How Apartment Communities can Attract Millennials
It’s no new news what the average millennial wants out of their apartment community. Self-service options, digital amenities, and social responsibility all rank high on their list of must-haves. But, what’s often missing are the concrete ways that we can implement measures to actually attract millennials to our apartment communities.
Here’s a guide on what the average millennial resident looks like and the actionable ways you can keep current residents happy and convert millennial prospects into sure-fire residents.
THEY LOVE THE LOCAL
We know that millennials care about corporate social responsibility. They want the low-down on what they’re eating, where it was made, and whether it was ethically produced. Believe it or not, but this attitude also extends to where they’re living.
On your end, partner with local businesses as part of your marketing rollout to your millennial residents. For example, if your apartment hosts community events, let your prospective residents know that you specifically try to partner with local businesses. For example, share that you partnered with the local winery for the community-wide wine tasting you hosted last month or that the local food coop offers a 10% shopping discount to all of your residents.
THEY WANT THE 411
When it comes to signing onto a new apartment community, good old-fashioned advertising often won’t fit the bill for your millennial residents. They’re scoping out your property’s online reviews and reading your social media pages ahead of time -- and they’re doing it thoroughly.
As they do their research, millennials want clear-cut answers to their questions about what amenities you offer and what expenses to plan for. On your end, this means clearly listing your rental pricing and making sure your leasing officers are trained to give clear answers to their questions.
As another step, managing your online apartment reviews is key. If a resident posts a negative online review, acknowledge their experience, and offer a solution. It's a great way to show how proactive your team is in responding to resident problems.
SPEAK THEIR LANGUAGE
Whether you like it or not, your millennials residents are connected, which means you’ll need to speak their language. They’ll want a video tour of the apartment before they even consider reaching out to the leasing agent. If you can communicate with your residents online, they'll be that much more likely to engage.
But, what does this actually look like? Next time you decide to plan for a community-wide event, don’t let your marketing department pull the trigger on planning the event. Instead, consider reaching out on social (think: “Any suggestions for our next community event? We’re thinking community potluck - thoughts?”). For prospective residents that are reviewing your social pages, they'll see that management vets feedback from their residents well, using a medium that they'll likely engage.
DIGITIZE EVERYTHING YOU CAN
This one is truly a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised. Whether you’re helping your renter sign the lease, submit their maintenance requests, book the elevator for move-in day, or even sign up for renters insurance, millennials love self-service.
If they can complete a task with the click of a button versus a phone call or the sign of a check, they'll do it. Maximize the power of your resident portal, and digitize all of those pesky tasks for your residents.
THE BIKING FACTOR
If you have a high millennial resident population, there’s a high chance that a lot of them will be using bikes to commute to and from work or school. In the past, we’ve heard that reserved car parking is the “in” amenity at new properties. Now, bike amenities are on the rise.
But let's face it - implementing bike infrastructure such as a bike storage room, bike lanes or even a bike repair kiosk, is expensive. For a lower cost option, install wall bike clamps in your residents' apartments so they can directly hang their bikes in their apartment. It's a lower startup cost, but shows that you're attuned to the smallest of their needs.
With millennials representing over 30% of the rental moving pie, there’s serious value in tailoring your outreach, communication, and marketing to your millennials. You don't need to throw your old marketing approaches to the wind, but understanding millennial preferences and how they prefer to communicate will help your business more effectively meet your mark.
I'm a previous member of the Updater marketing team. A lover of all things coffee- and gardening-related, you can find me in pursuit of the best cup of coffee, or otherwise attempting to grow tomatoes off the fire escape in my tiny Brooklyn apartment.