Attracting Millennials: The location factor

Posted On February 3, 2015

According to a recent report by Cushman & Wakefield, attracting Millennials has a something in common with selling real estate: location, location, location. And more precisely, urban locations. As it turns out, Millennials are city dwellers and they are all about convenience, so if you want them to come to you, well, you may need to go to them.

Why the big surge in city living? CW’s report cites surveys, including one that shows 62% of Millennials prefer mixed-use communities. Perhaps more important, Millennials have a tendency toward delayed adolescence (or adultolescence). As I’ve talked about here many times, the Millennials are staying in school longer, getting married later, having children later, etc. They are also renting longer and delaying the taking on of mortgages – either because they are still paying off student loans or they simply aren’t ready to settle down. Either way, these factors are making cities more attractive and attractive for a longer period of time.

In recent years the population growth in cities has outpaced that of suburbs, reversing a trend that had been growing since the 1930s when the automobile made the ‘burbs more accessible. Today, Millennials are driving less than any other generation and no longer see a driver’s license as a ticket to freedom. They are group-oriented as a whole and prefer to live among their peers. While it remains to be seen whether their tone changes as they age, the fact remains that more cities are seeking to create neighborhoods that offer the work-life balance young professionals desire. As a result, more companies are going to need to reconsider suburban campus centers that were so attractive to Boomers years ago. At the very least, larger companies may find it advantageous to set up satellite offices “in town” to accommodate an increasingly city-based workforce.

Categories: Generation Y / Millennials, Workplace