- Two-thirds of renters surveyed by Cleveland-based proptech firm MRI Software stated that sustainability is a vital consideration in their apartment selection process, according to MRI’s Voice of the Resident Report. Forty percent stated they would not live in a property without green practices.
- High-tech features are also a plus for potential renters. More than half of respondents want to communicate with their landlord through digital means and would rather pay their rent online than by check or cash.
- When asked to compare their current housing with the type they would prefer, the vast majority stated that they would prefer to live in a house. Nearly two-thirds said they plan to be homeowners one day.
The survey asked over 2,000 renter respondents from a variety of backgrounds to give feedback about their living preferences, including communication with landlords, green building practices and amenity choices.
Based on the observation that most renters would prefer to look for new homes in the same type of area in which they currently live — in the city, suburbs or rural areas, for example — MRI Software concluded that the trend of households moving from urban to suburban areas was limited to the “worst phases” of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release.
While the strong preference for homeownership suggests a desire to move away from the renter pool, Brian Zrimsek, industry principal at MRI, sees an opportunity for the single-family rental market, and points out that renters have become more interested in space and privacy since the lockdown period. “But density is no longer a bad word,” Zrimsek said, “so renters may adjust their requirements as concern about the pandemic continues to wane.”
Most desired amenities
|Amenity||Desired||Available in current location|
|On-site gym/exercise space||34%||18%|
|Satellite, cable or other form of pay-TV||33%||19%|
|Online resident portal||28%||23%|
SOURCE: MRI Software
Out of the 19 amenities named in the survey, the most attractive choice for prospective residents was in-unit laundry — 50% of respondents listed it as a plus. A pool, high-speed broadband and private garages are also among the top most wanted apartment features.
The demand for high-speed internet ties in with the increasing number of renters working from home. While the public health situation is no longer what it was in 2020 or 2021, working from home or hybrid work schedules have become permanent for many who once commuted to an office five days a week.
This means that for a large number of multifamily developers, the key focus is on coworking space — particularly on amenities that can take on a flexible use as coworking spaces. Any area designed around pleasure, from rooftops to poolside decks, can double as a workspace as long as it provides a flat surface, electrical outlets, internet access and a comfortable place to sit.