According to a survey from MRI Software, a provider of real estate software solutions, high-speed Internet access is the most important amenity in the multifamily rental sector for age groups ranging from students through middle-aged renters.
High-speed broadband and e-bill payments/rent portals rank as the two most important apartment features for students, young professionals and Millennials. Those two features beat out in-unit laundry, proximity to public transportation, community storage, assigned parking and cable TV for the top two spots.
For established professionals, families and middle-aged renters, high-speed broadband is still the most important amenity, followed by in-unit laundry, parking features and cable TV.
For seniors and retirees, community security and in-unit laundry are the two most important features. High-speed broadband came in 12th on the list, and e-bill pay was tied for third-to-last out of a possible 24 features.
Brian Zrimsek, industry principal at MRI Software, said: "Millennials and even younger generations now expect digital amenities such as e-bill pay, and many real estate organizations are falling behind in adopting more specialized real estate technology solutions. As these younger generations move into senior management roles at the companies where they work, their digital expectations will carry over into commercial real estate. Those organizations that don't adapt will ultimately find themselves unable to compete in an increasingly digital world."
MRI surveyed 219 real estate executives: 51% were VP-level or higher, and 35% were directors, managers or property managers. As for company size, 30% of respondents worked at companies with more than 50 employees, 25% had 11 to 50 employees, and 46% had 10 or fewer.