The forward-thinking 25-34 millennial demographic, also known as the “trillion dollar” generation, will have the greatest buying power potential starting in 2017 with an estimated spending over $10 trillion in their lifetime according to RetailLeader.com. Traveling the world for new jobs and humanitarian opportunities, millennials are flocking to cities all over the globe. How does a community change their marketing efforts to attract this demographic to the property?
To answer this question, we will explore three ways to target your marketing towards the Millennial demographic through:
- Social Influence
- Resident Reviews
1. Provide an experience, not an event.
The primary focus of millennials is to associate as part of a community, but they also want to gain some personal growth by attending social events. The typical events thrown by most communities will not capture the attention of Millennials.
Millennial residents don’t want events. They crave an experience.
Try offering yoga in the morning, book clubs and DIY community gardening to engage your Millennial residents. Attendance will thrive because Millennials will appreciate the convenience of these socials at their front door rather than seeking out the experience on their own.
2. Get social.
Read any Forbes.com article discussing the millennial mind and you’ll find social interaction is the key piece to connect with this generation. Millennials have become technologically dependent for their communication needs.
According to Pew Research, the use of social networking sites by millennials has grown over 70% in the past decade, and more than 80% of Millennials are on Facebook. How does this benefit your marketing? It means that communities don’t have to tear apart marketing sources trying to find your target audience. This is priceless for properties. Millennials are lingering around social media sites, and can easily be reached through engagement.
Recognizing a millennial’s need for social interactions and their enjoyment of trendy entertainment, consider a resident social event to a craft beer bar for an exciting lesson on brewing and tasting IPAs. Snap a few pictures for your property Facebook page, and tag your residents. Not only will they appreciate the 15 seconds of fame highlighting their attendance, but their friends will also take notice.
Posting on Facebook is strategic. Investing the time to learn how to engage millennials using social media is a worthy investment. Engaging within communities that have a solid following can gain attention to your business. This is called “influencer outreach,” and this allows key influencers to bring attention to a lesser-known brand.
3. Ask your residents to leave positive reviews.
According to MultifamilyExecutive.com, “It can cost an owner anywhere from $1,500 to over $5,000 per month when you factor in make-ready costs, advertising, and incentives to get the unit leased.” Retention is important in the apartment industry, and negative reviews can really damage a property’s online reputation.
In a survey by MarketingCharts.com, 68% of Millennials polled in 2014 study named peer reviews as the most trusted source about brands.
This means that more than half of the millennial readers scrolling through online reviews trust this source as reliable feedback of the community. Millennials are walking billboards for properties. Build property reviews by asking for good feedback from this demographic. They devour feedback from their peers, but they also appreciate the chance to share their own opinions.
Instead of focusing on the removal of negative feedback, encourage the staff to identify the importance of providing good service that warrants positive reviews. When a community experiences negative feedback, publicly responding is a great way to show genuine transparency. Apologize for bad service, and publicly dispute inaccurate feedback to show accountability.
Once the focus is placed on providing a positive experience in the first place, there should be no reason to spend the time to correct or cover up a mistake.
Preparing for the Boom
Knowing that the “trillion-dollar” generation financial boom starts next year, revising your property marketing efforts now will help prepare the community for 2017. Rather than playing catch up once the millennial boom arrives, try putting these marketing practices to work. Learn about the market, look for job growth trends within your city, and prepare to welcome traffic at the community as never seen before. Properties have the potential to make a dynamite impact if they can effectively paint a picture of the experience a property will provide millennial residents.
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