Renters Influenced by Online Property Reviews

Property managers take note: online peer ratings and reviews matter. According to ApartmentFinder.com’s recent survey of more than 5,000 apartment seekers, nearly all – 96 percent – said online reviews influence their decision of choosing an apartment.

Is your rental site mobile friendly? Are you listing rental properties on mobile-friendly portals? Property managers should factor mobile into their marketing strategy as nearly half (49 percent) of apartment hunters prefer to use their mobile device, according to the survey. And those mobile property hunters will take action: 45 percent will call and 42 percent will e-mail the rental office immediately from their mobile device. Of respondents who use their mobile device to shop for rentals, 49 percent will call the apartment community directly from the listing.

When it comes to making the final rental decision, cost was the biggest influencer, swaying 63 percent of respondents. Location was the deciding factor for 24 percent of renters, followed by neighborhood crime statistics at 7.3 percent, school system at 3 percent, and community amenities at 2.6 percent.

Giving context to why renters are moving, the top three reasons listed by survey respondents included a current lease expiring (42 percent), job relocation or a new job (22 percent), and moving out of parents’ home (18 percent).

Source: “New ApartmentFinder.com Survey Reveals Apartment Shoppers’ Search Behavior and Lease Decision-Making Influencers,” Apartment Finder (Aug. 13, 2014)