Who Are Today’s Renters?
You may have noticed some trends in your renter demographics and behavior in the past few years. But who really are today’s renters? What about tomorrow’s?
Knowledge about renter profiles can be an important datapoint to inform your business’s goals. By observing who rents your units over time, you can determine how best to attract your ideal tenants in today’s rental climate.
For instance, understanding renter profiles shapes the language you use in your advertisements, where you post them, and the kind of reputation you build for your business. Depending on who is available and who you want to attract, you should modify your appeals to suit your intended audience.
Here is a brief overview of a few of today’s renter profiles, as well as some insights into what they want out of a rental property.
Young Professionals and Young Adult Roommates
The largest group of today’s renters is probably the one you most associate with renting: young professionals and young adult roommates. These renters are singles starting out renting, maybe recent college graduates or working professionals. They may live alone or with roommates who split a shared lease or rent bedrooms individually.
Both young professionals and young adult roommates tend to move often. Their educational and employment opportunities vary, and many enjoy the freedom to move around and pursue different goals from 25-34.
However, one difference is that single renters tend to go for cheaper units and will settle for fewer amenities. Roommates, on the other hand, have combined income and can afford pricier units or more amenities.
Perma-renters are often thought of as Millennials and middle-aged renters. These renters are likely to renew their leases at least once. They value the opportunities and freedoms of renting over the feeling of being tied down as a homeowner.
For instance, Perma-renters would rather avoid expensive mortgages and more debt, as many have already accumulated significant student loans. This demographic also values the affordability of renting, preferring the ability to afford leisure activities and take advantage of amenities like fitness centers over homeownership.
Finally, Perma-renters enjoy the flexibility and freedom renting provides. These renters would rather not be tied down to a specific city or region. Instead, they are available and willing to chase job opportunities, relationships, or locations across the country.
Middle Income Boomers
A final category of today’s renters is middle-income Baby Boomers. These renters are typically between the ages of 57-75 or approaching retirement.
Baby Boomers are interested in renting for a variety of reasons. For one, the affordability of renting is appealing to those looking to manage their retirement savings responsibly.
Many Baby Boomers are also looking to downsize. They don’t want to worry about maintaining a large house and would rather use amenities and features someone else is responsible for providing.
What do Today’s Renters Want?
Today’s renters are looking for different features than those even a decade ago. Now that you know who today’s renters are, here are a few ways to attract them.
Young professionals and Baby Boomers alike are looking for leasing flexibility in a rental property. Why? Many renters are untethered from traditional jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More renters work remotely and are looking to travel or relocate, especially renters in the 35-44 and 45-54 age brackets.
Including provisions for early lease termination and being willing to negotiate is likely to attract these renters.
Along the same lines, renters accustomed to working from home look for high-speed internet. Not only is a high-speed internet connection required for many remote positions, but renters also use it for remote learning, telehealth, and entertainment/streaming music and video.
Today’s renters want all the same amenities as previous generations. These include reliable AC in warm climates, in-unit washers and dryers for convenience, and soundproof walls.
Smart Home Technology
Finally, many renters are interested in smart home technology. Most renters report feeling more secure with smart locks, and others appreciate the eco-friendly properties of smart lighting, water conservation, and automated thermostats.
Property Management Software
This one goes without saying. Renters today want—and often expect—to be able to pay rent online with a credit card or ACH transfer. They also want to submit maintenance requests from their phones and communicate with you via chat. Free property management app is the easiest way to utilize all these digital tools and attract renters looking for professional and technologically competent rental businesses.
Attracting Today’s Renters
If you know what each renter demographic is looking for a renter, it’s much easier to attract them. By understanding today’s renter profiles and catering to their wants and needs, you can quickly increase applicants well suited for your properties.
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