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Proptech firm MRI Software has released its Voice of the Resident Report where it surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. renters who live in varying locations and rental categories. It found that renters prefer green practices, digital interactions with landlords and property managers, and largely want to become homeowners one day.

Two-thirds of respondents believe that efforts to ensure that living spaces are green and energy efficient are important, and 40% say they will not rent a unit in a property without green practices.

Despite affordability challenges, almost two-thirds of respondents say they wish to become homeowners one day and want to live in a house rather than an apartment or rooms. “This bodes well for the single-family rental market,” says Brian Zrimsek, industry principal at MRI, who points out that renters became more interested in space and privacy during the height of the pandemic. “But density is no longer a bad word, so renters may adjust their requirements as concern about the pandemic continues to wane.”
Residents also cite a preference of familiar surroundings, and roughly two-thirds plan to seek their next home in a similar environment in which they’re currently living. In other words, city dwellers prefer to remain in the city and those who live in the suburbs prefer to stay there.

As respondents continue to rent in the meantime, they prefer in-unit amenities like additional storage, high-speed internet, and premium appliances. The number one desired amenity is in-unit laundry. Luxury amenities are also top of mind of respondents with a high preference for private garages, pools, and fitness centers.

Over half of the respondents also desire digital interactions with landlords or property managers for communications and monthly rent payments.

“There is no secret formula to attracting renters these days. They want the convenience of digital, along with the assurance that their living space is environmentally friendly,” says Zrimsek. “Even landlords who don’t provide luxury amenities can incorporate these features into their property management processes and up their game significantly.”