In a recent look at moving and renting trends among Common’s residents, our team discovered a slew of data that point towards larger shifts in the way young professionals are approaching living in big cities. Certain data points have been consistent for the past several years, but others indicate how renters are leveraging Common’s unique offering in a new work/live landscape.
With thousands of members in 17 cities across the country, Common’s community of residents is a microcosm for larger trends taking place among renters and the multifamily industry. For other multifamily operators to keep up, they’ll need to leverage the following trends.
Across our portfolio of both coliving and traditional units, Common’s average resident is 30 years old — on par with the median age of renters across the country. While city dwellers continue to rent later in life than previous generations (the average Gen X homeowner purchased their first home at 30) they’re also continuing to share space for longer.
While having to split the rent is a definite side effect of the housing crisis, there are a few upsides — namely flexibility, community, and affordability. Common takes these benefits to the next level through both the convenience of coliving and our built-in community. Many prospective renters see Common as a stress-free entry point to leveraging the flexibility of renting and remote work: 50% of our members are new to the city they live in.
Tech-forward apartment hunt
COVID and subsequent lockdowns brought on a wave of new proptech designed to meet the changing needs of renters. While Common had long implemented virtual tours before COVID-19, the data from 2021 shows us that renters are continuing to take advantage of remote apartment hunting.
73% of prospective renters at Common tour virtually, and 48% of those renters never see their apartment in person before moving in. Additionally, Common allows prospective renters to self-schedule a tour without jumping through the usual hoops of email chains and voicemails. Not only does this allow renters to book a tour whenever and wherever, it more closely mimics the experience they have shopping for other consumer goods. In 2021, over 49,000 renters scheduled a tour directly from our website.
Brand is key
The rise in remote work has offered renters more flexibility than ever when deciding where to live, but for the most part, it hasn’t made the actual process of finding a new home easier. For a renter that’s exploring short term options in multiple cities, they’re forced to start the arduous apartment hunt and application process all over again.
Common’s consumer recognized brand and network of renter-friendly buildings across the country has proven to be an easy solution for residents looking for a fresh start without having to start from scratch. With our seamless transfer policy, residents can transfer to almost any other home in Common’s network. While amenities differ from space to space (outdoor pools aren’t nearly as popular in NYC as they are in Fort Lauderdale), they’ll always enjoy the benefits of a people-first property service team, a built-in community, and the convenience of our Connect by app. For coliving units, the offering is even more standardized.
In 2021, Common saw dozens of residents transfer to a new home each month — either within the same city or to a completely new locale. Residents were able to skip the apartment hunt, and we were able to maintain a valuable resident.
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