A number of economic factors caused by the 2008 recession has influenced the millennial generation’s preference for renting over buying homes. They like geographic fluidity to accommodate job changes and fast-paced lifestyle changes that come with the information age they grew up in.
Modern renters rely on technological platforms for almost everything and increasingly so with renting as well. At Tenantcube we want to empower tenants and landlords to get the best experience out of the rental process. Knowing that a happy tenant is key to property management and profit, Tenantcube conducted a survey to understand the current scenario on the tenant front.
We reached out to participants through the team’s professional networks and over social media, and here’s what we learnt.
Tenant experience applying for rental properties
On average, participants (52%) applied for 3 properties before being approved and finalizing the contract for tenancy. It took 63% of participants 20-30 minutes to complete one application. Though web and mobile applications have taken over most businesses, paper still rules when it comes to applying to rental properties.
37% of participants said they filled out their details on paper, to hand it over to the landlords. While email is a close second contender with 34%, participants said it was a typed out version of the paper form which then had to be printed out.
Property listing sites (22%) and landlord websites (7%) are getting more popular and are available with bigger real estate companies that manage multiple buildings. Overall, the experience of the participants with all of these models were similar, tenants still spent a lot of time filling out information, the only difference being the medium.
Participants spent most of their time, an average of 37% looking for rental properties they like on online listing sites. Application and response wait time took a combined 30% of the time. Further communication with the landlord and deal finalization took another 33% of time. This communication includes requests for more information from tenants, missing documents, and verification.
Tenants preferred a response time for their application to be 1-2 days (70%) but in reality it took anywhere between 2-6 days. While they didn’t mind providing more information, they found it redundant after filling out a detailed application. It also took more time to finalize the deal because of it.
More than 48% of participants found the application process “Difficult”, with only 9% rating it as “Easy”. The words used to describe their experience included “tiring”, “time consuming” and “cumbersome”.
Provided an option to reuse their application, 90% of tenants said they would prefer that. 75% of participants also said they would sign an online lease an overwhelming 95% preferred to pay their rent online.
The process of renting a residential property largely remains unchanged in the past decade and needs to be updated to suit modern tenants. Tenants are also confident about sharing their information and documents through secure portals. Automated application processes, shorter response times, and an option for online transactions help make their experience better and are preferred by 9 out of 10 people.
The Tenant Rental Experience Survey was conducted using Survey Sparrow. A special thanks to Shihab, CEO of Survey Sparrow for helping out a fellow startup by providing us run a premium survey on trial. We have great appreciation for robust features and amazing simplicity of the forms.