While the economy slowly recovers, millennials seem content to enjoy the amenities associated with renter life, rather than buying. Millennials have been coined the renter generation, and while that title may be debatable, the reality is that millennials and Gen-Y make of one of the largest pool of renters.
This means that there are some great reasons why you should care about this demographic. So, what can you do to attract millennial renters? This generation of renters values community, thrives on green-living, and technology is their bread and butter. To catch a Gen-Y or millennials’ eye, you need to be focusing on all three areas to set your rentals apart from other listings on the market.
Before the Search Begins
Remember, most millennials will look to the web when they start their initial rental search; not having a professional and well-working website will mean you are overlooked before the real inquires even start. Create an attractive website with photographs that highlight your key amenities to ensure you gain the interest of millennials on the hunt for a new place.
While having a great website is crucial, it’s not enough to create it and forget it; millennials will take notice of well-maintained websites and social media accounts that stay current. Online reviews are heavily trusted by this generation, so it is vital to manage your social media reputation.
Capitalize on Technology:
With technology playing an important role in every industry, it should be no surprise that your tenants want to stay connected to the digital world from the comfort of their home. This is remains even more true for the youngest generation of renters. As the generation that grew up with the internet, technology remains a vital way to attract the millennial renter.
Start with the basics and provide a fast way for tenants to make rental payments and maintenance requests online. Offer communal access high-speed internet in the common areas and during move in, and include personal tenant access in each unit. Be sure to market that you offer high-speed internet, or other tech-savvy amenities, as this is a guaranteed way to make your listings attractive and millennial-friendly.
Americans spent over 11 hours a day on digital devices, so sweeten the deal by upgrading to smart technology in your listings, or offering inexpensive (but useful) updates like power outlets with usb charging ports in key areas.
Some great tech to update your listings include:
- Keyless Entry
- Smart Thermostats
- Smart Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Smart Outlets
While incurring the initial expense can be daunting, offering amenities such as keyless entry, or thermostats that offer smart-phone control are great ways to ensure appeal from the tech-savvy, as well as offer convenience for you as a landlord. With these installations, you will ensure no more late-night phone calls from tenants that forgot their keys, and you have the ability to adjust to energy-efficient temperatures for vacant listings from the comfort of your office.
Millennials markedly value community, and landlords who advertise their communal offerings appeal directly to those needs. If you have the space, offering rec rooms, study lounges, or community kitchens are a great way to encourage community in your rentals, and simultaneously attract millennials to your listings. Already have a pool and an outside BBQ? Be certain to communicate any existing amenities you may currently offer to potential tenants.
If you do not have the funds, or the space to offer these communal spots on-sight, do a little research to find out what your property is near-by. Highlight its proximity to gyms, coffee shops or parks, as these are all points of interest for millennial renters–particularly if these hotspots are within walking distance.
Going green and energy-efficient will have a great impact on both the millennial renter and on your pocketbook (in the long run). Create an eco-friendly rental by investing in energy-efficient appliances when you upgrade, replace existing lights with energy-saving bulbs, and shower heads with water-saving shower heads.
In addition to these amenities, be certain to provide recycling or even compositing options for tenants. Not only is this monetarily sensible long-term for you as the landlord, but it will certainly turn the head of the eco-friendly renter, and provide a great selling point to the prospective millennial tenant.
Find ways to marry all the key interests together. For instance, does your complex have a movie night, or a community event coming up? Don’t forget to post photos on your social media account. Moreover, encourage your existing tenants to engage on your social media as well. Create monthly contests encouraging tenants to photograph themselves enjoying common areas, or using your green amenities and offer a small prize. These contests provide a great way to display communal engagement to potential renters, as well as pad your social media posts with up-to-date content with minimal effort on your part. Go a step further, and create fun hashtags like #greenonthego or #thankyoubbq and have all tenant participants post to Facebook and Twitter.
As with any time you list a vacancy, capitalize on what features you do have and be genuine when engaging with prospective tenants. Having grown up inundated with mass-advertising, the Gen-Y and millennial generation is driven by authenticity, and this will be the more appealing than any upsell you could offer.