Millennials are a generation that is slowly starting to rule the world: it is predicted that by 2020, as much as 35% of the workforce is going to be comprised of these promising people born between approximately 1980 and 1996. With even the youngest ones having already reached adult age, it means that they are also a major group to look out for when talking about the real estate market. However, millennials have clear preferences in this regard.
Above all, as opposed to previous generations, millennials prefer renting to buying. Indeed, about two-thirds of young adult-headed households are rented in the US, and the overall number of renters has been on a steep rise since 2006, making the percentage of those who rent the highest it has been for several decades now. Financial factors play a key role here seeing as how millennials are more ready to move to a different place if that place has better housing costs and employment opportunities, so renting is a better solution for them than settling down for good. What this means for those in real estate is that they better do everything they can to cater to the needs of this generation in order for both parties to end up as satisfied as possible.
There are a lot of stereotypes about millennials and their everyday habits, some of which are exaggerated while others are important aspects to pay attention to. Here are some of the latter type to point out what the most important things are that millennials are searching for in rental properties today.
An environmentally-conscious approach
With our world slowly approaching a critical state, newer generations are becoming more and more environmentally conscious in their efforts to cause as little damage as possible. That is why if a property boasts eco-friendly qualities, it instantly becomes preferable to them. Compost bins for recycling, energy-saving appliances and LED lights are small investments compared to their ROI, both in terms of making the property desirable for the millennial audience and saving energy and money in the long run. Investing in solar power is a larger investment but one that pays off even more.
The tech-savvy generation
Millennials are often referred to as the tech-savvy generation, and statistics showing that 91 percent of these people are regular internet users are only there to support this claim. Indeed, from the very moment of starting to look for their rental property, they turn to the available (and free) online tools and reports, such as those provided by lenders and brokers all over the world. The databases utilized can show accurate information on property prices as well as details on a particular property, including sales and rental history, further aiding their decision-making process. And considering the property itself, they appreciate if up-to-date technological features are present, such as smart appliances and smart locks. They are even willing to pay more for a rental if it’s equipped with such amenities.
Something they can afford
To put it bluntly, millennials are poorer than their predecessors. Due to a mix of lower income and impending student loans, they have vastly different spending habits, which is manifested in their rental property preferences as well. Even though the prices of renting are the most expensive they have been, renting is still more affordable than buying, in the short term at least, and affordability is one of the things millennials are looking for in a rental property. For these people, the price will be a deciding factor before the luxury of thinking about size can be relevant.
Pets allowed in the rental property
It’s no news that millennials love their pets. Add to this the fact that they are stepping into parenthood later than the previous generations, and you will see how important these furry friends are to them. Therefore, for many millennials, the pet-friendliness of a potential rental property is on the priority list. Considering that landlords are not very keen on the idea of the potential damage these furballs might do to their property, millennials are having a hard time finding the right place to live. This makes properties that welcome pets, even if against a damage deposit fee, favorable.
The neighborhood is vital
Rather than moving into suburban areas, millennials prefer the convenience of the closeness of things they need on a daily basis. Therefore, the neighborhood and its facilities play an important role in a millennial’s rental choosing process. Banks, supermarkets, restaurants, communal places, gyms, co-working spaces and similar things are welcome good points of a potential rental. Considering that millennials buy fewer cars, these amenities being in walking distance boosts the desirability of a property.
Millennials are a major renting force at the moment and that needs to be recognized by landlords targeting this generation. With the size of a property becoming less important, and its green practices, pet-friendliness and, above all, affordability becoming more important, if not key factors in choosing of their rental, the real estate market is bound to change in the near future.