The top rental decision priorities for residents of multifamily communities are intuitive: location, overall quality, floor plan and, of course, rental rate. Our research has shown very consistently that these are priorities for at least 80% of multifamily residents. Moreover, this holds true across various resident demographics, such as age, gender, income and living arrangement. (See this post from about a year ago for more.)
Two additional factors have created a lot of buzz recently: sustainable or “green” building practices and online ratings/reviews. The chart below shows the percentage of residents in various income categories who place “high” or “very high” priority on these two factors. The general trend is that residents with higher incomes place lower priority on both online reviews and green building practices (though it is true that middle-income residents are somewhat more likely to prioritize online reviews than residents earning less than $25,000 annually).
A resident’s age group has an even more pronounced impact on the priority of these factors. Half of residents under 25 place high priority on online reviews, while just under a third of those over 65 do the same. Also of note is that older residents are much more likely than younger ones to indicate that green building practices are a priority for them.
While these two decision factors don’t have quite the impact as others in the absolute, they are notable for how differently they are perceived by different demographic groups – which make them important differentiators.