Internet Choice Drives Rental Decisions
May 30th, 2019
In most cities, searching for an apartment is like job searching. You start networking. Maybe you ask friends, coworkers, post on social media for recommendations. Then you start looking at apartments. Some are too small, some have too many flights of stairs. When you find your perfect Goldilocks apartment, you begin asking the hard-hitting questions. Can I paint the walls? Is there parking? Is water or gas included? How good is the internet?
It may not seem like the most obvious question, but internet choice is increasingly driving renters’ decisions about their apartments. According to a March 2019 survey of Starry subscribers, 5 out of 10 consider internet options when thinking about where to live. That’s a significant number of potential renters, especially considering that over half of American households do not have a choice in high-speed internet providers. Renters are not just considering a rooftop deck or in-unit laundry, but also the quality of their at-home internet connection.
Given the importance of internet access, more than three quarters of subscribers said they would be more likely to rent an apartment where internet service is included as an amenity (same!). Which is why the limited (or completely nonexistent) choice of providers in most areas is such a travesty. And it’s why the option of Starry is such a draw for renters. Over 59% said they would move to a building simply because Starry Internet service is available.
Internet is an integral part of our lives, especially for the 72% who report that their internet connection helps them do their job better. 44% of respondents work between 10 - 35 hours per week from home, and almost a third work at least five hours per week from the comfort of home. That means there is a lot of video conferencing happening. 59% of users leveraging their internet connection to dial into the likes of Zoom, BlueJeans, Skype. We’re just wondering how many of them are secretly wearing pajama pants on those calls...
The real estate industry can’t afford to take the internet for granted anymore. It’s a critical part of work, play and everyday life, and as our survey shows, it’s a big driver of rental choice and ultimately, a building’s bottom line.
To learn more about the role of the internet in consumers’ lives, click here.