Homeownership is part of the American Dream, but over generations, homeownership has gone down. This is great news for multifamily communities because it means that there is high demand but it also means that there will be higher expectations.
Using data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey and their own survey results, Apartment List released a homeownership report that shows how low homeownership rates are with millennials when compared to other generations. This report also showed that 18% of millennials say they are going to rent for their entire lives, a number that has only increased in the last few years. So, what should multifamily communities do now that many renters will have lived in a lot of different multifamily properties?
For starters, you need to take a look at your amenities, both in-unit and in the community. If you have a property that’s pretty outdated, it’s time to start thinking about when you’ll be able to bring it up to date. PERQ’s solutions, while helping leasing teams save time and increase lead conversion, also collect data on the prospect’s journey on multifamily websites. With this data, we have found that the top 3 most important features to renters are in-unit laundry, walk-in closets, and modern appliances. If you don’t have any of these currently, it’s time to plan how to add them to your units.
As for the community, many renters are either working or learning from home these days. Adding private office spaces that you can rent out or adding large tables in a common room like your clubhouse is a great way to attract these renters. The private rooms will be great for the person who is permanently remote, but offering a communal space where the occasional, once or twice a week work/learn from home renters can have a space to go to too.
Millennial homeownership is low due to a lot of reasons listed in the Apartment List report, but they still want that dream of owning a house, but not for the reason you think. 33% of millennials want to buy a home because of their dogs. Dogs outranked marriage and kids in the reasons for homeownership.
Let’s be real for a second, multifamily communities aren’t always the most pet-friendly. From high pet rents to restrictions to not enough green spaces, it’s not ideal for today’s renters. Our data shows that 1 in 3 renters have a pet, a number that only increases each year. That means you have to make sure your property is also a good home for furry residents.
Jamin Harkness, EVP at The Management Group, has made a lot of effort in recent years to make his properties more pet friendly by eliminating pet rent and breed restrictions. He made up any lost revenue from pet rent through higher turnover rates. 80% of his renters who owned pets renewed their leases. From making sure that there are enough well-lit grass areas around your building to dog waste trash cans with bags provided, making your apartments more attractive to pet owners can’t be overlooked. Speaking from personal experience as a current pet owner who rents, not enough grass around the property is enough to write a negative review to warn other renters to look elsewhere.
It’s time to update your property to meet the needs of today’s renters because if you haven’t, your competitors definitely have. These renters have been through it all and they will go elsewhere if your property doesn’t hold up. Whether it’s thinking about renovating or adding more amenities, there is some work that you can do today to help meet the needs of tomorrow’s renter.