According to Census Bureau housing data, one age group of renters continues to dominate the rest: millennials. They tip the scale at 65% of your potential market. Add the fact that this group of adults makes up one of the largest age groups in history, and it becomes clear who is driving the rental housing sector—and will be for the foreseeable future. With this sizeable demographic, you can’t afford NOT to keep millennials in mind when tailoring your rental property to attract renters.
However, if you’re a landlord just getting started in the world of Rent Estate™, it can be confusing to know which avenues to pursue when it comes to prepping your property. That’s where Renters Warehouse DC/NOVA has your back: we’ve put together this handy guide for how to attract millennial renters to your Washington DC rental home! The first step is in knowing a little bit about millennials as a demographic.
Understanding Millennials Makes It Easier to Appeal to Them
Millennials are a unique age group: they see property management, marriage, nine-to-five jobs, travel, and other major life decisions very differently from “traditional” renters. Keep in mind that this is one of the first generations entering the workplace with the burden of significant student debt: for some, renting is approached as a necessity for their financial situation; for others, it is lifestyle preference. Whatever the ultimate cause, millennials are taking their sweet time before putting down roots!
As an investment property owner, this benefits you: your Washington DC rental home could become the next perfect crash pad for metro-bound millennials living in our nation’s capital. Consider the following factors to ensure that your investment property meets the standards of today’s millennial renters, and your property will always have choice tenants!
1. Make the Most of Technology
When it comes to using technology to communicate, millennials immediately prefer emails and texts rather than letters and phone calls. Your listings should be replete with the same technological touch. While millennials love their coffee, a flyer in the local java spot is not where they’re looking for their next rental. Create posts on social media platforms with attractive photos (especially Instagram) and link them to your online listings. Highlight cultural features within proximity of your Washington DC rental home, like farmers’ markets, hip coffee houses, or scenic parks.
Ideally, your rent payment system will also be digital.
- Offering millennials a chance to pay rent online will net you some serious consideration from potential tenants. Online payments are considered a staple of renting at this point—and your rental unit will look outdated without it.
- If you choose not to go the software route, there are online payment platforms such as Venmo that you can use to collect rent payments.
- Whatever payment type you choose, outline expectations concerning payments in your lease.
Keep in mind; you can also leave rent collection in the capable hands of a property management company in Washington DC. Modern property management companies have professional software that automates rent collection, among a myriad of other tasks that can bog down landlords. Security and privacy concerning digital data transfer are also relevant to millennials, and working with a property management company ensures that security—whether it surrounds payment of rent or the application process.
2. Modernize Your Rental
Older homes need to be touched up with modern amenities to impress millennials: this will make their quirks charming rather than a deal-breaker.
- Go for bold colors or keep your space fresh with neutrals, but have an interesting accent wall.
- Pay attention to the fittings and fixtures! Replacing old hardware can give your Washington DC rental home a serious facelift.
- Refresh cabinets and closets with a fresh coat of paint—and consider your appliances and front door, too.
- If paint can’t fix it, trade out old models of appliances and upgrade to modern ones that are timeless and functional. This is a serious upgrade, but if it’s been almost a decade, it’s probably time to swap out for a new set.
- Enhancing or upgrading your light fixtures can also make a noticeable difference, both inside and out—and it doesn’t have to break the bank.
Other changes to consider making are crafting an open-style living room and kitchen by removing a wall or, even easier, add barn doors to change the feel of a room completely. These are costly undertakings, but they can be done over time. Upgrades are an investment that will definitely pay off in higher rent and tenants who stay long term.
One such example is to offer a washer and dryer in-unit. Millennials as tenants expect their rentals to come standard with large appliances, given that they are putting off purchasing a home of their own. An efficient washer and dryer is a big selling point, especially for those that have families.
Keep in mind that a property management company in Washington DC can always advise you on the best upgrades for your rental home: they’re experts in what tenants are currently seeking in a rental across the D.C. area.
3. Pets Are a Plus
Millennials are known for their love of pets: over 70% of millennials have one! Catch their attention and attract them as renters by prominently displaying the fact that pets are welcome. Being open to pets and having a policy that addresses this upfront in your lease will appeal to millennial renters, even if they have to pay a little more in pet rent.
4. Go “Green”
This is also the generation that made caring about the environment “trendy.” Millennials are big spenders when it comes to conservation through dollar power. Win them over as renters by installing solar panels, low-flow toilets that use less water, and using eco-friendly paint.
If your property has a garden space or lawn, consider installing a water recycler that uses greywater to water the lawns and gardens. These measures are a triple win in that they protect the environment and save both tenants and property owners a good amount of money in the long-term.
Feeling Tense About What Tenants Want? Bring in the Experts
One of the biggest advantages of rental income is that it is meant to be passive. However, when you’re a new landlord, managing your Washington DC rental home can feel anything but!
When you bring in an expert property management company in Washington DC to manage your local rental, you get a wealth of experience and support. As the experts in property management, Renters Warehouse DC/NOVA has your back. We have decades of experience managing rental properties and helping landlords like you find their freedom through Rent Estate™! Get in touch with the property management experts at Renters Warehouse DC/NOVA today, and let us put our skills to work for you!