Baby boomers are flocking to luxury rentals for their all-inclusive amenities, including blazing-fast, no-nonsense internet
Luxury apartment managers are noting a new and interesting trend among their tenants: they’re baby boomers.
While many new luxury apartments are eager to appeal to the millennial renter, many of them are surprisingly attracting baby boomers, too.
Matthew Hard, Vice President of LCOR — the company that built, owns and manages The Edison in Washington, DC — said in a Bisnow.com article that his company expected The Edison to appeal to transient young people who shop at Union Market and whom he considers early adopters. A majority of renters have been in their late 20s or 30s, but surprisingly, Hard said some of the building's early tenants have been downsizing baby boomers.
The Edison isn’t unique. Between 2009 and 2015, the number of renters aged 55 or above rose 28 percent, while those aged 34 or younger only increased 3 percent, according to Census data from RentCafe. And, more than five million baby boomers across the nation are expected to rent their next home by 2020, according to a 2016 analysis from Freddie Mac.
So, what’s the appeal for this age group? Apparently, it’s the same as it is for millennials: amenity-rich new construction in thriving neighborhoods.
Chris Bledsoe, co-founder of the national co-living brand Ollie, told CNBC that boomers make up about 25 percent of email inquiries.
"I say millennial is a mindset not an age group," he explained. "Boomers are seeking something urban. They want cultural vibrancy, the theater. They want to be close to where their kids and grandkids are."
So, what does this mean for a property’s telecom service offerings?
If The Edison is any indication, the preference is clear: Given the option of included services versus a traditional major internet provider, the boomers prefer the option that offers the least amount of frustration, disruption, and hassle. To that end, inclusive Internet services are winning.
Aiming to stay on the cutting edge of modern amenity offerings, The Edison has built its own fiber optic network giving residents WiFi throughout the property powered by Elauwit Networks. With commercial-grade equipment already placed in the walls of each unit, the system allows residents to connect to high-speed internet immediately upon move-in. Tenants still have the option to use other cable providers, but Hard said about 70 percent of the early residents (including the boomers) have adopted to the LCOR fiber optic service.
Residents who sign up for the service all connect to the network – which is unique to each unit with enterprise grade security and 24/7 support provided by Elauwit. A flat fee is added to their monthly rent giving them the hands-free lifestyle they crave.
"LCOR is an astute developer that recognizes the value of providing a scalable, enterprise-grade system for their discerning clients that are moving to improve their quality of life, whether it's their first apartment or they are downsizing from the suburbs," says Taylor Jones, Elauwit's Chief Technology Officer. "Elauwit deployed a custom solution that delivered on four major requirements of convenience, speed, immediate onboarding and reliability."
LCOR will be able to test this theory a few more times this year as Elauwit is currently working on two additional LCOR projects where robust internet will be offered.
"Elauwit is rapidly expanding its conventional MDU service offering in the Washington, DC, Houston, Texas Denver, Colorado, Los Angeles, California, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania areas as developers like LCOR see the value in making the resident experience even better by removing the most talked about move-in headache….waiting for the cable guy," says Jones.