Multifamily for Millennials: Top Trends in Amenities & Services

Multifamily for Millennials: Top Trends in Amenities & Services

With almost 80 million people earning paychecks, Millennials have surged past Gen X to become the largest segment of the American workforce. Accenture estimates their buying power will reach $1.4 trillion annually by 2020. A generational cohort of that size is clearly going to have a lot of power, and Millennial preferences and demands are driving some significant change in the multifamily market.


Why Multifamily?

It’s no secret that the number of 18- to 34-year-olds who owns a home has fallen to almost record lows. Now, 2/3 of Millennials are renters, and they are more likely to live with roommates or family members than alone. Why?

  • With student loans, many recent college graduates can’t afford a down payment and are reluctant to take on additional debt.
  • Whether out of necessity or by choice, Millennials are delaying many life milestones including getting married, having kids, and purchasing a home.
  • US workers stay an average of 4.4 years at each job and work an average of 10 or 11 jobs in their lifetime. Renting gives them the flexibility to change cities, states, or even countries.
  • Millennials like the convenience of living in urban areas, with easy access to restaurants, retail, bars, and entertainment. However, most can’t afford the cost of buying a home in the city, which leaves renting as their only option.

Regardless of the reason, the result is increased demand for apartments and rental units in urban centers across the country.


What Do Millennials Want?

Now that we know Millennials are driving demand in the multifamily market and why, what really are they looking for in a rental property? With apartments going up every day around the country, how can developers and property managers attract Millennials in such a competitive landscape? Well, it’s all about lifestyle and creating experiences. Take a page out of the luxury hotel book and consider the following in-demand, resort-style amenities.


Millennials are now the largest segment of pet owners, with 75% owning dogs and 51% owning cats. They also tend to invest more time and money in their animal companions than prior generations, meaning that pet-friendly amenities are required.

Top amenities include:

  • Dog parks
  • Agility courses
  • On-site doggy daycare
  • Dog walking services
  • Pet spas and groomers


Health and Fitness

Two treadmills, a bench, and a few sets of free weights just won’t cut it anymore. Most tenants live busy lives and many work nontraditional hours, which can make it difficult to get to the gym. Developers today are building 24/7 luxury fitness centers that rival even some of the most expensive health clubs.

Top amenities include:

  • Yoga and Pilates studios
  • Spin studios
  • TRX studios
  • Saunas and steam rooms
  • Virtual and personal trainers
  • Walking/running trails
  • Meditation rooms


Jobs today accommodate increasingly more diverse styles of work, and telecommuting continues to be on the rise. Many employers have loosened policies that require employees be in the office full-time, a trend which lends itself to the growth of work-from-home spaces in multifamily buildings.

Top amenities include:

  • Collaborative workspaces
  • Conference and meeting rooms
  • Strong Wi-Fi connections in communal areas
  • Call booths
  • Networking events


An ideal commute time for this generation is under 20 minutes, which is why city living can be so appealing. Compared to other generations, Millennials are more likely to choose walking, biking, or public transportation over driving, if those options are available. And a majority of this generation would prefer to live in walkable communities, where they don’t have to get in a car to go to work, the grocery store, or a restaurant.

Top amenities include:

  • Bike storage
  • Interior bike parking
  • Bike repair stations
  • Car and bike sharing
  • Rideshare pick-up area


Millennials are extremely social and more community-minded than older adults. In many cases, they are willing to sacrifice a larger apartment for better communal areas where they can hang out with neighbors and friends.

Top amenities include:

  • Outdoor living spaces and entertaining areas with heaters, big-screen TVs, pizza ovens, and more
  • Rooftop terraces and decks
  • Fire pits
  • Outdoor movie theaters
  • Sports bars and lounges
  • Community kitchens
  • Reservable space for dinner parties
  • Swimming pool with hot tubs, lazy rivers, and cabanas


A pot of coffee and some cookies or donuts in the lobby aren’t impressing anybody. The wellness trend is here to stay, and Millennials want healthy, natural food options with the convenience of not having to leave the building. For young professionals working long hours and balancing multiple commitments, having these in-house options can make a huge difference in the quality of living.

Top amenities include:

  • Coffee shop
  • Juice bar
  • Smoothie counter
  • Wine bar
  • Prepared meal delivery


Developers are scrambling to outfit their multifamily projects with amenities worthy of five-star hotels. It’s all about knowing your market and understanding what residents are willing to pay for. But at the end of the day, this trend is here to stay.


For more information, check out our blog post about using tenant experience to boost occupancy.