MCLEAN, VA. JUNE 25, 2019
Binary Fountain, the leading online reputation management platform for enterprise organizations and small and medium-sized businesses, today released the findings of its “2019 Renter Insight & Digital Engagement” survey. With the goal of uncovering how renters search for, evaluate and share their rental experiences online, the survey, conducted by SurveyMonkey Audience and commissioned by Binary Fountain, found consumers depend on online ratings and review sites and property manager engagement to make informed decisions when searching for a rental property to live in.
Ratings and Reviews Are Key When It Comes To Renter’s Trust
Online ratings and review sites are increasingly being used to discuss and share elements of a resident’s experience, from the start of the rental search to signing the lease and living at the property. Binary Fountain’s survey results illustrate the high-level of trust U.S. renters place on ratings and review sites when making their rental decisions.
- 64 percent of renters use online reviews to search for a rental property at the beginning of their search and 21 percent of renters use online reviews to search for a rental property before they tour.
- A majority, 74 percent, of renters read between 1-10 reviews before making a decision on a rental property.
- In fact, 85 percent of respondents say they look at online ratings and reviews even after a friend or family member recommends a property.
- Additionally, 64 percent of American renters are willing to pay more for a property with more positive reviews and/or higher rankings.
When asked, “which listings or ratings/review websites do you use/have you used to search for a rental property to live in,” the survey found Zillow (58 percent) as the primary source, followed by Google (51 percent), Apartments.com (48 percent), Realtor.com (29 percent) and Craigslist (25 percent), among others. However, when it came to “sharing your rental property experience online,” respondents selected Google (31 percent) as the leading choice, followed by Facebook (27 percent) and Apartments.com (24 percent).
Both Negative and Positive Reviews Matter
93 percent of U.S. renters used online reviews to search for a rental property at some stage of their rental search. However, renters have become more critical of the type of reviews they read and trust. When asked to “select the top three aspects that matter most in a rental property’s online ratings and reviews,” the survey found: 57 percent of respondents selected “negative reviews” as the most important aspect of a rental property’s online ratings and reviews, followed by “positive reviews” (55 percent), “How recent the last review was” (42 percent) and “star ratings” (39 percent).
Renters Have High Expectations for Property Manager Engagement
The survey found that potential renters take property manager engagement into consideration when evaluating a property. To attract and retain loyal tenants, property managers must be vigilant in monitoring and responding to reviews.
- When evaluating a rental property to live in, 92 percent of renters think it is helpful when a property manager responds to online reviews.
- Furthermore, the majority of renters (89 percent) said they would post an online rating or review if asked by a property manager to share their rental property experience.
Renters Want Low Cost, High Value and Attentiveness
The survey found that U.S. renters demand the same things when choosing a rental property to live in versus rating and/or evaluating a property they currently or previously lived in – just at different levels. The survey results revealed:
- 80 percent of respondents selected “value & cost” as the most important factor when choosing a rental property to live in, followed by 77 percent that selected “location” and 65 percent that selected “safety & security.”
- Similarly, 73 percent of respondents selected “value & cost” as the factor that matters the most when rating and/or evaluating a property they currently or previously lived in, followed by a tie, at 61 percent, between “location” and “safety & security.”
When looking to satisfy the needs and expectations of U.S. renters, the survey highlights attentiveness as one of the top frustrating factors for renters searching for a property. For example, the survey results showed: 31 percent of renters selected “finding accurate information online about the property” as the most frustrating issue about searching for a rental property to live in, followed by “waiting to hear back from the property manager or realtor” (18 percent), “compiling and filing application/required documents for renting” (17 percent) and “parking/commute” (16 percent).
“The ‘2019 Renter Insight & Digital Engagement’ survey further proves the impact, significance and trust online ratings and reviews have on U.S. consumers,” said Aaron Clifford, senior vice president of marketing at Binary Fountain. “It is imperative that U.S. property owners and managers carefully monitor and evaluate their online reputation if they wish to remain competitive in today’s dense real estate market.”
To discover more findings from the “2019 Renter Insight & Digital Engagement” survey:
Commissioned by Binary Fountain, the “2019 Renter Insight & Digital Engagement” survey, was conducted by SurveyMonkey Audience, a global market research panel that provides access to over 50 million consumers in 100+ countries. Feedback was obtained from more than 1,100 U.S. adults who have searched for a rental property to live in (i.e. house, condo, apartment, duplex, townhome, etc.) in the last two years. The survey was conducted between May 2 – 3, 2019.
About Binary Fountain
Binary Fountain is the leading online reputation management platform for enterprises, healthcare organizations and small and medium-sized businesses. Anchored in its Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology, the cloud-based platform mines customer and employee feedback from surveys, online ratings and review sites, social media and other data sources to equip organizations with actionable insights needed to improve brand loyalty, increase engagement and drive sustainable bottom-line results. On a mission to help companies grow their business and create better customer experiences, Binary Fountain serves various industries including healthcare, hospitality, retail, automotive and financial services. For more information, visit http://www.binaryfountain.com or follow on Twitter @binaryfountain.