Why People Move and What Renters Look For

Since rental properties are a business, it is important for landlords to understand what renters really want. After all, they are your customers.

Most landlords believe that what renters really want is cheap rent. That's part of it, but, like everything else in life, it is also about value.

One of the first things to know is the reasons why most people move into a new apartment:

~20% do it for work
~25% do it to near things other than work, like schools, leisure activities or public services
~21% like the apartment or the neighborhood better
The rest of the 12 million people in the 2009 American Housing Survey said “all the above,” “other,” or just didn't answer

The US Census Bureau received answers from 12,300,000 who were asked why they moved. Here is their list of answers (in thousands):

3,846 Financial reasons
1,743 Room layout
350 Exterior constructions
231 Quality of housing structure
1,398 Size
65 Kitchen
412 The view
608 Only unit available
2,198 Other
1,448 Combination of all of these factors

One excellent place to get information on how high rents should be and the overall cost of living are the various websites that calculate that information. For example, the cost of living index in New York is 218, while in Fort Hood, TX it's 84.8. San Francisco: 164, Waco, TX: 86, Honolulu: 171, Springfield, IL: 86.

In conclusion, money has a lot to do with why renters leave, but it is far from the only reasons that they change their residence. Quality of life, convenience and the quality of their home is as much a factor as money. It's always worth asking tenants that are leaving. Or new tenants why they chose your place.
Posted on Apr 08, 2013


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