They are tech-savvy, globally minded, and entrepreneurial. Welcome the millennial. Born between 1981 and 1996, they are the largest living generation. But why should millennials matter to landlords?
They Are the Largest Rental Segment
Millennials are more inclined to rent. The reasons vary, from rising home prices and growing student loan debt to the joys of nomadic living. However, one fact shines light on their importance to the rental market: millennials make up the largest portion of the U.S. labor force. The oldest millennials are established in their careers and have been long-term renters; although, in some housing markets, they are purchasing their first homes. On the opposite end of Generation Y, the youngest members are reaching financial independence. With steady incomes from their first jobs, these nascent members of the workforce are making apartment hunting a top priority to check off that last requirement of successful adulting.
As the demand for rent increases, prepare your property to attract millennial renters and retain them for the long-term. Though many are struggling against mounting debt and an expensive housing market, they still have a need for a place to establish roots and grow a family. Here are some tips to help them feel at home and guarantee a satisfying relationship between landlord and tenant.
1. Turn Your Property into a Smart Home
Millennials are digital natives, plugging technology into nearly all aspects of their lives. They read the news, communicate with friends, and pay rent online. Landlords who want to attract millennial renters should consider adapting to newer technology, provided it makes sense for the property. Some properties offer internet and Wi-Fi as a complimentary service to keep quality tenants. But if you want your property to stand out from the rest, you could upgrade your units into a smart home by installing smart-learning thermostats for energy efficiency and a video doorbell to enhance security; both can be managed directly from a smartphone.
2. Turn Unused Space into a Common Room
Co-living arrangements are popular with millennials, and companies are responding to the trend with high-end, communal kitchens and small bedrooms. While your property may not be designed for communal living, you might still want to add a furnished common area. An open, airy space to share with others not only caters to a millennial renter's love for communal living, but also appeals to other tenants.
3. Consider a Pet-Friendly Policy
More than half of millennials own a pet and they have surpassed baby boomers as the generation with the most pet owners. There are a few incentives for abandoning a zero-tolerance pet policy: extra revenue from pet rents, loyal tenants, and a larger tenant pool. Before you decide to allow furry companions on property, first check your state and local laws before charging pet deposits and fees.
4. Offer Fitness Services
Known as the "Wellness Generation," millennials exercise more and eat healthier than those that came before them. Decide if investing in a fitness center or a small gym is feasible. If not, then reach out to the business community and partner with local gyms to offer special memberships to your tenants. Other options are renting out a space on your property to private yoga teachers or sharing local sports and nature trails on an announcement board.
5. Advertise on Social Media
Real estate companies turn to well-designed websites and social media campaigns to attract qualified homebuyers, and landlords can adopt these strategies just as easily. Expand your advertising channels to include social media by posting listings on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Highlight the amenities that appeal to millennials and take high-quality photographs. In the age of information overload, you will need creativity and a highly tailored marketing strategy to break through a millennial renter’s selective perception.
Every generation has demanded that their homes and way of life reflect the “modern” amenities of their time. Millennials are no exception. The demand for cable TV transitioned into the demand for high-speed Internet. Stay ahead of competing properties by capturing the interest of millennial renters. And don’t stop there. Build a strong relationship with them, and this influential generation will return your efforts with loyal tenancy for years to come.