When you’re looking for tenants to occupy your rental property, it probably doesn’t matter to you too much how old your prospective tenants are. For the most part, that’s the right way of thinking; you just need to fill the openings so you can increase the passive income stream that rent checks generate.
While you may not worry too much about the age of your applicants, there is a scenario when you may want to keep in it mind: millennials. The millennial generation is renting more and more these days rather than own a home and it doesn’t look like the trend is going to change in the near future.
Since millennials are making up a large part of the renters, it’s important you know how to reach them. It’s not enough to put a “For Rent” or “Apartments Available” sign outside of your property; what if no one drives past it?
There are a number of better ways to get the word out about your property to millennials. Here are 10 of them:
Take your marketing efforts online
Many, if not most, millennials tech-savvy and when they’re looking for a new place to live, they’re going online or to their mobile device to find out what’s available and how much will it cost. Get your property on as many lists as possible; renters aren’t likely to jump on the first opportunity they see. They’re going to do their research and you want to make sure you’re part of it.
You will also want to create a website for your property with as much information as you can about it. Take a step further and create a Facebook page or a Twitter page that are dedicated to your property. Other online channels you could use are Instagram, Vine or YouTube. As previous tenants to post reviews of their time living in your building, millennials will often look at online reviews of properties when they’re doing their search. You may also want to consider handling communication with tenants online, as millennials tend to prefer to “talk” either via text message or email.
Also on the technology front, building-wide Wi-Fi service and high-speed Internet and are up high on millennials’ priority list when they’re looking for a place to live. Try to make your building as high-tech as you can.
Bring space to the forefront
Millennials enjoy having their friends over to their place, so when they’re searching for a place to live, one thing that’ll attract them is big spaces for guests to gather. If your units have big kitchens, you’re off to a great start. It turns out when millennials like a spacious kitchen to cook and entertain guests. When you put your listing information together, don’t just list the overall square footage; if rooms that lend themselves to holding large groups like the kitchen or living room, highlight their size.
Highlight the building amenities
Square footage is important of course, but as apartment buildings get nicer and nicer, millennials are keeping scorecards tallying what amenities one property has opposed to next one. Get yours to stand out by hammering home every single perk that comes with renting from you. Amenities like a pool, rooftop deck, patio, washer and dryer are all things you want prospects to know come with your property even before they set foot on the premises.
If you’re property isn’t built to include such amenities, that’s OK. Don’t strain your budget by trying to add them on. Instead, highlight the area and what might accessible to the residents like mass transportation, supermarkets or restaurants. You could also charge tenants a reduced rent.
Location, Location, Location
Where your property is will go a long way to drawing in millennials. Many are going to look for a place that is close to where they work. What your property is near will also play a big part in whether millennials will rent from you or not. Make sure to advertise if your building is near any major highways or public transportation spots (bus stops, subway/train stations, etc.) Can people get around easily on bike in your neighborhood? If so, make sure your prospects know this, too!
Offer good service
Let your millennial prospects know they’ll feel right at home if they rent a unit in your property. That means having services they don’t have to pay for like weekly trash pickup and timely repairs when things are broken. You can also help your cause by offering peace of mind and letting applicants know your building is in a safe area
Show that you’re flexible
Yes, “rent checks” was mentioned earlier in this story, but that doesn’t mean millennials are writing them. For the most part, they are paying their bills online and prefer not to carry much cash or write checks. Allowing tenants to pay their rent online is just one more convenience you can offer when you’re marketing your property.
You may also want to seriously consider allowing renters to have pets. According to research firm GfK, 57% of millennial households own a pet and another 20% intend to get a pet in the future. You can help yourself stand out from landlords who don’t allow renters to bring their cats or dogs with them by advertising that pets are welcome.
Be kind to the environment
Millennials tend to be eco-friendly, which means you should pump up anything your property does in playing its part to protect our planet. Highlight things like recycling bins on-site, energy-saving lights bulbs, low flow toilets and showerheads. An environment-friendly building will catch the eye of many millennials.
Mention the great outdoors
If your property is adjacent to places that lend themselves to outdoor activities, you have a great chance of attracting millennials to your place. Millennials are generally an active generation and are more likely to want to take up activities like bike riding, hiking and jogging. If you have a property near a park, track, ski resort, sports complex, etc. this is something you’ll want to mention. Millennials like to be active, but they also like convenience. The less amount of time they have to spend driving to get somewhere to work out or meet for a game, the better.
Another thing to consider is accommodating your active residents by putting a bike rack outside of your building or maybe include a fitness center. If you already have one, mention that, too!
Talk about the fun nearby locations
As nice as your property is, for your residents, it’s a place to live. That means there has to be other things in the area to attract people there. When it comes to millennials, a big attraction could be places where they can socialize. Any promotion or listing you put together for your property should include spots that are in close proximity where millennials can meet people and spend time with their friends.
Fun places you want to include are bars, clubs, sports arenas, concert venues and restaurants. When you post an online listing, include links to these places to make it easier to for prospects to see what they’re all about. Remember, when you’re marketing to millennials convenience goes a long way.
Get out in the community
Follow a lot of millennials’ lead and get involved with your community. Show your support and donate money to local causes or charities. Younger applicants just might be more likely to rent from someone who invests in the community where they are asking people to reside.
This may seem a like a lot to do just to market your property to a portion of the population, but when you consider what a large percentage of your applicants will be millennials, you’ll realize it’s worth it. Remember, this trend is expecting to stick for quite some time, especially since renting instead of owning a home isn’t looked down upon like it was at one time. Plus, millennials are more mobile and like the flexibility renting allows and there’s the debt that would come from owning a home doesn’t exist.
As long as these factors are in play, millennials will continue to make up the largest percentage of renters in the country. If you can master marketing your property to them, there’s a good chance your building will have very no, or at least very little, vacancy.