For Rent Media Solutions™, a leading multifamily marketing resource for more than thirty years, found that 90% of apartment seekers report using Internet listing services, and many of those are searching with a mobile device.
In it’s comprehensive white paper entitled Engaging Today’s Consumer: The Modern Apartment Search, FRMS surveyed more than 13,500 consumers, gaining key insights into the search habits of today’s modern renters.
For example, 43% are likely or very likely to interact with a community on social media, and 69% view location as a major factor in the decision-making process.
A whopping 84% of consumers surveyed actively search for apartments using a mobile device.
Another important note: ratings and review matter, with 76% of current or prospective renters indicating that ratings and reviews are among the most important aspects of an apartment search. While listing descriptions, photographs, videos and other tools provided by properties showcase the physical assets of a community, reviews highlight the opinions and detail the experiences of current tenants.
So, what does this mean for landlords?
The influx of millennial renters — ages 18-34 — may account for the growing number of mobile searches. If your ads aren’t reaching this important demographic, you may be missing out on prospective tenants.
For those managing multiple properties, pay careful attention to your Internet and social media presence. Unresolved, negative reviews eventually will hamper your leasing process.
Those wishing to take advantage of mobile apps can piggyback by listing with Internet giants, like ForRent.com, that have already gained market share.
When using the Internet to advertise rentals, prequalifying applicants becomes more important than say, when you are using a yard sign. Internet ads cast a wide net, and the ease of access can create a flow — or avalanche — of real time contacts. Unfortunately, these aren’t always qualified applicants.
By adjusting your text, your ad can do some of the prequalifying work for you. Mobile and Internet searches needs to be short and sweet — highly focused text that gets the message out before viewers lose interest. Consider why location is such a big factor for renters — they want proximity to work and to play. So, by detailing where the property is located, it’s size, price and relevant amenities, like proximity to public transportation, renters will prequalify themselves.
Equally important, applicants need to know that you screen tenants, so save room for that disclaimer. Don’t worry about scaring away prospects. Those who don’t want to be screened may not qualify in the first place.
If you are one of those lucky landlords who only has a vacancy once in a blue moon, you still can benefit from these insights by understanding the importance of being available when applicants want information. Tech-savvy renters tend to search on their off hours, so don’t expect to keep regular business hours when filling vacancies. Even if you don’t have a website or fancy mobile app to lure prospective renters, simply answering the phone or responding to texts in real time can make a significant difference.
Landlords and property managers who would like to see Engaging Today’s Consumer: The Modern Apartment Search for an in-depth look at how today’s renters search for apartments, along with expert tips on how to market to them, can follow this link to For Rent Media Solutions to sign up for a free download.
This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).
Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.