Ah, the Millennial. There is no lack of content on what the Millennial means to the multi-housing industry. We know they're coming. We know they are less interested in purchasing than renting, and we know that they want “a Four Seasons level of service ... without ever looking up from their iPhone.” So, is that the strategy? Yes. And, no.
The world is changing, and quickly. Many of the twenty and thirty-somethings who are now living in apartments, expected to be homeowners prior to the Great Recession. But they're young and resourceful and they weren't too proud to live in their parent's basement for a few years while they rode out the storm. So here they are in your rental office looking for the life that was promised them.
More and more communities have amenities that cater to this demographic. One property in VA boasts fire pits, iPod docking stations in each unit and a nearly completed resident's-only bowling alley. There is bocce ball and BBQ pits. Beautiful! But all of these amenities don't guarantee what we are all really looking for--a sense of belonging. Don't get me wrong, these community spaces are valuable. But connectedness takes time and intentionality. There will always be a newer property with shinier features, but the Millennial are no different than the rest of us. They want to belong and they want to contribute something to the world. At CARES, we believe that creating that kind of space will never go out of style.
So, yes--in order to attract the coveted Millennial you will want to maximize your communal spaces and modernize your technology. But in an age where it's not uncommon to have hundreds of "friends" and suffer debilitating loneliness, you'll need more than that to actually create community. You'll have to help teach them to connect. Tell us how you are getting your residents to connect!