How to Attract (and retain!) Millennial Tenants
For the past seven years that I have been a landlord, I have ONLY had millennial tenants. Millennials are 56% of the tenant population, so that isn't unusual. However, as I gained a relationship with each of my tenants, I learned what it is that drew them to my apartment. While 62% of millennial tenants are likely to move after the one-year lease, I managed to retain nearly all of my tenants for 2+ years.
How do you attract & retain millennial tenants?
You need to be in the right location with the right amenities available. Millennials value walkability, pets, and ease of communication.
1. Choose an investment property location that is walkable.
My property is in Evanston, IL, which is close to Northwestern University, beach, trains, downtown Chicago, and walkable to shops and restaurants. In short, very walkable and eco-friendly. Additionally, millennials are more environmentally conscious than other generations (thanks, guys. We need that.), so they prefer to be in an environment that has composting, recycling, and an overall green environment. Evanston has been on the top of "greenest city" lists for years. They use wind energy and have many options for public transportation and biking.
2. Millennials are Animal Lovers
More than 76% of millennials have pets. If you are a landlord that doesn't allow pets, tough luck. A big attraction for my unit is a local dog park and dog beach. You can make your building more dog friendly by adding a doggy area to the courtyard, add a dog washing station in the laundry area, or add a vending machine with dog food available.
I understand why landlords often do not allow pets. In fact, I have had some major damage from tenant pets; however, the security deposit was sufficient enough to repair the damage. If you allow pets, make it clear in the lease that the tenant is responsible for any and all damage a pet may cause.
3. Create an Ease of Communication
Millennials prefer an ease of communication. They want their landlord, property manager, or maintenance person available via text. They also want to be able to pay digitally. I prefer the cozy.co app. My tenants use it and are able to set up a recurring payment. Bonus, it's FREE if they use their bank routing information rather than a credit card.
Another ease of communication option I have for my tenants is a Google Drive folder for them where they can see the lease, pre-move in pictures and inspection report, and anything else relevant to them. This folder is protected and view only.
Are you a landlord? I want to hear from you!
What are your tips for attracting tenants? If you have a marketing hack for properties, share it in the comments below.