Millennials, those that were born between the 80’s and early 2000’s, are one of the largest groups of renters in today’s housing market. People in this age bracket were affected by the 2008 recession in unique ways and have a different set of goals and priorities than previous generations. With fresh school debt, an aversion to feeling “tied down,” and facing a more difficult lending market, many millennials have their sights set on longer term rental situations rather than working towards purchasing a home in the near future.
Do millennials make good tenants? What are they looking for in housing? How can you attract millennials to your rental properties?
We have a few ideas that will help you gain better insight into the younger renters in today’s housing landscape and help you attract the right renters to your properties.
Studies and surveys show that younger renters look for housing close to where they work or attend school. Many of them are unmarried or newly married, so being near great public elementary, junior, or high schools isn’t top on their list. Properties within walking, biking, or quick public transportation access to the places they spend the most time are ideal for the Generation Y tenant.
Millennials also love to be near entertainment. For some, that means being near restaurants, concert venues, and other social venues. For others, it’s a matter of being close to outdoor recreation. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should only focus on properties near those sources of entertainment, but if those perks are in the vicinity of your current rental property, be sure to highlight them in order to attract younger tenants.
Millennials want to be easily connected with their favorite places and where they spend the most time, whether that’s work, school, or entertainment.
Features and Amenities
One of the main internal features millennials list top on their priority list is a large, updated kitchen. While this might be a surprising choice, millennials love the ability to entertain and host guests in a kitchen with plenty of space and seating. It’s also important to note that more than 75% of millennials are pet owners, so finding a place that accepts pets and has accommodating pet policies in place is a must.
Any technology integrations or high tech features also attract this set of younger, more tech-oriented renters. High speed Internet, device docking stations, and smart-technology features are a huge bonus.
Service and Communication
Millennials are part of a very tech-savvy generation. The number of times a day they check email, view websites, and access social media each day continues to increase. If a renter isn’t up to speed with current means of communication, they will definitely miss out on potential millennial customers.
Being able to communicate via text or email is a great way to accommodate and stay connected with younger tenants. Online maintenance request systems, text reminders with the rent payment due date, and the ability to have questions answered online or in social media might seem like perks or bonuses, but millennials are starting to consider this kind of convenience a necessity.
If keeping up with technological advances and finding new ways to connect with millennial tenants seems overwhelming, you can often rely on your property management company to keep up and implement these features and changes for you. Having a team that is available and up-to-speed can really make a difference for Generation Y renters.
While each tenant and family is unique, there is plenty of research indicating that millennials as a whole are not only more likely to rent, but also have a few common features and benefits they seek in a rental property.
Making a few changes or simply highlighting the right features can help you attract responsible millennial tenants. With such a large percentage of the current tenant market falling into the millennial category, it’s important to pay attention to their needs and how they impact your property ownership success.