Unless you are a millennial, everything you think you know about the generation born between 1981 and 1996 is probably wrong. That’s especially true if you own or manage a multi-family apartment property. Being a Gen Xer myself, I admit I believed some of the stereotypes too. In fact, a few weeks ago one of my coworkers offhandedly remarked that “millennials don’t buy electric vehicles (EVs) because they can’t afford them,” but rather than piling on I did some digging instead. What I found out surprised me. Many of the generalizations about millennials are so mistaken, businesses that buy into them are missing out on some big opportunities.
Myth #1: Millennials Don’t Drive Cars—BUSTED
Fact: While it’s true that, on average, millennials postponed buying cars longer than baby boomers and Gen Xers at similar stages of life, that was largely due to the fact that they came of age in the middle of a financial crisis saddled with a ton of student loan debt. Now that they’re older and their financial circumstances have improved, they’re buying cars again—with a caveat. They want vehicles that are sustainable and have lower operating costs. In other words, they want EVs—and they’re actually willing to pay more to have them.
Myth #2: Most Millennials Still Live with Their Parents—BUSTED
Fact: Again, millennials do tend to live at home longer than previous generations, but it’s not “most” anywhere in the U.S. (ranging from under 10% in Seattle to 45% in El Paso, Texas). The reasons are complex and have a lot more to do with geography and culture than the implied lack of motivation. As with vehicle purchases, today millennials have recovered from the aftershock of last decade’s downturn, have paid down their student loan debt and are eager to leave the nest and make their own way.
Myth #3: Millennials Can’t Afford to Buy Homes—BUSTED
Fact: Millennials aren’t purchasing homes for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that they simply don’t want to. Nearly three-quarters of millennials rent, compared to low-60%s for the previous two generations. A recent report from Apartment List found that fewer than 5% of millennials plan to buy a home within the next year and more than a third say they won’t make the move for 5 years or more. The reasons? Renting is more affordable, and most millennials prefer to be flexible enough to move to a new up-and-coming neighborhood in their city or relocate for their dream job across the country if the opportunity arises.
“59% of residents would pay more to live in a green or sustainable community.” – AMLI Residential's 2018 Sustainable Living Index
If you own or manage multi-family properties, succumbing to these myths can be costly. Millennials are highly educated, their incomes are on par with their Gen X forbears at a comparable age and they want to live in apartment communities that share their values. AMLI Residential’s most recent Sustainable Living Index found that 59% of those surveyed will pay more to live in a sustainable community. With 91% of millennial respondents to a recent poll saying they plan to make the switch to an EV when the time is right, you’re leaving money on the table by not considering EV charging as a resident amenity.
In our new eBook, Is Your Property EV Ready?, we explain how EV charging can help you attract these desirable residents, why it’s more affordable than you think and how it increases property values. We’ll also tell you the astonishing percentage of drivers who plan to make an EV their next vehicle and why now is the right time to get started. It’s better to make decisions when you have all the facts.
When you’re ready, click the link below. We’ll wait.