Millennials get a bad rap for being lazy and entitled—the truth is this generation really just knows what they want. They know that after graduating college they’re going to be up against plenty of challenges when trying to find a job and a place to live, so they’re very focused on what they can get for their money.
*Disclosure: This is a partnered post.
That’s not lazy and entitled—it’s much more practical than some past generations have been. So, when it comes to rentals, what does Gen Y want? As with most things, these folks have pretty specific ideals. If you’re a landlord who wants to appeal to them, you might need some inspiration.
Quality Over Quantity
In contrast to past generations, Millennials don’t care as much about having giant apartments or condos. As this Buildingsolutions.com article notes, “Millennials are comfortable with efficiently designed studios and one-bedrooms.” And Forbes even notes that since 2012, studio and one-bedroom units make up an average of 54.5% of the unit mix.
It’s almost a “work smarter, not harder” mentality but applied to living arrangements. This makes sense when one considers the millennial mentality, which leans toward a car-free existence and the tendency to spend money on experiences more than material things.
Because a surprising number of Millennials don’t own cars (as we mentioned above), a rental should have an ideal location. It should be close to where many of them work, but also have easy access to healthy grocery stores, restaurants, fitness centers, and other places that speak to an active social life.
In fact, Millennials are more likely to compromise on or forego things like fancy amenities if it means they will be closer to the action.
Not Just High Tech but the Highest Tech
Apartments should be cable and internet-ready, as Millennials are connected to their phones and other tablets 24/7. The buildingsolutions.com article notes that the complex should feature plenty of indoor and outdoor electrical outlets for charging their ever-present mobile devices.
Because Millennials are very aware of their finances and spending, they also appreciate smart devices like thermostats that will go off after a certain amount of time so as not to overspend. As this Huffington Post article notes, however, the apartment doesn’t necessarily have to offer these features, as there are ways the renter can enlist them themselves.
HuffPo contributor Dan DiClerico says, “One of my favorites for renters is the smart outlet, a plug-in device that costs as little as $20 and gives remote control, through a smart phone app, of whatever electronic devices are plugged into it.”
This means that things like a window air conditioner can be turned on 20 minutes before the person gets home so that the apartment will be nice and cool. Although smart items like this can be purchased, any smart devices already installed in a rental will go a long way in impressing Millennial prospects.
As of 2015, it was found that more than 70% of Millennials were pet owners, so a pet-friendly rental is pretty much a must when it comes to this part of the population. Many landlords hope to keep their properties pet-free but if they want to appeal to this group, they need to give in on this issue. Of course, a standard pet deposit and/or monthly pet rent is typical, so there are measures of protection.
This is not a trending movement; rather it’s a means to saving our planet. As this greenresidential.com article notes of this generation, “They’re interested in sustaining the world around them, which means they want environmentally friendly features where they live.” Solar panels would go a long way in enticing Millennials but, really, it can be as simple as adding a faithful recycling program.
When considering upgrades that constitute a significant investment, it’s important to properly vet any candidate that applies for your rental property; finding a high-quality renter can mean the difference between a good investment and a nightmare situation.
Use a service like SmartMove to get details on criminal history, employment history, and credit—the more thorough you are, the more likely you are to find a tenant that will maintain your property and protect your investments.
Any realtor who wants to survive in this market should appeal to this generation as renters, and following these tips is a great start.