How Millennials Search for Apartments

By Lorena Roberts on October 30, 2017

Many of the people I know looking for apartments are college students (or just out of college students). Young professionals and upperclassmen at local universities are typically trying their best to get out on their own.

Living in a dorm is part of the college experience, but I doubt you’ll find a senior in college who really wants to keep living with freshmen. Searching for an apartment is a ridiculous hassle. I’ve done it twice now — and both times I just wanted to roll over, call my mom, and ask to move back in.

Okay, not really. But it was a total pain.

Millennials are searching for apartments differently than people did 20 years ago. If you’re trying to tap into this market, here are some tips to get you more business.

1. Word of mouth

If people are constantly raving about how great it is to live at the such-and-such apartment complex, millennials are going to start looking into it! I remember searching for an apartment and specifically visiting the places I had heard people talking about. There’s something to be said about the safety of the place if other people my age live there.

Whether it’s great parties, fast Wi-Fi, or a wicked awesome hot tub, advertising through word of mouth is an easy way to get millennials interested in your property.

My old apartment complex would offer a discount on rent to those who recommended the complex to their friends. It was awesome motivation to tell my friends to take a visit!

2. Online visibility

If your website is subpar, millennials aren’t going to spend much time considering living at your place. Include up-to-date photos, all the information they’ll need, and a place to send a message to the management. Millennials are all about convenience. If it takes driving to the property to see what it really looks like — I doubt they’ll give it a second thought.

One of the best ways to have a good online reputation is to use a visual search function. This is becoming more and more popular with universities recruiting freshmen. It’s the best way to give people a sense of the environment without requiring them to get off their butt.

3. Endorsements

The more endorsements you can get from those who matter, the more likely it is for millennials to seek your property out. For example, if your office managers are also millennials and can tap into their organizations on campus, you’ll be able to achieve word of mouth advertising (point #1) much easier. See point #6 for more info.

4. Convenience

Millennials are looking for anything to save them time. They’re looking for an apartment that’s close to where they want to be. But not necessarily in the middle of downtown. Pointing out all the conveniences nearby will serve you well when trying to bring people to the property.

5. Promotional events

Saving money is important to millennials. We’re coming out of undergrad with some wicked high debt. It’s important to us to save money where we can. Waive the application fee, give out free pizza, or show up at local university events and I guarantee you’ll get yourself some business.

6. Staff who understand

If your property is geared primarily towards millennials, your staff should be able to relate. Having residents also work in the office is one of the best assets for an apartment complex. Employees who are willing to listen, understand, and help will be very attractive to a millennial who is searching for a new crib.

7. Community reputation

If your complex is constantly being talked about as “unsafe” or “party central,” you’re unlikely to attract millennials who will take care of the property. As soon as you get the reputation for the complex with the most out of hand parties, your residents will become out-of-hand people. Those aren’t the residents you want, I’m guessing.

The last apartment I lived in hired a security officer who patrolled the property at night. This became a very attractive quality of the property.

Millennials pay attention to the news (though some claim they don’t) and they’ll know when an apartment is constantly making headlines. We want to have a good time, but the majority of us also want to live in a safe, comfortable environment.

8. Amenities

Millennials are searching for places to live that offer the most “bang” for their “buck.” A nice swimming pool, free printing, free Starbucks coffee, pizza parties, etc. are all enticing to the millennials who are looking for a new place to live. If you’re trying to recruit millennials to your rental properties, offer them what no one else does — and more!

By Lorena Roberts

Uloop Writer
University of Tennessee - Knoxville
Student at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Go Vols!), part-time preschool teacher, part-time musician, part-time trying to get my life together. I'm studying psychology, while aspiring to become the greatest School Psychologist and Education Reformist in the Nation. You can usually find me sitting in a coffee shop, holding my favorite warm drink, and scrolling feeds of various websites.

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