Millennials have surpassed every other age group as the largest generational demographic in the workforce.
It’s no surprise that this occurred, yet, when it comes to figuring out what preferences they have over other generations, many landlords and property managers are still playing catch up.
In order to customize multi-family housing to fit their needs and wants, it’s important to look at the basic amenities they view as essential to a great home and the surprising ways they’re differing from those who came before.
The Features of a Generation
Adding certain amenities can increase your apartment’s worth in ways it couldn’t before, but before we look into those, it’s vital to see what the basic expectations are for Millennial housing.
First, if your building isn’t wired for digital hookups, you behind the power curve. Millennials require the ability to be constantly connected. Most locales have Wi-Fi set up for customers because they know that they’re more likely to keep people hanging around. If your building isn’t set up to facilitate that need, you’re going to have a hard time keeping tenants.
Next, city living is where it’s at. At least for Millennials. One in five claims they want to live in NYC. Residing in a downtown area of a large city means there are plenty of things to do in the immediate area. For this generation, that’s a goldmine.
But now for the more surprising desires.
1. More Efficient Space
Millennial tenants are leaning towards smaller apartments that have lower rents. This kicked off the micro-apartment trend.
Building complexes have begun sprouting around the country, offering tiny apartments in excellent areas. The lower rent gives tenants the opportunity to live somewhere they may have been unable to before.
Few people are strictly hunting for the smallest apartment, though. Instead, they’re willing to sacrifice square footage for a more efficient layout, especially if it means having a place they can afford.
Make them comfortable by setting units up for multi-purpose furniture, storage that’s built into the walls, and plenty of shelves.
2. More People, More Privacy
Being wired to society is worthless if they can’t engage with them. Millennials want to be surrounded by people. Whether that be in local shops or common areas of your buildings.
This is leading to a push for more workspaces and public hangouts within multifamily buildings. Rooftop terraces, open lobbies, and areas for typing away at the computer are becoming more popular. By adding these features, buildings are increasing in value faster than before.
Downtown areas are still the top preferred location for these apartment-goers but they’re starting to be pickier about which apartment they take. A coffee shop next door will help your building’s appeal and perceived value significantly more than a clothing retail or fast food chain.
While they want plenty to do around them, Millennials also want to have a place to themselves. This is where the micro-apartment trend got its footing. The individuals who make it out of their parents’ homes are finding affordable housing outside of popular city areas and partnering with roommates to lower costs. The desire, however, is to get their own place that is within their budget and in the heart of the action.
3. Fitness and Health
Despite what some may believe, Millennials are an active generation.
Since they’re more digitally focused, it’s allowed them to take in more information, finding the most efficient ways to exercise throughout their day. To do this, they’re looking for full-body workouts that are fun and constantly changing, with the goals of being healthier and looking better.
They can’t do that without some space. Fitness centers in your building, or proximity to them, is a must.
If you’re downtown, improving the quality of the air in your building is another good way to boost rapport with these generational tenants. Ensure your HVAC filters are changed out constantly and you’re sheltering the building from as much vehicle exhaust as you can.
4. Pet Friendly
Nearly 90% of Millennial renters are unmarried, and of those, 60% own pets.
The generation is causing an influx of onsite pet care. This includes grooming, dog parks, and play areas. Anything pet-friendly is highly welcomed.
While this may require some updates to your lease and insurance plan, the tactic could greatly improve the length of each resident’s time renting from you.
5. An Experience 'Now'
There is an overwhelming desire with Millennials to live in the moment. Rather than purchasing vehicles, they’re saving money to live in areas where they can experience various parts of life.
A study by Eventbrite found that Millennials are more likely to spend money on things like social gatherings and concerts. They care about the now and ensuring they don’t miss out on life’s opportunities.
As a landlord, you can assist in their hunt for experiences by sharing local concerts and events with them. If you’re located next to an event center or park, you may be attracting tenants just because they appreciate the close distance.
Millennial-Friendly Multifamily Housing
The desire to rent versus own sits on a pendulum. Markets will shift but Millennials seem to be in the renting game for the long haul. Incorporate these amenities and changes in order to better your tenant’s living experience and attract more Millennials.