Millennials form the largest living demographic and group of renters in the U.S. How can your community appeal to them?
Millennials, or Generation Y, now form the largest living generation, and the success of your apartment communities will depend in a big way on how well you market to them. There are many things which appeal to millennials when it comes to the properties in which they live, but some of their top priorities include technology and a vibrant social scene.
Important Technology to Have
1. Internet & WiFi: Many Millennials do at least a portion of their work at home, most of which requires a laptop. Many play games or connect on social media that require fast internet and WiFi access. In a recent study conducted by XFINITY Communities, it was found that 75% of new and potential residents ask about internet and WiFi. 34% of residents agree that WiFi access is the most important amenity.
2. Online Features: Millennials are very accustomed to managing tasks online. One great way to appeal to Generation Y is to give them the opportunity to complete many of the routine tasks of life online, such as paying rent or filling out a maintenance request. Find ways to communicate with residents through text messaging apps like RokitNow or TextBox and reserve email and phone calls for more sensitive matters.
3. Great Website: The first contact many Millennials will have with your community will be on your website. A website that doesn’t look modern or user friendly will quickly turn them away. Revamping your website design and adding stunning, professional quality pictures will go a long way in attracting residents.
4. Consistent Social Media Presence: Millennials love to connect with others on social media platforms. Most of all, they love feeling like part of a community or a conversation. For example, have an active Instagram account that highlights nearby events, restaurants, etc. in your community. Use it to post about events going on in the apartment complex, feature staff members or acknowledge funny things that happen at your community. Create hashtags associated to these things and invite residents to use them.
1. Free Food. As with most people, millennial residents love it when you offer free food in the lobby or another community area — even if it’s something simple. They might even tag your community in a post about that scrumptious doughnut you gave them.
2. Events & Parties. A great way to develop a sense of community and increase loyalty to your apartment complex is by hosting occasional events and parties. One of my favorite events at a complex where I lived was an annual “polar bear swim” where we swam in the apartment pool during the middle of a Utah winter. The apartment staff handed out prizes to those who participated. It was something simple, but it made us love where we lived even more and helped the participants to get to know each other.
3. Community & Outdoor Spaces. Spending a little money to revitalize and revamp your common areas could do wonders for both retention and attraction of new renters. Open, good-looking areas (with WiFi) will help residents to feel comfortable to mingle and spend time with others.
By making small, simple changes to your community you can attract a greater number of millennials and get them to stay!
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