What matters most to renters when they’re choosing an apartment? According to a new survey from Detroit-based property management company Village Green, monthly rent trumps all, more important than amenities, location and the age of a property.
That’s not a surprise. But some other findings from the company’s recent survey of renters in Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix and Philadelphia are a bit more unexpected.
According to Village Green’s National Renter Profile, 85 percent of respondents said that monthly rent was the most important factor in their decision to choose an apartment. Second was location, with 81 percent of respondents saying that this played an important role. In third place – distant – came the community environment of an apartment, a factor that 49 percent of respondents said was the most important.
When it comes to amenities, 62 percent of respondents said that they were looking for a “homey” look and feel, the top-cited amenity in the survey. An apartment that fits their lifestyle came in second, with 60 percent of renters citing that amenity. In third place, cited by 52 percent of respondents, was the ability to make maintenance requests online, while 52 percent said that they sought high-end property amenities.
Not surprisingly, a growing number of renters are researching apartments online before even visiting them, with 59 percent of respondents saying they handled research in this way. A total of 58 percent of renters told Village Green that they read reviews of apartment communities online when deciding whether a multifamily building was right for them.
Village Green discovered a bit of a generation gap, too. According to the survey, when looking at rental options, Millennials care most about high-quality photos, with 69 percent saying these mattered. Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers, though, were most concerned about clear and thorough information about amenities.
A greater number of Millennials are willing to pay more for high-end amenities, with 48 percent telling Village Green that they aren’t averse to spending more money on these features. Only 28 percent of Baby Boomers, though, said they were willing to do the same.
There were some interesting differences throughout the Midwest markets, too, that Village Green studied. In Chicago, 57 percent of renters said that they want a community that fits their lifestyle, while 50 percent want the ability pay rent online. In Detroit, 35 percent of renters said that they would pay more for smart-home technology while 57 percent want the ability to request maintenance help online.
Minneapolis renters seem more interested in higher-end amenities, with 41 percent telling Village Green that they would pay more for fancier features.