A landlord’s ability to adapt has a substantial impact on their success such as adapting to the needs of millennial renters.
Potential tenants will always choose properties that align with their interests and values, and as these interests and values change, year after year, landlords need to remain aware of shifting trends to capitalize on them.
This fact is especially true of the millennial demographic. Projections show that millennials will soon surpass baby boomers as the nation’s largest living adult population, making them an even higher priority for landlords. So what can these landlords expect from millennial renters in 2019?
Let’s consider three trends that will shape the way landlords appeal to millennial renters
No. 1 – Desire for Smart-Home Technology
Millennial renters are familiar with the range of smart-home technology available on the market today. Many of them are interested in the benefits of smart thermostats, smart lighting, smart security systems and other products that provide convenience and energy efficiency. Landlords see the appeal as well.
For example, residents can save as much as 10 percent per year on heating and cooling by turning the thermostat back seven to 10 degrees from its average setting for eight hours a day. A smart thermostat allows for this kind of regulation without input, earning considerable energy savings for a rental.
While it’s often unrealistic for landlords to purchase smart lighting systems for every unit in an apartment complex, they can invest in smaller — though no less substantial — changes, like smart security. A wireless camera system allows landlords a more extensive view of their property, and they impress upon tenants a sense of safety and security.
Tech-savvy landlords who integrate smart-home devices into their properties also enjoy a higher profit. A survey from Wakefield Research found that 86 percent of millennials are willing to pay more for a rental property if it features smart-home technology. Both landlords and tenants see the value in these products.
No. 2 – Shifting To New Life Stages
Millennials are growing older, and as they settle down and have children, finding properties with family-friendly features becomes a higher priority for them. While more urban rental markets will largely miss this trend, smaller communities may see more tenants who are starting to raise families while paying rent.
Sure, home ownership becomes much more popular at this stage in life. But research shows that millennials are entering this stage later than generations in the past, and their first children are those most likely to live in rented housing. Buying a house takes a lot of capital, and renting still makes a lot of sense for some young families.
Landlords who are located in more suburban areas can benefit from understanding a young renting family’s needs. These landlords can market elements of the surrounding area – schools and parks, for example. A space for children to play and explore catches the attention of new families, and they’ll gravitate toward properties where these features are within walking distance. Accessibility is crucial.
More widely, millennials are also searching for rentals where their pets are welcome. Many of them have a furry family member, and they don’t want to have to pass over the perfect property just because the landlord doesn’t allow cats and dogs. Landlords who prohibit pets should consider an adjustment in their policies.
In short, landlords need to adjust their perception of the average millennial. Depending on your location, you can adjust your listings and marketing to attract the interest of households with small children and pets. This can set you apart in a market that largely caters to tenants with fewer obligations.
No. 3 – Commitment to an Eco-Conscious Lifestyle
Now more than ever, millennials are aware of their impact on the planet. In the face of fluctuating temperatures, unseasonable weather and more frequent natural disasters, many have taken it upon themselves to adopt an eco-conscious lifestyle. Sustainability and environmental conservation are significant considerations.
Millennials want to rent from a landlord who shares their values. Between a progressive, eco-friendly landlord and one who hasn’t made an effort to improve their buildings, most young tenants will choose the former. This decision not only lessens their carbon footprint, but it can save money on monthly utilities.
Landlords can appeal to these young tenants in a number of different ways, such as by installing smart-home technology like the energy-efficient devices mentioned above. They can make smaller changes too, like fixing low-flow attachments to faucets and shower heads, as a comparatively inexpensive alternative.
However landlords choose to address this trend, it’s essential that they make a point to advertise their property’s eco-friendly features. Whether it’s something as simple as a set of new light bulbs or as complex and costly as solar panels, potential tenants are interested to know how their living space aligns with their belief system.
Learning to Adapt
Landlords need to at least be aware of trends to sustain interest in their properties. To attract millennial renters in 2019, they have to appeal to their desires for smart-home technology, their interest in family-friendly features and their commitment to an eco-conscious lifestyle.
As the priorities of these millennials renters continue to shift, landlords and property managers can benefit from adapting to meet their needs.