With the increase of Americans working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, apartment renters are willing to pay more for faster Internet and printing services, according to a recent survey.
The “Working From Apartments What Residents Say They Need” survey, conducted by SatisFacts in November, included more than 500 apartment renters. More than half of the respondents, 54.5%, cited faster internet as the top amenity needed to accommodate working from home, while 50% ranked printing No. 2.
Almost half of the respondents, 49%, reported that they would be willing to pay more for faster Internet, while 40.8% said they would pay more for wireless self-service printing, scanning, and copying. However, only 13.9% of the respondents said they would be willing to pay more for co-working spaces.
“It is always important for apartment operators to stay up to date on resident sentiment, but especially when we such a dramatic shift in resident needs and priorities, as we have during the pandemic, said Lia Nichole Smith, vice president education and performance at ApartmentRatings and SatisFacts. “Residents’ needs aren’t the same as they were 10 months ago, especially for those who now working or schooling from home. It’s vital for operators to reach out to learn what those current needs are and reassess what they’re doing to accommodate residents.”
Survey findings also noted some of the primary issues renters are having working from home. More than one-third of respondents, 36.6%, cited that balancing work and life schedules is the biggest challenge of working from home, followed by the lack of a dedicated workspace by 35.9%.
More than half of the respondents, 51.8%, said their printing needs have increased or held steady this year, with 57.4% of renters printing more than 10 pages each month and 47.1% saying they would use a community printer often or daily, if available. According to the survey, only 12% said they would use a co-working space on a daily basis.
PrintWith Me founder and CEO Jonathan Treble said renters are leaning heavily on their multifamily communities to make working from home feasible.
“We’re seeing a transition in renter preferences, away from design and space and toward function and convenience,” said Treble. “Apartment residents who now find themselves working or studying from home still require the equipment and capabilities that were previously provided at their workplace or educational institution. It’s not surprising to see internet strength and printing capabilities top their list of necessities, because those are the technologies that employees and students utilize on a regular basis.”
The proptech firm, which provides self-service printer tech, has seen continued growth throughout 2020. It now provides services in all 50 states, with more than 1,500 stations—1,033 in multifamily, serving approximately 360,000 apartment homes.