Millennial Generation Rental Trends

by Andrea West


Posted on 2016-02-25 14:48:46


What are the national renting trends?
Since the housing crash in 2008, renting rates have been rising. It is currently estimated that about one-third of American households rent. The amount of rental vacancies has reached a twenty year low of only 6%. The main contributors to these trends - the Millennials. An estimated 40% of renters are under the age of 35. Four-fifths of those between 18 and 25 years old rent.

How is this up-and-coming generation renting differently than before?
A Millennial is considered to be someone born between the mid 1980’s and the early 2000’s. Several studies, surveys, and suppositions have been thrown to the wind in an effort to understand this new lot of renters. There are many ways in which these renters are different than previous generations.

For one, Millennials are renting to a later stage in life than other generations. The job market has limited job opportunities for the typical Millennial, along with lower incomes. This demographic also has high student loan debt. These factors make renting a more appealing option than buying for a variety of reasons. These factors also contribute to the fact that Millennials move often.

Millennials are also the first generation of humans to grow up with the internet. Using the internet is an option they will take over any other. So when doing a search for their next apartment they will typically take a look at online listings first.

What does this mean for Landlords/Property Managers?
As a property manager you will be dealing with Millennials. They are a predominant demographic of renters and so are a key group to target. In order to make sure your property is a viable option, here are some tips to consider-

  1. Internet presence is key - if nothing else, try to make yourself more visible online. The more your property comes up on searches and the more information you can safely provide, the better.

  2. Keep your listings updated - finding out that an apartment is actually not available isn’t a nice experience for anyone.

  3. Offer online applications, rental contract leases, and payment options - again, Millennials grew up with the internet. They want the internet to be an option as much as possible. This could be the difference between a Millennial choosing your apartment over another place that hasn’t updated their system yet.

  4. List needed information ahead of time - whether you offer online leases and applications or still use paper applications, let Millennials know all the personal documents they will need to provide before the fact. Many are still new to the renting process.

  5. Millennials have a high turnover - this generation moves frequently for a number of reasons. They may look for month-to-month leases to accommodate their transient lifestyle.

  6. Understand your property’s  strengths and weaknesses - try to highlight what you have and resolve for what you don’t have. For example, if your property has a great  urban location but lacks social amenities on-site, let them know all of the great social opportunities they can reach within minutes from your location.

Some of these tips may be unique to Millennials now, but they will apply to the generations that will come after them as well. By keeping your property up-to-date, especially with internet options,  you are investing not only in current tenants but the future of your apartments as well.