The Changing American Dream

Homeownership, once a measurement of success, has become an albatross, trapping people in homes when the economy requires more mobility. Jobs no longer last for decades and the next best career move might be across the city or the country.

“Locking into a mortgage can feel like a trap for this mobile generation.”

Millennials have become used to a life where things change and change rapidly. They grew up with cell phones in their hands and information at their fingertips. They are used to instant information and quick gratification. It’s no wonder that they live their lives ready for the next change. If something doesn’t work for them, be it their job, their housing, or their environment, they don’t hesitate to bail. Locking into a mortgage can feel like a trap for this mobile generation. 74% of millennials rent, which is up, on average, by 10% from other generations at the same age.

Millennials grew up watching their parents’ American dream start to slip. The housing crash shattered the dream of homeownership. Rising college tuition stuck many millennials with high debt loads at a time when an economic downturn made the dream job just that, a dream. Even as the economy has improved, fears about social security and the lack of job security have fueled a drive to save for retirement.

How do owners capitalize on this booming rental market? Millennials want, and they want big! They want things cheap, they want things easy and they want things now! Millennials are spending about $600 billion annually, but instead of housing and possessions, they use their expendable income on services and that all important retirement fund.

Because millennials are so savvy, they will not stay in rental homes that provide poor experiences. Responsive landlords, timely repairs and access to services will keep these tenants in place as long as their jobs and lifestyles allow. Sharing information about their experiences will attract or repel other millennials, as this generation does not hesitate to critique the services they receive or check reviews before they sign a contract.

“Millennials want happiness. They want experiences.”

Millennials want happiness. They want experiences. Urban lifestyles with short commutes or alternative transportation options are a big draw. Likewise, amenities. Millennials want access to parks, good restaurants, a work-out room, a laundry room. Good internet service and tech-savvy homes are a big draw.

To capitalize on this booming generation, be a responsive landlord, provide great services, and have an easily accessible and exciting marketing strategy.