Developing properties with millennials’ needs and wants in mind isn’t a novel concept. Shopping malls, restaurants, and other complexes are all being shaped around “generation y” as property owners include amenities and features that appeal to this young group. It’s true that a lot of people around this age choose to shop online, but there are many who still primarily make their purchases in person and often accompanied by family or friends. The demographic that many property owners are overlooking is the exploding young Hispanic population, an enormous community that should be kept in mind when planning a lot.
“Currently, minorities make up almost half of all Millennials, and Latinos account for nearly 25 percent of this extremely influential group.” It’s no surprise that many people are catering to the millennials, considering the size of the age group and the amount of money that they spend both on and offline in shopping ventures. However, it isn’t a one-size-fits-all campaign and a lot of key subsets of the group are left out of consideration. The Latino teens within this crowd both make up a fourth of the total and are said to spend more time in stores in person than their peers, rather than from behind a computer screen. As a result, they should be taken into heavy consideration by property managers when developing complexes; there are more specific desires that can be catered to to better appeal to this subset in particular. For example, “Hispanic Millennials… are demanding business space and housing that are community-oriented, urban and modern; and they want diverse shopping options to suit their needs.” This isn’t hard to understand and should be kept in mind throughout the planning process in order to make best use of the space as it’s developed.
Commercial real estate stands the most to gain from all this. Still, if a property is created with the purpose of drawing in more of one group, there should be a pre-existing understanding of what it is that attracts them. In this case, data shows that these Hispanic millennials are looking for diversity in the properties, for example, in the kinds of stores that are offered within a mall. To reach this goal, companies need to make sure that they, too, are achieving a certain level of diversity. Within the team, there needs to be a variety of ideas, experiences, and suggestions to keep things fresh and to appeal to consumers who have similarly alternative desires. These solutions are being called for particularly in more urban centers, as demonstrated by the retailer Primestor in Los Angeles: “[Primestor] specializes in developing and managing retail centers in urban areas… and continues to demonstrate its understanding of the need for urban revitalization that will have a direct and positive impact on the communities surrounding its retail properties.”
If you care about the area around your own property, it can have lasting and positive financial results. Millennials care a lot about the public spaces that they frequent or pass through on a daily basis, extending to lots, parks, and neighborhoods. A well-maintained interior of a store at a strip mall is nice, but one in a safe, clean, and visually appealing exterior area makes an enormous difference in foot traffic and profits for the store itself. Another huge factor for shoppers is parking, so keep the availability in mind when developing a retail property.
Another way to ensure success is to stay abreast of trends and desirable features among the young adults who will be living and/or spending time on your property. Though one addition or element may not have appeal across the board for millennials, it’s always a positive start to cater to at least some of the group. “Nearly half (45 percent) of the nation’s Hispanic population lives in the top 10 metropolitan areas,” so there is clearly a benefit to examining the needs of young Latinos in particular when developing within an urban area. A simple idea – openness – kept as a model for property managers or real estate teams when working can make a huge difference in the success of the developed area.
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