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The key to success in any market is knowing your customer. For multifamily property managers, your customers may vary, which means in order to appeal to a wider audience and gain maximum occupancy, you must provide a flexible and tailored service that meets the needs of a range of residential types. 

We’ll cover the questions of who this audience is, why property managers should pay close attention to their demands, and what you can do to maximize your appeal to this market. 

Who are first-time residents? 

The likelihood of first-time residents being Gen Z or Millennial is pretty high. Maybe they’ve just moved out of their family homes or college campuses. Maybe they’ve just started earning from their first salaried job. Two important things to note from this are: they’ll have less experience with the renting process and they’ll be more protective of their spending.  

Why are first-time residents an ideal target market?

According to the data, 49% of renters in the US are under 30 years old. This means it’s very likely a huge percentage of those looking for new accommodation are from this age group, which we’ve already established make up the first-time resident category. 

3 things first-time residents want from a multifamily property 

1. Convenient and simplified viewing process

The clue is in the name, “first-time residents”. Prospects from this market will have little to no experience when it comes to the processes involved in renting a property. So, to appeal to these prospective residents, make every step as easy as possible with automated technology. 

One of the biggest benefits of home automation tech (and smart home technology in general) is the convenience it offers. Self-Guided Tours, for example, take the hassle out of arranging and attending accommodation viewings. First-time residents can simply book a tour time that suits their schedule without having to interact with leasing agents. 

What’s more, prospective residents can quickly verify their identity by uploading their government issued ID and a portrait photo into the automated system. Once this is verified they’ll receive the access codes to the building and unit meaning they can tour without the pressure of an agent present (something nervous first-time residents will appreciate). 

It’s as easy as book, upload, tour. Job done!

2. Lower living costs

According to our Property Management Insights report, 1 in 5 multifamily rental seekers find monthly utility costs a pain point. Optimized living costs, like reduced energy bills, will appeal to these prospects – not to mention those learning how to juggle the costs of living for the first time. And don’t forget, younger residents are also more likely to be seeking sustainable living options such as buildings with lower energy usage. 

Monitoring technology can help you cut costs at every corner (water usage, electricity consumption, heating optimization, and much more). Let’s take one example, a HVAC Management system. With this automated software connected to a smart thermostat, your machine can streamline heating and cooling based on a resident’s habits and proximity. Both yourself and the resident will have access to its real-time data, which may encourage more mindful usage. 

At an operational level, you’ll save costs on unnecessary services and emergency breakdowns, as the technology continually assesses the machine’s needs. With such huge cost savings, you may be able to trickle this benefit down to the fees and rental rate residents pay and provide a more competitive and appealing offering. In doing so, you’ll be addressing the second highest ranking pain point for multifamily property seekers, according to our research. 

3. Secure access

Over half of the rental seekers we surveyed said the security and safety of a property is a must-have. This number could be even higher for first-time residents, who may have never lived in a large community building before. 

Reassure these prospective residents with Community Access solutions, like keyless entry systems for the front door, communal rooms, and the apartment. These smart lock solutions can erase security concerns for residents (as well as property managers). All the while bringing a new level of convenience to residents’ living experience, as they can easily grant access to friends, family or visitors, like a dog walker, through an app. 

Looking to improve your multifamily property’s visibility and boost your reach in the consumer market? Try tailoring your offering to a range of audiences including those seeking their very first rental property. 

Want to know more about how Self-Guided Tours can boost occupancy, or how monitoring technology brings cost savings to you and your residents? Talk to one of our team today.