(MultiFamilyBiz.com Article) — The demographic of renters is ever-changing, but, today, millennials, or Generation Y, make up the largest group of renters in the United States. With modern burdens such as large student loans and a stagnant job market, millennials do not seem to be rushing towards home ownership anytime soon.
In fact, millennials are not only renting more often than buying, but they are also renting for much longer periods than previous generations. Therefore, your apartment community can benefit from millennial rental demand well into the next decade, making any improvements or upgrades to your community well-worth the time and money.
Here are a few ideas on how to make your rental property more appealing to millennial renters:
It’s All About a Central Location
Because millennials face certain stressors that previous generations did not, reports have shown that millennial women are reproducing at the slowest pace of any generation in U.S. history. Because of this, millennial renters aren’t concerned about good school districts or quiet neighborhood settings. Instead, they are looking for close proximity to work, conveniences, and entertainment including venues, bars, restaurants, and coffee shops.
When you are marketing your community, make sure to mention neighboring attractions and places of business. Additionally, be sure to emphasize information about nearby transportation opportunities such as freeways, bus routes, and commuter train stations, which are sure to appeal to millennial residents, who want seamless access to all of the places they work and play.
Keep it Pet-Friendly
Surveys find that more than two-thirds of millennial renters are pet-owners. Despite this, it is still difficult to locate many apartments that allow pets.
However, many speculate that pet-owning trends will change the dynamic of strict pet policies as we know it. Because so many pet-owners are looking for the perfect apartment rental, the demand for apartment communities that provide residents with pet-friendly policies and amenities is increasing.
In order to attract millennial renters, it is ideal to hop on the pet-friendly train before you begin to lose potential residents. Of course, we are well-aware of the risks involved once you allow pets into your community. Believe it or not, there are measures you can take to ensure the quality of your apartment community is not compromised. For example, add stipulations to your rental contract so your property isn’t destroyed without monetary compensation.
Adding pet-friendly amenities, in addition to new pet policies, is also helpful. Pet-centered amenities such as dog grooming stations, dog runs, and synthetic turf pet areas are becoming the norm, and you do not want to fall behind on this trend.
Wow Them with Community Amenities
Millennials aren’t just interested in a run-of-a-mill apartment. They want a community that provides them with an exciting, active, and vibrant lifestyle.
Companies have found that “millennials have the same expectations about physical spaces and digital spaces; they want to be able to socialize within personalized spaces that break down and rebuild in different ways.” This means Generation Y, an extroverted generation functioning at the peak of social media, values flexible common areas and outdoor spaces that offer a multitude of recreational opportunities.
Many current renters aren’t paying attention to square footage or the number of bathrooms and bedrooms included within the apartment home. Instead, they are seeking high-end amenities such as well-equipped fitness centers, large swimming pools, and private movie theaters. Many millennials work remotely so cyber cafés, business centers, or other designated workspaces are extremely important as well.
The upfront costs of building in updated amenities may be a bit jarring, but apartment building owners will benefit from the resulting low vacancy rates once millennials begin occupying their apartment homes.
Boast Smart-Home Automation
It has been discussed, speculated, and analyzed in a variety of world-renowned publications. And it’s certainly no secret. The millennial generation is completely immersed in technology, maybe even annoyingly so to previous generations. Whether you are pro- or anti-technology, you can use Generation Y’s obsession to your advantage.
Aside from offering stellar Wi-Fi connectivity and cell phone service throughout your community, you might consider offering smart-home automation.
Smart-home automation allows the renter to be in control of their apartment’s environment even when they are not at home, which for millennials, is quite often. Renters can seamlessly control temperature, lighting, security, and more from a single device such as a smart phone. This sense of control will grant your renter with an overall better apartment living experience.
Offering Green Features
Millennials champion global conservation. They are more supportive of stricter environment laws, tend to attribute global warming to human activity, and favor environmentally-friendly policies such as green energy development.
And beliefs translate into lifestyle. In other words, it has become apparent that millennials value environmentally-friendly features in their living space. Features can be as complex as adding solar panels to your rooftop or as simple as introducing a recycling and/or composting program into your community’s practices.
Also, consider including energy-efficient appliances, low-flow toilets, and LED lighting within each apartment.
Although some of these tips may not initially seem cost-effective, we believe that adopting these suggestions will convince the consistent stream of millennial renters that your community is hip, stylish, and sophisticated. And whatever funds you decide to invest will be returned tenfold as millennials, the largest renter demographic in the country, begin to show interest in your apartment community.