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What the Next Generation of American Renters Want?

There are close to 80 million Gen Y renters that are expected to need rental units over the next few years, and the rental market must be prepared to meet their demands. These technologically advanced, highly informed individuals demand a lot of bang for their buck, and they drive a hard bargain to get their demands met. Property managers will have to adapt to attract this generation of renters, and if they don’t, they could see a substantial decrease in profits as others in the industry make the necessary changes to attract the Gen Y crowd. The following is valuable insight into what Gen Y Renters will want in their rental units.

Most Important Factors Influencing Gen Y Renters’ Decisions

  • Location
  • Price Point
  • High Quality Housing Units That are Well-Maintained
  • Value for the Money
  • Proximity to Transportation Services and Work

Amenities That Gen Y Renters Consider Essential

  • Walk-in Closets- Storage Space Matters! This is especially true if the unit is small.
  • In-unit Laundry Facilities- Convenience is what it’s all about!
  • Balcony/Outdoor Yard Space- Gen Y renters want a small outdoor space to gather with friends or to have a small garden.
  • Off Street Parking- Renters work hard to keep their vehicles in good shape. They don’t want them on the street! Off street parking is essential to many Gen Y renters.
  • Outdoor Pool- While this isn’t an essential feature, most renters want the luxury of an outdoor pool.
  • Fitness Center in Close Proximity- Everyone wants to stay fit, and Gen Y renters are no different. They want either on-site facilities or a facility in close proximity.
  • Security: Most Gen Y renters want access control solutions with properties they rent.

Deal Breakers by Percentage

  • 67% of Gen Y renters believe that location is vital, and 52% of them say that a bad location can be a deal breaker. They are much more willing to compromise on other features and amenities if the location of a property is good.
  • 44% of Gen Y renters say that open floor plans are essential. An open floor plan gives the feeling of more space, and it is much better for entertainment purposes.
  • 36% of Gen Y renters say they want large windows and plenty of natural light. This makes the home more inviting and can save on energy costs.
  • 78% of Gen Y renters say that central heating and air are absolute musts. Some regional areas are sweltering hot during the summer and other regions are incredibly cold during the winter. It can be a deal breaker if central heating/air is not installed.

Amenities and Features Gen Y Renters Searched for Online in 2013

  • 13% Dishwasher
  • 11% Pool
  • 10% Playground
  • 9% Garages
  • 8% Controlled Access and Other Security Features
  • 7% Fireplace
  • 7% Laundry Facilities
  • 6% Spa Bathrooms
  • 6% Large Dogs Allowed
  • 5% Landlords Accept Credit Card Payments
  • 5% Wireless Internet Access
  • 5% Air Conditioning
  • 5% Cable/Satellite Access
  • 5% Patio or Balcony
  • 5% Landlords Accept Electronic Payments
  • 4% Pets Allowed
  • 4% Fitness Center
  • 2% Disability Access
  • 1% Short Term Lease
  • 1% Landlords Offering Furnished Housing Units

What to Do as a Landlord if your Properties Fall Short of What Gen Y Renters Want

Not all landlords have the funds to make every change that Gen Y renters want, and some changes simply aren’t possible even if funds are available. However, there are easy and affordable things that every landlord can do to make their properties more attractive to Gen Y renters. These things are as follows:

  • Update Lighting Fixtures and Features
  • Redo the Flooring
  • Upgrade Appliances
  • Install Wi-Fi in All Housing Units
  • Ensure Prospective Tenants That You Offer Excellent Service and are Quick to Make Repairs
  • Maintain Constant Communication with Renters
  • Partner with Local Business to Get Discounts for Your Tenants (Fitness Centers, Restaurants, Movie Theaters, Coffee Shops, etc.)

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