Move Over Millennials: Generation Z Is About to Hit the Multifamily Market
Thanks to last week’s blog post, you’re now an expert on marketing to the millennial renter. That’s the good news. The not-so-good news? A whole other generation is rising up right on the heels of the millennials: Generation Z — and they expect even more from your marketing team.
Technically, Generation Z overlaps with the millennial generation a bit. It’s made up of anyone born in 1995 or later (remember, millennials were born between 1980 and 2000). This means that, while the older half of millennials will likely remember a world without computers, no one from Generation Z will. Some of them won’t even remember a world without Twitter.
As Generation Z-ers start to enter the housing market in the next few years, how will their presence up the ante in the sphere of multifamily marketing? The short answer is that they’ll demand trending technology every step of the way. The long answer is as follows.
Remember how we said millennials are “digital natives”? Well Gen Z-ers are social natives. Shortly after they learned how to handle an iPhone, they started to Instagram and Snapchat. Their tastes in social media differ a bit from those of millennials in that they’re steering away from sites that permanently host their content—like Facebook—and moving toward platforms that only display their photos or videos for 24 hours, like Snapchat and the story function of Instagram.
So multifamily marketers should start making the shift to these trending platforms in order to engage members of Generation Z, whose attention span is even shorter than that of millennials. Get creative about advertising through short videos or photos posted to Snapchat or Instagram instead of traditional ads.
Digital Docs and Communications
Much like their millennial counterparts, Generation Z really doesn’t want to pick up the phone—unless it’s buzzing with a text message. So make it easy for them to get in touch with you via text or a mobile-friendly medium like Respage’s Chatbot. Also, consider going digital in other ways, even with your leasing process. This demographic is not interested in the hassle of filling out a paper lease and dropping it off at the office. Instead, they want a quick digital leasing application that can be filled out in a few minutes. A simple switch like this could actually be the decisive factor if a renter’s trying to pick between two apartments, so it should be at the top of your priority list!
Like the millennial renter, a Gen Z renter is going to respond well to things like eco-friendly touches and community outreach initiatives. But they take things a step further in terms of transparency and authenticity: they don’t even want your display apartment to look staged. Obviously, it should still appear clean and organized, but before you post a video of your apartment to YouTube, ensure that it looks a bit lived in. You may want to fill your display unit with affordable furniture, too, so that potential renters can get a feel for how it might actually appear when they move in—keep in mind that Generation Z is still on a budget.
A New Wave of Amenities
Since Generation Z was raised on tablets and smartphones, it makes sense that their interests differ from the generations that preceded them. In general, they’re less focused on being active. So while millennials might be enticed by a swanky fitness center or a beautiful community pool, Gen Z probably won’t be. You may need to rethink your amenities, or at least how you market them. Renters in this group will look for perks like coworking spaces since many of them work from home. Consider updating a shared space like a lounge and billing it this way to attract Gen Z renters.
As Generation Z continues to grow not only in size, but also in its power to change the face of the multifamily market, appeal to the younger demographic with tools like our AI-driven Chatbot and reputation management system.