Baby Boomers to Gen Z: Creating an Appealing Property for Renters from Any Generation

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If you've paid attention to all the hype about Millennial renters, you might miss out on other demographics which are also signing leases in significant numbers; making sure you market and plan for a wide variety of tenants is the best way to ensure higher occupancy. A recent article in Multi-HousingNews (MHN) addresses this and points out that there are ways for rental communities to appeal to any renter. The wise owner/property manager will take steps to create a comfortable, livable community for residents of all ages and backgrounds.

 

It Takes All Kinds

 

Renting isn't just for tech-obsessed Millennials! As the MHN piece notes, and as BAM has written several articles on, Baby Boomers are renting in impressive numbers. So today's communities have to bridge a gap between renters who have grown up with smart phones and those who were coming of age in the 60s. Generations Y and Z also make up a decent share of renters. If you just gear your community around the Millennials the industry knows for renting, you can miss out big time on other potential residents who are either quite a bit older or younger than this group. As the multifamily industry knows, there are many reasons individuals choose to rent – and making your community appealing and accessible to a wide variety increases your odds of them choosing your property.

 

Design Common Space with Everyone in Mind

 

MHN notes that other generations will have different ideas for common space usage. Keeping your common space design open and flexible will allow a variety of uses for groups of any age. They write that Baby Boomers are more likely to socialize with events like a cooking class or dance lesson while younger generations may want to hang out together but in a more solitary way, such as being around people but still plugged into their devices. Creating space that has balance between areas for both group and solo activity is a safe way to ensure that your residents get the most out of communal areas.

 

Be Smart with Technology

 

It won't come as a surprise that Baby Boomers and Millennials or Gen Y/Zers have a different relationship with technology. You'll want to strike balance here, too, the MHN article advises. You'll want enough tech to appeal to younger renters who are accustomed and comfortable with features like smart stats, etc. but you won't want to turn your property into a futuristic landscape that older residents struggle to navigate. The MHN piece writes about the interesting difference between younger and older groups: younger renters want to handle most rental concerns completely online, while older renters are more likely to initiate a concern online but prefer personal follow-up conversation.

 

Choose a Logical Marketing Strategy

 

When you market your property, the MHN article recommends that you base your plan off of geography/demographics and also think outside the box. They give the example of marketing in the suburban south and needing to focus on “face-to-face hospitality” - regardless of the age you're targeting. As with anything else, the broader reach you have, the more people you'll possible connect with – so don't be married to internet marketing when you could also try a local meet-and-greet style approach to connect with possible renters.

 

By carefully designing your property to appeal to a wide variety of renters you'll increase your chances of higher occupancy. The renters are out there to be had, and setting your property apart with features that create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere can help you stand out from the competition. Choosing the right marketing strategy with a wide reach will also help connect you with a bigger pool of possible renters. Taking practical steps like these can help you get more leases signed as well as more renewals by keeping current renters happy.

Elizabeth Wheeler