Rent or Reject? 5 Must-Haves Millennials Demand from an Apartment Community
Nothing annoys Millennials more than grouping us into a broad category—we pride ourselves on individuality. We’re all searching for something different, and many times where we choose to live is an outward reflection of who we are or who we want to be. Whether we’re trying to live a minimalistic life and ditch unnecessary baggage, or we’re working to become the youngest VP in our company’s history – we won’t compromise on what we believe in.
As a Millennial, I have a list of my top five “must haves” for renting an apartment. Whether it’s an urban high-rise or a quaint duplex, an apartment won’t even be considered if it doesn’t have the following:
#1: Online Everything (Resident Portals Rock!)
I’m in the older sect of Gen Y, so I know what a check is and how to write one. But, I haven’t written one in years. The only thing worse than writing and dropping off a check to your front office is calling you on the phone. Millennials will exhaust every form of communication possible before making a call, including maintenance requests. Give us the ability to make maintenance requests online (like with user friendly resident portals) or you’ll most likely never know that the shower is leaking (and it’ll be a costly repair later).
And if we come to your property for a tour, do not sell to us—we’ve already done all the research online.
#2: Unit Pricing and Availability Transparency
Real-time pricing and availability must be listed on your website. By the time you receive an email from us, we have probably already made up our minds as to which apartment unit is the one we want. If it’s not available, it’ll feel like a trick to win business and we’ll take it elsewhere. That transparency includes fees—don’t throw anything in at the last second. This is a non-negotiable in all steps of the leasing process.
#3: Pet-Friendly Apartment Communities
Like most Millennials, I have a dog that I love. Like, “I-only-buy-treats- made-in-the-US” and “Which-sweater-should-you-wear-today?” kind of love. We’re not looking for pet-friendly; we’re looking for treats-in-the-lobby friendly. If you don’t have your own dog park, make sure you advertise the closest one (and provide trash bins/doggie bags along the way).
We want to walk to restaurants, bars, and grocery stores. Even if we don’t actually always walk, we want the option to! It’s a good idea to feature what’s nearby on your website, because we will research it ahead of time. At the end of the day, what this score means to me is convenience.
#5: Green Living
Help us be green without having to think about it (or pay extra for it). It doesn’t start and stop with recycling – do you have an electric car charger? Compost? Rain Water collectors for landscape maintenance? We’re thinking of the future—we want that in our apartment, too.
So there you have it: my top five reasons why this particular Millennial would rent—or decide to reject—one of your apartments. Would you like to know my “must haves” to stay?
Top Renewal Factor: Friendly Staff
The staff needs to treat residents (and potential residents) as real people, not “resident in apartment 242.” I once had a property manager not only know my name, but my dog’s name. Feeling like I was part of the “family” was part of my decision to renew my lease, even with a $100/month price hike.
Runner-Up: Maintenance Staff
Speaking of staff, train your maintenance technicians to be as personable as possible. When they enter an apartment when a resident isn’t home (after they give permission, online of course) leave a note with the maintenance person’s photo, what he/she did and any next steps. Bonus points if they give my dog a treat while they’re there.
Those may be my personal Millennial must haves, but what have you seen? When renting to Millennials at your property, were their requests similar? Different? Tell me about your experience renting apartments to my generation.
(Image source: Shutterstock)