The largest generation is spearheading a marketplace shift

Millennials often get a bad rap. Essentially, they’re blamed for a lot – from the over-reliance on cell phones to the over-abundance of coffee shops to an over-abundance of working remotely. Millennials, many Boomers and Gen-Xers believe, have changed everything.

A more accurate assessment is that because of Millennials – and, to some degree, Generation Z – the nation, the world, and the way we live our lives are experiencing growing pains. Millennials are now the largest generation, outpacing Boomers by some 15 million. And in order to stay relevant, many businesses and industries, including commercial real estate, have to change with the times.

Millennials and work

As the generation that came of age during the Great Recession, Millennials single-handedly changed the way in which work is done. Highly educated and in debt because of that education, they were also the most likely to lose their jobs. This, combined with advances in technology, forced many Millennials to put their minds to work in order to survive. Start-ups, crowd-funding, freelancing, the gig economy, and working remotely became ways to make ends meet.

As the economy improved, office spaces had to adapt their floor plans. Empty cubicles were removed and office footprints decreased in exchange for open floor plans, quiet areas for more focused work, remote employees, collaborative spaces, and third spaces. By understanding the values of employees, some companies that were not centrally located also provided shuttles to mass transit hubs and invited food trucks for lunchtimes.

Millennials and play

The rise of e-commerce has led to a worry that the American mall is dying. As brick-and-mortar stores fall to e-retail giants or are forced to jump into the online retail pond, there may be a glimmer of hope for retail property landlords, courtesy of Millennials.

When it comes to disposable income, Millennials – more than any other generation – are more likely to spend that money on experiences rather than stuff. They embrace life outside of work. According to a report from MetLife Investment Management, shopping can thrive when it is part of a mix of stores, restaurants, and entertainment. Among the ideas given a tremendous thumbs up: retail shops that provide unique products and excellent customer service, weekend farmers markets, restaurants that surpass the usual food court fare, and live entertainment.

Millennials and investments

Faced with a difficult economic environment, Millennials used their imagination, creativity, and digital ability to develop new ways of investing. Crowdfunding, which has multiple investors pooling resources via an Internet platform, was born with the Millennial generation. It’s now an idea that has gone mainstream.

Today, many Millennials are considered Millennipreneurs, successful business owners who understand the needs of their employees. As such, they meet many of the wants of their generation in specifically-designed office and retail spaces, so that work is more productive and life is more fulfilling.

Millennials and Morris Southeast Group

In 1976, Allen I. Morris founded the firm that his son, Ken, now oversees. In those 42 years, the Morris Southeast Group has witnessed many changes and trends in the CRE market. By understanding and embracing the needs and desires of each generation, the firm has been able to remain relevant and successful in bringing clients and properties together.

For a free consultation or to learn more about CRE opportunities, call Morris Southeast Group at 954.474.1776. You can also reach Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or via email at