How to (actually) market your property to millennials


By: Sam Radbil

If your apartment or property is located near a university or college, or in a trendy area of town, you know that you have to market to the millennial generation to be successful. These people are the lifeblood of your business.

Every year, a new group of millennials enters the market to find a new place to live. These aren't your typical home buyers; these are renters by choice looking to spend their money on a new place to live. But what do they want? And how do you find out?

Related: 5 content tactics to ignite brand engagement with millennials

Marketing to millennials is an art, but it's also a science. Literally. There are a number of important factors when it comes to connecting with millennials, and it all starts with the message.

Whether you're marketing an apartment in Minneapolis or a new luxury building in Manhattan, getting millennials in the door is a huge driving force for business.

Speak their language

Millennials take offense to bad marketing and to knowing they're being marketed to. They want to be a part of the conversation, and they want their feedback heard loud and clear. In order to have that conversation, you must understand their language.

Figure out what drives happiness for millennial renters. What's important to this group? Is it happiness, work-life balance, close proximity to lifestyle experiences, a diverse neighborhood? Maybe it's all of the above, but either way, you need to find out what makes them happy.

Image by Caleb Minear on Unsplash

To do so, monitor social media channels or local restaurants and bars. Find out if they're reaching this generation, and if they have marketing strategies and tactics targeted to millennials only. Don't hesitate to reach out and create focus groups. This can be a hugely impactful way to learn the language, learn what makes them tick, and to learn how they'll be most receptive to marketing.

Get in the mind of a millennial and let it drive your marketing strategy for your apartment or property.

Establish (real) reviews

It's not all about positivity. When it comes to review websites, sometimes it's important to embrace the negativity. Studies have shown that negative reviews can be a good thing for businesses, even if most people say you should only post the positive ones. Negative reviews can be just as useful; they can help you learn more about what your current tenants want and need from you as a company.

Negative reviews can also humanize a brand. We all know that people (and businesses) make mistakes. Why should you hide it? Get out in front of those bad reviews, respond with respect and maybe a little humor, and learn from it. Those negative reviews will help build trust. When a company has 99 positive reviews and zero negative, most people will wonder about their legitimacy. It's impossible to be perfect, and the millennial generation knows when something doesn't feel right. Use those negative reviews to engage with customers and future tenants, and let them know that you have flaws but are willing to go the extra mile for your customers to make it right.

Free stuff always helps

Image by Frankie Cordoba on Unsplash

Have a party. Give away a month of rent. Partner with local bars and restaurants to give gift cards to new residents or applicants. Establish your reputation in millennials' favorite parts of town, and you'll be well on your way to becoming a favorite. If you can find a way to benefit your tenants and new residents while building relationships with businesses nearby, that's a win-win for everyone. Monthly giveaways can also draw new residents into the building while helping to retain your current tenants.

Make technology work for you

Online leasing. Business centers with Apple TVs. Electronic apartment keys. Docking stations. Charging pods. Wireless networks. All of these technology upgrades exist, so they should be present in your building, if possible.

But, it doesn't stop at the installation. You must let millennials know that these amenities exist. Showcase your technology innovation and upgrades on your social media accounts—Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest—because if it exists, millennials will find it on social media. And this can be a huge driver of new business and new tenants. Technology isn't going anywhere, and millennials want the newest innovations available. If you have it, then let them know!

When it comes to showing off these amenities, make sure you showcase these on your website in the quality they deserve. So, how can you do that? Well, one great way is Matterport technology. Companies like ABODO Apartments are using Matterport 3D Showcases to show off apartment features in an innovative manner. Matterport technology allows prospects (especially millennials) an opportunity to get a feel for what the space is actually like when you're inside. This technology is great for property managers who position themselves as tech-savvy and innovative. This technique can put you out in front of all of your competition, when it comes to reaching the millennial generation.

As for social media, you can easily put together a set of images to share with a tool like Lucidpress. Use social media templates to make sure your content is perfectly sized for each platform. The image that works well on Instagram won't look right on Twitter, and vice versa. Show off your social savvy by creating unique images for each social media site. With templates, it's a quick and easy process. You'll have a full social media campaign in minutes.

Real estate social media template

Key takeaway

Overall, keep in mind that millennials just want to be heard. They want to have a voice and they want to be listened to. If you can speak their language, and provide the technology, amenities and freebies they're interested in, millennials will be flocking to your property in no time.

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Sam Radbil

Sam Radbil writes for ABODO (not to be confused with the delicious chicken seasoning, adobo), an online apartment marketplace. We started ABODO because apartment hunting sucked where we lived. We thought there had to be a better way, so we built it.

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