Navigating the Generation Gap: Apartment Considerations for Baby Boomers

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While many marketing discussions may have shifted focus on emerging new markets like millennials, it’s important to remember that not all of our residents come from the same era. While emerging new markets can capture the imagination, there are big differences between the wants and needs of a millennial customer and someone who comes from a different generation. Baby boomers still number among one of the biggest demographics in the United States, and their wants and needs for an apartment are far different from the millennial. Here are three distinct differences between millennial community members and baby boomer residents.

Quiet is King

While loudness may not matter to millennials, who may be fine with the hustle and bustle of life, and take background noise with a grain of salt, the same can’t be said for Boomers. According to Multifamily Executive, only 69% of millennials rate quietness as one of the most important aspects of community living, while 82% of baby boomers say they need a quiet community to feel satisfied.

 The quiet, safe neighborhood feel is more important as residents get older, with 84% of all baby boomers also indicating that they felt considerate neighbors were absolutely paramount to a good apartment. Only 75% of millennials felt the same.

Reviews Reign

There’s a certain disconnect between Baby Boomers and millennials in the discovery phase:

“Preferred apartment-search channels tend to vary by age,” said MFE, who indicated that the boomer generation uses ILSs during the discovery phase 64% of the time, whereas only 55% of millennials would even consider ILSs. Instead 70% of millennials surveyed indicated they would prefer looking at an apartment community’s website.

 While the discovery phase may differ for these generations, the importance of reviews does not. Over 75% of the people surveyed indicated that they heavily considered the opinion of online ratings and reviews before making a decision on their apartment home. This not only represented an increase from the 2012 survey (of 5%), but the number of residents leaving reviews has also increased by 26%.

Sayonara to Stairs

While the urban feel of that narrow apartment with multiple levels may appeal to a younger crowd, the data seems to suggest that baby boomers would prefer a one-floor layout with a more open feel.

Only 5% of millennials seemed to think that a one-level floor plan would hold any importance for them; however, out of all the baby boomers surveyed, 23% indicated that this would be an important feature.

No matter what your community may offer, there’s certainly something in it for everyone. Learn what matters to your target market, and you’ll help build community and resident retention. Find out more about Lincoln Property Company here.