Why Generation Y Is Your Best Friend

generation Y renters

Image by Jos Dielis via Flickr

About 70 million adults fall into the demographic group born between 1980 and 1999 – otherwise known as Generation Y. While their spending habits have been impacted by the economic downturn and gloomy job market, a large percentage of them are renters. As they work their first jobs and pay off college loans, buying a property isn’t in the picture – yet. The Gen Y renters of today are the homeowners of tomorrow, however, so here’s why courting Generation Y is worth your time and is probably going to pay off in a few years:

Almost half plan to purchase a home in the next five years. In a report by Western Union Payments Money Mindset Index, which tracks the real estate and mortgage markets, about 47 percent of these young adults want to purchase homes in the next 5 years, and 10 percent plan to buy in the next year. While they work up to homebuying, they’ll be renters in the meantime. Courting business from the Gen Y group while they’re renting means referrals and returning customers when they decide to buy.

They’re all about instant gratification. Generation Y grew up with computers and embrace the latest technology. They’re accessing information on-the-go with their smartphones and navigate the web fluently to find what they need. Interact with Gen Y using your rental business’s mobile website, Twitter, and Facebook accounts, and monitor your reputation on review sites like Yelp. Chances are, Millennials will be doing their research before they decide to see a property or work with you.

They’re willing to pay more for lifestyle and walkability. Even if you’re not using lifestyle marketing to advertise your listings, Gen Y renters have probably done their research elsewhere. Properties that rank high in convenience, use ‘green’ technology, or fit with their lifestyle will influence their renting decisions. They’re not making much money yet, and urban areas mean not having the extra car expense, which is extremely appealing: 88 percent of Millennials want to live in urban areas.

They’re not tied down. Similar to how this generation is less likely to stay at a job for their entire working career, they’re also very flexible about where they plan to live. “Long term” to this group may mean 5 years or less – which means they’ll be lots of relocating and don’t feel the need to be tied down. What this means: more business for you.