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Talk to Your Residents, You May Love Them (PropTea Podcast Ep. #3)

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Fostering a great relationship with your residents is vital to a thriving property management business with high rates of renewed leases. On the latest episode of the PropTea Podcast, our host Erica Patterson breaks down the four types of residents you’ll encounter as a property manager – by generation and personality type –  and the best ways to connect with them for better relationships. The foundation of a great relationship starts with an understanding of who your resident is. In this context, taking a look at the generation they come from can provide great insights into what they value and prioritize when it comes to real estate. 

Baby Boomers in the Rental Market

Erica: “…between ages 68 to 76…this group takes up about, I would say, 10% of the renter demographic. Some general characteristics that they have are: they’re approaching retirement, they make big financial decisions, and a lot of their significant decisions are whether or not to maintain a large home or to sell their home and get something smaller. Another viable option for them is simply to just become renters, which is entirely plausible if there aren’t enough retirement savings available for them to upkeep their own home.

Their priorities are usually living in apartments, condos, small houses, or urban areas near medical care. They prefer predictable expenses each month, amenities in the property so they don’t have to go too far for facilities, and the option of shorter leases that provide the ability to move on a whim.”

Qualities of the Gen X Renter

Erica: “…about 42 to 57, this group takes up approximately 28% of the renter demographic. They are working to build back their credit and savings, but have significant mistrust in the economy and the security of property investment…They are part of a group that has seen more demand in the rental market, which has led to higher rents and has made it harder for them to save for a down payment.

Generally, when it comes to looking for a new rental home, Gen X turns to the Internet and landlords. According to Zillow, they rely most on online tools and direct landlords or owner contracts. Additionally, 2 out of 5 Gen X renters pay attention to a yard or open house signs.

Some of their priorities include living near top-rated schools, having easy commutes to those schools and their jobs, and having properties with usable backyards. In their apartments, they prioritize space in the form of having three to four bedrooms, a basement, a loft, or a bonus room.”

What Millennial Renters Look For

Erica: “Ages 27 to 41, you’ll likely come into contact with this group the most because they take up about 56% of the renter demographic. Millennial renters are the generation most likely to use online resources, likely preferring mobile access over the desktop. Millennials also generally prefer renting to homeownership for a few reasons: management handles repairs and maintenance, there’s no long-term commitment to the unit or location, renting is more affordable, their credit isn’t good enough to buy, roommates can help pay rent, appealing amenities such as a pool, a gym, or social spaces, and they enjoy socializing in their building and apartment complexes. 

They prioritize living in energy-efficient homes with smart home technology and personalized outdoor space in the form of a balcony or small yard. This group loves renovating spaces but has an appreciation for space that has character. They also prefer spaces in the form of open living areas or kitchens with an island. As someone with a kitchen island, I completely second this.”

How to Cater to Gen Z Renters

Erica: “Aged between 12 and 26, you may or may not have come in contact with the group much, as they take up about 6% of the renter demographic, but this will surely grow and it’s beneficial to learn about them early. 

As of 2023 most of Gen Z are recently out of college and looking to secure their first rentals, often with roommates. Gen Z will look to the Internet to join the rental search process along with…word of mouth, good or bad. The most defining and unwavering quality of the bunch is their technology fluency.

They like to prioritize flexibility and lease length, affordability, and rent prices, and will often live with roommates to achieve this. The privacy and mobility of renting will likely mean that Gen Z, like their millennial counterparts, will prefer renting to owning and put off families until later in life.”

Now that you have a better idea of the four types of residents you’ll encounter as a property manager, it’s time to talk about the ways to nurture your relationships with them to increase retention at your property. Listen to the full episode above for this discussion, and be sure to stay tuned every month for the ultimate lowdown on all the latest trends happening now in the real estate industry – from industry leader advice to wellness tips for better work/life balance!

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