As the priority for catering to the valuable millennial demographic continues to increase dramatically, your ability as an owner to adapt is key.
Earlier, we covered the millennial mentality and what markets attract them. Not only are they the largest demographic group since the Baby Boomers, their lifestyle preference changes — such as a collective willingness to wait on taking out that mortgage loan until their 30s — mean the group will be a boon for multifamily property owners for at least a decade (and possibly longer). Understanding where to invest, whether its individual amenities or shared spaces in multifamily properties, is absolutely crucial if you plan to hone in on burgeoning younger markets.
Where to lock in:
Internet and Device Connectivity
This should go without saying, but the options you provide for connectivity are even more critical than for any previous generation. Losing stock is cable. Since many millennials will simply opt for internet connectivity in lieu of cable altogether, shifting priority makes business sense. Emphasizing that your baseline internet has higher speeds than competitors is more likely to strike a chord with students or young professionals that rely on connectivity for entertainment and work. It is also worth noting that few things will wreck your rapport with young tenants, or even most tenants regardless of generation, than poor connectivity.
When determining how to optimize connectivity, note that an average millennial tenant will have roughly five internet-enabled devices. These could include smartphones, laptops, gaming consoles, tablets and smart TVs. Make sure whatever connectivity options you provide allow for several devices to share that bandwidth.
Outdoor Activities and Fitness
More active statistically than previous generations, millennials enjoy close proximity to a range of outdoor activities. Whether that means adding a beach volleyball court next to the swimming pool, or renovating that old basketball court, these areas provide a means for activity and social connectivity. If you are able to promote an active, interactive community within your complex, the more likely it is you will retain your tenants. Making your property bike friendly, especially if one of your primary demographics are college students, can go a long way to building tenant rapport.
If you have a contemporary gym or plan on adding one, this is something you should absolutely market. Make sure the facility is well-maintained and use it as a recruiting tool if you aren’t already.
Millennials are, generally speaking, quite environmentally conscious and value contemporary amenities that promote green initiatives. Motion-sensing lights in the hallways and bathrooms, or charging stations for electric vehicles (depending on location) are examples of some interesting initiatives you can market.
A great way of generating ancillary revenue is adding a small indoor/outdoor café or coffee shop. Whether you already have a fitness center or plan on creating one, marrying your food options with your fitness amenities is a winning combination. By providing a health-conscious menu, you maximize on the convenience of your facilities. If tenants know they can get a healthy meal after their workout, they’re less likely to look externally for food options. Secondarily, like outdoor activities, providing another social space promotes the development of community within your complex. A greater sense of community builds tenant rapport and increases the probability of retention.
Millennials value their pets. Creating a small park or walking trail for pet owners goes a long way to creating a pet-friendly environment. And, as repeatedly mentioned, pet-friendly complexes are just another great way to build healthy inter-complex communities.