The rise of the Internet has impacted the globe in many ways. One of the biggest changes from the digital age is the fact people don’t have to leave their homes anymore… for anything, really. People can have a work-at-home business. They can shop from home. They can get groceries delivered straight to their front door. It’s easier than ever before to place orders online with the click of a button.
But it doesn’t stop there.
An increasing number of millennial and Gen-Xers are operating businesses out of their homes; representing companies such as LuLaRoe, Matilda Jane, Thirty-One and Etsy.
Many are enamored by the ease of running a home-based business. However, apartment renters, who make up a large portion of the millennial/Gen X demographic, can find it to be quite challenging because of the abundance incoming and outgoing shipments. These businesses require frequent, if not constant, deliveries that are shipped and received at home. Lost or delayed shipments can result in an immediate negative impact to their business success.
Apartment communities can assist here. Any community equipped with a 24-hour package locker system and a package room for larger shipments can dramatically help residents successfully run their home businesses. Depending on the industry supply contents can vary. However, in nearly every case, timely shipments are the lifeblood of the business.
Here is a look at some of the most common products shipped to these types of home-based, digitally run businesses:
- Home Decor
- Skin Care/Cosmetics
- Craft, Textiles & Other Homemade Goods
As work-at-home business continues to expand, so will their presence at apartment communities. Shipments will be amplified for these residents, and having an effective package management system in place can be the difference between losing and retaining them. With the sizable increase of work-at-home businesses, having a package solution onsite can serve as a marketing tool on its own. Prospects are already excited when they see package locker systems at a community they are touring. Having this amenity could be an even bigger draw to someone who is interested in or has already established an at home-based business.
Pokémon Go Can Help Multifamily
On July 6th, 2016, an event of monumental proportions happened: Pokémon Go was released. The game has already revolutionized mobile gaming and is uniting people across all generations. Niantic Inc. developed the game through a licensing deal with Nintendo, the majority stakeholder of the franchise. The deal has proven to be fruitful; Nintendo’s market value jumped an astounding $7.5 billion since release! The game is simple: “catch” Pokémon with your phone in different areas of cities and towns. The game is a based on “geolocation,” GPS locations and landmarks, so one has to walk around to progress through the game. There are “Pokestops” and “Gyms” where people can get rewards, play against other Pokémon and find new Pokémon. So why should you care? This can be a golden marketing opportunity for multifamily communities. You can actually drive potential residents to your property with the game!
Pokémon Go is a “free to play” style game. This means that one can play for free, but upgrades are purchasable through an online store. One of those items is a “Lure Module,” which draws Pokémon to a certain location for 30 minutes. They cost about 99 cents per lure. The lures need to be set within proximity of a Pokestop (currently). Your community may already be a Pokestop or Gym; you just need to check in the game. Super geeky, right? Well, businesses have caught on and are driving traffic to them because people playing see where lures are and stop to get the free items. So how can a multifamily community benefit?
Marketing With Pokémon Go
If you could set lures or Pokestops at and around your property, you have a lead generation tool at your fingertips. In an interview with the Financial Times, Niantic C.E.O. John Hanke said that “sponsored locations” are coming to Pokémon Go. When this becomes available, why not set Pokestops around key amenities on-site? The pool, the gym, the locker system, the clubhouse, etc.; the list goes on and on! While people of all ages are playing the game, Millennials are playing the game the most (it’s a nostalgia thing). You can put the word out on social media about having a “Pokémon Tour” around the property. When the event starts, have players provide their contact information and walk them around the property to the different stops. They get Pokémon while you’re showing off key amenities and layouts to potential residents! It’s a win/win for everyone!
What about a “Pokémon Go Mixer” for current residents? Provide food and drinks while setting up Pokestops around the property. Have residents team up in groups and send them around the property to collect their goods. This will encourage meeting new neighbors and friends. Right now, you can lead residents around the area and collect Pokémon and items. Pair this with your other marketing initiatives (are you live streaming yet?) and you’ll have current and future residents hooked.
Get Ahead of the Game
In conclusion, this is a huge opportunity to show off your community and gain some new faces. Pokémon Go is still very new and Niantic is working out the bugs and creating more features. The ideas above are just a few examples of how your multifamily community can capitalize on the excitement as new content and features are released. So go out there and “Catch ‘Em All”… residents that is!
To play and learn more, download Pokémon Go from the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store.
Subcom in a Box
Mail carriers across the globe are feeling the strain of increased package deliveries. If you’ve been keeping up to date on our blog posts, we’ve discussed this online retail boom. There are the obvious contributors such as Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, Apple and Staples, but a new category is making waves. It’s not the newest concept, but since 2010, this category has made a huge impact in how people shop. That category is subscription box services or “subcom” for short.
Birchbox. Dollar Shave Club. Plated. These subcom services differ in their products but offer a central idea. They deliver goods to millions of Americans alone on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. A customer simply enters their payment information, and like clockwork, boxes appear at the door. They only stop if the customer cancels or changes the subscription. It allows a “set and forget” type of shopping. Instead of going to the local drug store for razors, why not just pay a flat fee to have them delivered to your door once a month? And the category isn’t only limited to toiletries and food; if you can dream it, there’s a service for it.
Subcom Offers Life in a Box
Ranging from $10 and up, the subcom model was born out of convenience. No longer does one have to spend hours grocery shopping; just sign up for Blue Apron and have 3 meals delivered to your door once a week. Hate shopping for new clothes? Try Trunk Club, where clothing is handpicked by stylists for your size and tastes. Like what’s inside? They just charge your card for what you keep after mailing back the rest. No stores. No lines. No hassle.
So what does this mean for multifamily? We think the subcom model will only gain in popularity, meaning more deliveries to communities. Properties are already seeing 15% to 50% increases in deliveries with no signs of slowing down. Not all subscription box services will last but the idea is here to stay. The Blue Aprons (valued at $500 million) and Birchboxes ($96 million in sales) of the world aren’t going anywhere. Convenience is king and it doesn’t get any easier. A Millennial alone already gets 22 to 24 packages per year and being the most tech-savvy group the world has ever seen, subcom will continue to grow. If you haven’t future proofed your property yet, now might be the best time to do so.
Getting Millennials To Settle In Your Community
If there’s one generation breaking the mold, it’s Millennials. Born between the years of 1980 thru 2000, they constantly attract the attention of the media through their job-hopping habits, their diversity and their high levels of education. Being the most studied generation in history, Millennials have a different outlook on life than previous generations and are gearing up to change the spending habits of our current economy. This all might sound a bit intimidating at first but it’s great news for the multifamily industry. Millennials are drawn to renting for a variety of reasons and they cherish the ability to pick up and move whenever they like. Because of this, renting has never been more attractive. So how can apartment developers capitalize on these tech-savvy nomads? Here are the top three things Millennials look for in their future communities.
- Technology – This should be obvious but not all communities understand it. It’s not about Internet access and gaming areas; it’s also about the little things. Great examples making all the difference are USB chargers built into wall outlets, keyless electronic access throughout the property and even a simple digital rent payment system. These all display your community’s commitment to keeping up with the times. Hey, it doesn’t hurt to have tech-savvy amenities, such as a Package Concierge. They order a lot of packages and they want to receive them on their schedule!
- Attractive Apartment Layouts – For Millennials, less is more. They’re willing to downsize the bedroom for a larger living room where social interaction takes place. Michael R. Ytterberg, principal at BLT Architects, believes in this characteristic as he states: “Within the apartment itself, one of the most important features that Generation Y renters look for is an open floor concept with a large living space. As a result, smaller bedroom spaces aren’t a drawback if the living space can support their naturally social lifestyles.” This makes sense given Millennials thrive socially.
- 21st Century Health and Wellness Centers – A barren room stocked with treadmills and rusty weight systems won’t cut it anymore. In its place, fitness centers in multifamily communities have been placing a heavy emphasis on yoga studios, pilates and “fitness on demand” digital classes broadcast through large TV’s. Millennials care deeply about wellness and are inarguably one of the healthiest generations ever.
These three characteristics will help your community be lively and vibrant. While Millennials enjoy having the ability to come and go as they please, statistics show that if they’re happy, they’re willing to rent longer, which is great news for the apartment industry. Ytterberg reiterates this point when he says “Many Millennials today are willing to spend more on their monthly rent to live in a prime location that offers them convenience, comfort and choice.” If apartment communities can provide what they’re looking for, it may turn a generation of wanderers into a bunch of homebodies. And what’s better than happy residents who want to stay a while!