A large percentage of renters these days are young adults born after 1980. This group includes Millennials, of course, young adults who came of age when the internet entered the mainstream, and members of the iGeneration, also called post-Millennials, who were born into a fully-fledged internet age.
These days, Millennials and iGens get a lot of press, because their value systems and interests play a large role our economy, including the rental industry.
One of the values that we, as property managers, should be paying attention to is learning. Learning new things is a top priority for Millennials and iGens, and more than previous generations, they learn best when they are teaching themselves. In addition, they enjoy opportunities to apply new skills to their jobs and hobbies. iGens in particular are more likely to bypass the traditional four-year degree route in favor of learning new skills online or through other non-traditional avenues.
Given this knowledge about the rental industry’s largest demographic, why not offer learning opportunities as one of your community’s amenities? Bring in experts on diverse subjects and hold a brand new class once a month, rotating from one topic to another. Doing so is yet another way to foster camaraderie among residents and distinguish your community’s brand from competitors.
While yoga and cookies classes are always popular among renters, you should also brainstorm ideas for more unique classes. Opt for classes that will inspire and empower the millennials and iGens populating your community and that provide the self-directed learning these groups prefer.
As young adults born after 1993, Millennial and iGen renters are likely living on a budget, paying student loans, getting ready to finance a new car or making monthly car payments, and taking on other expenses — and this is on top of paying rent and utilities. We all know that the best time to save for retirement or to start investing for returns in the future is NOW.
Although some of your residents may not yet be in a position to invest large sums of money, offering a class can help them plan for the future. Even the tightest budget has room for making small investments, which can add up over time.
Offer an investing class that introduces key concepts, like the risk/return tradeoff and diversification, to beginners, while offering seasoned investors and 401K plan participants ideas for building a more robust and personalized investment portfolio.
As the world digitizes further, workers are increasing their digital literacy. And it’s not just IT specialists and web designers. Basic computer programming offers value for every professional.
By learning computer programming, we not only gain insight into the gadgets that help us live our lives, but also are learning skills that transfer to other areas of our lives. Just think! Writing code can help nurses solve problems faster. Teachers can deliver better instructions. The possibilities are endless.
Work with the instructor to ensure beginners learn the basics, like building a webpage from scratch. Include opportunities for experienced programmers or hobbyists to get feedback on a more advanced project.
Since the 1990s when blogging started, the practice of writing online now reaches readers on a massive scale, from shaping politics to serving as the basis for many entrepreneurs’ online sales.
It’s likely that many of your renters follow several blogs and may even operate their own. Hosting a blogging class will set participants up to make value connections with reading audiences.
Work with the instructor to ensure beginners walk away with basic how-tos, like picking a topic to write about, identifying an audience, and setting up a blog on Blogger, WordPress, or other popular platforms. Make sure experienced bloggers learn intermediate and advanced techniques, like growing a following and writing content that goes viral.
In today’s economy, many workers make a living by working several gigs or supplementing full-time employment with a gig on the side. Millennials and iGens have a particular knack for envisioning many possibilities at one time, so a class in entrepreneurship will be right up their alley.
This class can coach beginner entrepreneurs participants through such concepts as the “minimum viable product,” “unique value proposition,” and the “thirty-second elevator pitch.” Combine ideas from a blogging class with advanced social media marketing techniques to give everyone an edge in their market.
Ready to offer more classes at your rental community? Share your ideas, experiences, and tips below!