With homeownership not quite as realistic or desirable as it once was for most young Americans, the rental market continues to be competitive. Millennials and Gen Z currently constitute more than half of all active renters and apartment hunters. It’s important to understand what you can change to make your property attractive to the modern renter, especially as their needs have changed post-vaccine. 

At Rhino, we’ve created a go-to guide of the most in-demand apartment amenities for Millennial and Gen Z renters. This information is based on what we’ve learned about Rhino renters. 62% of Rhino renters are ages 18-32, with 24% of Rhino renters being between the ages of 25-29. Get a glimpse into these insights from the guide in this blog, and be sure to download the full guide at the bottom of the page. 

What’s the difference between Gen Z and Millennials renters? 

So what amenities are the most important to Gen Z and Millennials? To get the answer, it’s important to understand the full extent of their buying power, and the different values between the two generations. They’re often confused for one another, but Gen Z and Millennials have different traits that define their needs when apartment hunting.

Millennials are the modern renter

For years, the Millennial renter has dominated the market, with landlords and multifamily property managers educating themselves on how to appeal to this large demographic. 

  • Millennials are the largest age demographic in the United States, with over 75 million people born between 1981 and 1996. 

  • Millennials make up 45% of currently active renters in the US.

  • Millennials, due in part to seeing the struggle of the 2008 housing crisis, are not as quick to buy homes as previous generations had been.  

  • Millennials are currently and will continue to make up a large chunk of the rental market, but may not rent multifamily apartments forever. 

  • Single-family homes, for Millennials, are becoming what starter homes used to be, helping lead to a 66% increase in single family home construction over the last 10 years.

Multifamily property owners will have to diversify their amenities in order to keep this group renting apartments as opposed to single-family homes. 

Gen Z is the future of the housing market 

After a year of uncertainty and lockdowns, the younger generation is starting to get a chance to get out of the house and enjoy the first benefits of adulthood. 

  • Currently 27% of all apartment hunters nationwide are Gen Z, a number that only promises to grow with time. 

  • So far in 2021, applications for apartments from Gen Z renters have increased by 13% since last year.

  • Gen Z is the most mobile-centric generation, and are more likely to use non-gaming apps for daily activities and tasks (like paying rent). 

In short, Millennials are the current largest block of renters in the market and Gen Z is the fastest growing, meaning you’ll have to appeal to both generations with the right amenities to capture their full purchasing power. 

What apartment amenities do Millennials and Gen Z want?

Like we mentioned earlier, not all amenities will be realistic additions to your properties. The good news is that today’s renters don’t necessarily want luxury amenities. While high-end perks like fitness centers, swimming pools, or adding an on-site dog park may seem like the answer, many of the apartment amenities that will make the largest impact on your bottom line are low-effort investments.

An image of two people using a coworking space to make phone calls and use their laptops

In order to understand what amenities Gen Z and Millennials want from a prospective property, you have to dig deeper into their distinct values and lifestyles, which have dramatically changed in 2021. 

They want community amenities 

Millennials came of age at a time when the housing market was in crisis and the world they saw reflected economic uncertainty at best. This is keeping Millennials in rentals at a time in their lives when their parents may have been looking for homes in the suburbs. That said, the fact that Millennials are becoming more likely to to rent single family homes as opposed to multifamily, shows that they crave the community experience their parents found through homeownership. Additionally, Gen Z and Millennials both had their lives interrupted by a global pandemic, and as a result, opportunities to socialize are still limited. 

This has caused younger generations to seek specific amenities in their apartment search that foster community. After a year inside, isolated from friends, family, coworkers, and classmates, these renters want to have a chance to get to know the people around them, and create a neighborhood wherever they are.

 Investments in common areas or co-working spaces are key for renters as they deal with an unprecedented amount of time at home.

They want to stay connected

Modern renters have had internet access since they were children, so they value creating connections both in-person and online. Not to mention, 58% of Millennials are working from home full or part-time, meaning their apartments now have a dual purpose. 

Still, most apartment communities don't include Wi-Fi, or have high-speed internet available. While it might be obvious to offer free Wi-Fi in your common areas or co-working space, high-speed internet offered in-unit can make a home more live-able for Millennials and Gen Z. Consider this when trying to attract new renters, and trying to retain more renters at renewal as well.

They want security 

Renters want to feel safe in their home, with more than half of today’s renters stating they would move-out of a home that didn’t have sufficient security measures. Security based apartment amenities like a front door with smart locks or package lockers to protect their belongings do a lot to make renters feel safe. People want safety for themselves, their pets, and their possessions, so it’s no shock to see that today’s renters care about safety and security measures when weighing their next home or new apartment complex. 

They want more space

How renters use their space has evolved in the last two years. With more people working from home and 35% of renters feeling anxiety around COVID-19, having an outdoor space has become a hugely important apartment amenity. This has also played a part in millennials choosing to rent single-family homes that can offer outdoor space. 

When trying to attract Gen Z renters and retain Millennials, outdoor spaces like balconies or rooftop decks can be especially enticing. 

The rising demand amongst these groups, in the rental market, shows the importance of catering to Gen Z and Millennials. Amenities can often be the difference in a renter’s decision between your apartment building and the competition. What’s more, increased retention is another perk of smart investments in apartment amenities. The right amenities keep renters comfortable where they are, so they aren’t tempted to look elsewhere at the end of the lease. 

Get Rhino’s guide to in-demand apartment amenities for Gen Z and Millennials 

While we’ve only given you a glimpse into the apartment amenities that appeal to modern renters, our full guide is now available. Download our guide to in-demand apartment amenities for Gen Z and Millennials to learn how you can set yourself up for success.

Headshot of Conor Baker, copywriter at Rhino.
Conor Baker

Conor Baker is a copywriter at Rhino who is passionate about progress. His hobbies include dismantling security deposits, blindfolded.