Are You Ready for Gen Z?

The country's largest generation, Millennials, currently dominate the rental market. However, move over Millennials, there’s a new generation of renters about to become a force in the multifamily market – Gen Z. Generation Z are the segment of people born in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s. No longer babies, they range in age from tweens to early twenties. The eldest of them are around 23 years old, and might be some of your current student renters.

Though their spending power hasn’t fully matured (as many of them are still quite young), the Gen Z population comprise 25% of the current population; that’s more than both Millennials and Boomers. And, right now, they are starting to enter traditional multifamily properties, bringing a new tastes and priorities with them.

While it may be too soon to tell exactly what Gen Z will expect from apartment living, the experts say it’s time to start thinking about it. Here are some way that Gen Z will impact your properties and work life.

Diversity in Marketing

Generation Z is growing up in a diverse, multicultural world; as a segment of the population, they are the most racially and ethnically diverse generation. For this generation, skin colour and gender are fluid, and everyone is included. Diversity is simply a given, it’s all around them and they expect to see it reflected in the media and marketing they consume. You won’t earn extra points for showing diversity in your marketing, but expect a cold shoulder if you don’t.

Cautious Spending

Gen Z sets itself apart from other generations with a sensible outlook on money. This is a generation that watched their parents hit by the 2008 recession. Gen Z value stable employment, tend to save for a rainy day, and more likely to buy their clothes in thrift shops. (1 in 3 Gen Zers buy second hand.) They are looking for value for their money, and that includes rental properties. Generation Z is far more price-conscious, with a practical approach to renting an apartment. They don’t necessarily need all the bells and whistles and high-end finishes, and would be equally content with a more modest accommodation with value and quality.

Practical & Sustainable Amenities

As part of the value and quality, Zers want amenities that are practical and sustainable. This aligns with their values and beliefs. Things like community green initiatives, a recycling program and on-site renewable energy resonate with this demographic. They appreciate appliances that conserve energy and save them money, but don’t expect to pay a premium to have them. Smart thermometers, lighting and locks are all high on a list of desirable building features.

More Short-Term Rentals?

Younger renters prefer shorter-term leases, according to the 2020 Apartment Resident Preferences Report  by the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and Kingsley Associates. It states the view on short-term rental activity on site is strongly reflective of resident age, with younger renters expressing more interest. Nationally, nearly 60% of respondents said having short-term rentals would either positively impact their perception of a community or have no effect at all.

Voice Activated Tech

Gen Z doesn’t just want fast, reliable wifi for their computers and phones, they also want all sorts of smart, connected appliances and devices. The 2020 Apartment Resident Preferences Report also goes on to outline that 43% of respondents said they were interested in or would not rent without voice-activated virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home. More than a third said they already owned such devices.

Attracting & Retaining Talent

Almost two thirds of Generation Z folks point to their employment as an integral part of their identity. As a highly eco and politically-conscious generation, property management firms would be more appealing as an employer of choice by becoming more value-driven and provide more than just a salary. This Gen Z segment wants to feel connected. They want to work for a company that aligns with their beliefs. Many property management firms do make efforts, whether in their own properties or as a corporate responsibility initiative to make an impact on climate change, sustainability and raising money for local charities. Now is the time to make these activities more transparent and highlight efforts to be a good local and global citizen.

How Property Vista Helps Attract Gen Z

Gen Z has grown up online knowing a digital world. Property Vista’s suite of online tools allows you to promote anywhere, anytime digital property applications, complete with digital signatures. This generation doesn’t ever pay by cheque, so Property Vista’s online payment options are in-line with the way they live their lives, as are our mobile friendly website templates.

If your organization is looking to move away from paper-based practices and centralize, standardize and optimize your processes, Property Vista can help. At Property Vista, we provide both the technology you need to better understand your business and the tools needed to make changes. Our solutions come in a modular format, allowing you to choose the services you need, when you need them. To learn more about how you can optimize your website and processes to ensure a seamless integration of today’s young renters, see pricing and get a demo.