Multifamily Executive reported recently on the “12 Must-Haves for Any Gen Y-Friendly Apartment,” essentially a list of things you need to attract this picky next generation of renters. They’re all good to keep in mind—but what if you don’t have some of these must-haves? Here’s our advice for a good course of action:
MFE says location’s one of the most important factors in how this group chooses housing, so when you’re promoting your property, emphasize its proximity to such things as business centers and public transportation. Are you near a great bike path? In an up-and-coming neighborhood? Next to a new bus line? Make sure prospective renters know how living at your property will make their lives easier.
Invest in amenities that will attract AND keep residents
Amenities are very site-specific; as MFE reports, “a dog park and wash at one property might not work at another. Garden space might succeed at a suburban property much more than an urban one.” Conduct resident surveys: what amenities do they like? Do they not use? Would they really appreciate? Keep in mind that this generation especially appreciates the following: fitness centers, unique decorative finishes, a luxury feel (think swimming pool), perhaps ironically, and sustainable-living design. Note that the latter is crucial, but that renters will expect YOU, not themselves, to pay for it. Determine what amenities are most likely to boost your attractiveness, and invest in those first.
Don’t put rooms in a box
Spaces should move easily from one room to the next; this even goes for indoor-outdoor space, as more and more younger renters want outdoor areas accessible even in colder months. Multi-use is the name of the game, and important in allowing what Gen Y really wants: the ability to customize their own place.
Upgrade your leasing process to 21st century standards
You must, must, must use internet marketing in order to keep up, especially when it comes to younger renters, who do so much of its research online. Various social media tools are also very useful generating leads and presenting your property in a favorable light. When you welcome prospective residents in the real world—i.e. in an office—keep in mind that this group likes to mingle; an inviting and sociable common area can put them at ease.