11 Ways to Attract Gen Z Renters
It likely isn’t a surprise to you that Generation Z is the fastest-growing renter segment in America.
They were born between 1997 and 2015, which places them between 6 and 26 years of age. The leading edge have already graduated college. They’re racially diverse, have lived only during prosperity, and have expectations of full employment (yet perhaps not with good wages).
Given the low likelihood of them owning a high-priced home, they could be the stickiest tenants you’ll ever have. As the years progress, their wages and expectations will grow to influence the available rental market. Let’s get a jump on this market to get to know them better, what they want, and the many ways you can adapt your marketing efforts to capture the best of them.
It’s Digital all the Way
Why was 1996 the edge year? That’s the year the consumer Internet arrived with its bounty of online information, virtual experiences, people connectivity and ecommerce. That was a year of revolution in almost all aspects of society, business, learning and government. And now, this massive group of humanity weened on digital communications are becoming renters.
You’ll want to begin shaping your marketing, advertising, lease writing, rental offerings and resident experience to appeal to their perspectives and demands. You’ll have more success if you develop a value proposition and style just for them. And a great benefit of adopting an all in one digital management platform for your rentals is that it’s perfectly suited to this digital-loving demographic.
If you missed the boat with Millennials, you can hop on this next incoming train.
Your Future Renters
Gen Z’s first rental experience is the student housing market where they learn about rental value, rights, expectations, obligations, consequences, and managing finances in a high-priced real estate market.
For this group, the line between work and private life is blurred. Some of them even yearn to be traveling digital nomads, going where rent is affordable and where they can learn, network, find opportunities, as well as get their work done.
Their perception of rental value, lifestyle, and price is different than Millennials and Gen Xers. The recent experience of sky-high rents in 2022/2023 will color their views going forward. They will research and read reviews to find a good landlord and a good rental home.
Landlords will need to adjust their offerings and marketing to appeal to this group for the next 5 years. In fact, the digital world has been giving them increasingly personalized treatment for a while now. They expect it. As their income rises, they will have the means to acquire what they want and avoid what they don’t want.
Before we typecast them too much, we have to remember how young they are and that they will grow and mature just as we did. Yet, there are some characteristics and demands that could persist in their 20’s and 30’s.
Meet Generation Next
Within 5 years, Gen Z’s will likely be the number one renter market shortly. That stat is drawn from the latest report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies entitled America’s Rental Housing 2024.
And Pew Research Center below reveals the growing Hispanic demographic in the U.S. Canada, UK, Germany and Australia have their unique demographic changes.
The Digital Life is Real Life to Them
Gen Z’s are the first fully mobile digital generation and their relationship to SaaS services, apps, social media, online gaming, smartphones, subscriptions, online payments, crowd-sourced information, and artificial intelligence is well established.
They love technology and believe it’s essential to help them be competitive at work, manage their tight budgets and maximize their lifestyles. So this is not fringe benefits and wishlists to them. The theme of their lives is technology-enhanced and landlords who provide technology in rentals are going to be held in high regard by them.
Your technology in services shows them you’re with it and worth being associated with. That translates to rental demand, higher rent prices and longer term leases — all very good things!
Gen Z Characteristics to Know About
- have fewer siblings thus are more geared to meeting others and establishing social connections
- expect to work with technology and rely on it to help them cope with a complicated, insecure world
- flexibility in work and living environments so they adjust to change and growth
- mental health and well being imperative means feeling connected to others in their buildings
- being with people who share their values of sharing and togetherness
- financial transparency so they can gauge value of money spent
- coaching, advice and support to help them cope and grow
- online learning for accessing essentials and spotting opportunity
- online networking to stay informed and connected
What Rental Property Benefits do Gen Z’s Desire?
1. free high-speed internet (includes high-speed wifi which might be ideal for a young renter base)
2. places to work at home in the building (secure, common areas for co-working opportunities)
3. co-living spaces (they can’t afford to live alone at today’s prices nor is there sufficient availability)
4. outdoor amenities (nature appeals to all age groups and a safe place to relax is a worthy enhancement)
5. rental property technology (24×7 secure tech access for everything)
6. tenant portals — their own account to find answers, manage documents, and get direct answers for inquiries/maintenance requests, etc.)
7. package rooms/mailboxes (secure private boxes to accept packages of any size purchased online)
J Turner Research: The Next Gen Renter
J Turner Research produced a report on Gen Z reners which might like to download. https://www.jturnerresearch.com/the-next-gen-
11 Ways to Reach and Impress Gen Z’s
- craft a value proposition specifically for them highlighting digital amenities, convenience, and high-quality inclusive environments that ease their fears of not belonging, using language that speaks to them personally.
- re-design your website and social media pages, especially Instagram
- engage in online reviews and showcase your positive reviews
- offer virtual and self-guided tours even though they may prefer agent-assisted, in-person showings
- show off your physical amenities online including the quality of your building/unit finishes
- upgrade your apartments so they’re not just occupying the units vacated by previous generations (don’t use the word occupant)
- show you value their social life in blogs and your service pages
- show you respect their research skills and are not hiding from them
- show off parking, laundry center, high speed wifi service, bathroom finishes/upgrades, co-working space, community spaces and events
- smart locks, thermostats and other smart home features highlight convenience, control, security and efficiency
- be present on Google Search and syndicate listings on major apartment listing sites and do targeted local advertising on Instagram to boost your brand
Integrate these 11 elements into your complete rental marketing program and you’re likely to make them believe you’re the only landlord for them. Don’t forget you can subscribe to have your own ManageCasa website to integrate your listings and enjoy syndicated listings on the top rental listing websites.
Keep in mind that this generation might also demand more in-person visits, which can waste your precious time. By being specific, you can cull out low-quality referrals online.
How to design websites for Gen Z’s https://www.spinxdigital.com/blog/designing-websites-for-generation-z/
How to use Instagram to reach Gen Z’s https://goknit.com/gen-z-vs-millennials-instagram-use-and-trends/
Instagram Strategies for Landlords https://www.strategybeam.com/blog/6-instagram-strategies-every-property-manager-needs-to-know/
How AI search bots affect Gen Z apartment hunting: https://www.rentvision.com/blog/how-gen-z-renters-are-changing-multifamily-marketing-norms
Call our sales team at 415-800-1245 now to discuss your tenant challenges and how ManageCasa™ can help.
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