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Busting the Negative Stereotypes about Millennials and Generation Z

Busting the Negative Stereotypes about Millennials and Generation Z
We’ve heard them all before: They’re lazy; they’re narcissists; they’re entitled; they’re unmanageable.  Negative stereotypes about millennial employees have been around for years, and now a younger generation – Generation Z – is in the early phases of trickling into the multifamily workforce. And Gen Z’ers are getting a bad rap of their own: they don’t work well with others; they can’t focus; they’re impatient; they’re constantly glued to their phones.  Every generation comes with unfortunate, negative and untrue stereotypes attached to them. The truth is that every generation is different, and every generation possesses valuable skill sets and attitudes that can energize and improve property management companies.  Here are some of the many positive characteristics that millennial and Gen Z employees bring to the workplace:  They’re self-motivatedMillennials love to collaborate on projects while Gen Z’ers are known to prefer working independently. Despite the differences, both generations are extremely self-motivated and want to contribute quality work to their employers. And they're eager to expand their knowledge and skill sets, qualities every employer values having in their team members.  They’re tech-savvyGen Z’ers virtually grew up on their smart phones, and millennials are no slouches either when it comes to their familiarity with technology. With the Internet and smart phones now playing such a vital role in how leasing team members reach prospects and residents, the insight and ideas of millennial and Gen Z team members are invaluable. Millennials and Gen Z’ers are extremely tech-savvy, and are enthusiastic about developing different ideas and tactics to most effectively reach......
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Welcoming Generation Z to the Apartment Industry

Welcoming Generation Z to the Apartment Industry
The apartment industry has obsessed for years over millennials: how to attract them as residents and how to manage them as employees. Well, it's now time to begin thinking about the next generation. Generation Z, also known as iGeneration, consists of those born between the mid-1990s and 2010. Believe it or not, members of this cohort are now arriving in the workforce. Perhaps more amazingly, they will account for 20 percent of the workforce by 2020, according to the Robert Half consulting firm. Millennial associates at ROSS have contributed so much to our company, and we are excited about embracing the talents of Gen Z'ers as well. Below is a summary of what our research and experience with this generation has shown about their characteristics, which differ from millennials in some ways:  Digital fluencyMillennials are tech savvy, but Gen Z'ers are known as the “first true digital natives." This means they have never known a world without the Internet, smartphones and the instant gratification that comes with technology.  As apartment leasing and operations become more technologically advanced, operators will likely find themselves leaning heavily on the considerable digital expertise of their Gen Z associates. And because of their life-long immersion in technology, Gen Z'ers are perhaps even better than millennials at multi-tasking, a valuable skill in the fast-paced multifamily industry. Given their love of technology, apartment companies should, as we do at ROSS, make it easy to apply for jobs via mobile devices and allow associates to access training on their m......
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How to Effectively Manage Millennial Associates

How to Effectively Manage Millennial Associates
In all my years in human resources and the apartment industry, I don't think I've seen a generation of employees pinned with as many negative stereotypes as millennials. "Snowflakes," "job hoppers," "entitled," "needy," "easily distracted" … the list seems endless.  The list is also extremely unfair.  At ROSS, millennials have proven to be invaluable members of our community leasing and management teams. Their energy, entrepreneurial spirit, technological skills and overall creativity have provided a boost to operations across our portfolio.  Sure, millennials may have different attitudes and preferences than their baby boomer or Generation X counterparts. But that doesn't make them bad employees. It just means they need to be managed differently to keep them inspired and engaged.  Here are some tips for managing millennial associates: Be transparentThe days when a manager could be tight-lipped and aloof to associates are long gone. Millennials – as well as workers from other generations – demand transparency in the workplace.  How can apartment companies provide this transparency? For starters, a team leader has to be crystal-clear from the beginning of an associate's tenure about opportunities for advancement and what they need to do to earn promotions. Knowing they have the chance to grow at your company will help millennials feel more engaged with their jobs. Also, as much as possible, keep onsite team members in the loop on company news and how it may impact their jobs. When employees feel like they’re in the dark, their anxiety grows and their job satisfaction dips. Be a good ......
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All-Inclusive or Non-Inclusive: Which Option Is Best For Student Housing?

All-Inclusive or Non-Inclusive: Which Option Is Best For Student Housing?
For many first year students, on-campus housing is often seen as an ideal transition into independent living. Students can accept more responsibilities and independence, while still enjoying the luxuries of having mostly everything taken care of for them. The next stepping-stone for many students is the move into off-campus housing, where even more freedom and responsibilities are awarded to them. Typically, living off-campus is where students get their first real taste of complete independence. Students can choose one of two rental accommodations.  All-Inclusive: A rental accommodation where tenants do not pay their utility bills (electric, gas, sewer, water, etc. are paid for by the landlord and factored into the monthly rental rate).  Non-Inclusive: A rental accommodation where the tenants set-up and pay their utility bills. In most cases, students (specifically ones without much rental experience) will prefer all-inclusive rentals for a variety of reasons.  Less Hassle: Chances are, students have never had the opportunity to set-up utility accounts, aside from perhaps their cell phone. For many students, this can be unfamiliar territory filled with uncertainty. Some students would prefer the easy route of having everything bundled and set-up for them.  No Surprises: There’s a certain comfort in knowing exactly what is owed at the end of each month, especially for students. Living on a student budget can be tight and having to resourcefully budget for utility bills can be difficult; especially with varying due dates and fluctuating costs based on usage. Some students would prefer to just pay rent at the beginning of each m......
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The Power of Caring for Communities

The Power of Caring for Communities
Giving back to the neighborhoods where you operate communities is one of the simplest, yet most powerful things you can do.  With a new year upon us, your company might have set a goal of initiating or expanding its charitable work. If that's the case, I can't urge you strongly enough to do it. Working to improve the surrounding neighborhoods can benefit an apartment operator in numerous ways. It is, to borrow an old saying, truly the gift that keeps on giving. Among the rewards: Improved associate moraleRegularly providing chances for employees to perform charitable work enables them to satisfy the basic human need we all feel to help others. That in turn can make them feel better about your company. At the same time, group volunteer outings allow team members to strengthen their bonds with each other. Undertaking group charitable outings during operating hours or even offering associates paid time off to perform volunteer work are great ways to let employees experience the positive effects of helping their communities.  At ROSS, our associates have been able to experience the morale boost and bonding that comes from giving back through our work with Fisher House Foundation, which is a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment, and many other volunteer efforts.  Our work with Fisher House has included conducting spring cleanups of their facilities, hosting an Independence Day cookout for families temporarily residing there, making and delivering m......
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5 Biggest Reasons Millennials Prefer Apartments To Houses

5 Biggest Reasons Millennials Prefer Apartments To Houses
  It hardly remains a secret that most of today’s renters likely fall into the millennial age group. The number of 18 to 34-year-olds who own a home has fallen to a 30-year low and for the first time in more than a century, young people are now more likely to live with their parents than with a spouse. Times, they are a-changing. The demand for apartment homes among millennials has skyrocketed. This young adult age bracket has essentially been driving the recent major rental market increase of the last few years and there are quite a few reasons why this is happening.   1. PURCHASING MEANS MORE DEBT With student loans accompanying the majority of recent grads after college, it’s not a surprise that millennials prefer submitting a monthly rent check over the acquisition additional mortgage debt. While in some cases mortgage payments can compete with rent prices, recent grads likely don’t have the necessary funds for an initial down payment.  (Source: AppFolio) Millennial renters in expensive metropolitan areas tend to widely underestimate the amount needed for a down payment, in many cases by 50% or more. It's been estimated that the majority of millennial renters will need a decade or more before they can afford a 20% down payment on a home. Why They Rent: Mortgage Debt, No Down Payment, Easier Qualification   2. RENTING IS MORE AFFORDABLE  While renting requires accustomed rent and utility payments, home ownership requires a much larger financial obligation. A recent research study indicated that the vast majority of millennial renters (79%) want to purchase a home, but that affordability is the bigge......
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Grabbing the Attention of Millennials

Grabbing the Attention of Millennials
Immersive Youth Marketing recently released the results of its thought-provoking study on the best ways to capture the attention of Millennials. In it, the agency identifies many ways marketers can best reach this demographic. It’s a report written about Millennials, most likely by a Millennial, in Millennial-speak. So, we’re taking the liberty here to break it down and show just how applicable these recommendations are, even for the multifamily industry.  Do something eye-catching. This is a visual demographic. They are techno-savvy and digitally-minded. Your marketing efforts should take this into consideration. Make sure your content fits the media environment. Simply put: make sure your marketing can reach your target audience on any device, anywhere. Don’t put out a video that’s so large, most devices can’t process it. Make your ideas easy to navigate. Running a contest for your tenants? Want to grab the attention of Millennials with a new promotional offer? Don’t get caught up in the details. Make it straightforward, easy to understand, and, more importantly, easy to join in on. Remember: people are processing hundreds, if not thousands, of details being fed to them digitally, every day. Make your message simple, yet memorable. Find a Trojan horse. Sometimes, the best way to get your message out to the public is to have help carrying it to them. Is there a well-loved local band that can sing your jingle in a commercial? How about a partnership with a beloved local charity with which you can partner with for in-community promotions, contests, a......
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Appealing to Generation Y: Tips for Recruiting Millennials to Apartment Community Teams

Appealing to Generation Y: Tips for Recruiting Millennials to Apartment Community Teams
If you’re having trouble recruiting millennial employees, you're in trouble. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, millennials became the largest generation in the U.S. workforce last year. And their share of the labor pool will grow in the coming years as more graduate from college and baby boomers retire. But if your property management company is having trouble attracting millennials, you're not alone. In a 2014 survey commissioned by Elance-oDesk and Millennial Branding, 53 percent of hiring managers reported "difficulty finding and retaining millennial talent." Apartment owners/operators should get better at recruiting this generation because of the many positive qualities millennials bring to onsite community teams. They have been unfairly painted as "entitled" and "job-hoppers," among other negative stereotypes. In reality, millennials bring energizing doses of entrepreneurialism, technological know-how and creativity to apartment teams. So, how can your company improve its recruitment of millennials?  • Emphasize a Bigger Picture. Millennials want more than a paycheck. They long for jobs that give them a sense of mission and make them feel part of something bigger than themselves. Working to ensure that residents have quality, safe, clean housing and enriching experiences at their communities can provide exactly that sense of mission. Property management companies should make sure they emphasize this in job descriptions and in-person interviews.   • Give Them the Long View. Millennials also want to be where they can grow. They're often criticized as being restless, but if they know there are opportunities for advancement, they're as loyal as the preceding gener......
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Apartment Rental and Transportation

Apartment Rental Cycles Generations always differ from one another in a variety of ways – the culture in which they’re raised, their relationship with technology, their priorities, and their likes and dislikes. But there are also things they have in common. For example, in most generations, younger people tend to rent apartments and older people tend to buy houses. This fact has kept the rental market and the housing market buoyed for decades. The current generation making the decision between renting and buying is the millennial generation, generally considered to be those born between 1980 and 2000. The oldest of this generation, now in their mid-30s, should be moving toward traditional home-buying. But research indicates that’s not the case. Millennials are Defying the Trend Many millennials are choosing to continue renting. Why? Part of the reason, surprisingly, is the evolution of transportation. One of the main downsides to living in a major city is trying to find something to do with your car; frustration with lack of parking and/or exorbitant garage fees is what drives many city dwellers to seek out a driveway of their own. But now with so many options, including Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar, to mention just a few, millennials are living the dream – staying in the heart of the city, where all the action is, with transportation at the touch of a button. What this means for the Apartment Rental market What does this mean for the apartment rental market? If current trends continue, there should be plen......
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5 Tips to Design an Apartment Building for Millennials

5 Tips to Design an Apartment Building for Millennials
At this point in time, the large majority of millennials have left the nest, graduated college, landed a steady job, and many have even chosen a lifetime career path to follow. But it’s no secret that choosing the home of their dreams may come later in life. It’s about that time when millennials are searching for a long time home that will meet their housing desires and provide a number of features that some baby boomers would turn their nose up at; and possibly for good reason! Millennials have grown to appreciate a number of crazes that just didn’t exist before the 21st century. Here are a few things to keep in mind when researching how to design an apartment building for millennials: 1) Modern design A simple rule to follow when designing an apartment building that targets millennials is to keep the design modern and simple. This is often defined by straightforward modern art pieces, large windows allowing a significant amount of natural lighting into the home, clean-lined architecture with almost over exaggerated asymmetry and right angled corners, bold colors such as white, silver, gray, black and red. Open floor plans are also sought after with high rise ceilings, giving a free, accessible feeling at all times. 2) Innovative amenities Millennials may not have as much time to party as they once had, but the occasional (or weekend) gathering with friends is often desired. A modern pool and patio gathering area, a lobby restaurant and bar, a member with guest acces......
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