Do you ever get the impression that some of us don't have enough to do?
I reached that conclusion a couple weeks ago with the arrival of 11 - count 'em, 11 - emails reporting the results of surveys of one sort or the other, all housing-related.
Each asked questions of 1,000 to 120,000 people around the country, indicating that there are at least 131,000 of us who have the time to answer these things.
I don't. I get email from public-relations firms asking me to fill out preferences surveys, which I send immediately to the trash.
I also don't respond to such requests outside the office.
What did you think of your hotel?
No bedbugs, so I didn't respond.
What did you think of your recent flight?
I'm still alive, so I had no complaints.
Recently, I did not get a monthly bill for our landline.
After spending 45 minutes trying to make sense of the phone company's website, I was able to decipher the amount of my last payment on the white copy of the check in my check register, then signed up to pay online.
A pop-up survey appeared. I could think of only two words in reply, so I didn't.
Imagine, a phone company that offers no number to call with questions! Two words again came to mind.
One survey was from the National Multifamily Housing Council, with 120,000 respondents, and it centered on this topic: What "renters like, love and can't live without."
First, renters have strong opinions about walking versus driving to regular destinations.
Walking wins over driving to get to the grocery store, restaurant and bar, and public transit. Conversely, driving is preferred over walking when traveling to work/office, school and college.
A typical apartment community can receive as many as 100 packages a week, which can double during the holiday season.
Currently, 88 percent of management offices accept packages for residents, and 72 percent of residents want package storage/holding areas. Eighty-seven percent of respondents say they are not willing to pay for package lockers, but if there were a charge, they would expect to pay about $20 a month.
Ninety-one percent of renters use mobile phones all the time. In fact, 53 percent of residents tested connectivity during their apartment tours. While 98 percent say good reception is important, only 68 percent report that coverage at their community is great.
Come to think of it, the WiFi at that hotel wasn't so good. Maybe I should have said something.
Pet owners will spend $60 billion on their animals this year. Thirty-three percent of apartment residents own pets. Pet owners in apartments report interest in amenities for their pets, including community dog parks, dog treats in the lobbies, and community pet-washing stations.
Wait! Those were dog treats? I thought they were animal crackers.
In the digital age, writing rent checks is going out of style. Apartment renters reported 78 percent preferred to pay online. Sixty-three percent were interested in paying rent with credit cards.
I'm still somewhat uncomfortable paying bills online, but that may just be a 65-year-old fuddy-duddy talking. Being able to do so has turned many forgetful people with bad credit ratings into those with 800 FICA scores.
That means they get a lot of offers for credit cards they don't need - most of them accompanied by periodic surveys I just answer with two words: