Here at Gulf Coast Property Management, we're eagerly awaiting the results of the 2020 Census to get a better understanding of how our community has changed over the last ten years in Manatee and Sarasota Counties—and to better serve property owners with our marketing efforts! However, until we have this data to paint a clearer picture, it's worth noting that as recently as 2018, the rental market in our area was still expected to be dominated by renters aged 35 years or under.
While the Gulf Coast certainly holds an appeal for Baby Boomers and retirees, they do not represent a large percentage of our renters here in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Folks in these age groups are more likely to own their homes, which means that understanding who your rental property will appeal to the most is more crucial than ever if you want to successfully rent your rental home.
There are some unique (and distinct) differences between millennial renters and the new kids on the block (Generation Z). However, a significant overlap between what millennial renters and Generation Z expect out of their homes will make it easier for you to appeal to both of the age groups that dominate your largest percentage of renters along the Gulf Coast.
As millennial earning power increases (but with many homes still out of reach), and more of Generation Z starts entering the market, you can expect that this combined bloc of tech-savvy renters will only continue to represent the majority of renters. Consider the following tips from your rental experts at Gulf Coast Property Management to appeal to this powerful bloc of renters!
Everything About Your Rental Needs to Be Easy—and Online
While there are some jokes about how Generation Z has probably never seen a checkbook, both millennials and their younger counterparts are quite familiar with balancing their budget via checks. Still, they also acknowledge that in most cases, it's simply more work than they should have to put in when digital methods have trumped the analog. This isn't an expectation that boils down to laziness: it's a matter of convenience, security, and great recordkeeping.
- Before you ever have a millennial or Generation Z renter call your property 'home,' you need to ensure that you catch their attention with the right online property listing. The majority of your renters will find you this way.
- This generation needs to be able to see themselves in your investment home, so leave out extensive personal details (like family photographs) and opt for a cute succulent here and there with only a touch of modern decor.
- Describing how close your property is to cultural hotspots, shopping, dining, and transportation will appeal to both of these age groups—so will making your rental pet-friendly.
Beyond your listing, the ease of online payment platforms and easy-to-access receipts has made it clear that the modern renter prefers this method. However, this is not the only arena where your renters will expect you to offer online options as an integrated component of the rental experience! Your renters should also be able to request maintenance services easily online without needing to make a call.
Both of these generations value convenience and politeness in their interactions, and taking these kinds of things online—or at least to an email or text—is an extension of that. If the convenience of an online platform for everything from paying rent to making maintenance requests is not available to you as a landlord, consider partnering with property management!
Professional Gulf Coast property management should always offer the property owners they serve access to these types of benefits as an extension of their services. If you're receiving anything less from your property management partner, you're missing out on what an expert can actually provide!
Offer the Updates and Amenities Younger Renters Want
Beyond managing rental payments and maintenance for you, your property manager is also a useful guide when it comes to making the kind of updates and enhancements to your property that appeal to younger renters.
Simple and affordable perks like USB-ready wall outlets in high-traffic areas are a serious 'selling point' for your rental home. This tells your renters that you understand how important their access to technology is to everyday life—and it also reduces disputes over who gets to charge their tablet first. Smart thermostats are a bit more of a spend, but they provide an immediate boost to the luxury of your rental while ultimately enhancing convenience.
One aspect of a Gulf Coast rental home that many property owners fail to consider when appealing to millennials and Generation Z renters is the advantage of providing an outdoor space. Both age groups find appeal in having a shaded and decorated patio with room to entertain or relax.
If your rental happens to be part of a community that offers these amenities—among others—get creative with your property listing and be sure to highlight them! Generation Z, in particular, is known for putting down roots, and they'll find it easier to see themselves in your rental home if you have an outdoor space worth hosting a backyard barbeque. Isolation caused by COVID-19 has made the appeal of small, intimate gatherings even more important.
Pet-Friendly Properties Appeal to These Age Groups
We noted this before, briefly, in the above section—but it deserves its own mention purely because of how prevalent pet ownership is among millennials and Generation Z. When you don't allow even the most 'mainstream' pets (think dogs and cats), you're effectively killing interest in your rental for the vast majority of your renters.
Pet ownership is no longer the deviation from the norm for the majority of American families: it is the norm! However, we understand why many property owners might be hesitant to allow pets into their rental properties. Still, if you want to capture the attention of the two largest age groups, this is one of the best ways to do so. Renters with pets are often hesitant to move once they've settled into a home, meaning you've secured long-term renters as well.
If you need additional insight on how to navigate the prospect of a pet-friendly rental property—or just tips on appealing to these age groups in general—don't hesitate to reach out to the experts at Gulf Coast Property Management! We've been serving property owners in the Sarasota and Manatee area since 2003, so we're well aware of how to keep your properties profitable across all generations.