With each new generation, marketers need to change their strategy, finding new, engaging ways to be relevant to the demographic group that dominates the marketplace. The Millennial generation is set to be the largest generation to have ever existed, and this year alone in the U.S. Millennials will be spending more than $200 billion in total per year.
They are set to have an incredible impact on rental properties. According to CNBC, homeownership rates have “fallen across all age groups since the housing collapse in 2009, but the biggest drop has been among the Millennial generation.” Another report notes that “71% of millennials would rather buy than rent a car, whereas 59% would rather rent a house than buy one. 61% admit that they can’t afford a house.”
Millennials – the children of Baby Boomers – have entered adulthood, and they are bringing with them a new set of wants and needs in terms of rental housing. It is important for property management agents and marketers to realize that the Millennials will mean rethinking renting triggers. And, simply inserting a “close to coffeehouses” line in your ad isn’t going to cut it.
Creating a persona of your Millennial types can help. A Millennial’s buyer persona highlights their strengths, beliefs and interests. A recent Goldman Sacks infographic points out that Millennials:
- Are digital natives
- Are social and connected (they value brands that are social)
- Want access not necessarily ownership (more Uber, less car)
- Want to be healthy, and put an emphasis on fitness and healthy foods
When thinking Millennial, don’t leave out their kids – though this generation is often connected with people in their early 20s, older Millennials are now in their early 30s. This is a generation who wants to raise their children in a healthy and active lifestyle, so they look to brands that understand that.
How does this all translate into advertising your rental unit?
Appeal to their digital nature: Put an emphasis on convenient payment methods, like the ability to pay rent online. (Millennials don’t use cheques.) When prospects are visiting, show them how they can do everything (even making a maintenance request) through their mobile phone. Also, many Millennials work from home on occasion so if there is the option of a potential home office, or a nook that could work as a home office, call that out in your ads.
Be social and connected: Does your building have an Instagram or Twitter account? There’s no time like the present to showcase your units, building and local community. Millennials put a strong value on staying local, so be sure to post photos of nearby shops and community amenities.
Spotlight access: Since fewer Millennials purchase a vehicle compared to previous generations, this demographic looks for a rental location that has good walkability scores or convenient public transportation to shopping, dining and entertainment.
Spotlight a healthy lifestyle: Your ads should underscore any gym or pool facilities, and talk about nearby bicycle trails and parks. Is there an organic restaurant or grocery store nearby? Call these out during a rental showing.
Millennials, Property Vista & You
Millennials are set to be the driving force behind the rental market for 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.