A renter demographic that has long-term potential with short-term rental history

Learn about the five key types of renters and what matters to each of them throughout the rental decision-making process. In our six-part series, we’ll reveal research-based insights that help you compete and close more leases.  

Every renter is looking for a “home sweet home,” but there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. With a variety of expectations and needs, understanding a renter’s mindset can be a more effective way of getting leases signed. 

So we asked hundreds of renters  to talk to us about their renting process, what they prioritize and what they expect from property managers  throughout it all. When we looked at the data, we discovered that renters could be grouped into five specific categories that will help change the way you market your properties: 

By understanding what they’re looking for, where they come from and what they think about, we uncovered new ways you can connect with potential residents. Our research revealed some surprising data, like how some renters have major revenue potential but not a lot of rental history. That’s the case with our first renter type, the Downsizers - a group of people that are making a substantial shift in their living situation as they convert from being homeowners to renters. 


After years of a steady living situation, Downsizers are looking to make a serious transition. They tend to be a group closer to retirement age and may have a history of home ownership (a history that’s both beneficial and a challenge for you). They’re used to a certain way of living … and a certain amount of living space. They tend to be from the suburbs or more rural areas, spaces with traditionally large lawns and expansive backyards. This comfort with open space means fitting into a smaller apartment may be a difficult sell.  

But, because Downsizers have a consistent history of staying in one place, they have the most long-term rent potential. They may not have references and a strong renting background. In fact, most only having a rental history dating between 1 – 3 years. Yet, they’re prepared to find a rental and stick with it for a decade or more. 


While Downsizers are incredibly well-prepared, they’re still concerned with this new life transition. They’ve braced themselves by doing extensive research and are looking to you for more information about their future home. Now, with the impact of COVID-19 on the rental market, this may also mean they’ll need your help with the transition to finding that information online. Providing as much materials as you can digitally in a user-friendly manner may be beneficial. Keep in mind that this could be an emotional transition, so asking open-ended questions about their move, providing positive blogs and materials on living in a smaller space may help Downsizers understand how their life can fit in a new apartment.  

One of the first tasks on a Downsizer’s list is to start getting everything in order, from utilities to working out the specifics with you regarding move-in. The tough part comes in packing their many boxes. 

Downsizers Moving To Do List


For all their research, Downsizers likely still want you to highlight all the benefits of going smaller.  

  • Highlight outdoor spaces. A separate Assurant survey found that 70% of renters are more interested in access to outdoor spaces in their community, possibly as a result of the coronavirus, and this is a selling point that may be particularly beneficial for Downsizers.  

  • Focus on open floor plans. Discussing the positives of an open floor plan and outdoor spaces will help them see that, while their apartment may be smaller, there’s still lots of room for them to stretch out.  

  • Introduce storage options. You’ll also want to share storage opportunities, whether that’s onsite or nearby, so Downsizers feel they can still hold on to their valuables — without taking up more room on their shelves.  

  • Work through the details with them. When they’re ready to sign the lease, they’ll be ready to work out all the details at once, which includes getting renters insurance. Downsizers are likely to have a lot of valuables they want to protect, so extensive knowledge about the process, the insurance and protection they need (and things they may not have thought about) is key to building a long-term relationship with this group. Your knowledge will make them feel at ease.  

See what else it takes to meet a Downsizer’s expectations — and whether they’re the right resident for your property. Download our latest research whitepaper to meet all five types of renters. You’ll learn how to address future residents, achieve your goals and tailor your services to generate more revenue. 

Read “How to Speak Resident” for more.