Feb. 8, 2023 (Staff Writer)- The PropTech firm MRI Software has good news for landlords and property managers: They can easily make renters happy by adopting green practices and digital communications.
Additionally, luxury amenities earned top spots on renters’ wish lists. Although these are more difficult for landlords to provide, they add significantly to a unit or building’s appeal.
These are the key findings from the recent Voice of the Resident Report commissioned by MRI. Survey respondents included more than 2,000 renters in the U.S. who live in a mix of locations and rental categories.
Specific findings of the survey include:
Renters care about the environment: Two thirds believe that green practices – efforts to ensure that living spaces are green and energy efficient – are important. Forty percent of renters say they won’t rent a unit in a property without green practices. As these statistics indicate, landlords who equip buildings with efficient mechanical systems, sensors for lighting and HVAC, low-flow plumbing fixtures, or solar panels, for example, will have a competitive edge.
Digital communications are preferred: More than half of renters prefer to interact with landlords and property managers through digital means. Although most renters are paying rent via check or cash, they expressed preferences for digital forms of payment.
Old habits – and habitats – are hard to break: Approximately two thirds of respondents plan to find their next home in the same type of environment in which they currently live. This finding suggests that the exodus of city dwellers to the suburbs and rural areas was limited to the worst phases of the COVID-19 pandemic and is now abating.
Top-rated amenities reflect demand for convenience, luxury, and security: The number one desired amenity is in-unit laundry, followed by an on-site pool, high-speed broadband, and private garages.
Residents in multifamily buildings are the least satisfied when it comes to communications with landlords and property managers: This finding is counterintuitive because multifamily properties have the most opportunity to leverage on-site staff and a wide array of tech tools to make communications prompt and cost-effective. “It seems that landlords and managers are either not taking advantage of these tools or are providing insufficient training on their use,” suggests Brian Zrimsek, industry principal at MRI.
The American Dream persists: Nearly two thirds of respondents expressed wishes to become homeowners someday. Furthermore, most renters desire to live in houses rather than in apartments or rooms. “This bodes well for the single-family-rental market,” says Zrimsek, who points out that renters became more interested in space and privacy during the height of the pandemic. “But density is no longer a bad word, so renters may adjust their requirements as concern about the pandemic continues to wane.”
Zrimsek notes: “There is no secret formula to attracting renters these days. They want the convenience of digital, along with the assurance that their living space is environmentally friendly. Even landlords who don’t provide luxury amenities can incorporate these features into their property management processes and up their game significantly.”
About MRI Software
MRI Software is a leading provider of real estate software solutions that transform the way communities live, work and play. MRI’s open and connected, AI-first platform empowers owners, operators, and occupiers in commercial and residential property organizations to innovate in rapidly changing markets. MRI has been a trailblazer in the PropTech industry for over five decades, serving more than two million users worldwide. Through innovative solutions and a rich partner ecosystem, MRI gives real estate companies the freedom to realize their vision of building thriving communities and stronger businesses. For more information, please visit mrisoftware.com.