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Study: Renting in Real Life

June 26 2019

Research shows renters will avoid talking to management about awkward moments if possible

LEHI, UTAH, June 26, 2019 - Entrata, multifamily real estate’s most comprehensive technology company, and ButterflyMX, creator of the smart intercom, today announced a new survey which reveals renters will avoid or put off conversations with apartment managers about a variety of issues, including maintenance and reporting disturbances. The survey findings highlight the issues renters are facing and how they interact with management.

“Living in close proximity to other people often brings about awkward and interesting situations for renters,” said Cyrus Claffey, co-founder and CEO of ButterflyMX. “We aimed to gain a better understanding of those situations in this survey and came away with some valuable insights that we will use to further refine our products and features.”

While the complaints and struggles uncovered by the survey were sure to be recognized by anyone who has rented an apartment, exactly how renters interacted with management was surprising. According to the study, even when it was in the best interest of the renter, such as reporting a disturbance or getting something repaired, renters still hesitated reaching out.

“These findings highlight many of the prevailing issues apartment communities and their residents are facing,” said Chase Harrington, president and chief operating officer at Entrata. “We’ll use the insights gathered from this survey as we continue our focus on providing innovative technology solutions built to improve the resident living experience and make life easier for apartment managers everywhere.”

Key findings of the survey include the following:

Renters will try fixing the problem themselves before calling management. When asked about reporting problems where the renter was at fault, 100 percent said they’d try to fix the problem themselves. Twenty-eight percent said they wouldn't report the problem at all, while 21 percent said they’d eventually report it, but delay it for a week or more. In fact, 10 percent of residents believe a repair may have ended up costing their property more money because they tried to fix it themselves first.

Renters worry about getting their packages delivered safely. Of those polled, 89 percent said they worried their packages would be stolen from their doorstep, and 41 percent reported that packages actually had been stolen from their doorsteps multiple times. Other problems regarding package delivery, such as deliveries to the wrong address (71%) or not delivered at all (75%), were also reported.

Renters would rather report awkward or embarrassing incidents online than in person. Domestic disturbances, late rent, clogged toilets and loud sex—all these issues and many more could be reported, but renters hesitate and shy away from reporting these types of encounters. However, renters are more likely to report these types of incidents when they have the option of using something less personal, such as a website or mobile app.

Renters complain about parking and accessibility issues. Whether it’s finding a spot (74% reported having trouble finding a place to park) or finding someone else has parked in their spot (28%), more than half (53%) of those polled said parking is an issue. But parking and accessibility problems aren’t confined to residents, 58 percent said that guest visitors had parking issues, and 14 percent said their Uber/Lyft drivers had trouble finding the right apartment. In fact, nearly one-third said they wouldn’t use food delivery or rideshare services because of parking and accessibility issues.

Renters’ lack of communication choices create bottlenecks and limit highly sought-after in-person experiences with apartment managers and office staff. While the study showed that there are times when renters don’t want to talk to management, there are definitely times when they do. But when 82 percent said they used the phone to contact the manager and 70 percent relied on in-person communication, not much bandwidth is left. When asked about using a mobile app, respondents said convenience and efficiency were the compelling reasons.

“We learned from this survey that technology can help alleviate many of the problems renters face,” said Claffey. “Renter complaints over package delivery, difficulties communicating with management, issues dealing with service providers—all of these can be mitigated through today’s property management systems and building entry solutions.”

To read the survey summary, click here.


Generated by Entrata and ButterflyMX and fielded in March 2019, the survey collected online responses via Qualtrics from 1,054 U.S. consumers who are over the age of 18 and rent an apartment.

About ButterflyMX

ButterflyMX, creator of the smart intercom, has developed the most secure and convenient building entry platform that tethers cloud-based software to intuitive touchscreen hardware. Our mission is to facilitate convenient and verified entry for people in the built world. To date, ButterflyMX has facilitated more than 10 million door release transactions and is installed in more than 2,700 properties across the U.S. and internationally. ButterflyMX has been adopted in buildings developed, owned and managed by the most trusted names in real estate, including Greystar, AvalonBay Communities, Bozzuto, CA Ventures, Lennar, Lincoln Property Company and Equity Residential. The company is headquartered in New York City. Learn more at www.butterflymx.com.

About Entrata

Founded in 2003, Entrata® is multifamily real estate’s fastest-growing technology company. It provides the only comprehensive property management software provider with a single-login, open-access Platform as a Service (PaaS) system. Offering a wide variety of online tools including websites, mobile apps, payments, lease signing, accounting, and resident management, Entrata® PaaS currently serves more than 20,000 apartment communities nationwide. Entrata’s open API and superior selection of third-party integrations offer management companies the freedom to choose the technology and software that best fit their needs. For more information, go to www.entrata.com.

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