How to Appeal to Single Renters

The Who, What, Where and Why of marketing to solo renters.
Image by Erda Estremera via Unsplash

In 2020, roughly 36 million people—or about one third of all households—were living in single-person households across the U.S. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, single-person households represented only 13 percent of all households in 1960. But the steady wage rises, growing professional opportunities and the desire for personal independence have prompted many to opt for solo living.

Nowadays, people choosing to live alone have full control over their lifestyles, free of judgement and intrusion. And while it is true that solo living is typically more expensive than sharing an apartment with someone, it also grants more privacy and autonomy, which is why several types of renters increasingly look to rent on their own. 

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Who are they?

Young professionals are among the most common single-person households. Nowadays, many of them opt to delay partnering or childbearing and focus on their careers instead. They want to be financially independent, so they’re likely to have a stable job that enables them to live alone and, consequently, make regular rent payments.

Widowed individuals opting to remain single and solo retirees are also highly likely to rent an apartment. Older adults enjoy the flexibility of renting because they can easily move where their children or grandchildren move. Additionally, they will most likely appreciate the fact that they will not be in charge of time-consuming and often costly chores associated with homeownership. For many seniors, the practical aspects of renting offset the emotional aspects of owning.  

Divorced people make up a large share of one-person households, as well. Pew Research Centre found that the divorce rate in the U.S. climbed from 5 per 1,000 married persons in 1990 to 10 in 2015, so it comes as no surprise that solitary living arrangements have increased in the past decades.

What are they looking for?

Single-person households usually go for one-bedroom apartments because residents value their privacy. But some single renters also enjoy having guests over, which is why their apartment needs to be large enough to accommodate more people when need be.

Singles are also interested in studios and micro-apartments. The average size of a studio unit is around 600 square feet, but it includes the basics: a kitchen, a bathroom and general living space. Micro apartments, on the other hand, are the smallest option on their list—averaging around 400 square feet or less—and represent an affordable option for those living in dense, urban areas where rents are typically high.

Image by Roberto Nickson via Unsplash

No matter what type of apartment they choose, those living alone also appreciate an appealing amenity package. Young professionals, for example, will need a fast and secure Wi-Fi connection, a green space to chill with friends and a tennis court or swimming pool to stay active.

In addition, both younger and older singles are highly likely to enjoy the companionship of a furry friend, so they will only rent an apartment in a pet-friendly community

Where do they prefer to live?

Young professionals are highly likely to prefer densely populated areas that offer them better career opportunities. Large companies are usually located in urban areas and renters building a career want to be where professional opportunities abound. Additionally, areas with many retail, entertainment, recreation and restaurant options are also more likely to attract young professionals.

More recently, suburban areas with easy access to transit, have also been gaining popularity. Besides pandemic-induced concerns, the ever-increasing housing costs have been pushing many renters toward the suburbs, particularly in secondary metros.

Another thing singles look for is safe areas with low crime rates and a sense of security. 

Why are single renters good for your community?

Young professionals are not only financially reliable, but they also mean less stress on the units and parking spaces. As opposed to couples, the risk of having to break the lease because of relationship drama is practically non-existent.

Retirees can also be financially secure. In addition to Social Security retirement benefits, savings accounts and investment accounts are also a major component of many individuals’ retirement income. Besides these financial aspects that make them good renters, retirees are usually quiet, mindful and less likely to cause damage to your property. Furthermore, once they’ve found an apartment they enjoy living in, they are unlikely to move out soon, which is great for landlords’ turnover costs. 

Tailor your marketing strategy

As with all types of renters, you need to customize your marketing strategy to attract and retain single renters. It goes without saying that it’s essential to market your property online if you target young professionals. But keep in mind that younger renters also tend to be very busy and have limited time to look for an apartment, so make sure your online advertising strategy includes eye-catching, high-resolution images and attention-grabbing copy.

Older singles, on the other hand, tend to prefer traditional marketing or talking directly to a real estate agent. Outdoor advertising can also be an effective way to attract seniors who don’t typically spend much time online.