• AppFolio Property Manager, a suite of tools for property managers, recently surveyed current renters across the country.
  • They survey wanted to gauge the rental experience, and how technology plays a role.
  • Miami has a large cohort of renters who have downsized from homes.

In a recent survey of apartment renters, South Florida stands out for its broad appeal to the Baby Boom generation.

These results are not a surprise, but peeling back to find what’s so appealing may be something new.

AppFolio Property Management, recently commissioned the survey to delve into important criteria that renters are looking for in the current multifamily space. They polled 1,500 renters across the country, through Google Consumer Surveys, to take the pulse of the rental market.

The survey results, meant to be used as advice to professional property managers who oversee anywhere between 10 and 5,000 units, also point to national trends in the multifamily rental segment as a whole.

The company’s vice president of product, Nat Kunes, shared some insight on the renters of South Florida after the survey results were made public. Since AppFolio has clients in all 50 states, Kunes was able to share trends about local markets, where the survey largely generalized by demographic groups.

Greater Miami, as one would expect, has continued appeal to the older renter. “When we look at this market,” Kunes said, “we notice where the 50 plus age group is different than millennials – older renters are more price sensitive.”

And, the general survey results bear that out.

Forty-five percent of adults age 55 to 64 selected prices as the top factor they consider when choosing a unit. And, the second-highest demographic slice that has that same opinion are those 65 and older– 42.8 percent of that group chose price sensitivity as their top issue.

Kunes added that across the U.S., no one city is seeing more new rental construction that is catering to that demographic than Miami. Other urban areas, he added, are not seeing the boom of 55-plus housing as is blossoming in South Florida.

“We’re seeing the biggest number of people in the 50 and over demographic selling their homes and going into rentals in South Florida than anywhere else,” he said.

AppFolio’s survey wanted to gauge what is top of mind for today’s renters.

Some of the key findings, across the nation, were:

  • Online convenience can make or break a signed lease
  • With more consumers renting versus buying, the rental market has become increasingly crowded
  • Nearly one-third (29 percent) say they found the rental listing for their current residence online
  • Word of mouth still came in big, at 23 percent
  • Renters prefer to complete apartment-related tasks from their phone, iPad or computer
  • The majority of tenants (46 percent) prefer to pay their rent digitally—through an app, website or automatic withdrawal.
  • Nearly a quarter of renters eliminate a property from their search if photos or videos of the property are unavailable
  • Bad reviews (of the property itself or of the property manager) are also a deterrent, with 27 percent of respondents choosing this as the top reason for eliminating a property from their search
  • Thirty-two percent of respondents said half or more of their monthly income goes toward rent.

Email Kimberley Sirk.

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