Recent studies show that millennials are simply not buying homes and won’t be for awhile. In fact, a survey conducted by rent.com found that 8 out of 10 renters between the ages of 18 and 34 plan to keep renting a lot longer compared to previous generations. Sufficed to say, if you’re not targeting millennial tenants for your rental property, you’re missing out on a huge market.
So how exactly do you attract millennial tenants?
Apart from the price point, millennial tenants are all about community and efficiency. If you do not have much wiggle room to beat your competitors on price point, here are some other ways you can attract millennial tenants:
1. Have a website with a great user experience online
When it comes to millennials, digital experience matters. In fact, according to the same study conducted by rent.com, 84% of millennial respondents used their mobile phones during the process of finding a home.
That being said, don’t get stuck on spending money to make your property website really pretty but essentially useless and outdated. Make sure your website is accessible on mobile and desktop, and offers convenient features such as tenant portals with online payment, community event boards, and even a community blog.
Some apartment website platforms will allow property managers, and corporate users to not only manage the property's website, but will also provide local marketing tools that can manage local listings, monitor online reputation and even help to generate more positive online reviews. Actively using website platforms that include local marketing software can help attract millennials as they search the web for their next apartment home.
2. Hire Millennials and equip them
What better way to attract your target market than to represent your property with like-minded property management professionals in similar age groups?
To attract and keep the best millennial workforce, you must invest in management tools that can help increase efficiency and avoid work-related frustrations. Replace your slow-loading ancient computers, equip your property managers with time-saving applications such as property management software, tenant management portals and time saving eviction management software. Do away with old school office tech, and take the time to train your people to use the new tools.
Remember, your property management team represents your brand. They are client-facing and you want them to be at their best and happiest to attract the best tenants. Failing to invest in your own people can lead to dire consequences. Poorly trained team members can earn you negative online reviews and similarly, a high turnover can be displeasing and alarming to tenants.
3. Spruce up your property’s community spaces and create community events
Millennials are social creatures. They are drawn to community and shared spaces in general. Invest in making these spaces welcoming and conducive for community functions.
Create a calendar of community gatherings where your staff and the residents both partake. This will increase the feeling of community in your property and will make your millennial tenants feel a sense of pride and belongingness. You don’t have to spend a fortune on these events. Simple things like coffee and donuts socials or grilling hot dogs by the pool can generate a lot of positive impact.
4. Offer free amenities and maintain them well
Millennials love free amenities, and they need not break the bank on your end. A simple free wifi area by the pool, communal office, or lounge areas for your property can win you plenty of points in their book. Gyms, grill areas, movie screening rooms, and lounge areas can also win you some love from the millennial crowds.
A word to the wise, maintaining these amenities are just as important, if not more, than just having them in your property. Don’t get riddled with bad reviews because you had all these amenities but they are not maintained and essentially unusable or unenjoyable because of maintenance issues. If you’ve invested in decking your property out with amenities, go the extra mile and make sure they are in good shape and are in a useful state.
5. Make your processes efficient
Efficiency and convenience are some of the biggest deciding factors for millennials, so automate where you can. Are your tenants able to schedule maintenance fixes online? Are they able to make auto-draft payments for rent and other rental property fees or utilities? Do you have an emergency line for items that need immediate attention after hours such as a broken air conditioner?
If you can make living in your property easy for your prospective millennial renters, you’ll have an edge against competitors. Don’t miss out on the best tenants because you refuse to update your processes. Time is money, and like you, your millennial tenant doesn’t want to see money going down the drain.
If you think all these points of advice only cater to millennials, think again. In the long run, improving your property by adding the features mentioned above or bettering your processes by updating your systems or automating where you can will help you ultimately attract the best tenants — millennials or not.