Enter your email address for weekly access to top multifamily blogs!

Multifamily Blogs

This is some blog description about this site

Distinguishing between survey data and behavioral data can be tricky

You’ve had a friend who insists he is going to quit his job the next time his boss reprimands him. Three years later, the boss still gets on him, but he still works there.

Or the girl who maintains that her boyfriend will be out the door the next time he stays out too late with his friends. The boyfriend continues to do so, but they’re still happily together.

What people say they’ll do and what they actually do are often worlds apart. Prospective renters are no different. That’s why survey data should be viewed differently when compared to behavioral data. Survey data is what prospective renters say they’ll do, whereas behavioral data is what they actually do.

This is not to say that survey data should be taken with a grain of salt or lacks value, but behavioral data is the nugget that is truly vital to understanding prospective renters. For instance, some might indicate that they are seeking an apartment in the $1,000 range, but will actually pay $1,500 when it comes down to it. The opposite is often the case as well, where some will indicate a price much more than they can afford. 

We have made the effort to garner both types of data from our network of sites in our quest to understand prospective renters better than anyone else in the industry. The idea is to be able to distinguish the sets, viewing the survey data as something of a “want” list and behavioral data as a “need” list.

Along those lines, we looked at renters who actually filled out a guest card to schedule a tour at a community to determine what renter’s really want from an apartment home. Of those who became a lead, we found that the most wanted amenities varied vastly by locale. Keeping in mind items such as a fitness center, laundry room, emergency maintenance, pet amenities and public transportation were craved nearly across the board, we examined the data from four major cities.

Most important to prospective renters in Atlanta were a swimming pool, balcony and air conditioning, which makes sense considering the city’s hot and humid summers. In Chicago, prospective renters wanted air conditioning, but also preferred apartments that are cable ready and have some utilities included in the rent.

Los Angeles prospective renters were keen on gated communities to go with high-speed Internet access and cable. New York most diverted from the others, with renters seeking a full-service concierge, a dishwasher and oversized closets.

The average rent prospects were willing to pay also varied widely by locale, beginning with $1,500 a month in Atlanta, $1,675 in Chicago, $2,625 in LA and $4,125 in New York. In a testament to the demand of each market, the square footage sought by renters worked in inverse order, starting with 700 in New York to 825 in Atlanta.




Rate this blog entry:
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

When working with people, actions always speak louder than words.

  Mindy Sharp

Comment Below

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location
We've heard many success stories regarding using Craigslist to find prospects, but what about using their job postings as a springboard to new leases with strong companies? I had a community approach me recently discussing how their market was very tourist driven, which was experiencing a significant downturn. Residents who left often left because of a new job elsewhere. But it's likely that there are still hirings in some aspects of the market, even if the market overall is struggling. So if yo...
Urbane has once again shown me why I'm a true "fanboy" of theirs. I'm scrolling down my MySpace page when I notice a new picture in my top friends area, with "Urbane Apartments" right above it. It's not a picture of their hip, modern communities, but rather three (attractive) women. They truly understand that they aren't selling just a physical space, they are selling a lifestyle. And check out their new layout - it's pretty trippy: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseac...
Are business centers in Class A properties a waste? The more $400 to $500 computers I see, I really wonder how useful a business center is to your property. Of course, actual usage data might tell a whole different story, but it seems as though it's just duplicating something people already have, for the most part. Now, some communities really go all out with their fax, copier, and meeting room capabilities, and I can see how having a truly state-of-the-art facility might make a difference in re...