Today, millennials make up the majority of the rental market nationally. For some renters, this is out of necessity. A recent Apartment List survey found that 80 percent of millennial renters (those who were born between 1982 and 2004) wanted to buy a house or condo but buying one because they couldn’t afford it. It would take them at least two decades to finally be able to afford a home.
However, some millennials enjoy the apartment life and are living in them out of choice. A Rent.com survey found that the millennial generation is choosing to rent because the affordability, the freedom it offers, the home maintenance services provided, and the ability to live in trendy neighborhoods that are expensive for homeowners.
So, millennials will be renting for a long time, whether they like or not, unfortunately. As a technology-savvy, health- and environmentally conscious, and resourceful generation, there are certain amenities and features that most millennials look for when looking for apartments. Here are some of the key features. Chicago property management companies, take note!
1. High Speed Internet, Wi-Fi, and Smart Home Automation
With the rise of remote work and work-from-home days, having high-speed Internet, Wi-Fi, and reliable cell phone reception is essential for millennial renters. Whether or not they’re working all day or watching cat YouTube videos in their pajamas is still up for debate. Smart home automation, where you can control everything from thermostats to locks with a smartphone or similar device, has also become more popular and in demand.
- Resident Portals
Resident portals, where tenants can do online rent payments, submit maintenance requests, or connect with other residents in a social online community, is also helpful and convenient. It takes away the hassle – for both the landlord and the tenant – of writing out or asking for checks, or filling out paper documents for maintenance requests.
- Pet-Friendly Apartments
If there’s anything we can take away from the Boo the Pomeranian Internet sensation, it’s that millennials love dogs and pets in general. Offering a pet-friendly apartment, pet washing station, and a place for animals to socialize and run around will attract a lot of millennial renters.
Living alone can be not only lonely (that’s where the pet comes in!), but also sometimes feel unsafe. Renters want to live in a safe neighborhood and have strong security systems available. Especially in a metropolis, elevated security systems are a must, especially some sort of gatekeeping system. Whether it be a 24-hour doorman, PIN entrance, or video surveillance system creating a sense of security in an apartment is an essential to appeal to millennials who gravitate toward up-and-coming neighborhoods.
- Walkability and Central Location
There’s always something fun to do or see in Chicago any day of the week, from going to museums, going to an art festival, or walking down the 606. Being in a central location near restaurants, theatres, and other venues and being close to public transit is a big selling point.
- Eco-Friendly Features
Solar panels, water-conserving appliances, energy-efficient air conditioning and lighting, and sustainable building materials are all green design features that might appeal to millennials. With its ability to reduce tenants’ carbon footprint, smart home technology not only is convenient, but also eco-friendly. Having shared car services like Zipcar or electric car charging services might also be valuable for millennials.
- Fitness centers, yoga studios, and bike racks or bike storage
Finding the motivation is go to the gym after work can sometimes feel nearly impossible. And once you finally muster up the energy to go, it’s often crowded, with a 30-minute wait on all the treadmills. Offering a fitness center and/or yoga studio for renters would be a huge perk. With Chicago being a very bike-friendly city, offering secure bike racks or bike storage would also be a good idea. That way, renters won’t have to lug their bikes up endless flights of stairs every morning and afternoon.
- Washers and Dryers in Units
Is there anything worse than going to an overcrowded gym and then leaving disheartened? Yes, and that’s waiting hours in the laundry room on a Tuesday night, hoping that that one of the washers will become free, and then having to monitor the dryer to make sure no one takes your clothes out to put in theirs or steals your laundry. Having a washer and dryer already installed in units will be a huge relief for tenants and make their lives easier.
Having these features in your apartments would make your Chicago property management company invaluable. It would improve your property management company’s tenant retention, and it would get rid of the headache that trying to find an apartment in Chicago often brings for renters.
If you’re interested in becoming a property manager in the rental market, contact us today at (773) 549-8300 or firstname.lastname@example.org. With over 100 years of experience, Realty & Mortgage is one of the most trusted full-service real estate firms in Chicago, and we’re continuing to grow.