Generation Rent: What Millennials Really Want - Property Vista

July 04, 2012

Generation Rent: What Millennials Really Want

The Millennial generation, as born in the ‘80s and ‘90s, face a very different financial reality than the previous two generations. For those in their 20s and 30s, homeownership is becoming less achievable than Generation X and the Baby Boomers, setting them up to be a generation of renters.

Generally, they carry a higher debt load after university and face higher levels of employment uncertainty. This creates a ripple effect where they tend to live longer with their parents, delay marriage until later, and have children later.

And, since the 2007 global recession, requirements to qualify for first mortgages are stricter and require larger deposits. As such, Millennials are choosing to rent rather than buy .

The demand for quality multi-family rental accommodation located in good communities will increase as this generation ages and start families of their own.


So how do you attract, and keep, this new renter? What does Generation Rent really want?

They are defined by their love of technology and their desire for convenience. Here are 4 tips to attract them:

Get social. More than any other demographic, Millenials make their home online. So, use Twitter and Facebook, encourage reviews for your property on Google Places and Yelp, and be active in online communications.

Use technology. Embrace tools like text messaging for rent reminders and a smart phone app for maintenance requests. (Look for our upcoming post on using QR codes.) WebVista has the tools for a strong web presence with software for a blog and online property listings. And PortalVista provides direct communication with your tenants through email, text messaging, and online maintenance requests.

Personalization. Not content to make their home in a beige box, this generation of long-term renters wants to customize their apartment and imprint their own personality on it. They want to choose their own paint colours, move walls, paint their front door, and make it a home that reflects their needs and style. Consider adopting a flexible attitude towards some personalization for tenants who may offer a longer-term commitment.

Values. Mention the green features and eco-programs of your property. As well, the community aspects of your property like recreation amenities, interior and exterior common areas, and security are important. Emphasize the convenience aspects of your location including walking distance from shopping, restaurants and entertainment, as well as the proximity to schools, community centres and parks that would appeal to young families.

Millennials are set to be the driving force behind the rental market in the next 10 to 20 years. Knowing what is important to them and appealing to their values will position your property to be a popular choice for Generation Rent.

If you’d like to see a demonstration of how Property Vista can help integrate easy-to-use, Millennial-appealing technology in your property management company or REIT, contact us and we’d be happy to show you want our suite of products can do for your bottom line.

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Jack Beaton Sterling Karamar, Property Management
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