How Property Managers and Owners Can Capitalize on the ‘Rush to Rent’
Renting is “all the rage” in today’s housing market. Increasingly people of all ages and demographics are choosing to rent single-family homes rather than buy them. For some, the move is temporary as they wait out high home prices and rising interest rates. For others, renting is a permanent way of life free of common homeowner headaches.
Either way, the market is primed for property managers and owners to take advantage.
However, the same old strategies for attracting and retaining renters may not work as well with this new mindset. After all, people aren’t forgoing the traditional American dream, they are redefining it. Replacing owning with renting does not compromise the value people want from their homes. Rather than equity, they desire lower costs, better amenities, and more flexibility for their unique lifestyles.
Understanding what makes current renters tick is key to earning their business.
Meeting Digital Demands
Research shows 90% of renters start their property search online. They want vivid pictures and in-depth property descriptions. In fact, a lack of online presence acts as a major deterrent for not visiting a home in person. Property managers and owners must get the online experience right first.
Reviews also play a major role in rental searches. About 74% of renters read between one and 10 reviews before deciding on a property. More renters care about the content and quantity of negative reviews versus positive reviews. In fact, research shows 86% of people think twice before buying from a company with negative reviews.
However, there is good news for property managers and owners who manage their digital presence well. Nearly all renters indicate they find it helpful when property managers respond to reviews. Even better, 64% said they are willing to pay more for a home managed by a highly ranked or reviewed company.
Maintenance Matters (A Lot)
Maintenance ranks as a top reason renters move, right up there with affordability. BuzzFeed polled its large online community on why people prefer to rent instead of buy. More than half of the published responses mentioned avoiding the hassles and costs of home maintenance. These are a few highlights:
For me, it’s about time and convenience. I grew up in a lower middle-class family in a fixer-upper-type house. My dad spent all his free time fixing whatever was broken.
Cost is obviously the main reason, but I also love that I can delegate the responsibility of repairs to my landlord or real estate agent.
I owned a home briefly in my 20s. After a broken furnace and window in the first six months of ownership, I sold it and have rented ever since.
The word is out that maintenance hits hard. Current homeowners are the ones sounding the alert.
A Real Estate Witch survey found that homeowners spend nearly $4,300 annually on maintenance. The survey found that 26% of homeowners say their house requires too much maintenance making it the most common home-buying regret.
For many of today’s renters, homeownership is too expensive, not just because of record purchase prices. The additional costs of time and money to own a home are more than they want to spend. Therefore, living maintenance-free becomes a huge rental reward.
Just because renters are not building equity from home ownership doesn’t mean they are willing to compromise on quality. Following are some of the top features renters want:
- Space – For the boomer generation, renting offers a way to downsize while getting away from home maintenance and keeping the feel of ownership. For younger renters, single-family homes offer a way to attain more space affordably. Outdoor green spaces also rank as important among single-family home renters.
- Updated Appliances – Today’s renters want properties furnished with modern appliances in good working condition. They want to avoid the hassle of buying appliances or having them serviced. Washers and dryers top the list of in-home conveniences.
- Community Amenities – Renters like the idea of having a home without losing the community amenities apartment complexes provide. Proximity to parks and trails, fitness centers, and pools frequently top wish lists.
- Safety and Security – Home security systems, camera doorbells, and smart controls give renters peace of mind.
- Energy Efficiency – Today’s renters are going green. Energy-efficient appliances, water-saving devices, recycling programs, and alternative energy sources such as solar are increasingly becoming more important as people invest in renting rather than buying.
Making the Most of the Renter Mindset
Single-family rentals are a growing sector of the housing industry. Maintaining a high occupancy rate is key to a valuable return on investment. Property managers and owners who understand renters—from catering to their values, appealing to their senses, and meeting their needs—will gain a competitive advantage. PWSC is here to help.
When it comes to managing maintenance, we offer what matters—responsive claims handling and a vetted national network of highly qualified technicians for repairs. We make maintenance a selling point for your properties by offering warranty protection for the most common system mishaps and appliance malfunctions. PWSC brings reliability to renters so you get all the rewards. Learn why renters and property managers across the country love the one-of-a-kind protection of HomePRO Rental Property Protection, the industry’s only warranty exclusively for rental homes.