Whether Gen Y apartment prospects are relying on a single source to inform their selection of a rental community or tapping into a variety of channels, the Millennial approach to finding an apartment is comparatively (and perhaps not surprisingly) more tech-savvy than searches conducted by other demographics.

What Gen Y residents ultimately want from apartment community design and management, however, may not be drastically different from what the renters who preceded them desired. Apartment operators bent on Gen Y success will likely benefit from the site selection, core amenity offerings, and customer service considerations typically made for market-rate multifamily communities in the first place.

According to What Do Residents Want?: Trends in Resident Technology and Communication Preferences, a J Turner Research study conducted in June 2012, the Millennial generation is more apt to use smart phones, laptops, and tablets for apartment research. The survey, which included responses from 41,303 apartment residents (39 percent of whom were between 18 and 30 years old) showed that Gen Yers also gravitate toward social media, apartment community websites, and Craigslist more than older apartment searchers do.