Millennials have grown up in a time of rapid change, giving them a different set of priorities and expectations than the generation that preceded them. And there’s a lot of them: 92 Million to be exact. They’re the biggest generation in US history – even bigger than the baby boomers.
The millennial generation has grown up in a time of fast-paced technological change, coupled with the threat of economic and financial stability. As a result of this change and instability, the generation is reshaping the economy, changing the way we consume and create by forcing industries to examine how they do business for decades to come.
Multifamily management companies are realizing more and more how important it is to attract and retain millennials. It makes sense from a business standpoint because this seemingly “rent-happy” generation are delaying home ownership.
But how different are the renting needs and priorities of millennials to the generation that preceded them?
10 Ways to Attract and Retain Millennial Renters
Millennial’s want value for money, who’d thunk it right?
I know, I know. Everyone wants value for money I hear you say, but research by Goldman Sachs on their consumer behavior actually shows while quality is still important, the price is a more important factor than it is for other generations. Technology is now at our fingertips and this means millennials are searching online for information, reviews, and price comparisons before renting.
What we’re about to share below will highlight what Millennials consider “value for money.”
2. Location, Location, Location
The location of your property is top of mind for your potential residents, second only to price. The location of a property is important to every demographic, but what do millennials mean when they prioritize a good location?
We speak to a lot of residents and what they really care about is their proximity to the community around them. In their urban location, they want to be within walking distance to local entertainment, work, and universities. Public transport routes are also important.
Obviously choosing an area to invest in a property that is in a central location is very important. If your property is in a central location, this should be marketed front and center on your social media, website, and any other marketing materials you use to attract residents.
Another obvious one I know.
In a study, 63% of residents said they would move out of an apartment due to lack of security.
Now there are plenty of ways to make your residents feel secure that are beyond the scope of this blog post, but Theresa Bradley-Banta recommends looking into telephone operated tenant entry systems and installing automatic lighting around the property exterior to make sure your residents are (and feel) safe. Anything technologically based is becoming more and more popular and is something we’ll be discussing next week.
4. Pet Friendliness
32.5% of millennials are pet-owners
Is your property pet-friendly? There is a lot to consider when it comes to allowing pets on your income property but from a tenant perspective allowing pet owners will expand your market.
Read this brilliant discussion by Bay Management Group before deciding.
5. High-speed Internet, Cable Access, and Cellphone Reception
Millennials have grown up with the internet and smartphones in a 24/7 digital world. Naturally, high-speed internet, cable access, and cell-phone reception remain high on millennials’ priorities.
In fact, when asked to rate the importance of speed, reception, and reliability within the apartment unit on a scale of 0 to 10, respondents to What Do Residents Want? weighted speed of Internet connection (7.54), the stability of Internet connection (7.44), and cell-phone signal reception (7.33) as highly rated tech amenities.
Again, this is something worth advertising because it really is a unique selling point for millennials who work often from home (and watch a lot of Netflix of course.)
6. Smart Apartment
The results of Schlages industry insight survey reveal that millennial want, and are willing to pay extra, for apartments equipped with “smart technology” i.e automated or remotely controlled devices.
If you’re interested in learning more about this trend, then this infographic from the survey is a good starting point:
Millennials want to be able to manage all their apartment needs from their smartphones. Why? Well, they’re lazy….just kidding.
There are a number of reasons, but fundamentally it comes down to convenience and custom. In a world of Uber, Facebook and Airbnb, like any other area of their life, millennials expect to be able to manage their apartment needs from their smartphone.
We work with multifamily management companies to help customize a branded mobile app for each of their properties and what we’ve found is that each property requires different features, but these are the most common:
Top 5 most requested features:
- Online Rent Payment
- Maintenance Requests
- Push Notifications / Instant Messaging
- Package Delivery
- Approved Vendors and Guest list
At MyResidentLinc, we help multifamily management companies to strengthen their community by using mobile tools to facilitate the process, and from speaking to our partners we’ve found that getting residents to know one another and property staff directly impacts retention.
At the 2017 NMHC Annual Meeting, Ron Witten of Witten Advisors discussed this exact topic in his talk, ‘Hanging Onto Residents By Cultivating Real Community and Relationships.’
Here are the statistics he shared:
This is a topic our co-founder Evan deeply cares about (you can tell if you read the interview he did), so you can expect a lot of discussion on this blog around social connectedness.
RadPad searched through more than 40,000 filtered searches over the months of June 2015 and July 2015 to compile data for what millennial renters are searching for with their next pad.
Here are the results below:
10. Mobile Technology
Over the next few months, we’ll delve into specific strategies to attract and retain residents, especially through the use of mobile technology.
We believe having your own custom, branded mobile app is the future for multifamily management companies. It’s no longer a case if, but when.
All of the above is an overview of what millennials —who are now your biggest customer — want. Ultimately it’s not that different from the needs and priorities of the previous generation, but research is showing that more and more there is an emphasis on community and technology.