By RPM Central Valley
Over the last five years, Millennials have become one of the most heavily marketed groups in the United States. Why? The answer is simple. Like Baby Boomers once were, Millennials are a generation that’s going to have the most spending power for the next 50 years.
When it comes to rental properties, most Millennials would rather rent right now, instead of buy because they were hit hardest by the 2008 recession and are unsure if they should buy homes like their parents and grandparents did before them.
Tips For Renting To Millennials
If you’ve been wanting to rent to Millennials but haven’t known how to get started, this article will provide you with tips on how to improve your rental property so that it’s more desirable to Millennials.
Treat Them as Digital Natives
One often-repeated truism about Millennials is that they’re digital natives with few memories of a time before the internet was ubiquitous. It’s true: They will expect to be able to see available rental properties online, for example–they don’t think of seeing them in-person as a first resort. Make viewing your properties, applying for rentals, and asking questions convenient, appealing, and seamless. This is especially important for first-time renters, who are new to all of the ins and outs of renting.
86 percent of Millennials own and use a mobile phone regularly. Once they become renters, they will appreciate being able to pay and request services online–and enabling online payments and maintenance tickets can make your job easier, too.
Don’t forget about using social media as a communications tool: 82 percent of Millennials use Facebook, 55 percent use Instagram, and 30 percent use Twitter. If you’re not on social media–both for marketing to and communicating with tenants–you may be very distant on their radar.
Make sure that your properties facilitate their lifestyle as digital natives, too. You will need excellent Wi-Fi, of course–or at least be ready for an ISP hookup of the tenant’s choosing. USB-equipped wall plates for charging won’t go amiss, either, if you’re feeling especially hospitable.
Make Your Properties Eco-Friendly
Millennials are very environmentally conscious. They want to live sustainably. They’re concerned about pollution, climate change, and overuse of natural resources. As a result, they respond very favorably to energy-efficient rental properties.
Use non-pollutants such as paint with no or low volatile organic compounds (VOCs), for example–and advertise that you do. If you’re near a farmer’s market or a community garden, publicize that as well. And solar panels for heating or appliance use will be very popular. If your properties are close to public transportation, be sure to let Millennials know–for both convenience and environmental friendliness. Public transportation equals less use of gas-guzzling cars and a lower carbon footprint.
Yes, we know that property owners, landlords, and homeowners’ associations have traditionally frowned on pets. Pets have fur and teeth and claws and accidents. All of these features can be unkind to properties and often require cleaning and maintenance beyond what humans require.
However, the fact is that Millennials love pets. Millennials represent an impressive 35 percent of the pet ownership market. If you don’t allow pets, you are eliminating a large portion of this otherwise lucrative market. It’s likely prudent to take the plunge.
Plan to allow pets in your rental property when you’re making development, construction, and furnishing decisions. Hardwood or composite floors, for example, will tolerate pet accidents better than carpet. For other considerations to keep in mind when you’re developing your pet policy, check out this article: Should You Allow Pets in Your Property?
Market the Neighborhood
Remember: Millennials are young. They’re interested in checking out music festivals, block parties, hot new restaurants, and local craft beer. The more that your neighborhood appeals to young people, the more attractive that renting with you will be.
Make a list of the events and happenings in your area that would be interesting for people in their 20s and 30s. Highlight local eateries and stores. Artisanal crafts are big with this generation, so point out any local purveyors. Again, farmer’s markets, vegetarian restaurants, parks, and health food stores will be very appealing. Make sure that they know what the neighborhood offers.
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