From connectivity to wellness, these are some of the factors that draw in millennial renters to multifamily developments
By MELISSA BARTOLUCCI DELGADO
Millennial tenants are leading the way with demand for more unique, community-building offerings and amenities. To create spaces that residents love, multifamily investors, developers, and builders must keep their finger on the pulse of the younger demographics’ demands for their living environment.
These are some of the key components of catering to the Millennial demographic:
1. Creative amenities: Multifamily developers should consider options that provide greater opportunities to build a community for residents in addition to the standard amenities found at any luxury community.
We are incorporating unique amenity spaces such as karaoke rooms and speakeasies into our communities, which are highly in-demand atmospheres that residents typically seek. These common spaces provide excellent venues for resident events as well as for private gatherings, and they help boost overall attendance and engagement.
2. Co-working spaces: The need for flexible co-working spaces has become more prevalent with remote work and the “gig” economy. From private conference rooms to dual-purpose co-working spaces, it is important to offer a multitude of options to accommodate the new ways people are working.
At an upcoming multifamily development in Culver City, California, Cityview is incorporating a retrofitted, partially open-air Airstream RV into the design of the rooftop deck. It will serve as a co-working space during the day and a social gathering place at night, meeting the need for both creative amenities and unique coworking options.
3. Connectivity: Wi-Fi integration and enhanced connectivity are important aspects of providing the type of tech-enabled environment Millennials require. Whether it is a Skype business meeting, Netflix by the pool, virtual work-out class, or food delivery, residents require fast Wi-Fi in all areas of their communities.
4. Submarket research: Millennials as a demographic share a host of commonalities, but all are not created alike. Cityview conducts focus groups and utilizes market research and branding firms to delve deep into the qualitative needs of the specific neighborhoods we are developing in.
At our mixed-use project, The Pearl, in Los Angeles’ Koreatown, smaller studios and one-bedrooms ranging from 350 to 600 square feet were in high demand. Renters in this sub- market often wanted to live alone and were comfortable with sacrificing square footage for more robust amenities, and the opportunity to live by themselves.
In contrast, at our 240-unit Baker Block project in Costa Mesa, Calif., Millennials sought two bedrooms and more square footage to accommodate space for a roommate.
We built each community to meet these unique needs, improving lease-up and tenant satisfaction.
5. Full-size appliances: While Millennials in some areas may be seeking downsized apartments, that does not mean they are comfortable with downsized unit features. We have seen that in-unit, full-sized refrigerators, washer/dryers, dishwashers, and other appliances are a must for younger renters living in luxury communities.
6. Urban environment: In our research, we have seen that Millennials prefer to live in urban areas located near transit and education centers. We keep walkability scores, a key selling point, in mind when selecting sites for development. Urban areas also tend to be conducive to high-growth employment opportunities, as well as vibrant culture and nightlife.
7. Wellness: Health and wellbeing are more important than ever for Millennials. Simply having a fitness center is not enough anymore. HIIT classes, dog yoga, and mommy and me workout classes are just a few examples of fitness offerings at our communities.
It is important to also include tranquil spaces for relaxation such as Zen gardens and hammocks. Green building materials and good air quality are other components that must be established during the building process.
Shared bikes, readily available transit maps, and other amenities to help residents traverse the surrounding communities help foster over- all resident wellness.
8. Resident events and services: Community events and services are the top drivers of resident retention, but they cannot be one-size-fits-all. Millennials in family-focused communities respond well to social events that incorporate children, while other demographics prefer karaoke competitions or rooftop yoga.
Regardless of what they are, well-executed events and services that are catered to your target market help build community for residents and makes their living environment feel like home.
These factors are key to unlocking what Millennials want in a multifamily community and will ensure that investors, developers, and residents alike get the most value out of a new development.
Melissa Bartolucci Delgado is Vice President of Asset Management at Cityview, a Los Angeles-based multifamily investment management and development firm dedicated to redefining urban living. Learn more at cityview.com.