It seems like, more so than any other generation, Millennials are judged pretty harshly, or treated like some exotic species that needs to be studied—”Over here, you’ll find the Millennial in her natural habitat, the craft beer section in the organic super market. Unable to make decisions alone, notice how she’s Snap Chatting (a form of ‘social media’) a friend about what to buy.”
Millennials have been thought to only want to rent apartments, because they want to be more social and be where their friends are. They want to be near work and play. They need to be connected at all times. They’re not interested in buying a boring house in the boring suburbs.
Oh wait. They totally are.
I’m a Millennial (albeit on the beginning of the spectrum), and I own a home. A lot of Millennials own homes. The ones who don’t own might want to, but just can’t afford it yet.
When people get older, settle in their careers, start families and build their lives, they still want to buy houses. The economy crash might have made it a little difficult, which is why we’re a little slow. But we still want those same things every other generation wanted.
As for apartments, yes, the rumors are true. Millennials value technology and want to be able to connect easily where they live. We want to socialize. We want to live near restaurants and bars and their friends. We want to be close to their work. We value being green, although we won’t necessarily pay extra for the privilege.
But so does everyone when they’re young. When you’re in your 20s and 30s your friends are really important to you. You want to meet people. You want to keep up with the latest technology.
But, for that matter, that’s what everyone wants in apartment living (it’s why you’re better off marketing to everyone, not just Millennials). Instead of wasting time trying to crack the code of what Millennials want, a better strategy would be to just keep up with the times. The multifamily industry is notoriously slow adapting to new trends, so by the time they decide it’s right to invest in them, some of these trends can look dated. Plus, if you’re only looking to attract Millennials, other types of multifamily communities could suffer. Seniors might like to be digitally connected, too. Boomers who are downsizing and moving to apartments in the city might want to make a new social network and make friends.
So, please. Stop looking at Millennials like we’re aliens. When we’re in apartments, we want the current trends, as does everyone else. We might buy a house, eventually. We’re just like you!
Now those Gen Zers, though. Well, I just don’t get them…
-Jessica Fiur, Senior Editor