Generation Y, who call themselves, appropriately enough the Net Gen, are moving out. Though the youngest of their generation are still only 10, the eldest of the generation have already hit their thirtieth. At the end of each school year, a new set of Net Genners move out into the world and, in many cases, into apartments. The wants and needs of this generation are different from renters of ages past. These young adults are looking for space to socialize, space to work and space to be themselves in ways that challenge the traditional designs of most apartment communities. As UNITS Magazine’s Lauren Boston, in her June cover story, noted, “Gen Y residents are driving interior design and architectural trends characterized by open floor plans and all-inclusive clubrooms. For these residents, it’s about the party, not the personal time.”
Space to Socialize
Twitter, Facebook, texting and even Google + are not enough. Gen Y has the need to stay connected and members of this age group want to be able to socialize with large groups of friends at once. This doesn’t mean that they need to attend huge parties every night, but it does mean that they enjoy many gatherings each week, whether for dinner, games, movies or Rock Band sessions. This generation favors apartment floor plans that are open, without separate living and dining areas, and that are large enough to accommodate all the people they’ve friended today. Ideally, bedrooms are small and private while the rest of the apartment is large, open and public. Planning out recreational areas within the community is also a great way to attract Gen Y residents, who will often consider giving up a little personal square footage for a community room with an espresso machine and a pool table (but it will have to be open until a decent hour!).
Space to Work
Many people in this generation are self-employed and work from home. The jobs created by and for Gen Y can often be done on the computer, so access to very reliable internet is a key concern for most renters under thirty. The ability to connect to various cable outlets also helps keep this generation happy, because there may be more than one computer, TV, or holodeck in the house. Reliable wi-fi that can reach throughout the apartment (and out onto the street and down at the common areas asbecause is key because, between the smart phone, the tablet, the DS and the laptop, there’s something trying to access the internet in the hand of most people between 10 and 30 at every second of every day.
Space to be Themselves
Many of this generation are not content to live a cookie-cutter life. Gen Y, following the groundwork laid down by Gen X before them, are individualistic. This generation values the freedom of expression and actively looks for ways to personalize their space. As apartment design blog Apartment Therapy’s biggest reader base, they are also not afraid of color, and the customary beige neutrality that dominates the apartment scene may not sit well with many renters in their twenties. Offering units in a variety of different layouts and color schemes can go a long way towards helping someone in Net Gen feel at home in their new apartment.
Insights from current Generation-Y Renters
Often, property management software can help you gain insight into areas or interests that appeal to Generation Y renters. Data such as age-based demographic spending, upgrade requests, and styles or themes of currently occupied units by current renters can help you engage, retain, and socially enhance your potential or soon-to-be client-manager relationship.
Have questions about Gen Y renters to ask our Gen Y writers? We’d love to hear from you here or on our Facebook page!