Characteristics of the Average Renter

Market Insight from 2016 Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends.

Understanding the characteristics of the average renters is an important tool to possess as an Owner or Property Manager. It can mean the success of a community or the decline. With the proper information, you can create the proper marketing techniques to attract and reach the right target market. Here some insights are given by Zillow from a survey conducted to 4,000+ renters. As of 2016, 58% of millennials were renting which may not be such a huge surprise to some of us. Zillow has categorized millennials into two subgroups which consist of younger millennials from age 18-25 and older millennials from age 25-34. The largest group of renters was older millennials with a median age of 32 years old. It was stated during the webinar and many other conferences I have attended that millennials hold such a high rental status because millennials are looking for the flexibility to move to booming job markets and forgo the worry of maintenance on a home. Additionally, millennials would like to be closer to downtown areas that are in the vicinity to local bars and restaurants. The demand for rentals closer to recreational activities seems to be a growing desire and will continue to drive the rental market in those areas.

The median income of renters was $37,500 with 45% living alone and 55% of renters living with a spouse or partner. A large portion of these renters could be young professionals continuing their education and career journey until they purchase a home; the median income of a home buyer was $87,500. Another factor to consider if you own or manage properties in the Southeast where 4 of 10 renters are living with children and targeting families is your main goal, you may want to consider placing a playground in the community to serve families with children.

As a property owner, we can all understand the hard decision to allow pets or not. The nasty wear and tear on the apartment or the smell of the dirty carpet can be daunting. However, take into consideration that 1 of 3 renters own a pet. Of these owners, 45% are cat owners and 43% are owners of small dogs. According to Zillow, only 50% of landlords accept pets! The number seems pretty low for the high number of owners who own pets. I had a property that filled up a 10-15% vacancy because we allowed owners to have small pets. With 45% of owners living alone and 57% of those owners being females, pets provide not only a loving companion but a security to owners. It may attract more qualified renters into your community; just verify that proper pet procedures have been set in place.

This makes up for the major demographics of renters who may be applying to live in your communities. In the next blog, we will delve further into factors that influence renters to rent from specific communities. This information will review important terms to put on marketing ads and perhaps some items you can add to the community to drive up occupancy.

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