Thinking Big? Go Little.

How high-quality children’s programming is becoming millennials’ most sought after apartment amenity.

dearest children programming in rental building

Millennials, the largest living generation in America, have begun to dominate the lion’s share of the real estate rental market. Indeed, 81% of millennials aged 18 to 29 are opting to rent1 rather than buy due to a refusal to take on additional debt and skyrocketing real estate prices.

The rental industry has noticed. Increasingly, luxury apartments have begun to differentiate themselves in an effort to attract these younger renters, resulting in an all-out “amenities war.” Some of the more flashier offerings include basketball courts, resident-only bars and restaurants, and video game rooms. Other management companies have created spaces for their clientele to connect with each other and achieve a sense of belonging, a community.

But what strategy works? Who is winning the amenity wars and attracting and retaining these clientele? Below are the top three influences millennials take into account when they decide to move their families and their Instagram accounts.

1. Kids, or even the possibility of them, wield a huge influence over rental decisions

The New York Times recently reported on the throngs of millennial parents moving out of their homes2 into newer rental spaces in neighborhoods with sought after schools, just for a shot at the education landscape. But their children are younger than you might think; some aren’t even born yet.

Developers are taking note. In an effort to cater to, and attract, millennial parents, luxury apartment buildings have begun to add children’s playrooms and social spaces for the youngest additions to their buildings: little ones who have not yet begun preschool. But without any additional programming or supervision, these playrooms are empty for the majority of the day.

Offering two or three hours of specialized classes, camps, or care revolutionizes these spaces, turning them into zones of active learning and fun. The additional bonus for tenants? Allowing parents to drop off their children gives them a moment to recharge.

This competitive edge differs vastly from video-game rooms, imagination centers, or pools. Its added value is genuinely desired by families and cannot be easily replaced.

2. Millennials value experiences over things

Millennial parents are laser-focused on their children’s youngest years, experiences, and relationships. Providing children’s programming, at a variable cost, may indeed provide a significantly higher return on investment (ROI) than fixed-cost amenities, such as an in-house movie theater or gym.

Importantly, most luxury rental buildings already have the space to provide these sought after classes, sessions, or care. No additional infrastructure is required in order to offer parents a differentiated, customizable product. Offering quality children’s programming, led by experts and enjoyed by parents and children alike, is an accessible experience that enriches the lives of all who participate. Investing in high-quality children’s programming increases brand equity, attracts longer-term tenants to your building by giving clientele what they’ve really been asking for: experiences.

3. Children’s programming creates community

Parenting is hard. Rewarding? Absolutely. Lonely? Yes. At times, overwhelmingly so.

Millennial parents seek community because parenthood itself can be lonely and socially isolating. Their desire for community and a feeling of togetherness is incredibly strong, far stronger than their desire for an additional pool table or new tiles in the lobby.

Providing children’s programming as an amenity to your clientele offers a two-pronged solution: enrichment for children, a sense of community for parents. According to Curbed, millennials optimize family-friendly amenities with communal spaces when deciding on a rental space3 . Indeed, according to a 2017 report by the National Apartment Association, community engagement and communal spaces ranked near the top of the most desired amenities list4

Togetherness, belonging, and a space to connect with others cultivates a sense of community, and with it reduced turnover rates. Families stay longer when they have more to stay for.

Redefine what city life means for parents. Create a community and help families find their village with Dearest. Acquire new tenants with our unique, in-demand programming, generate high returns by increasing resident engagement and retention, and build your brand by providing one of a kind lifestyle amenity focused on quality.

Contact our care and education concierge to book our children’s programming at

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