How to reach renters by choice
The residential real estate market across the country has entered what we would call crazy level. Low inventory, high listing prices and offers $100,000 to $1 million above asking would make your head spin in several key markets. One side effect of these high home prices and high demand is a growing demographic of renters by choice.
Even before the recent surge in home prices, the number of people choosing to rent vs. buy a home had started to grow.
This pre-Covid article from January 2020 noted that growth:
“According to Freddie Mac’s 2019 housing survey, nearly 40 percent of renters report that they will likely never own a home — up from 23 percent two years ago — and 80 percent say renting is a better fit for their current lifestyle.”
Renting is more affordable than owning in the top 50 metropolitan areas, according to the New York Times, but the decision to rent vs. buy doesn’t end with finances. Lifestyle factors also heavily influence Americans’ housing choices.
According to Pew Research, 32 percent of renters consciously choose to rent, even if they could afford to buy a home.
Transient careers and a need for flexibility often top the priority list for renters by choice. Many people also love the work-play-live lifestyle of a mixed-use community, and not needing to worry about maintenance issues also carries a lot of weight.
Fast forward to 2021, where remote work has become the norm for many professionals, and that flexible and fun lifestyle begins to look even more attractive. When they can choose where they want to live and the carefree lifestyle they want to lead, more people could choose renting vs. buying.
Giving renters what they want
For years, multifamily development has concentrated in urban centers and suburban business hubs. The apartments follow the workforce in many cases.
Now that some renters need to worry less about proximity to work or transit, lifestyle offerings will become even more important. Regardless of whether renters by choice need access to employment-centered locations, they definitely will seek amenities that support their preferred way of life.
One of our clients understood that pull when it developed the first residential development in West Palm Beach, Florida’s trendy Warehouse District – The District Flats. The area already draws foodies and art lovers with its brewery, food hall, street art and locally owned businesses. The District Flats adds to the appeal with its pet-friendly policy, luxury pool and cabanas, and a 24/7 fitness center. Everything renters by choice could want is either on-site or within walking distance, offering a hyperlocal living experience.
In Las Vegas, another client appeals to renters who want an all-inclusive resort-like living experience. From an on-site spa to an eSports lounge, the Tuscan Highlands is a renters’ dream. The list of amenities goes on for days: climbing wall, putting green, sand volleyball, furnished cabanas with televisions, wine garden, restaurant and sports lounge, soundproof studio space, work space and much much more. For people who have lived through a pandemic, a place like this makes stay-at-home a “yes, please!”
When someone could pay $100,000+ above asking on a house and still have to find a gym, a spa, a salon, a dog park and places to enjoy all their leisure-time hobbies, it’s no wonder renting at a well-appointed multifamily community makes more sense for many people.
Reaching the market
As a multifamily developer or manager, you already know that amenities set apart luxury from run-of-the-mill, but keep in mind the big picture of your residents’ daily lives. Consider how you can make their lives more convenient, enjoyable or comfortable at every step along the way.
Next, create a brand strategy that draws potential renters into a lifestyle story. You want renters to picture themselves at the heart of life in your community, and the right branding does a lot of that work for you. Strategic marketing then reaches the right people in the right places, and top-notch resident service convinces renters to renew their leases time and time again.
Looking for ways to attract more renters by choice? We can help you craft a branding and marketing strategy that will bring more potential residents to your door.