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If you want to know what renters care about most, the best way to find out is to ask them directly. The 2020 NMHC/Kingsley Apartment Resident Preferences Report surveyed over 750,000 renters in the U.S. to reveal the apartment and community features that they value most, and — perhaps more importantly — which ones they won’t rent without. 

Here are five of the biggest factors revealed in the report that matter most to your current and potential renters.

1. Affordability

This might seem obvious, but that’s why it’s at the top of the list. While many of the features and amenities renters mentioned as important can carry costs that drive up rent prices, affordability remains the main concern for most renters. In fact, looking for lower rent was the number one reason renters gave when asked why they planned on moving to a different apartment community. With the price of rent climbing in most cities, placing a greater emphasis on affordability over amenities in your rental properties may pay off in the coming year.

2. Quality of Management

The quality of a rental experience goes beyond just the unit your renters occupy. Being unhappy with the quality of management at the community where they live was the second most common reason residents gave for moving to a different apartment community, with over a third of renters listing this as the reason for their move.

Start by listening to renters’ needs by gathering feedback via surveys and reviews. Identify common threads mentioned by renters and focus on making process changes that will prevent similar issues in the future. Don’t forget about your property’s online presence — when someone leaves a negative review, it’s crucial to respond in a responsible, professional manner. Potential residents almost always turn to the reviews to find out the nitty gritty details that a property tour won’t show them. 

3. Convenient In-Unit Amenities

Renters place a high value on apartment features that allow greater convenience in their daily lives. For instance, 90% of residents expressed interest in a dishwasher, and 63% said they would not rent without it. Another popular amenity request is in-unit laundry. 91% of renters are interested in having this feature, and 55% would not rent without it. 

When considering which in-unit amenities to add, it always makes sense to keep the focus on amenities that have a relatively low cost to implement, but a high perceived value for renters. Some simple upgrades that can add a lot of value to renters are in-wall USB ports, TV wall mounts, and garbage disposals. By installing these on behalf of your renters, you can also ensure they are installed correctly rather than risking damage or injury when renters attempt to self-install.

4. Connectivity

In today’s constantly connected world, it’s no surprise that residents prioritize living in communities where they can easily access their personal technology via multiple connected devices. We all know how frustrating it can be to find yourself in a cell service “hole.” Reliable cell reception is the number one amenity that renters expressed interest in — 91% of all renters said this was extremely important in their decision to rent, with 44% of renters saying they would not rent in a property that did not have reliable cell service. 

High-speed internet access is another top priority for renters. With many renters, especially millennials, opting to “cut the cord” and forgo cable television, the ability to stream media is crucial. The growing popularity of remote work is another reason that renters place a high priority on reliable connectivity in their units. 

5. Secure Package Delivery

The rise of e-commerce has also led to an increased demand for secure package delivery options at residential communities. Your residents will rely on package delivery to get everything from expensive electronics to groceries, and knowing that their items will be delivered safely is of the utmost importance. As residents receive more packages than ever before, it’s no surprise that 84% of residents expressed an interest in secure access to their packages as a top community amenity. 

As you make upgrades and adjustments to your community to attract more renters, you’ll want to be sure you can trust the people who are moving in. Our tenant screening services offer comprehensive background checks for every potential renter, so you can rest easy knowing that you’re managing a happy, comfortable, and safe community. Give us a call today!