Gen Y, Millenials, Echo Boomers – no matter what you call them, they are the largest population after the Baby Boomers. Many in this group of roughly 70 million young adults will soon be moving out of college dorms and into apartments of their own. So, how can you make sure you are appealing to these potential new apartment renters – now and into the future?
If you don’t already, consider offering short-term leases. The 18-27 year olds, the so-called "Millenials," often don't want long-term commitments. They're on the move – this generation is known for short attention spans and a desire to move around – as a whole, they change jobs frequently and many choose to travel, so a year-long lease might not fit into their plans.
If you don't offer free Wi-Fi, don't expect an influx of young renters to come through your doors. This is a tech-savvy generation that uses laptops, tablets, and smartphones to connect – less than 30 percent use desktop computers, so Wi-Fi is a must.
Speaking of being connected, make sure you are appearing where Gen Y "hangs out." If you aren't, chances are they won't even find your door. Be sure you are utilizing social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Also, if you haven't already, make this the year you start checking apartment review sites to see what others are saying about you – because nearly 80 percent of Gen Y renters are already there.
Most Millenials aren't interested in large apartments or flashy amenities. Instead, they tend to prefer compact, functional living spaces with the high-tech perks and amenities they've grown up with – read: WiFi.
To attract Gen Y, you'll have to go a little bit green. Gen Y is all about the environment. Overall, they are more eco-conscious and globally aware than any other generation and they want the place they live to be LEED-efficient, so if you haven't already, you may want to consider adding a recycling program and taking steps to conserve energy and water.
Square footage may not be as important, but amenities, walkability, and public transportation are. Gen Y is a group that likes to walk, ride bikes, and take the bus – they are more likely to sacrifice square footage for an apartment in a pedestrian-friendly area with nearby restaurants, shops, museums, and farmer's markets.