Friday, October 28, 2011

Rental survey - results so far

So I promised to report the results of my rental survey and then things got busy and I got distracted.

I wanted to know: What do you need to make a place an attractive one for potential renters?

Here is what I've learned from the 13 responses so far.

They included 5 renters, three potential renters and 4 homeowners (and one "other").

There wasn't a clear picture of the average length of rental. A few people rented for less than a month, a couple for more than six months, but most didn't specify. Perhaps I didn't format that question very well.

The most common size of household for Merida renters is two people (7 out of 10 responses).

Number of bedrooms required: 9 responses, all said 2 bedrooms required.

Number of bathrooms required: 8 responses, 4 wanted one bathroom, 4 said two bathrooms.

Got pets? 11 responses. 5 no, 6 yes.

Essential features: 

Top responses:
Furnished -82 per cent want their place fully furnished, 91 per cent with a fully equipped kitchen.
Pool -73 per cent require a pool.
Fans vs. a/c -82 per cent require fans (I think that's low) but only 64 per cent insist on air conditioning.
Internet - 73 per cent want internet via cable or telco, only 18 per cent say a broadband USB connection is sufficient.
Cleaning service - 55 per cent want cleaning twice a month or more frequently, compared to 18 per cent favoring once-a-month cleaning.
TV - 55 per cent want a television, and 45 per cent want cable channels.

Low priorities:
Unfurnished rentals :  9 per cent (1 response)
Phone: 9 per cent (1) want cell phone, 18 per cent (3) want a land line.
Green features: only 9 per cent (1) thinks features such as solar water heat are important.
Garage: only 18 per cent (2) require one.

Rent budgets run from under $400 a month to $1320. I will do a bit more work to compare what package of features people expect, and get, at the different price points. I'll write about that in a future post, and share some of the comments I received (avoiding detail that would identify the renter or owners).

I will leave the survey open for more responses.

What do you think? Does this seem to represent the rental picture in Merida or is it a skewed sample because of its small size?

It is enlightening to me to see what people want and need. Also, it supports Tom's longstanding view that we should go ahead and build that pool.


  1. I think Tom is right, if you want to rent to foreigners they will want a pool. Think about it, they are coming to "the tropics" for a vacation in the warmth and pools are part of that fantasy. While some of us may think it is too cold here in the winter to go in the pool, that's not going to be their view. Also, there are so many places here for rent that do have pools it will reduce the rent you can get if you don't have one.

  2. Hi Debbie, I agree 100% on the pool issue. Also, AC, furnished with a full kitchen is needed for the majority of renters. So glad I will see you at the bloggers' conference!

  3. Thanks Jonna and Joanna for your thoughts on this. I will be thinking of you and other friends at the bloggers conference today - sadly I am back in frosty Victoria and will miss it. Have fun and see you soon.

  4. Ah, Debbi--I now agree--pool needed if you want to attract RENTERS, as opposed to personal visitors. But it will up the costs to you, because you'll probably have to supply a weekly pool cleaning. The first place I stayed when arriving here had a pool, but I don't recall using it. The draw for me and some of the others there was that our dogs were welcome. Now THAT might not be a large target group; but I doubt that pet-friendly places have much competition at all. And come to think of it--many dogs like the pool as well!

  5. Thanks Alinde, I loved your earlier observation that a pool is like a pet. I think it was a big reason I was hesitating, as I want to keep things low-maintenance. I still wonder about child safety and pools.
    If we build the pool I think I'll name it Fido, or Spot.

  6. That's very cute, Debbie! Giving the pool a doggie name will probably amuse us for some time. "Clean Spot, por favor."