying online. Additionally, 63 percent were interested in paying their rent with a credit card.

"Many new residents are making a lifestyle choice to rent instead of buy and are thus looking for personalized services and amenities," said Rick Haughey, VP of Industry Technology Initiatives with the NMHC. "The apartment industry is stepping up to provide those experiences."

"With Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies projecting upward of 4 million new renters during the next decade, we expect the race for new amenities-and the demand for them-will only grow," said John Falco, principal with Kingsley Associates.

To order a copy of the survey go to nmhc.org