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Why Tenants Are Moving in 2014

Why Tenants Are Moving in 2014

Tenants on the move. It’s what every apartment owner or manager dreads and wants to prevent. For this reason, we often find ourselves actively seeking to understand what drives tenant decisions and influences them most, primarily through surveys, studies, and trends. Thanks to a recent survey conducted by Apartments.com and reported by AOL Real Estate, we know at least one highly influential factor when it comes to why tenants will make the decision to change apartments in 2014: money.

According to the survey, approximately 24.6 percent of tenant respondents cited financial motivation as the #1 reason for deciding to move in the coming year. The bottom line? A cheaper apartment. To drive this point home, the survey also revealed that 47.3 percent of respondents say their reason for staying in their current apartment is simply an inability to afford a move.

A breakdown of those moving versus those who are not wasn’t provided in the survey results; but Apartments.com did give some insight into those tenants who cannot afford to move. Following are the circumstances those respondents cited that would be necessary in order to force a move, given their financial situation:

  • Winning the lottery (51.5 percent)
  • Receiving a promotion or loss of job (45.6 percent)
  • Moving in with a significant other or moving out (20.7 percent)
  • Dealing with disruptive neighbors (19.5 percent)
  • Finding affordable options (13 percent)

 What the list should say if we’re paying attention is that finances are driving both the reasons to move and those forcing them to stay. And, you can be sure, those without the financial ability to move at this time very well could at any time their situation changes. For this reason alone, you, as a manager or owner, need to be actively retaining all your tenants. How do you appeal to tenants motivated by price with incentives other than price? Here’s some inspiration:

  • Be responsive. We can’t say this enough. Your tenants want to know you care and are concerned with the condition of the property and the issues they have. Simply communicating and showing some attention goes a long way, especially when it happens pretty quickly.
  • Be nice. Whether it’s you on the property or a day-to-day manager, there needs to be someone on the property with which the tenants can identify and depend upon. Relationships with the front office are a lot more important to tenants than most managers give credit; but they are crucial and can be a deal breaker.
  • Be proactive. Simple details go a long way. Make sure the property is well lit and adequate attention is paid to tenant safety; give consideration to landscaping and appearance (you can do a lot with a little, and this will help you attract as well as keep); and ensure the property is equipped with what tenants really want: Wi-Fi.

While these tips won’t assure you’ll keep all your current tenants, the majority of people understand that they get what they pay for. If you’re showing tenants they matter and addressing their basic needs (and then some), there’s a very good chance tenants will find it hard to leave.

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