What Multifamily Staging Companies can Learn from the Zillow Group Consumer Report

What the Zillow Group Consumer Report Tells Multifamily Staging Companies

Model55 works to continuously educate our clients and multifamily staging companies on the latest industry trends. If you own and/or operate senior living or multifamily communities, we highly recommend checking out the Zillow Group Consumer Report 2017 for valuable insights on renters in America. This report offers a range of information compiled by surveying different generations of short and long-term renters throughout the country. Additionally, it discusses what is important to renters in terms of amenities, location, apartment/community sizes, technologies, and a number of other factors that contribute to their ultimate decisions.

Here at Model55, we use the report to support our solutions for multifamily staging. Companies who target different demographics throughout their communities can benefit from the data. However, we are going to focus on how the information impacts our model apartment staging services.

Multifamily Staging Companies and the Focus on Generations of Renters

According to the report, the typical American renter in America is 32 years old. Also, the typical renter is unmarried and has a median household of $37,500. Statistics about the impact different generations have on the rental housing market are as follows:

  • 3% The Silent Generation (73 years +)
  • 14% The Baby Boomers (53 to 72 years)
  • 20% Generation x (38 to 52 years)
  • 50% Millennials (23 to 37 years)
  • 14% Generation Z (18 to 22 years)


Because we know the percentage of renters in the market, we can evaluate different aspects important to each generation. We can then apply the knowledge to multifamily staging. Companies that own communities in a variety of different places have to target different renters. The data from this report clearly indicates that apartment living is most sought after by the Silent Generation, Millennials and Generation Z. So, what type/ size buildings do these renters desire?


Millennials, the largest segment of renters, are divided between medium (10-49 units) and large (50+ unit) buildings. Next, the data to shows that Generation Z renters mostly prefers medium-sized buildings, as opposed to their grandparents. In fact, renters in the Silent Generation are more apt to live in large retirement communities.

Evaluating Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X

Therefore, we can conclude that the larger buildings, mostly found in primary (city) markets, are mostly occupied by Millennials. The reason for this is that their careers have had time to evolve. This affords them the luxury of paying higher rents to live closer to their places of work. On the other hand, Generation Z renters are more likely to seek out apartments that are more affordable. Multifamily stagers can use this information to narrow down renter demographics based on location and community size.

How to Stage Models Based on You Target Demographic

After affordability and proximity, renters in Gen X, Y and Z value a number of things that multifamily staging companies can incorporate in a model. Due to the information companies such as Zillow provide, multifamily stagers can easily incorporate appealing elements in their designs. Keep in mind that all of these requirements come after price has been met:

  • 85% Has Air Conditioning
  • 78% Preferred Size
  • 78% Has Ample Storage
  • 67% Safe & Secure
  • 52% Allows Pets


Here is how you can demonstrate your community’s ability to provide all of these things in the staging of your model:

Has Air Conditioning

If your units all have air conditioning, you are all set! However, if air conditioning is not an amenity built into your units, consider installing a window unit in the living room, as well as the master bedroom of your model. Furthermore, be sure to emphasize how this saves your residents money in the long run. Your residents are able to control how much AC is used and when with window units.

Preferred Size

Multifamily staging companies certainly know that making a unit look and feel bigger is not a hard task to accomplish. By decorating your model with appropriately scaled window treatments and furnishings, you can completely open up an otherwise cramped space. Your potential residents will be shocked to see how much potential a smaller space really has to offer.

Has Ample Storage

Staging is about more than placing nice furniture in a model. Good multifamily staging companies work with all spaces to demonstrate how a unit is lived in. Most notably by ensuring there is a visually appealing and realistic set up in the closet. Don’t be worried that your units don’t provide enough storage space – there is a lot you can do with closets, dressers and shelves. For that reason, your model can meet storage requirements and still look stunning! For more ideas regarding storage in your model unit, check out our post, Decorating a Model Apartment | Storage Ideas.

Safe & Secure

There are many ways you can make touring prospects feel safe and secure in your model unit. Often times, multifamily staging companies will use blinds and thick window treatments in their designs. As a result of these elements, stagers have an easier time showing a unit that feels safe and secure.

Allows Pets

If your community doesn’t allow pets than there isn’t much you can do to your model to showcase that you do. However, if you are a pet-friendly apartment community, you can add certain elements to your unit to clue your tour members in on the fact. According to the Zillow report, 52% of renters with pets prefer dogs as animal companions. We recommend staging a dog bed and food dishes in your model unit. You can also incorporate photographs of a pet throughout the apartment.

Multifamily Staging Companies, Get Ready for Gen Z

44% of Generation Z renters require or desire that the rental come furnished.

-Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2017

Lastly, this report sheds valuable insight into the upcoming generation of renters. Above all, these newly independent renters have the most desire for furnished units. While Millennials and Generation X movers have accumulated furniture they wish to bring to their new homes, Generation Z-ers are just starting out and often don’t have enough to furnish their first apartments. Multifamily staging companies, like Model55, offer clients quick-ship furniture solutions to help furnish apartments where these new-to-renting renters are moving. We recommend offering a variety of different styles to accommodate tastes based on location and unit size.

Questions and Comments

This brings us to the conclusion of our post regarding the Zillow Group Consumer Report 2017 and the impact it has on owners, operators and multifamily staging companies. Please leave your questions and comments below and thanks for reading!

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Amanda Beausoleil

Model55 purchases, designs and installs model apartments quickly and efficiently, reducing the cost and time of setting up your own model apartment.

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