Generation Y currently accounts for about one fourth of the nations population and this generation consists of those individuals, including myself, that are between the ages of 16 to 33.  In addition to making up a large portion of the nations population, Generation Y is also the fastest growing demographic in the work force.  Therefore, Generation Y is a very important generation to be catered to when it comes to apartment living, because they are on the up and up and desire very specific attributes in their lifestyles.

Technology.  Generation Y is always looking to have access to bandwidth and technology.  This is a generation that has become completely reliant upon cell phones and needs to have ease of access to their phones, as well as Internet connection, at all times.  Cell phone signal is a make or break deal with Generation Y, so if you are an apartment owner, or developer, this has got to be factored into the planning if you wish to have any leverage with Generation Y renters.  NAA conducted a survey in that 64% of those Generation Y members polled said they would relocate if the Internet connection speeds were too slow at their current apartment community.  64%!  Many individuals in this generation even rely upon the Internet for television now, as opposed to going with a local cable provider, so a slow Internet connection is a very big deal in this regard.  With cable alternatives, such as Hulu and Netflix that allow a user to watch their favorite shows and movies for free, or for a lower premium than local television, an Internet connection has to be top speed for quicker download times.  Generation Y prospects will absolutely not only look for Internet that is high speed, but also for Internet that is included as apart of the rental amount.  This is a small price for an owner or developer to account for, but is almost a definite must if one is wishing to appeal to Generation Y renters.

Connectedness.  Generation Y wants to be connected.  Saying that a generation desires to be connected encompasses a realm of different aspects of life.  Generation Y is going to be connected via means of social media as this is the generation that Facebook was designed for.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that Generation Y residents require their apartment communities to have Facebook Pages, but it does mean that if there is a page, residents in this generation will absolutely use it as a forum for both accolades and more times than not, complaints.  Therefore, a community Facebook Page must be monitored and engaged by onsite staff as these are the individuals that will be able to interact with the residents on a first person basis.  In addition, this is a generation that prefers online communication in all facets in not only social connections, but also in online rent payments, online leasing, etc.  These renters don’t want to be bombarded with reminders on their doors, or letters from management in their mailboxes.  If you wish to communicate with Generation Y renters, send them an email.  Generation Y is a technologically savvy group of individuals and are not too keen on the idea of changing this style of life.

Location.  Generation Y wants to live where everything is within a reasonable distance and this doesn’t necessarily mean that all Gen Y’s want to live in an urban environment.  As long as an apartment home is close to venues of entertainment, shopping, parks, etc., Generation Y renters are going to be attracted as they ultimately want to be where other people are.  The apartment community location is going to be a huge appeal to Generation Y renters and I personally can attest to this detail as well.  My community is located near grocery stores, restaurants, nightlife, shopping and interstate access, but another important detail is that my home is close to my office.  The fact that my home is near places I visit most on a daily basis is more important than any bell and whistle amenity my community could have. 

These are just a few of the things that Generation Y renters are looking for, but are very important to take into account if the majority of your potential prospects are included in this group of individuals.  Ultimately this demographic has the desire to be connected, wants to live in a convenient location and will be heavily influenced by word of mouth.  With this being said it is each community’s responsibility to cater to your clientele, because your occupancy numbers depend upon it.