CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Nov 19, 2014) - A new survey from TransUnion Rental Screening found that the great majority of renters value online research, yet many millennials use it to avoid in-person contact during the rental process. Such in-person contact typically involves interaction with leasing agents, owners, or on-site property teams. Nearly one in five residents -- or 18% of the 18 to 34 age group -- ranked avoiding in-person contact as a priority compared to only 13% of those 35 and older.
According to the survey, two-thirds of all surveyed renters (67%) prefer to conduct research online through their laptop, computer, or mobile device when searching for a new home or apartment to rent. These renters ranked the ease (68%) and convenience (63%) as the most valuable aspects of online rental resources tools.
"More than 5 million additional renters have entered the market since 2007, and many of these renters are tech-savvy millennials who prefer online resources," said Michael Doherty, senior vice president of TransUnion's rental screening solutions group. "The survey findings indicate that property managers who use traditional paper applications may miss a key opportunity to serve potential residents, particularly in this renter segment."
Other survey findings include:
- Six in 10 males prefer to use apartment or home finding agencies, while women relied more heavily on word-of-mouth recommendations during their research.
- Seven in 10 millennials prefer to conduct research online with their laptop, computer or mobile device when searching for a new home or apartment to rent.
- Millennials are more likely to use smartphone apps during the rental research and application process and are less reliant on word-of-mouth recommendations than their peers ages 50+ (3% vs 14%, respectively).
Earlier this year, TransUnion introduced ResidentApply -- a simple-to-use, 24/7, online solution that allows renters to complete and submit applications. Using ResidentApply, property managers screen and generate lease documents, collect application fees, and electronically sign lease documents anywhere and at any time -- all in one platform.
"With ResidentApply, property managers can increase convenience for their future residents and improve efficiency in on-site operations," said Doherty. "Simultaneously, property managers can attract high-quality resident by offering these increasing valued online resources and streamlining the rental research phase during that first critical interaction with residents."
For more information on TransUnion's ResidentApply online leasing solution, visit http://rentalscreening.transunion.com/residentapply/.
About the survey
The online survey includes responses from 1,000 U.S. consumers who currently rent a home or apartment, or have rented in the past two years. The survey was conducted in October 2014.
As a global leader in information and risk management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering high quality data, and integrating advanced analytics and enhanced decision-making capabilities. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Chicago, TransUnion reaches businesses and consumers in 33 countries around the world. www.transunion.com/business