Zach Martino - During the last few weeks, we’ve received the results from a survey sent to over 650 young apartment hunters currently looking for a new apartment within the next twelve to eighteen months. The survey garnered some very interesting findings. While we all know finding your next place can be frustrating. We wanted to understand just how annoying it can be and more importantly, why the process can be so difficult and how apartment hunters would change it to their benefit.

Key Findings

  • An astonishing 73.5% of respondents say they prefer digital channels over physical ones
  • The United States as a whole would overwhelmingly (almost 45%) have their perfect tool eliminate the need for a broker
  • Family and close friends trumped all other means as a first option when on the apartment hunt

Moving Tools are Capitalizing on the Internet

When searching for an apartment, apartment hunters can’t settle on one tool and expand their search for apartments using multiple applications. Most people believe that by perusing all platforms, they will able to ascertain all the necessary information. For example, 99% of people used moving tools that weren’t a broker, these tools were almost exclusively online. Among those, an astonishing 73.5% of respondents say they prefer digital channels over physical ones.

Craigslist (36%) was cited the most as people believe that it is “cheaper” than the market rate, while the person-to-person dynamic gave the perception that it is a “friendlier” experience. While only 6.35% of respondents actually found their place using a native app (iOS or Android), 35.4% said they would rather use one if they had to do the process again. Those that had used a native app said they would definitely use one again.

Pie Chart on breakdown of apps

Different Opinions on What Their Moving Tool Should Do

Unsurprisingly, most respondents said they only want to browse apartments during a time in which they’re actively searching for a place to live. Some women deviate from this trend in that they don’t mind (some even enjoy) shopping around for apartments when they aren’t in immediate need. We asked the same people what their perfect moving tool would do for them. Their responses were shocking in the differences between consumers in the Greater Boston Area and the US overall. Boston area movers, as a whole, would overwhelmingly have their perfect tool eliminate the need for a broker, while the general consensus nationally was for help with arranging the physical move to their new place.

Bar Chart on perfect moving tool features

Consumers Trust Those Close to Them

Above all else, apartment hunters were most inclined to use their own personal networks to find a new place. Family and close friends trumped all other means as a first option when on the apartment hunt. They come as a trusted source for a prospective property, an endorsement that can not be matched from an online or mobile platform. As a way to make these platforms more personable, respondents suggested a variety of changes. Prospective tenants wanted to be instilled with confidence by whichever tool they are using.

This includes things like user reviews and ratings - this fulfills the person-to-person facet of something like Craigslist. Also, respondents suggested that these companies reduce the number of showings and take some lessons from the best brands in personability like Amazon. To get the full scoop and some more great information on tools for the apartment hunt, check out Sumu’s 2016 Housing Report.

​ Sumu believes finding your next home should be as easy as 🍰. Sign up for Sumu and gain access to hundreds of available rooms and apartments. Savvy renters use Sumu.