Suburban Renting: Why Real Estate Agents Must Pay Attention

Renting in the Suburbs

What’s better than skylines, bright lights, and coffee shops galore? How about open spaces, community parks, and (finally) some peace and quiet? Just ask any one of the growing number of renters fleeing costly, cramped city centers and seeking a new lifestyle in the suburbs. It’s a big myth that rentals are only limited to the cities. Actually, you can find a rental anywhere— urban, suburban, and rural. And, there’s major advantages to suburban renting.

Suburban renting isn’t new to 2019, but it’s growing in popularity.  As of 2017, suburban areas are outpacing urban areas in 18 out of 20 of the largest metros. We’ll take a look at who is renting in the suburbs, why they are flocking to the suburbs, and the benefits for real estate agents hoping to get a piece of the action. 

First– What’s in it for Real Estate Agents?

Before we start breaking down why suburban rentals are so popular, we want you to know what’s in it for a real estate agent. 

Work in More Areas

If you work with rentals, you’ll be able to diversity your portfolio and take advantage of the large number of suburban renters. Of course, if you want to work in a suburban area, make sure that you actually know the area. Take a walk around the new suburban area and do your research so you can be a local expert ready to answer questions and get potential renters ready to go.

renting in the suburbs

Known quantity

Despite the popularity of suburban renting, the quantity of rentals in suburban areas is still often not as great as in urban areas. With a more limited supply of rentals, neither you nor your client will be swamped by choice. And, don’t forget– quality over quantity!

Fulfill a few more wish-list items, while staying in budget!

Searching for a city apartment for a picky client on a tight budget can be a headache. If your client isn’t willing to compromise on any aspect of their apartment hunt (they just need three bedrooms, an in-house gym, and space for laundry hook-ups! No compromises!), maybe they’ll be willing to rethink location. Explain the benefits of suburban living to a potential client, and show them how much farther their budget goes outside of the city limit.

Who is Renting in the Suburbs?

OK, this was a bit of a trick question. Actually, people of all demographics are choosing to rent (check out the article we wrote about why everyone wants to rent here) and choosing to rent in the ‘burbs. But let’s look at the attraction of suburban renting for each group. 


Forget the traditional move to the suburbs only after the kids need space! Childless millennials are seeing the benefit of suburban living. Millennials are likely to choose renting over buying, as a rule. This generation is three times more likely to rent than any other, and are seeing the appeal in suburban renting. While suburbs might seem less adventurous than city living, millennials are opting to save a buck in rent. Some young professionals also prefer taking a grueling commute into the big city over paying a high price for a small apartment. 

Younger families

High quality public schools and lots of green space make the suburbs an easy fit for younger families, or couples hoping to expand. The suburbs provides its renters with a

renting in suburbs

sense of community and space for children to grow without the concerns of city crime-rates and noise. However, many aren’t ready to put down permeant roots just yet. Renting still leaves room for resettlement, and the lower price makes sense for young parents still shuffling off student debt or struggling to make ends meet.

Older couples  

Last week, we wrote an article about why the over 60 demographic is the faster growing segment of renters. When older couples realize that their family home no longer works for them, they might move (back) into a rental to get increased flexibility and decreased responsibility for doing the back-breaking upkeep that homeownership requires. 

What Can the Suburban Renting Offer Clients?

Less Money, More Space

girl staring at the skySuburban rentals are both larger and cheaper than their urban counterparts. Your dollar goes a lot further the farther away you from the city. Suburban renters love the increased square footage, and yard availability that can be purchased at the same price as a small city apartment.   

Increased amenities

Rental amenities are getting a lot better in general. With the affluence of renters rising, pretty much all apartment complexes need to have some sort of desirable amenities to woo potential tenants. However, suburban apartment complexes have an edge. With more space, they can provide their tenants with spacious gyms, lots of green space, and communal pools. 

Better schools

girls on desk looking at notebook

This is a particularly important factor for young families with school-age children. All across the country, graduation rates in suburban schools are higher than in urban schools, and suburban schools are more likely to have enough supplies for their students. Renters without children also appreciate living in areas with good schools because good public schools also indicate a reliably safe neighborhood.  

Lower Crime Rates

Living in a safe area is a top-priority for many renters in every part of the country, especially renters with children. Knowing which streets are dangerous is a must for city living, but only experienced city-dwellers are able to know their areas at such a granular level. Crime rates are generally lower in suburban areas, so new-comers can feel confident in their space. 

Different styles of apartments 

In cities, the premium on space greatly limits the type of apartment that can be built. Of course, city rentals still come in different forms— from airy lofts, to rentable bunkbeds (seriously) — but suburban rentals can do a bit more. There’s urban style multi-family apartment buildings, complete with a set of luxe amenities and ready for young professions. There’s larger, single-family apartments with a yard for the kids and the dogs. If you’re interested in micro-living, there’s that, too.

Whether you’re looking for rentals in an urban hub or a suburban oasis, Rental Beast can help. Our platform was created with the goal of simplifying the rental market. We now maintain a database of over 7 million off MLS-listings, a full CRM, and tools to share listings and up productivity.

Ready to unleash the beast? To learn more about the Rental Beast platform or to request a no-obligation demo visit Rental Beast for Real Estate Agents.

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