Baby boomers are becoming 30 percent of multifamily renters, selling their large homes after they become empty nesters. U.S. Census Data gathered by RENTCafe revealed that from 2007 to 2017, there was a 43 percent jump in the number of renters who were over age 60 living in cities with at least 100,000 residents. Within the next decade, it is predicted that Baby Boomers will make up more than 30 percent of the rental market. What’s great about this statistic for multifamily properties is that Boomers tend to be financially stable and interested in stability. If they choose to rent with you, then it is likely they plan to stay awhile. Here’s what to keep in mind to attract this demographic:
- Amenities. Amenities. Amenities. (And a quick, dependable maintenance crew.) In 2018, Forbes writer Susan Tjarksen reported, “Baby boomer renters want a unit maintained for them while they travel: they want their pets watched, they want their plants watered, they want their groceries delivered. So, buildings that provide these services will have an easier time attracting the boomer demographic.” Downsizing is often done for the sake of an easier lifestyle. If your renters see that they can have a beautiful green yard without having to mow or weed it themselves, if they know that should they have a plumbing issue it will be repaired within a reasonable time frame, they’ll be happy calling your multifamily unit home.
- Community-building gathering spaces. Many boomers are only working part-time, which means they’re looking to fill their schedules with intentional socializing and even on-site programming. That means you want to invest in outdoor patios and grills, furniture that invites socializing in corners, and even regular clubs and lessons on your property. Consider coordinating with area businesses for cooking demos, wine tastings, or Bridge and Bunco nights. And don’t neglect the opportunity for sidewalks or a fitness center. You’d be surprised how well it can double as both a standing appointment and a social hour. “Health-oriented communities are huge, especially for the older and younger groups of renters,” writes Multifamily Executive’s Lindsay Machack. “The fitness center is always the No. 1 amenity.”
- Living space with square footage. Some Boomers will have a hard time parting with furniture and keepsakes, which means they may not be willing to adjust to as small of a space as, say, their millennial counterparts. This may make an open concept living space most desirable. You also want to try to offer storage by way of closets, a laundry space, or a garage.