Last modified on November 17th, 2021
By Stacy Holden
New survey reveals 85% of renters in the DFW metro are happy with their property manager or landlord.
If you own or operate real estate in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, or are considering entering the market, you’re already aware of what’s happening on the ground. The rental housing market is H-O-T! Why? For several reasons, mainly:
- A steady flow of migration from expensive coastal cities seeking a lower cost of living, a trend accelerated by the pandemic but already in play prior to its arrival in the U.S.
- A robust local job market — composed of an educated workforce — that is trending in the right direction towards reaching pre-pandemic unemployment levels.
With demand outpacing supply due to the pandemic-induced slowdown in construction (that is only now beginning to pick up), average area rents have increased by 12.4% since last year, according to ALN Apartment Data.
Clearly, much has already been written on the state of the DFW rental market. So to provide rental housing owners, operators, and investors with different, but equally valuable insights into the market, AppFolio conducted a survey aimed at understanding the motivations and expectations of renters in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. To give the results greater context, we also conducted the same survey on a national scale. Here’s what we found:
By and large, renters in DFW are very happy.
Compared to the national average, Dallas renters are much more satisfied with their property managers and landlords. 85% of renters in the DFW metro are happy with their property manager or landlord, compared to 72% nationally. 49% of DFW renters responded as being very satisfied, compared to only 28% nationally. This may contribute to a higher than average number of renters saying they plan to renew their current lease (49% in the Dallas metro vs. 40% nationally).
JC Castillo, President and CEO of DFW-based property management firm Velo Residential commented: “It’s really exciting to see that 85% of Dallas residents are pleased with their property manager. At Velo Residential, we put tremendous focus on building community and making sure that our residents feel valued, heard, and appreciated. For us, it’s about satisfying the individuals that live at our properties and the employees that interact with them. It’s these personal connections that drive our business. We’re able to make those connections more seamless with great teams and great proptech. It’s that simple.”
As a result, DFW renters are significantly more likely to recommend their property management company or landlord.
After calculating Net Promoter Scores (a customer loyalty and satisfaction measurement taken from asking customers how likely they are to recommend your product or service to others on a scale of 0-10) across 5 major metros and the U.S. as a whole, DFW took the top spot with an NPS score of 30.57. The only other metro with a positive score was Miami at 20. Atlanta came in third place with a score of -13, San Francisco received a score of -15.79, and The Los Angeles metro rounded out the list at -36.43. The national score was -12.
Retention may be a challenge in this competitive market
Despite high satisfaction scores, Dallas metro area renters are more likely to be actively searching for a new home. 40% of DFW residents are actively searching for a new home, with over two-thirds of respondents expecting to move in the next 12 months. But where to?
Nearly 57% are seeking larger accommodations and/or more outdoor space
As construction comes back online with a heavy emphasis on single-family built-to-rent, it’s entirely possible that this segment of the population intends on moving from apartments to single-family homes.
The growth in DFW built-to-rent will require purpose-built technology and tools. As AppFolio Enterprise Account Executive and Dallas-native Kim Koehler explains: “In addition to multifamily, we’re experts in single-family rentals as well. When owners or operators add a new property to their portfolio, AppFolio has a dedicated “single-family” setup that’s purpose built for these property types. Not all property management solutions offer this, which is unfortunate because there are key differences between single-family and multifamily management. AppFolio accommodates both, and more.”
Expectations are higher
Dallas renters consistently view their property managers’ responsiveness, flexibility, and use of technology as having increased in importance since the pandemic began. To provide as much data as possible, we asked a series of open ended questions, one of which was aimed at understanding reasons for possible renter dissatisfaction. When asked “how has your property management company or landlord disappointed you in this last year?,” nearly 10% told us that responsiveness was not up to par, saying, for example, “they’re never available to answer the phone or emails.”
DFW renters like their neighborhoods
When it comes to relocating, it appears that DFW residents prefer to stay close to home: 52% of respondents stayed in the same neighborhood, compared to 17% nationally. DFW leasing teams take note: If you receive a notice to vacate from a resident, let them know of any vacancies in the same property or in other properties in the same neighborhood owned by the same landlord.
These insights are just a taste of what you’ll find in our DFW Resident Motivations report. We also asked open-ended questions like “what are you going to be looking for in your next home?” and “how has your property management company or landlord exceeded your expectations?”
You can download the full report here. We hope you’ll take advantage of the valuable insights it provides to meet — and exceed — your residents’ expectations. Because after all, their satisfaction means your success, and your success is our passion.