Millennials Preferences in Renting: 5 Things You Should Know

August 16, 2016 Elizabeth Francisco

The millennial generation has surpassed the boomer generation population, and it’s no surprise they have become a driving factor in the growing multifamily sector. Multifamily developments are battling over the latest trends to attract new millennial renters, but in order to successfully attract millennials you need to understand this generation and what they value. In fact, the true homeownership rate for 18-34 year olds has fallen to a new low: 13.2%.


There are core, underlying reasons millennials love renting and it has to do with their generational preferences.

A recent study by Eventbrite shows millennials prefer experiential value over material value and this is where they are spending their money.

So how can the multifamily industry capitalize on this and make their property an amazing experience for millennials? We have highlighted millennial characteristics that you should be aware of and how you can reflect these characteristics in your property to secure this generation of renters.



Millennials choose the residential lifestyle because it is unique and fun. For the majority of them, they will not get this experience again later in their life, so they expect the most out of it. As a property manager, you have the power to make your property a strong, coveted community.

One way to connect your residents is investing in shared spaces throughout your property. These spaces can range from cyber lounges to outdoor dining spaces and workout rooms. If you create places for your residents to gather you can plan monthly events to create a well-connected residential community. Scheduling cocktail parties, cook-outs, or holiday themed events will reflect well on your property, resulting in resident retention and an increase in potential renters through positive word of mouth.



The Nic on Fifth in Minneapolis provides several community spaces in their development including a resident club room opening up to the deck pool.

There are certain aspects residential communities can offer that single-family houses cannot — including an eco-friendly atmosphere. This generation cares about the environment more than any preceding generation.

Strata research reported 64% of young adults in the 18-33 age group said they were willing to pay higher rent rates to live in a green apartment community.

Become eco-friendly by having easy recycle options or energy-saving amenities. If you really want to capture the attention of millennials, make your development as walkable as possible. Provide indoor and outdoor bike racks or quick transit options to popular nearby locations.  


Fear of Commitment 

Millennial’s lifestyles are constantly changing, especially when it comes to their careers.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, millennials tend to change jobs three times more often than their older counterparts.

Committing to a long-term relationship with a house can seem extremely daunting to this demographic. Mortgages keep buyers locked down to one location, which limits the millennial’s inherit, active lifestyles. Apartments have the upper hand because they offer flexibility through short-term leases. A lot of properties have lease termination options where residents can end their lease at any point for a viable reason, like job relocation. Even though millennials are scared to be tied down, don’t think it’s impossible to maintain them as a veteran resident. It can still be easy to renew leases if you are able to retain a happy resident.



Four out of ten renters stated affordability as their primary reason for choosing to rent over buying. It’s simple, the monthly cost of renting is cheaper than buying, but besides mere rent, multifamily properties can take advantage of this factor in the amenities they offer. Investing into amenities can raise rent prices, but studies show millennials are willing to pay more for luxury amenities. Residential developments have the potential to provide their residents with a ‘one-stop’ center for everything they need.

Convenience is just as important as affordability. Building fitness rooms, dog parks, rooftop swimming pools, and strong Wi-Fi gives millennials the convenience they crave, all in one place, that houses simply cannot provide.

The Savoye Apartments in Addison, Texas provides residents with convenient amenities such as a fitness center with group classes, 24-hour coffee bar, technology lounges with high-speed internet, and much more.

Try your best to make affordability a priority. Create special offers that only your residents or potential residents can access. Give discounts during property tours as an incentive for potential customers, offer promotion codes over social media, or provide snacks and coffee in the lobby for residents to use. Little things like this go a long way and shows residents you care.



If you are able to provide good amenities that help residents on a daily basis and make your development as affordable as possible, then it leaves residents with more freedom, extra money, and the time to do things they really want to do. One of the most convenient luxuries in rental properties is maintenence.

Home owners are responsible for all damages and repairs, compared to residential renters who can pass off their issues to the building management. This amenity may be basic, but it’s extremely helpful and can be a powerful way to stand out from your competitors. Instead of wasting the weekends on around-the-house chores, renters can use that time, energy, and money to do things they really enjoy on their days off.



One of the biggest factors that sets apartment life from housing is that renters are immersed into the culture of the surrounding area. This is especially true if your apartment is in an urban location. Most millennials choose to live in a dense, urban area because this is one of the few chances they will have to do so for a reasonable price. The proximity to popular destinations gives renters the freedom to explore more of the city, so give them as much time as possible to do so!  


Constant Connectivity 

Millennials are a digital generation that communicate quite differently than previous generations. There is no point in creating a millennial-friendly property if millennials don’t know about it. From social media to online paying, websites and email, millennials connect with the world through digital platforms and your property can do the same. If you want to attract more millennial renters, make your social media presence strong. Engage with potential customers on your social accounts and revamp your property’s website by uploading vibrant pictures and easy navigation. These are both promising ways you can increase property awareness and create a consistent brand your residents can connect with.

This generation is constantly on the go and lives on mobile. By making the switch to digital gives them constant accessibility. One of the quickest growing trends is virtual property tours and it’s the perfect way for active millennials to have the convenience of viewing your property whenever they want, no matter where they are. In addition, use digital property management systems that current residents can use to track all important documents and easily pay their monthly rent.  

In fact, 60 percent of the renter market is under the age of 40. Knowing what millennials want out of their renting experience is key to attracting them. If you are able to do this, then you have the power to successfully tap into the biggest demographic of renters.

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