The Baby Boomer generation is becoming more popular than ever with industries ranging from automotive to travel. This affluent generation with disposable income to spare, also known as the active adult sector, has caught the attention of the property management industry, too. Steven DeFrancis, CEO of Cortland Properties, recently told Multi-Housing News, the 55+ age segment is the largest and fastest-growing one in the renting industry.
“With the projected population growth in the Active Adult category, coupled with their increased propensity for renting, we believe we’ll continue to see a strong demand for housing that caters to this demographic over the next 40 years,” he said.
As a result, property management firms such as Cortland have been opening more locations catering to active adults. For example, Cortland Attiva communities cater exclusively to the 55+ renting segment with amenities such as fitness group classes, flexible leases, community events, and concierge services.
Let’s take a closer look at why Baby Boomers are an important renting segment.
Who Are Baby Boomers?
Baby Boomers are the generation born between 1946 to 1964. As the name implies, they are the product of the post-World War II baby boom. American Baby Boomers had their values influenced by major changes that shaped the course of U.S. history, notably the Vietnam War and Watergate. They came of age before the Internet, but they’ve also adopted digital comfortably especially during the post-pandemic age.
Why Are Baby Boomers Important to Property Management Firms?
Baby Boomers have caught the eye of property management firms for several reasons, including:
Baby Boomers Comprise a Large Renting Segment
Baby Boomers constitute one of the largest population segments in the United States, right behind Millennials. In addition, Baby Boomers constitute 40 percent of the entire consumer market share. This is an important consideration. Many are unencumbered by the expenses of childcare, and they benefit from having a larger disposable income than other generations.
Baby Boomers Have a Strong Motivation to Rent
Baby Boomers are eager to rent for a variety of reasons. Many are at a point in their lives when they’d like to free themselves from the responsibilities of owning a home. But some are finding that the traditional destinations for renting in an active community, such as Arizona and Florida, are either becoming too expensive or saturated. Property management firms see an opportunity to cater to this segment across the United States. In still other cases, property management firms are responding to a desire by Baby Boomers to relocate closer to where their adult children live. They want the proximity, but they don’t want the cost of home ownership. The typical renter in an active-adult community is a divorced or widowed single woman in her mid-70s who wants to live within 10 miles of her family.
Considerations for Property Management Firms Catering to Baby Boomers
Baby Boomers are motivated by unique factors. Their needs differ from other population segments in some important ways. It’s vital that property management firms:
- Mind the amenities. For Baby Boomers, amenities such as fitness classes and concierge services are especially appealing. As empty-nesters, they are more likely to value gathering places to socialize and structured community events. They value services such as exercise classes to stay fit and transportation for their healthcare needs. Some property managers are catering to Baby Boomers as well with delivery services, prepared meals, and housekeeping.
- Understand their mindset. Even though Baby Boomer tenants are giving up the headaches of home ownership, transitioning to a renting experience may create anxiety. After all, they may not have rented for decades. A Baby Boomer audience may associate renting as an undesirable, transient experience. They may have apprehensions about what renting will be like. Will the property be noisy? Unfriendly? Anticipate those apprehensions in how you market to them, and discuss the lifestyle amenities they’ll enjoy by living in an active adult community, such as an upscale yet simpler life. Baby Boomers nearing retirement may also have concerns about how much rent will increase annually. Consider lease arrangements that factor in agreed-upon, predetermined rent increases based on the consumer price index.
- Ask them to review you. The best way to be responsive to Baby Boomers is to put your ratings/reviews to work. Ask them to review their experience publicly on sites such as Google and Facebook. Then respond to reviews and learn from them. Encouraging and responding to reviews will not only improve your experience, doing so will also make your property more visible online when people are looking for places to rent for active adults.
Read Our Report and Contact Reputation
Renters across all generations, including Baby Boomers, occupy more than 43 million units in the United States. How do they rate their experience? What do they think of the property management firms that manage their upkeep and collect their rent? Find out the answers in the Reputation 2021 Property Management Report. In it, we rank the Top 20 firms and Top 500 locations with the best all-around reputations. And to improve the online reputation of your property management firm, contact Reputation. We give property managers the tools to find out what matters most to their residents and improve the resident experience.
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