You are here

Survey Results: Challenges Facing the Rental Housing Industry

Written by Rae Parker

To better understand the challenges facing the rental housing industry in 2021, AppFolio partnered with the National Apartment Association and ndp | analytics to conduct an online survey of housing providers in the U.S. The survey, which received a total of 1,048 responses, focused on the top challenges currently facing the rental housing industry. The majority of survey respondents were seasoned industry professionals — 69.9% had over 20 years of experience in the industry, while slightly under 5% had 5 years or less of experience. Here is a preview of the findings.

The most common challenge of all respondents — no matter how many years of experience they had — was HR, staffing, and recruitment. 50.5% of respondents ranked this as their number one challenge, and 74% of respondents selected it as one of their top three challenges.

A follow up question to dive more deeply into this challenge revealed that attracting new team members, training new hires, and reducing turnover were rated as the most challenging activities within this category. Other challenging activities also include improving the company culture, making education and training a priority for my team, and supporting teams in dealing with change. 

After HR, staffing, and recruitment, operational efficiencies (26.9%) and maximizing revenue & profits (16%) were listed as the second and third top challenges faced. Within the operational efficiency challenge, respondents listed the most difficult activities as finding high-quality vendors, freeing up their team from labor-intensive processes, and reducing costs. Lastly, when it comes to maximizing revenue and profits, respondents found that increasing NOI, mitigating bad debt loss & building a plan to reduce debt, and returning performance back to pre-pandemic levels were the top three most difficult activities.

Once the top challenges were identified for rental housing professionals, the respondents were asked how they are currently addressing these challenges and what they need to help solve it. While responses varied, the recurring themes were related to finding, attracting, and keeping talent as well as managing rising costs due to the labor market and regulatory burdens. As the economy tries to find normalcy from a tough year of the pandemic, employees are leaving jobs that do not promote their well-being — instead they are searching for stability, growth opportunities, and a positive workplace culture. Most of the time, money isn’t the biggest motivator to keep employees, but instead it's how companies value and treat them.

So how can AppFolio help you maintain your operations and business continuity? We strive to provide technology that enables you to attract, train, and retain top-notch employees.. To learn how AppFolio can help you solve these challenges and more, speak with one of our representatives today.