Apartment Renters Want Optimal Location

Over the past few years, renter renewal intent has steadily drifted down from 60.8% to 53.8% according to Kingsley Associates. As rental property managers seek to attract new tenants and retain their existing clients, they'll need to promote the features most sought after by renters. Location and rental rates remain key factors for consumers making these decisions.

Overall apartment resident satisfaction had previously experienced three years of stability until this period's spike, according to Kingsley Associates' latest analysis. For the 12-​month period ending June 30, 2014, 76.2 percent of apartment renters rated their overall satisfaction as "good" or "excellent," a proportion that had previously remained virtually unmoved for over three years. By contrast, likelihood of renewal has steadily decreased since early 2010 amid aggressive rent increases and has now reached an all-​time low. For the most recent quarter, only 53.8 percent of residents indicated that they "probably would" or "definitely would" renew their lease, down 1.0 percent from the prior period and 7.0 percent since Q3 2011.

"Apartment renters continue to report high levels of satisfaction with their apartment homes and communities, but are clearly keeping their options open," says David C. Smith, executive vice president and COO, Kingsley Associates. "When we take a closer look, specifically at the major markets in the United States, renewal intent declined or remained steady in ten of the eleven metros we surveyed, with Boston being the only exception to that trend."

Compared to one year ago, apartment floor plan was more frequently cited as a lease renewal factor by renters. Among renters likely to renew their lease, location was significantly more important than rental rate. 72.6 percent of residents identified location as a key contributing factor while only 46.5 percent mentioned that they perceived rental rates at their community were at or below market price. Renters who are unsure of their renewal intentions were more likely than in the past to cite that moving is simply too much trouble. While only 14.3 percent of unsure residents cited this as a decision factor one year ago, 23.1 percent stated that they now consider it a top factor in the renewal decision process.

AudienceSCAN reports that about 8.8% of U.S. adults intend to move to a new apartment this year. Nearly 75% of these consumers are single and 35% have a household income of less than $25,000 which means that cost is likely an issue. These largely urban (40%) consumers are also focused on self-​image with 26% planning to get a manicure or pedicure this year, 24% expecting to pay for a tattoo and 34% intending to pay for teeth whitening. Over 36% of these consumers have taken action as a result of an Internet banner ad they've seen in the past 30 days which means apartment managers might be able to reach them with a digital campaign.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.