There is some debate about the definition of a “millennial”. Semantics aside, the most essential point for a homeowner or investor to understand is that they comprise the largest single renter demographic.
Estimated to number between 65 and 75 million individuals in the United States, millennials generally fall between the ages of 20 and 36. Two events have shaped their perspective of the real estate market – the housing market crash of 2008-09 and the surge in home prices of recent years.
Both reinforce a sentiment of volatility and inject a healthy dose of skepticism into their feelings about home ownership. It is no surprise, then, that it has led to their overrepresentation in the renter’s market.
This reluctance is a golden opportunity for investors who understand the millennial lifestyle and priorities. Here are two simple philosophies you can employ to maximize your investment potential.
Perhaps the most telling characteristic of millennials is their use of – and reliance on – digital technology. It is also your key to connect with this lucrative market. Flyers on lampposts are no longer as effective as they used to be. Instead, mobile technology allows renters and homeowners to meet and interact in an e-marketplace. From their first viewing of the property to applications to further interaction and even to payments, millennials would rather do it online. It is absolutely essential for every investor to have an online presence to facilitate, simplify, and accelerate how they rent to millennials.
Activism is the other distinguishing trait for which millennials are known. They are passionate about change and, perhaps most of all, about the environment. Incorporating features like solar panels, rainwater traps, composting, and similar eco-friendly options will attract millennials to a property even if the rent is slightly higher. The logic is that the lower utility bills will offset the rental costs while also helping the environment.
Green-friendly public transportation in the vicinity is an attractive asset. Millennials have an affinity for vegan and vegetarian food options so advertising neighborhood restaurants and health food outlets that offer such fare will get their attention.
The millennial rental market is definitely a safe investment in the current economic climate. The two tips above give you the inside track to maximize your investment.