Generation Z are true digital natives. They were born and have grown up in a fully digitized world. They’re highly mobile dependent, are frequently on the hunt for a unique and personalized experience, crave a sense of community, and expect technology to be fully integrated into the home renting and buying process.
In 2020, Gen Z has represented nearly 40% of all consumers – that’s a significant group of young adults who are stepping into the housing market. If landlords and property investors want to be on the front lines of selling to the next major housing market demographic, they first have to understand the specific way Gen Z works and where their priorities reside.
Let’s break it down.
They Want Tech
Gen Z was the first generation to come into the tech world. Unlike their predecessors, Millennials, Gen Z doesn’t know a world without technology. It’s deeply ingrained into every aspect of their lives, and they expect it to be embedded into every system in place. If you don’t offer integrated tech into their housing experience, don’t expect them to stick around very long. From utilizing tech to market and advertise, to incorporating tech into their homes, if you don’t use technology to its fullest potential, they’re going to notice.
They Are Social Creatures
Another significant characteristic of the Gen Z demographic is their desire for healthy community and social experience. When they are on the hunt for home rental or ownership, they’ll look at features and local opportunities that meet their desire to participate and create with other people. As a Landlord, it’s important to offer opportunities for your tenants to socialize. If you can’t provide community events, make sure to highlight the local social scene. See if some local businesses will offer discounts or coupons to your new residents to incentivize your sales.
They Go Green
Gen Z’ers are incredibly passionate about environmental issues. Unlike older generations, a considerable portion of the Gen Z demographic is fiercely concerned about the environment. It makes their purchases with that in mind – even if it means spending more money to have an environmentally-friendly product. That includes where they live. While investing in green amenities can have a higher upfront cost, the lifespan of savings could very much outway the initial expenses. Some ways that you can make your properties both Gen Z AND environmentally friendly include: upgrading windows to energy-efficient panes, installing eco-friendly appliances, swapping out regular light bulbs for LED bulbs, and more.
They Are Frugal
While it’s easy to assume that younger = spenders, that isn’t the case for Gen Z. This generation grew up in a bad economic recession – something they are still feeling the effects of today. Their upbringing showed them how deeply money can impact an entire economy, often reflecting on their parents’ shared experience of pinching pennies, clipping coupons, and even struggling to find jobs after being let go. Because of growing up during a global economic crisis, and even worse, living in the shadows of the generally “poor” millennial generation, Gen Z is largely worried about money. This mindset makes them more apt to choose affordability over fancy amenities, extra square footage or other, unnecessary expenses.
They Live In The Digital World
Because Gen Z’ers put so much priority and value on technology – landlords and property investors need to put just as much emphasis into utilizing social media and the digital space to advertise their properties. Overall, Gen Z is spending most of their time on Instagram and Google when searching for a home. Google Search is the number one channel to find housing listings today, but even more so for Gen Z’ers than any other generation. If you’re trying to pull in the younger generations and prepare to quickly become the largest group on the housing market, you need to shift your advertising and marketing tactics from traditional methods to more digital-heavy methods.
While there are so many other characteristics that we could list that make up the diverse and unique Gen Z group, the best way to connect with them is to listen and learn. As real estate trends continue to change and take shape in the new year, landlords and property investors need to keep a close eye on these changing trends and how they may affect the market. They also need to shift their mindsets. Rather than trying to get Gen Z’ers to approach the housing market like previous generations, they should understand Gen Z’ers needs and change their approach to selling and managing properties.
If you want to learn more about how Blackwell Property Management can help bring your property and marketing tactics into modern times, connect with us today!