April 21, 2016
Marketing Your Properties: What Boomers Want
There are two strong trends in multi-residential renters: millennials and boomers. But while you hear a lot about millennials (the generation born after 1980) who are the next big wave in driving demand for apartments in recent years, baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are the silent tsunami.
Research shows that, from 2000 to 2013, adults in their 50s and 60s accounted for nearly all of the net increase in multifamily occupancy in the U.S. As baby boomers start downsizing, multifamily home construction is expected to continue to grow. By 2030, forecasters predict that the number of renters aged 65 or older will reach 12.2 million – more than doubling 2010 figures.
Many boomers are looking forward to selling their houses, so they can unlock equity for their retirement planning while enjoying a more carefree, lawn-mowing-free lifestyle.
With baby boomers set to be a major force in the rental market, property management firms need to be tuned into their renting triggers when advertising apartments. Here are some of the main features boomers are looking for in a rental property.
Boomers often downsize after the kids leave the nest. Still, after decades of collecting furniture, dinnerware and other cherished possessions, most are reluctant to part with all their goods – even if they no longer use them on a daily basis. When marketing your property, highlight any in-unit storage or extra storage lockers that are available.
Ease of Maintenance
Retirement is about doing less work, not more. Baby boomers are looking to put away the shovels and do away with home maintenance. They’re ready for someone else to look out for their home – someone exactly like a landlord or property manager. To attract more boomers, play up this carefree quality of life.
Boomers want the comforts of home, and then some. Make sure your marketing collateral highlights all the amenities available on your property: full kitchens, a fitness centre, a pool, a rooftop terrace for parties and BBQs, even networking events or cooking classes. Baby boomers want to look, feel and act young; let them know that your property comes with an active lifestyle.
Accessibility & Walkability
It’s also important to promote nearby activities and amenities. Boomers want to be able to walk to cultural attractions, like restaurants, museums and theatres, and have easy access to local shops and wine bars. If your property is a bit removed from those features, let prospective residents know they’ll have easy access to public transit.
Peace & Quiet
Boomers who are selling their homes or moving into a new rental are eager to find a haven that feels like home. In advertising your property, use descriptors like “safe” and “quiet,” as well as “full of natural light,” “beautifully maintained,” to showcase that your listing as a pleasant place to live. If your property includes concierge service or 24-hour security, mention it.
Have a Strong Presence
A final note about catering to boomers: Many are as tech savvy as the millennials you’ve been renting to, with approximately 96% using search engines and email. They’re also increasingly popping up on social media, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. So, make sure you have a strong web presence so you can post photos and encourage discussion about location features, onsite amenities and community events. That said, boomers also trust referrals, so always be reminding your best tenants about your referral program.
Raising the Boom
Baby boomers are in the market for rentals, and their demand will continue to grow over the next decade. The key to attracting them as residents is to understand what they want and make sure they know you have it.
To learn more about how to use cloud-based technology to effectively market your properties and close on leads, sign up for your free account today or give us a call.