Rental housing is big business right now. According to Pew Research, more U.S. households are renting now than they have at any point in the past 50 years… and Millennials have a lot to do with it. A staggering 65% of Americans under the age of 35 are renters. But the days of renting an apartment just as a cheaper alternative to buying a house are long gone. For many young renters today, apartment living is a lifestyle choice.
As always, with opportunity comes competition. Your facility needs to stand out to have a chance at landing the younger crowd. Here are some things Millennials look for before signing a lease.
Proximity to points of interest
“Location, location, location.” It’s a cliché for a reason, and it rings especially true for rental housing. When Millennials are looking for their next place, they usually start their search based on location.
So, if your complex is nearby local grocery stores, bars, restaurants, and other “Millennial hot spots,” make sure this information is highlighted on your website. And don’t forget mention your awesome location when you’re showing apartments to prospects!
Still in the planning stages of building a new development? It will pay off to position yourself nearby a thriving part of town as opposed to being off the beaten path, even if it means sacrificing some square footage.
Amenities to match their lifestyle
Millennials are renting later into their lives, so they’re seeking out rental opportunities that offer more than just a comfortable living space. Young renters want amenities that will reflect and supplement their lifestyle.
Are your residents young professionals? Consider installing work-friendly desks in the common space where they can plug in after hours. Do your tenants love online shopping? Smart lockers for package delivery and 24/7 pickup can be a lifesaver for your staff and your residents. Are your renters big “foodies”? Opt for some in-unit kitchen upgrades.
The bottom line is this: think beyond the pool. Although… pools are nice, too.
Did you know 35% of pet owners are Millennials? With so many Millennials becoming “pet parents” before attempting the real deal, you’re missing out if you don’t have a reasonable pet policy. Take some time to evaluate how younger renters might perceive your rules on pets. For example, if your pet deposit is too high, they might think their pets aren’t really welcome in your facility and look elsewhere.
In addition to having a reasonable pet policy, you could go the extra mile and install dog washing stations or a dog park. Your puppy parents will appreciate having pet-friendly amenities right on site!
Online payment options
Let’s face it: checks are quickly going by the wayside as far as bill payment goes. Between PayPal, Amazon One-Click purchases, and Apple Pay, all payments are becoming instant, secure online transactions.
If you don’t accept online payments or if you charge a hefty fee to process credit cards online, you’re missing a pretty good selling point for Millennials.
Ways to stay fit
Millennials are an extremely health-conscious generation. They smoke less, eat healthier, and exercise more frequently than their parents or grandparents. Providing equipment that will support their health and wellness goals will give you a huge leg up on the competition.
A well-stocked gym with cardio and strength equipment is a great start, but you could go even further than that. If your facility has multiple buildings, consider installing a running track around the grounds — this is great for dog owners too! Or you could start up some fitness clubs, like regular running groups, for your residents. It’s just another (healthy) way to keep everyone connected to the community!
A year-long lease is too much for some Millennial renters, especially when they’re not sure if they’ll be in the same city for that long. Although remote working is on the rise, many Millennials still have to relocate as they move forward in their professional career. Plus, since young professionals are notorious for “job hopping,” apartments with flexible leases are attractive for people who want the option to pick up and move wherever their career takes them next.
Now go forth and make your complex a Millennial haven!