Decoding renter preferences: Apartment marketing insights from the 2024 Grace Hill | NMHC Renter Preferences Survey

Jan 29, 2024

Headshots of people representative of those surveyed by the 2024 renter preferences report, overlaid with a rainbow gradient

Have you checked out the 2024 Grace Hill | NMHC Renter Preferences Survey results yet? If you haven’t, we don’t blame you. For one thing, it’s 180 pages. And for another, not everyone has access.

Luckily, we’re here to save you a little time and money by compiling some of the data points that matter most to apartment marketers.

More than 50,000 renters responded to questions about their most recent rental home search. Here’s what they said and what the data tells us.

Quick overview of data points

If you only have a minute to review this information, here’s what you need to know now. We’ll break down what these numbers mean for your apartment marketing strategy in the next sections.

In their most recent home search, renters said:

  • 79% visited a property’s website
  • 75% visited an ILS
  • 71% referenced a property’s ratings & reviews
  • 42% checked out a property’s social media profiles

Digital dominance

The renter preferences survey underscores the crucial role of online platforms in the renter journey. A staggering 79% of respondents visited a property’s website during their recent search.

This emphasizes the need for property marketers to prioritize website design and optimization, ensuring clear navigation, engaging visuals and mobile access.

See 5 apartment website features that convert leads into leases (and the data to support them). If you don’t have these, you might already be falling behind.

ILS endures

While some may speculate about the decline of traditional listing platforms, the survey reveals their continued relevance. In fact, 75% of renters still utilize ILS platforms to search for rentals.

Optimizing your listings remains crucial for capturing the attention of renters who are looking for an apartment, especially in competitive areas.

See 5 ILS listing features that will boost your conversions — up to 9x!

Reputation matters

The power of online reviews cannot be overstated at this stage in digital consumerism, especially when it comes to significant purchases. More than two-thirds (71%) of renters base their decision on ratings and reviews.

Proactive reputation management is key. Encourage happy residents to leave positive reviews and address any negative feedback promptly and professionally. Building a solid online reputation attracts potential residents and fosters trust.

Find out why apartment reviews are the secret to better marketing, leasing and management.

Social savvy stands out

You’ve heard it before, but this survey confirms it: Don’t underestimate the power of social media in reaching and engaging renters. 42% of respondents actively check property social media profiles.

Renters want to see authentic content and real resident experiences. Create social media posts that truly showcase the personality of your brand to positively impact your reach and engagement.

Get some quick social media tips for property management brands.

Residents have spoken. How will you respond?

The Grace Hill | NMHC Renter Preferences Survey is only released every other year. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to reevaluate your apartment marketing approach using data from one of the largest renter surveys in the U.S. Does your current plan accurately reflect renter expectations?

Consider partnering with a qualified marketing agency experienced in translating data into actionable strategies. By taking informed action, you can attract new residents, retain existing ones and maximize your marketing return on investment.

Request a free, 15-minute consultation with no strings attached.

Geneva Ives

Geneva Ives is the manager of marketing content at Yardi. She leads content initiatives for REACH by RentCafe. Writing may be her first love, but data is a close second. Geneva is based in Santa Barbara, California.

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