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Understanding Millennial Housing Trends as a Property Manager

Image is a hand holding phone taking picture of a lighted globe.Understanding millennial housing trends can be one of the best investments for property owners and managers to make in their careers. 20% of millennials are looking for a new home at any given time, and they have a huge influence on housing trends as well as market flexibility and adaptability.  If millennials aren’t a significant portion of a property manager’s current business, they will be in the future.

The guide below will help property managers and rental property owners understand the challenges and priorities that millennials face when choosing a home.  Knowing how best to serve millennials will likely impact property manager’s bottom line for the better.

Millennials Need and Want Affordability

Because 46% of millennials are living with student loan debt, more millennials are renting for longer periods of time.  Millennials also remember the impact of the Great Recession, and tend to look for homes that would still be affordable with a pay-cut.  This focus on affordability means that rental unit prices will usually make or break a home renting decision.

Millennial Housing Trends Favor Historic Details

While millennials want state-of-the-art appliances and trendy lighting, they also tend to flock to older homes with historic charm and details.  Right now that means that millennials are flocking to mid-century modern, pre war details, and Mediterranean style.  For property managers who don’t manage units that already fit these styles, a few minor adjustments such as the addition of crown moldings or good staging can make a difference.

Millennials Aren’t Afraid to Move

Millennials are ok with traveling and relocating for secure jobs, safe neighborhoods, and their desired quality of life.  Young couples and families are migrating to areas with low unemployment rates and cost of living.   For property managers this means doing everything they can to keep the tenant experience positive for millennials to help keep them in units longer.

Make Photos on Point

For the majority of renters, photos of a unit are incredibly important. To keep up with millennial housing trends, property managers need to make sure that rental property photos are of the best quality possible. Pictures should highlight the interior and exterior of homes, be well-lit, in focus, and give the viewer an idea of dimensions.  Property managers and leasing agents should avoid using filters or image-distorting lenses.

Maintain an Outstanding Online Presence

Property managers should utilize blogs and social media to gain an online presence and attract millennial renters. 99% of millennials use the Internet to find their homes and information about housing. Besides all of that, using online platforms and apps will maximize time, lower overhead costs, and simplify life for tenants.

Amenities Make a Difference

Adding a dog run to a pet-friendly building, a fitness room with a class schedule, or a game room can add value and a sense of community for tenants, something that most millennials are looking for. Some other quality investments include:

Millennials are Renting Longer

Many millennials are choosing to rent spaces that they can grow into rather than buy a home. They want rental properties that are family friendly. Millennials want open floor plans for family gatherings, good storage space both within and outside of the units, bathtubs, and energy-efficient upgrades.  Experienced property managers will help rental property owners provide outdoor spaces, a washer/dryer in every unit, and areas to socialize to help ensure that the home will fit millennial families as they grow.

When in Doubt, Upgrade

Millennials want upgrades.  Property managers like Martin Feinberg can appeal to millennial renters by trading out the old stove, upgrading the carpet to hardwood or the laminate to granite when possible.  Each unit should also have high-speed Wi-Fi.

Also, millennial housing tend to gravitate toward high end finishes and appliances. Other trending features include:

  • Hardwood or stone floors throughout
  • Open floor plans
  • Energy efficient appliances
  • In-home office spaces
  • Smart home featureslike lighting, thermostats, and security systems

Embrace Technology

Image is an open laptop with a graph and stats on it.Most millennials understand and embrace technology.  There is an app for almost everything, including home features such as security and heating and cooling.  Keeping up with this millennial housing trend is a smart investment.  Substituting smart light bulbs or a smart lock in each unit can seem expensive but it can actually increase rental prices, as millennials are willing to pay 20% more each monthfor smart home features.

Millennial housing trends can be hard to keep up with, but appealing to this generation can increase profitability and keep rental property investments in the black.  It’s worth the effort to appeal to this group of home-seekers.