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Deconstructing the Multifamily Audience

November 21, 2018

Understanding audiences is like knowing the way to the office - it will set you up for success when you do, but could get you in trouble if you don’t. As marketers, we know nailing our target audience is key to a successful campaign. With tons of research tools at our fingertips, we can sometimes obsess over audience. Learning the needs, wants and buying habits of your audience allows you to better target and get better results from your ad dollars. When it comes to multifamily, here’s what we know.


First things first, let’s cover the obvious: the majority of renters are millennials. According to the Washington Post, the millennial generation is the largest in history - and guess what? 60% of them rent. Due to many reasons including, student loan debt, marrying later in life, more people are renting into their 20s and 30s than ever before.

Buying Cycle

Renting a home is quite different than shopping for new shoes or finding a restaurant for dinner tonight. Finding a new home is rarely an impulse decision like many other industries. Similar to buying a car, the multifamily audience will take time to research options, comparison shop and gather information about an apartment before signing a lease. That means a longer buying cycle, and multiple touch points leading to a purchase decision.  In a study conducted by Apartments.com, most renters spend between 14 and 90 days to select housing.

Search Habits

Captain obvious here again, when researching for a new home or apartment to rent, our audience is looking online. Excluding grandma clipping classified ads for you, an overwhelming 90% of millennial renters use technology to search for a new home.

Where do they begin? Typically,the multifamily audience will consult an apartment listing site or a search engine to start gathering research. This could take several searches, phone calls, consulting online review sites to find the perfect home.


Decision Factors

Now that we understand where and how our audience is finding information, it’s important to delve into the key factors that compile this research and help form the consideration set. Even if your target renter is on a budget, millennials still want to go out and enjoy life. That means they are looking for location information including nearby restaurants, bars, coffee shops, gyms, parks and more.

In addition to knowing the surroundings of their potential new home, renters are also interested in outdoor and entertainment spaces. It’s no secret that pets are popular among the millennial generation (7 in 10 own a pet, more than half are dog owners) so they’ll be looking for pet-friendly properties with a dog park, or other pet-centric amenities and in their decision factors as well.

Millennial renters are also looking for online services (there’s a theme here!) like the option to pay rent online, manage their lease or submit a maintenance request.


As we’ve already discussed, no audience is completely alike - so realizing what type of person would be best suited for your property is key to a successful marketing campaign. Is your property in a suburban area idea for families? Do you have a great playground and amenities suitable for children? Tightly targeted audiences = better leads.

There are many subsets within the multifamily target audience that behave very differently than the majority of renters. For instance, student housing or senior living facilities are looking at a different age range and different online habits.

Need help identifying your property’s audience attributes? We know where to start.

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