The Future of Millennial Tenant Retention August 20, 2015 | Kelia Cowan

Millennials are reshaping demands as they enter the tenant marketplace; this is a well-covered topic in the media.

However, the discussion has overlooked a key factor: once Gen Y selects a tenant space, how do you convince them to stay?

 
In both commercial and residential real estate, millennials are generalized as “nomadic”: they like having the option of being on the move. They’re waiting until later in life to own their first home, and they’re more likely to switch office spaces repeatedly. This poses a problem for property owners of all real estate sectors.
 
Remember: Real Estate is Customer Service
Maintaining tenants means keeping them happy. Build strong relationships with tenants to create easy communication channels–this will allow you to easily learn what tenants want. Then, add these desired amenities so they will want to stay, instead of looking to move on.
 
Desired Demands + Good Relationships = Happy Tenants = Everyone Wins!

Millennials Are *Slightly* Different
Sure, millennials do have different demands than the preceding generation. But are they really that different? They want a space that is a good value for the price. They want the latest and greatest in building amenities. If they don’t like a space, they’re going to move on.
 
The biggest differentiator for this generation
is indicative of changing times, rather than changing values. Millennials have an expectation that tenant spaces should have sustainability features and advanced technology. Although this can seem ridiculous to some, think of it this way: millennials grew up surrounded by computers, the internet, and social media. Simultaneously, climate change has been a hot topic since they came of age. In this situation, wouldn’t you value technology
and sustainability, too?
 
New real estate technology will help tenants communicate with property managers. The more innovative and responsive property managers are, the better relationships they’ll build with tenants. This concept is nothing new; simply, the mode of communication has evolved.
 
Likewise, sustainability has marched into the spotlight in recent years. Multiple reports, including one from DTZ, link sustainability projects to tenant satisfaction. Many states have green building codes or standards that hold properties to a higher level. In fact, some believe that the golden LEED standards should be forgone–instead, they should be considered the standard, period. New amenity ideals, like wellness factors, are now the added bonuses.
 
What does the future hold?
Technology and Sustainability. Like it or not, both of these are here to stay. Although the commercial real estate space is slow to adopt new technologies and new standards, both are becoming a part of the industry. Rather than fight the tide, you’ll find more success in accepting these new ideals and implementing them as the standard of commercial amenities.
 
To maintain CRE space appeal, attract millennial tenants, and keep them, it’s time to stop fighting the changing times. Real estate technology will help you streamline your operations and improve your engagement with tenants. Sustainability features will help you cut back on your utility costs, increase your attractiveness to tenants, and reduce your impact on the planet. Trust us–achieving the triple bottom line is easier than it seems.
 

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About The Author

As the Digital Marketing Specialist at Aquicore, Kelia Cowan manages the company’s content and events, including the company blog, social media channels, resources, email marketing campaigns, webinars, and conferences. Simultaneously, she fields questions on how to “properly” pronounce her name.

Previously, Kelia was the Marketing and Communications Fellow at Cleantech Open Northeast, where she focused on digital content and event coordination. As an undergraduate student, she worked in various communication roles at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, and Energy Excelerator. Kelia left the paradise of Honolulu, Hawai’i, to attain a B.S. in Journalism and a B.A. in Environmental Analysis & Policy from Boston University.