The millennial generation, or Gen Y, is considered to be anyone born between 1978 and the late 90s. The bulk of this generation has graduated college. They have jobs, and they are looking to live independently in apartments.
Reasons for the Millennial Rental Boom
Millennials are driving a major rental market increase. The reasons for this are numerous. Millennials feel economically challenged, and many are saddled with student loan debts that they would like to pay off before moving on to the next stages of their lives.
They also do not want to be stuck in one geographical location. If their jobs move or they need to quickly find a new job, they want the ability to move quickly in order to take advantage of new economic opportunities.
Constructing Apartments for Millennials
Millennials are looking for affordable apartments with functional layouts. While older generations typically look for larger apartments, millennials are comfortable with efficiently designed studios and one-bedrooms. In fact, according to Forbes, studios and one-bedroom apartments now comprise 54.4 percent of the apartment rental market due to millennial demand.
The price per square foot for the apartment isn't as important to millennials as the total cost of the apartment. They are willing to live with less square footage if the rent meets their monthly budget needs.
Millennials are also less likely to own a car. This trend has less to do with being “green” and more to do with choosing exactly where they spend their money. Millennials prefer to spend their money on experiences, and they place an emphasis on their personal lives over their work lives. Since fewer millennials own cars than in previous generations, they prefer housing locations that have good walkability scores or well-developed public transportation that's close to shopping, dining and entertainment.
When it comes to building apartment complexes for millennials, it is important to add amenities into the floor plans and the layout of the entire complex. While previous generations were happy with a pool, clubhouse and fully-equipped gym, millennials tend to want open spaces that they can personalize for a short amount of time. For example, instead of building a fully-equipped gym, think about building a multifunctional, cardio class workout studio. This allows the resident to bring their own equipment and exercise according to their own needs.
Millennials are also connected to the Internet 24-hours a day through their cell phones and other mobile devices. They are more likely to spend their money on premium cable TV packages and Netflix than solid objects. For the items they do purchase, they prefer to shop online.
Apartment complexes that cater to young adults should be cable and Internet ready. Complex-wide Wi-Fi is also a plus as are lots of indoor and outdoor electrical outlets for charging mobile devices.
Marketing to Millennials
Since millennials receive most of their information online, property management companies must have a presence on social media websites, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. They should also have a detailed web page outlining the apartment complex and its amenities. Marketing the complex in these ways increases the odds that millennials will call or stop by the office for a tour and fill out an application.
When it comes to marketing apartments to millennials, it is important to give them the facts rather than simply tell them they will love the complex or community. Young adults want to feel like they are making an informed decision rather than simply being told what to buy.
With millennials making up the majority of the new apartment market, their importance to the construction industry cannot be overstated. Their generation is the key to our success moving forward. For more insight into this key demographic, read our guide to employing millennials.