RentPath Study: Recent Renters as Emotionally Invested as Homeowners

ATLANTA (September 20, 2016) – Recent renters, who experience a rollercoaster of emotions when searching for a new rental home, are as emotionally invested in their homes as home buyers, according to a new RentPath study released recently.

The findings, which examined thousands of recent renters who either rented within the previous six months or planned to do so within two weeks, were presented in a RentPath white paper titled “The Renter’s Rollercoaster Ride.” More than 85 percent of the study participants said their rental home “needs to feel like home,” while 73 percent said “their rental property might not be perfect, but it’s theirs.”

“This underscores the need for apartment marketers, who have traditionally played to the logical side of renters, to tap into the heavy emotional component involved in the renting process,” said Angie Amon, director of research for RentPath. “Marketers who appeal to the prospective renters’ desire to feel at home through consumer branding and story telling will be vastly more effective in capturing and closing leads than their peers.”

The emotional experience may be due to the fact that more than 52 percent of recent renters have owned a home in the past, nearly half are more than 35 years old and 42 percent have children living at home. Additionally, more than 50 percent move every three years or less, according to the white paper.

“Renting is no longer a stepping stone to home ownership, so the decision comes with the range of sentiments involved in finding a permanent living situation,” Amon said. “Today’s renters are looking for a place that meets their emotional needs in addition to their practical needs.”

There are a number of features apartment communities can incorporate to improve the search experience and reduce the negative emotions, Amon said. The improvements should focus on the information that renters want most from community websites. The RentPath study identified a few key desires:

  • 88 percent expect detailed pricing with many respondents saying that nothing frustrates them more than “please contact us for a price.”
  • 82 percent desire up-to-date availability.
  • 81 percent want to easily find high quality photos of the community.

“Many of the emotional responses stem from attempts to juggle an apartment search with the demands of everyday life,” Amon said. “Add to that a difficult search experience, and it’s understandable why the search process can be a stressful one. Apartment marketers need to make it easier for prospective renters to find the homes they want and connect with them emotionally.”

About RentPath
RentPath is a leading digital marketplace connecting millions of consumers with apartments, condos and houses for rent through its network of websites and mobile apps. RentPath’s category-leading brands include Apartment Guide, Rent.com, Lovely, Rentals.com, and RentalHouses.com. With an unmatched search capability, amplified by constantly refined tools and industry insights, RentPath provides consumers with a clear and simple guide to apartment living through content-rich apartment listings in a user-friendly format with Internet, mobile and social media solutions. The brand’s commitment to maximizing owner and manager value makes RentPath a leading multifamily housing industry partner. For more information, visit www.rentpath.com.

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