Before PorchLight Rental & Destination Services launched insideTRAK® from PorchLight – an online solution for renter transferees, we looked for market data that told us what relocating people wanted when it came to their rental search. In our quest to find any insights and information, we learned there aren’t studies or reports on this topic. As we embarked on our company technology initiative to provide a solution for this population, we determined we’d have our own focus group to guide us. It was revealing.
What did they tell us they, as renters, wanted?
- Information – access to finding area information, rental options, pricing, and information about their new location.
- The “right areas” – They wanted to find rental options in the “right areas”, safe and desirable but still within their preferred commute time to work and in an area that matched their lifestyle. Taking all of that into consideration, they also had to stay within their financial means. It was important that they were comfortable in their new location.
- Local guidance – most revealing is that each renter participant needed to speak with someone locally about the area and rental search. Online research and data, though an important part of their need, had to be confirmed by a credible resource.
- Paying for service – each participant agreed they would pay for services that helped them verify their researched information and effectively uncover the best rental options, quickly. They valued credible input and a professional who knew the local market and who could manage the rental search responsibility. If they had that, they all agreed they would have expedited their moves and eliminated additional expenses they would have incurred in lodging.
- A rental tour – what’s that? – The term “rental tour” though used as every day jargon in the relocation industry was foreign to this renter focus group. We uncovered language that would be more relevant to them as we began planning our initiative.
We learned that a fully online, technology system, alone, was not the answer. The focus group made it clear that they required the experience of speaking with someone locally and that having that capability was vital. Based on these findings, PorchLight built the insideTRAK® system to serve their needs and fulfill their requirements to speak with local professionals. As this tool enters its third year in the market, we’ve also learned that despite popular belief, millennials like to talk on the phone when they have a question about the service. The hype concerning the “younger generations” wanting only electronic solutions, doesn’t hold true when it comes to finding a home in an unfamiliar location. When finding a home, nothing becomes more important than confirmation that you’re making a good choice.
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