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renters(2)With the increase in home prices across the country and tight lending restrictions, it’s no wonder that the demand for rentals is on the rise.  With renting becoming more appealing to a wider population, it’s imperative that real estate professionals and property managers understand who these people are and what they want to customize their marketing tools and resources.

Recently, Homes.com and ForRent.com conducted a survey to collect insight from today’s renters.  From these survey results, we identified particular lifestyles, which have significant implications for how real estate brokers and agents should market their rental properties.

Renter Demographics
Let’s first understand the demographic makeup of the dominant renter persona, who are single, young females. Of the survey participants, eighty percent were female, one-third were millennials (age 18-33) and 45 percent live alone.

However, on the flip side, “baby boomers,” those ages 50 and over, accounted for nearly 30 percent of the survey participants.  Further, 44 percent share the space with their spouse, significant other, roommates or children.

Considering these groups, real estate agents and brokers should be mindful of these personas and focus their marketing to identify property amenities that appeal to a particular age group and lifestyle.  For instance, a young female living alone might place more value on safety or proximity to school or nightlife, while a married coupled with children may desire more square footage, privacy and conveniences like a washer and dryer.  So, be sure to make these features more pronounced when marketing these properties.

Neighborhood Preferences
Not surprisingly, over 50 percent of the survey respondents indicated that the most important aspects of a neighborhood are proximity to school or work.  Renters also reported that safety, access to public transportation, family and entertainment were preferred.  That said, make sure your marketing materials reflect your property’s proximity to key areas in the neighborhood that will make renters’ lives more convenient and fun.

Top Amenities
Of course, renters want the common comforts that make their rental property a home.  While 45 percent indicated that they didn’t require special features, one in four said they’d pay extra for covered parking. The remaining participants reported their desire for amenities like a washer and dryer, air conditioning, furnished options, and more specific features like hardwood floors, dishwashers and walk-in closets.  With this in mind, make sure you highlight parking access, whether it’s on-street, driveway or a garage and capitalize on conveniences that will make their life easier and more comfortable like a dishwasher or a furnished home.

Technology Usage
When it comes to tech preferences, over 80 percent of renters reported that they use their desktop computer during their rental search. More than half also used their smartphones and 20 percent used a tablet device to find a place to call their own.  Given this data, it would be smart to make sure you have a diverse online advertising strategy to target renters when they’re searching for properties via desktop and mobile devices.

Social Media
An alarming 80 percent of participants reported that Facebook is their social network of choice.  Google+ was the second most preferred site with 31 percent of the share, followed by Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.  It would be wise to have an active presence on these sites, especially Facebook, to connect and engage with potential clients.

For the full report, “The Renter Profile Insights Survey A Look at Today’s Renter” from Homes.com and ForRent.com, click here.

Now that we have some insight into the mindset of today’s renters, and know the importance that social media sites such as Facebook play in their everyday lives, it’s time to implement a strategy to connect with them through these social channels.  Homes.com has technology solutions that specifically help property managers connect with active renters and convert them into clients.  With Homes.com Social, property managers and real estate professionals can effectively engage with more renters, while protecting their online reputation, controling the conversation and driving more rental leads!

For more information, visit http://connect.homes.com.

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