Renters are increasingly unhappy with sky-high rents according to a new survey and analysis of renters’ reviews, ratings and conversations on social media sites.
The survey shows that sky-high rents have created unhappy renters and increasingly negative sentiment among renters and raises the specter of rent controls in major cities, according to Reputation, an online reputation-management company, which did the survey.
In addition, rising interest rates are eating into property owners’ profits and could pressure them to raise rents, which “would most certainly worsen an already contentious relationship with renters,” the report says.
The company analyzed nearly 600,000 reviews of more than 80,000 multifamily residential properties.
“In it, we’ve seen review volume is up 7 percent compared to 2021, but sentiment is down 0.2 stars. In addition, reviews about rent specifically have increased by 3.5 percent year over year, with sentiment dropping by 0.12 stars. Renters are as motivated as ever to talk about their experiences, and they’re growing less happy,” according to a release about the report.
The research found that:
- Reviews are gold but must be current. 88 percent of people read reviews before touring an apartment, but 33 percent of properties did not receive a single review in the past 12 months. Property managers need to protect their reputations by asking for reviews, so public feedback remains up to date.
- Review volume is up, but sentiment is down. Quality and speed of customer service drive positive sentiment, while the responsiveness of the rental office, quality of the residence, and surcharges drive negative sentiment.
- Renters demand four stars or more. Property managers must use sentiment feedback to make improvements, as 55 percent of potential renters will not consider touring an apartment unless it has a rating of 4 stars or higher. The average star rating is between 3.8 and 4.1 stars, so there is some room for improvement in the industry.
- A strong reputation pays off. Locations with the highest Reputation Scores generate three times more views on Google. Additionally, a 100-point increase in Reputation Score adds $150,000 (for 500 units managed) to $3 million (for 10,000 units managed) to your top line annually.
“Data from our property management report shows that now is the time for leaders in the multi-family housing business to solidify their customer experience and carefully communicate major changes to renters. Property managers must invest in closing the customer loop with reviews – this means proactively eliciting feedback, learning from it, and implementing changes that will improve renters’ experiences over time,” said Joe Fuca, CEO of Reputation, in a release.