The largest living generation in the U.S. is moving into their primary spending years. According to recent reports, Millennials made up an estimated 79.8 million of the population in 2016 and will make up 50 percent of the global workforce by 2020. In choosing a place to live and work, Millennials love cities: 73% of 25-35-year-olds with a college education live in mid-sized to large cities. Job prospects are part of the lure, but metropolitan area life also exhibits social characteristics preferred by this generation. These characteristics consist of technology-connected, trendy bars, restaurants, and other social centers, as well as tolerant of diverse races, ethnicities, and lifestyles. Moreover, certain apartment upgrades can mirror these characteristics and attract millennial renters.
Apartment Upgrades Millennials Will Pay For
High-security, gated community
Outdoor social areas
On-site workout room with classes and fitness machines
High-speed cable and WiFi
24/7 access package lockers for online purchases (88% of millennials receive at least one online purchase package per month)
Green-tech features (smart thermostats, Energy Star appliances, built-in USB charging ports)
However, Millennials are less likely to pay more for features that until recently commanded top dollar.
Among the apartment upgrade features that have fallen in value are:
- Hardwood floors
- Walk-in closets
- Gourmet kitchen features such as granite countertops and gas appliances
In a recent Multifamily Executive survey, more than half of Millennials chose carpet over hardwood floors and a standard sized closet over a walk-in. Millennials would rather forgo those features than pay an additional $75 per month. In the kitchen, Millennials will live with an electric cooktop rather than pay an additional $15 a month for gas.
Understanding shifts in consumer preferences have always been the key to successful marketing and operations. With Millennials now making up the lion's share of renters, owners and developers who invest in the right mix of property amenities and upgrades will shorten their sales cycle, optimize their rental revenues, and improve operating efficiencies.