Case Study: Apartment Feasibility Study | Pricing and Demand

Our apartment feasibility study firm recently partnered with a local integrated design-build company to understand pricing and interest in new apartment units coming to the Central New York market. Our market research firm used both quantitative and qualitative research to address the objectives of the project. For more details on the objectives, approach, and a summary of the topics covered, read more below.

Drive Research conducted a survey on optimal price points and demand for Downtown Syracuse apartment units in early 2018.


An integrated design-build client partnered with Drive Research on a market research study regarding the recently acquired Post-Standard Building in Clinton Square. Drive Research provided the client with the necessary data to understand appeal and price points of potential apartments. Follow-up focus groups provided the client with live and exploratory feedback on the apartments from groups of potential residents. The market research further built on market analysis work but was more specific based on the building plan options designed.


To address the objectives at-hand, Drive Research recommended using an online survey with follow-up focus groups to collect feedback from residents. Online surveys are cost-effective, offer a quick turn-around, are measurable, and gather quality data. The survey was geographically targeted a random population of users on Facebook. These targets included those living in Downtown Syracuse currently as well as those living within a 10-mile radius of Downtown.

Fieldwork began on February 6 and lasted until February 18, 2018 (less than 2 weeks). The survey consisted of approximately 14 questions and took respondents 3 minutes to complete. A total of 519 responses were collected including 280 full completes. Respondent were screened to ensure they were very interested or somewhat interested in either moving to or staying in Downtown Syracuse for the next 3 years.

The focus groups were held on the evening of Thursday, March 8. Groups were split by those who prefer 2-bedroom units (5:30 PM) versus those who prefer 1-bedroom units (7:30 PM). A total of 11 participated in each focus group held at the Pike Block 4th floor conference room. Each session lasted 90 minutes.

Topics of Focus

The first step of the apartment feasibility study was to conduct a quantitative online survey to the market to understand appeal, apartment preferences, and to address pricing. Drive Research employed the van Westendorp pricing model which uses a series of 4 questions to arrive at an optimal price point and acceptable price range.

Here were some of the questions covered in the online survey.

  1. Do you currently reside in Downtown Syracuse?
  2. How interested are you in moving to Downtown Syracuse?
  3. How likely are you to stay in/move to Downtown Syracuse?
  4. Which of the following type of units is of most interest to you?
  5. Which of the following one-bedroom units would you prefer?
  6. How appealing is this apartment unit as described?
  7. At what monthly rent is the apartment priced too low?
  8. At what monthly rent is the apartment priced as a bargain?
  9. At what rent is the apartment beginning to seem expensive?
  10. At what monthly rent is the apartment too expensive?
  11. Which of the following best categorizes your age group?
  12. Which best describes your total annual household income?

The online survey was used to recruit for qualitative focus groups. The groups were split between 1 and 2 bedroom participants. Overall the apartment feasibility study addressed the following objectives:

  1. What is the optimal price point and range for the units?
  2. What mix of units stands the best chance for high occupancy?
  3. What is the audience for each type of unit?
  4. How appealing are each of the two units to potential tenants?

Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is an apartment feasibility firm located in Upstate New York. We work with architecture, engineering, construction, and development companies across the country to assist with feasibility studies for new residential and commercial properties.

Interested in learning more or have a question for us?

Contact us at [email protected] or call us at 315-303-2040.

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