Marketing to Millennials


I recently saw this article on my Multifamily Insiders blog on LinkedIn, and while it was broadly written for the multifamily housing market, I believe it has an extreme amount of relevance to campus student housing as well.

For instance – how many campuses have their Housing web page optimized for use by their residents with cell phones? This could be helpful both in the realm of learning more about what  housing options are offered for a potential new freshmen as well as turning in a work order for an existing housing resident.

Also, how many Housing Departments allow and even encourage the posting of reviews and comments from their residents? These “reviews” are out there in some form of social media anyway, whether formal or informal, so isn’t it better to “embrace” them as the article mentions so that the feedback can be received (good or bad…)? This allows the message back from Housing to be intentional.

It is truly a whole new world out there when it comes to what services we offer, how we listen, and how we respond as a profession.

Three Ways to Market to Millennials  Feb 18 Posted by Faith Hinz in Apartment Marketing

There’s been a lot of buzz in the last few years about the coming of age of Millennials – people born in the 1980s and 1990s.  This group, also referred to as Generation Y, grew up in the age of technology.  In fact, many probably don’t remember what life was like without computers, the internet and mobile phones.  They shop differently than previous generations, and because of this, marketers must approach them differently. 

Why is this demographic especially important to multifamily professionals? Well, as Millennials enter the workforce and move out of their parents’ homes, the majority of them are choosing to rent rather than buy.  A study from the Urban Land Institute found that only 40% of the Millennial generation owned their residence in 2013, compare to 66% of all respondents.  And it doesn’t look like many of these current renters are interested in buying a home in the near future.  Of the Millennials who said they would likely move in the next five years, 69% expect to rent.


Looking for ways to successfully market to this growing group of Millennial renters? Read on for three ways to better reach this demographic.

#1: Optimize for mobile

Millennials are turning to smartphones and tablets to stay connected while on the go.  According to eMarketer, 92% of Millennials used a mobile phone in 2012, and 63% used those phones to surf the mobile web.  For that reason, multifamily professionals must ensure their websites are optimized for mobile viewing.  If visitors have trouble viewing your site on their smartphones or tablets, they’re likely to get frustrated and leave. In fact, according to Google, 61% of people said they’d quickly move onto another site if they didn’t find what they are looking for right away on a mobile site.  The same goes for email marketing. If your recipients can’t easily view your emails on their mobile devices, those emails will quickly be deleted.

#2: Engage on social media

Not surprisingly, eMarketer found that Millennials have the highest social networking penetration of any generation.  This digital-savvy group is turning to social media for a variety of reasons – and one of these reasons is to do research before making a purchase.  According to a study from Bazaarvoice and the Center for Generational Kinetics, Millennials are three times as likely as Baby Boomers to turn to social media to get opinions on products prior to a purchase.  In order to effectively reach Millennials, then, it’s key to have a presence on popular social media channels and actively engage with renters and potential renters via these channels.

#3: Embrace reviews

A growing number of consumers of all ages are turning to the internet to research products prior to making a purchase.  This is especially true for Millennials, many of whom are unlikely to make a major purchase without getting the opinion of others.  And these “others” aren’t just family and friends – often they are complete strangers!  In fact, 51% of Millennials are more influenced by recommendations from strangers than recommendations from family and friends and 64% feel that companies should offer more ways for them to share their opinions online.

Tell us, what is your community doing to appeal to the growing number of Millennial renters?