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YOLO, JOMO or FOMO? – understanding Millennials


The meaning of phrases such as landlords ‘being really extra about lit parties’ and tenants promising ‘to have this adulting thing down’ may be clear as day to Millennials, but Greek to older generations. Thankfully, RE/MAX of Southern Africa compiled their own Millennial Tenant Dictionary.

“Considering that most South Africans can only afford to purchase property in their late thirties, it is highly probable that most tenants belong to the Millennial generation who are currently in their early twenties and thirties, and that most landlords belong to the generations that came before them. This generation gap often leaves landlords perplexed by every conversation they have with their younger tenants,” explains Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

To address this issue, they compiled their own Millennial Tenant Dictionary containing some of the keywords and phrases (along with their corresponding explanations) that millennial tenants might use in interactions with their landlords…

1. Adulting (v): to complete the often undesirable tasks and responsibilities that are expected of a fully grown individual over the age of 21.

A tenant might use this term when applying for a rental. For example, “I’ve got this adulting thing down. You’ll never receive a late payment from me.” They might also use it when trying to get out of paying their rent. For example, “I just can’t adult today.” Or “I’ve been adulting so hard all week, can’t you just cut me a break?”

2. Bae (noun): a nickname for a significant other; the abbreviation for ‘before anyone else’.

A tenant might often refer to their bae while in conversation with their landlord, especially if bae shares the apartment with them.

3. Bye Felicia (phrase): a dismissive and insulting way to greet somebody who is leaving.

If your tenant ever greets you with this phrase, then you know you’re probably renting to somebody who is disrespectful and definitely could not care less about you. Note: this is a gender-neutral greeting that is used on both males and females.

4. Extra (adjective): over-the-top behaviour.

If you are ever caught in a disagreement with your tenant, they might attribute your frustrated reprimands to you just being extra. For example, “My landlord is being so extra about the unmowed lawn.”

5. JOMO (phrase): describes the wilful intention to skip out on something; acronym for ‘Joy Of Missing Out’.
A spin-off of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and YOLO (You Only Live Once), a tenant who uses the term JOMO is probably a well-adjusted young person and perhaps a bit of a homebody. These sorts of tenants are less likely to throw raucous house parties and generally make for good tenants.

6. Lit (adjective): a positive term used to describe something truly enjoyable or impressive.
If, when viewing the property, a tenant exclaims that the apartment is so lit, then you can expect the completed rental application shortly thereafter. If, however, they mention a lit party they threw in your property, you might want to pop by shortly thereafter to assess possible damages.

7. Salty (abstract noun): being in an unpleasant mood; being grumpy, moody or bitter.
Tenants might attribute the reason for their applying for new rentals to the fact that their previous landlord was salty about something the tenant had done. In this instance, you may want to ask the reason behind the previous landlord’s saltiness.

“The key to any successful tenant-landlord relationship is effective communication. Many issues can be avoided entirely as long as both parties fully understand what is expected of them. It might be worthwhile for older landlords to chat to younger relatives or to keep an eye on current trends to ensure that they don’t become too out of touch with their younger tenants that it effects their ability to communicate effectively with them,” Goslett concludes.

Press release: RE/MAX of Southern Africa

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