Millenials & Generation Z are bringing a wave of change to our lives.  From how they earn their money, to the places they work, to where they lay their heads at night.  As landlords we have to be ready for the massive shift our industry will be seeing in the next 7 years. 

They Want To Be Mobile

They want to be want to be mobile.  They don’t want to be tied to a mortgage, or even a year long lease in most cases.  It is the still accepted in the millennial community that the initial term of a standard lease is 1 year.  However the days of being able to leverage a year long renewal are fading. After the initial term (if they haven’t decided to move yet) M’s want the option to move freely with limited notice.  It’s not necessarily because they are indecisive or fly by the seat of the pants. They want to enjoy the opportunities and freedoms other generations only dreamed of or thought were absurd.

They Are Increasingly Self-Employed.

M’s & Z’s will have the highest percentage of self-employed under the age of 40 that has even been seen. Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat and the likes have created a billion dollar industry of potential income for those willing to push and make the effort (these people are called creators). In high population markets its not unrealistic to receive an application where the employment is listed as “Youtuber” .   It’s also common for creators to have their creation content as a income source in conjunction with a low stress flexible job like store clerk or wait staff. It doesn’t mean they aren’t stable or responsible or trustworthy. In fact what better way to handle your finances they find an income source you control and supplement it with a w-2 job just in case. They seems highly responsible if you think about it in those terms.   

Less Stuff.

These generations value experiences over items. They scrimp and save for experiences rather than making retail purchases  They’d rather drop money on food or live entertainment than a 6th pair of Nikes. They also do not create large emotional attachment to items that we saw in the Baby Boomers and Generation X.  Items are items. Their memories come from senses and their mind not the items. Packing their apartments doesn’t take an army. Usually just 30 boxes, a small uhaul, 2 friends, and 3 pizzas.

Internet is King. Convenience is Queen.

If it can be done on the internet, they will do it.  If they can’t, they very likely won’t. This isn’t to say they are going to become hermits.  If they can’t pay their bill online, you don’t exist. If they can’t schedule a viewing online, they will find a landlord who offers that.  If you’re listing says to call, they won’t. Why are they like this? Convenience. They don’t want to waste time playing phone tag, mailing a payment, or driving somewhere to get something.  They know time is a finite resource and don’t want waste it on certain things.

In the next blog we’ll take a look at specifically what changes the industry can expect as a result of the new generations. Changes are coming. Are you prepared?

Categories: Long Term Rentals