What Baby Boomer Renters Actually Want That You Need to Know

Posted by Pearson Brock on February 22, 2019

A Freddie Mac survey reports that one of the largest growing multifamily residential trends will have apartment property managers rethinking their target audience. According to the survey, five million Baby Boomers — people born before 1961 — in the U.S. plan to rent their next home by 2020.

Logic dictates that Millennials would be the target market for apartments. However, in reviewing data from the U.S. Census, RentCafé has found that isn't the case. Between 2009 and 2015, the number of renters aged 55 or older increased by a whopping 28 percent. Millennials, on the other hand, have only increased by 3 percent. Two things you need to know about boomers who want to rent their next home: They tend to hold a bachelor's degree or higher and have an empty nest.

So what factors do Baby Boomers look for in an apartment? Here are the top six factors based on multifamily residential trends for the 55+ group.

1. Affordability

To find affordable rent, Baby Boomers may opt for suburbs with the same amenities found in the city for a fraction of the cost. They prefer larger units with more storage than the younger generations do.

2. Hands-Free Living

Boomers want to trade their home for low-maintenance lifestyle living. They’d rather rent than maintain homeownership with its high-maintenance aspect. They prefer not to take care of lawns or keep the property in working order.

3. Walkable Community

Like the Millennials, boomers want the convenience of restaurants, coffee shops, and stores within walking distance. An AARP survey reveals other important factors for walkability include community-safe parks, and well-maintained streets and sidewalks. They also want to live near healthcare facilities and hospitals.

4. Onsite Programming

With more time on their hands since most are retired and may work or volunteer part-time, boomers like multifamily residential buildings with onsite programming. Consider adding offerings such as cooking classes, exercise classes, games, and happy hours.

5. Technology

National Real Estate Investor affirms that the top item on renters' lists of all ages is technology. Renters want a fast Internet connection and Wi-Fi that is always available. They also like apartment buildings with a private online community. This amenity allows them to meet other residents, talk about goings-on, and get advice about their community.

Take advantage of technology platforms that residents already use by incorporating them into the property. For example, residents may use or provide services like Lyft and Uber. Property managers who integrate these tools enhance their level of service. The key is to pick the tools that matter to residents rather than jump into the newest thing that comes along.

6. High-Tech Security Systems

National Apartment Association reports that Baby Boomers and Gen Xers prefer apartments with video monitoring and security systems. These technologies double up as a safety measure because they can spot potential safety hazards for residents who use walkers, wheelchairs, or canes. For an even more enhanced experience, Stealth offers Remote Concierge (RC), giving your residents instant service 100% of the time. The system uses IP surveillance cameras and proprietary software, as well as one-and two-way audio, to instantly interact with residents through phones or intercoms and provide the same service as on-site personnel at a fraction of the price.

Tenants are constantly looking for greater measures of security for themselves and friends/family. Having peace of mind in knowing the entire property is monitored rather than one single area (by a security guard) provides the multi-family residential complex, as well as its tenants, with a greater sense of security and a higher probability they will accept rent increases over time.

Security systems like remote video surveillance for apartments cost less than security guards. Wondering how security guards stack up against live video monitoring? Download Security Guards white paper free.

For more information about how our proactive security solutions can help protect your multifamily residential property, contact us here.

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