“Millennials” seems almost as much a buzzword as it is a generation. This demographic, born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s, is a prime target for landlords; given that they make up 25% of the US population, you’ll want a piece of the millennial pie. Many millennials are still 20-somethings entering into their early 30s; this age group has always been a prime target for renting, as they complete school, move up the ladder of their professional and accumulate enough wealth to buy a home.
Millennials aren’t just here for the short-term, though. Due to the Great Recession, many of them took years off so they could afford school, or as a result of a poor jobs market. They haven’t yet acquired the reserve of wealth or experience that comes with being a homeowner, so they’re likely to continue renting for some time as they progress in their personal and professional development. Additionally, millennials tend to be more experience-driven than possession-driven; they’ll be willing to rent instead of purchasing a home so they can use their reserve of funds for things they want to do instead of things they want to keep.
Millennials are the first generation to have been fully submerged in our digital ecosphere from a young age; as a landlord, you must understand the importance of posting online in order to attract them. Post walkthroughs of your property online so they can have a feel for the place without ever setting foot in the door; make it possible to apply online, and consider community message boards for your properties so residents can discuss issues of importance to them. Email correspondence, automatic and digital rent payment and technologically-friendly, Internet-ready properties are all key.
Neighborhoods are incredibly important to this demographic; being experience-driven means they tend to prefer hip neighborhoods close to the center of the city. Advertise the best restaurants, bars, and other nightlife in the area. A mix of economic setbacks and profound concern for the environment has caused millennials to be avid users of active transportation; advertising walking and cycling lanes, as well as public transit, can be enormously useful.
Pets are a huge part of the lives of many millennials; the cohort tends to love terms like “fur baby” and “furry family” and most will not rent from you if you don’t allow pets. To them, a pet is an integral part of the family unit; they value them for their companionship more than as beasts of burden. This ties into advertising the neighborhood; if there’s a lot of pet-friendly parks and shops nearby, you can attract more young folks.
Choosing the right property managers is key to attracting millennials. They want everything to be automated, digital contracts, well-kept properties, and neighborhoods filled with amenities, and they want to know about all of these features without having to step foot outside their doors. Advertising your property properly to this demographic can be tricky, so put your faith in the experts!