Apartment managers, owners should learn Generation Y renter priorities

Developers, investors and rental property management firms may need to make adjustments in order to cater to the large population of Generation Y renters.

Almost 80 million of these Americans are due to enter the market soon, and the new demographic has different priorities from their predecessors, experts said during a recent webinar. The National Association of Home Builders sponsored the recent event. They generally place the highest value on a unit's location, the experts said, preferring housing that is within easy walking, biking or community distance.

Access to both job opportunities and recreation is their main concern. These tenants also consider fitness important, so appropriate facilities may be a major draw. Beyond that, their preferences for amenities can vary. A desire to spend time outdoors means that fire pits and similar fixtures are growing in popularity.

Generation Y renters are coming to expect sustainability, according to the professionals. Because it is seen as a necessity, they are not generally willing to pay more for it, despite seeing it as important. As the sector moves forward, increasing development activity will make creatively meeting these renters' desires important to business success. Incorporating technology such as social media into marketing and possibly other aspects may also appeal to them.