What Today’s Renters Want

The pandemic influenced 25% of renter moves over the past 18 months, and 70% of renters anticipate teleworking the same amount or more going forward, according to data from the National Multifamily Housing Council and Grace Hill 2022 Renter Preferences Survey report.

The survey included opinions of more than 221,000 renters, living in 4,564 communities nationwide.

One takeaway of note was that renters crave flexibility. Nearly half of respondents (46%) would consider joining a rental housing membership program that would allow its members the flexibility to move between communities within a brand’s network of properties (similar to a vacation club).

Key Trends

Among hot topics and trends covered in the report:

Making (Pandemic) Moves: Of respondents who moved in the past 18-months (60%), one-quarter (25%) reported that their move was due to a shift to remote work during the pandemic.

The Ways We Work: One in three respondents (35%) indicated interest in using shared workspace at their communities, while 19% said they would consider using a coworking facility when teleworking.

Connectivity is Key: While 82% of respondents are streaming video daily and 73% are streaming music daily, 39% are video conferencing for work daily and 31% are gaming daily.

“Now more than ever, it is critical to have insights into how renters have changed over the last year,” Kendall Pretzer, CEO of Grace Hill, said in prepared remarks. 

“The pandemic caused some temporary, and some lasting, changes in our industry. Developers, property managers, architects and designers all need to know how renters’ needs and wants have shifted and this report provides that critical information.”

Pretzer said this powerful data helps the industry better position itself to adapt operations, amenities, communities and partnerships to ensure it is providing the best living experiences possible and optimizing business objectives.

“The data provide the first glimpse of how today’s renters plan to live in a post-pandemic world, and that involves a highly connected lifestyle,” Rick Haughey, Vice President, Industry Technology Initiatives, NMHC, said in prepared remarks. “Renters are streaming video content and music, gaming, working remotely and all of that indicates a need for a strong technology infrastructure in rental communities.”

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