As now the nation’s largest age bracket, millennials are - and have been for the past decade - the focus for consumer brands around the country. Although with a wide variety of tastes and interests, pinning down this generation has been easier said than done.

But now as their youngest members begin to graduate college and approach the life in the workforce, they’ve now become the force in multifamily - and one not to be glazed over with the same handling-tactics as their predecessors. 

In this week’s rundown, we look at common traits for this wide-ranging segment of individuals, and how your property can match the needs and taste of the somewhat-elusive millennial.


Affordable luxury

A somewhat familiar - yet staggering - stat found that Americans owe more than $1.48 trillion in student loan debt, with the average class of 2016 graduate racking up $37,172 in student loan debt. With that, many young adults joining the workforce after schooling aren’t in a position to opt-in for a lavish apartment with a hefty price tag. Instead, looking at the recent NMHC/Kingsley Associates Renter Preferences Report buildings can hone in on what’s important to younger resident (internet and mobile connectivity, washer/dryers, etc.) in an effort to be solution-oriented while light on their checkbooks.


Tech-savvy & digitally connected

While this is a no-brainer, millennials’ impressive experience - and history - with tech shouldn’t be looked past. Millennials have grown up with technology, employing a mixture of members who favor YouTube over TV and those who may opt to drop their local team to root for a favorite squad from the opposite coast that they watch each night on NBA League Pass. With more ways than ever to connect thanks to technology - ensuring your property is giving residents ways to communicate & manage their apartment while on-the-go will contribute to sustained success in 2018 and beyond.


Work/life flexibility

A recent Gallup survey found that 43% of employed Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely. Employees and some employers view the practice as broadly beneficial, saying that remote workers are more productive and that the additional flexibility can help to close the gender gap. Providing resourceful and comfortable common areas for residents will give members of your building enjoyable choices outside of their cubicle or the four walls of their apartment to work from home, and will be sure to result in them giving your building high marks come lease-renewal season.


Sustainability & social consciousness

Over the next several decades, the biggest and wealthiest generation in U.S. history will transfer roughly $30 trillion in assets to their Gen X and millennial children - and studies show millennials prefer to do business with corporations and brands with pro-social messages, sustainable manufacturing methods and ethical business standards. Moreover, a recent Nielsen global online study found that they continue to be most willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings — in fact, almost three-out-of-four respondents agreed, up from approximately half in 2014. Whether it’s changing onsite processes to “green-er” pastures or engaging with residents on a CSR initiative, providing ways for millenial residents to engage with or enjoy a wholesome initiative will prove beneficial.


Home-sharing

While home-sharing hasn’t exactly been embraced with open-arms by the multifamily community in recent history, that hasn’t stopped Americans from trying. A recent study found that half of millennials under the age of 25 are interested in properties that offer them the opportunity to make additional income using short-term rentals like Airbnb.

While the multifamily industry and Airbnb haven’t always seen eye to eye, Multifamily Housing News recently published a feature noting that small-balance owners can utilize the service to their advantage and earn additional income with relatively little risk. And while there are still questions left to be answered regarding the long-term sustainability of a building-sanctioned Airbnb-type policy, keeping an open & progressive mind on the topic will draw favor from your younger - and older - residents.