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The next generation of renters is equipped with more access to information than ever before.

Recent survey data published by ForRent.com, sister site of Homes.com, sheds light on what renters are looking for and the methods theyre using to find it. With more than 8,000 responses, the month-long survey revealed convenience and cost-efficiency are most important to apartment-dwellers.

Todays renters are well informed and looking for the best amenities, said Brock MacLean, executive vice president of Homes.com. They know what they want and how to find it. If one apartment community does not offer the right features, they will use online resources to find one that does.

Online reviews and social networking make it simple to find information on prospective apartment properties and allow people to quickly ask online friends if they have positive or negative experiences with rental establishments.

Before signing on the dotted line, renters check out an apartments reputation to help make a final decision regarding a lease:

Ratings are number one, with 75 percent of renters basing a decision on reviews.

48 percent of those on the apartment hunt also use word of mouth to help make a decision.

Videos are important to renters, with 90 percent of renters saying they watch a video as part of the apartment search.

Visuals are a key component. While on the quest for their next apartment, renters want to easily view photos and take virtual tours, bringing the apartment search to life:

91 percent of renters use an Internet listing service, such as Homes.com and ForRent.com.

Print is very relevant, as 25 percent of renters also use print sources such as apartment listing magazines.

28 percent of searchers look on mobile sites or apps.

When it comes to features and amenities in apartment units and communities, renters want quick and easy methods of communication and convenient amenities.

Email is the preferred communication route in general for 62 percent of renters.

Email is also the preferred method for follow up communications, says 82 percent of renters.

Only 23 percent prefer mobile communications with their apartment management or property owner.

Convenience and cost efficiency trump other preferences by the next generations renters.

All-inclusive utilities ranked number one in preferred amenities, followed preferences are in-unit laundry features, stainless steel appliances and walk-in closets.

As renters look to the future, 54 percent would like a recycling center, 52 percent prefer a poolside kitchen and 38 percent are interested in a community with a theater room.

83 percent want wireless Internet, 73 percent want to pay rent online and 43 percent would partake in community-sponsored group exercise.

For additional highlights, visit http://www.homes.com.

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