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Renters’ Attitudes & Expectations in 2020 & Beyond

Throughout 2020 we’ve seen many changes across the property management industry. Residents and employees alike have had to unexpectedly transition to remote work environments and technology has become essential for doing business.

AppFolio recently surveyed over 1,000 adult renters across the U.S. to find out how their expectations have changed since the onset of the pandemic, the technologies they prefer to use when looking for a new home, and what they’ll continue to expect from leasing and property management teams after the pandemic subsides. Here are a few of the key findings from the survey:

Virtual Experiences are Meeting Renters’ Needs

As social distancing became the new normal earlier in the year, many property management businesses embraced new technologies that enabled renters’ to view units without being there physically through virtual showings and 3D tours. Based on the survey, people really are making use of and enjoy these kinds of experiences when it comes to their housing search — 80% of renters who signed a new lease during the pandemic and participated in a virtual showing said they were satisfied with it.

Additionally, many now prefer to combine online and offline experiences when looking for a new place to live, 31% of renters who have signed a lease for a new apartment during the pandemic said they viewed units virtually and in-person.

Renters Will Continue to Want Virtual Leasing Options

In the future, after the pandemic is no longer a threat, renters still want virtual leasing experiences. For instance, 40% of renters said that post-pandemic they want both virtual and in-person options for viewing units. Virtual showings not only lead the way when it comes to renter satisfaction, they’re also better for businesses. According to previous AppFolio research, virtual showings are 2.4 times more likely to be completed than in-person showings.

However, showings are not the only task that renters want to complete virtually in their housing search, renters of all ages also prefer to carry out the application and lease signing process online, too.  46% of renters said it was important for them to apply for a rental property on their mobile device or online, and 48% said it was important for them to sign or renew a lease online, according to the survey.

Based on these key findings, it’s clear renters value modern experiences, and they will continue to make their living decisions around them. By embracing technology and providing the kinds of mobile, on-demand experiences renters expect, property managers provide more flexibility, better service, and capture new demand.

To find out how you can leverage these findings to attract and retain more renters, and streamline your leasing experience, take a look at AppFolio’s recent blog post.