Guest Post by Thad Boucher, University of Florida business student.
SwampRentals.com’s spring intern class of six University of Florida students recently held a power lunch for apartment managers in the Gainesville area called Insights from the Inside. The team provided a look at student renters’ perspectives to finding an apartment.
We conducted primary research in order to gain further insight into the minds of students. We were able to acquire over 35 video interviews with students from the University of Florida who were attending the housing fair this past spring semester. We also conducted an electronic survey for students asking questions such as what resources they use when searching for apartments and what influences them the most.
We found that friends are overwhelmingly the main source of information on local apartments, followed by Internet listing services (ILSs).
After further analyzing the data, word of mouth, internet listing services and social media were deemed the topics on which we could provide further insight for the apartment managers. While word of mouth was the most commonly used resource when apartment hunting, we found that most students will rely on personal research in the end. Therefore, it is important to make sure that apartment managers monitor their ILSs and social media pages to ensure that all of their data is up to date and that any negative reviews or comments have been publically addressed.
After discussing various mediums to use to get qualified traffic through the door, we surprised the managers by telling them that the SwampRentals.com interns had shopped their apartment complexes. We gauged the value of the tours based on the leasing agent’s levels of engagement and the actual sale. Overall, we were engaged, but none of us saw any “test-close” techniques or were asked about signing leases in the near future. In order to potentially close more sales from tours, we provided the attending managers with some test close techniques that they could try in the future.
From our semester of research and preparation, we were able to give the Gainesville apartment managers some insights from the inside!
See other posts from "Insights from the Inside - A renter's perspective on finding your apartment":
- Insights from the Inside – Introduction to our work
- Word of Mouth & Social Media for Apartments
- Best Practices for Apartments Using an Internet Listing Service (ILS)
- Apartment Websites, Apartment Guides & Craigslist
- Apartment Reviews & the Upside to Uncertainty
- You’ve Been Shopped, Gainesville Apartments!