Generation Z is predicted to spend $226,000 on rent in their lifetime. For context, that’s $24,000 more than millennials and $77,000 more than baby boomers — and many of them are already starting to rent. This means that for property managers who haven’t yet started to tailor their marketing strategies to this demographic, the time to start is now.
Attracting the newest generation of renters requires a slightly different approach than reaching millennials and the generations that preceded them. There are three key things you’ll want to make sure you’re doing to generate interest and convert leads.
1. Highlight affordability over amenities.
While much of the advice for earning the attention of millennial renters focuses on offering and highlighting industry-leading amenities, features such as swimming pools and communal spaces are unlikely to have the same impact on Gen Z.
One of the main differences between these two groups is that Gen Z renters tend to be much more frugal than their millennial counterparts. Even the youngest members of this generation are already expressing financial concerns, with nearly 10% of teens citing debt as the top issue their generation will face.
As a result, they’d rather save money than have access to flashy amenities — meaning that if a property offers competitive monthly rent and move-in costs, featuring these in marketing materials is a smarter move than focusing on fitness centers or game rooms.
2. Focus your advertising efforts on digital channels.
If you’ve read anything at all about Gen Z, you’re probably aware that they spend a lot of time online. Studies on just how much are finding averages of over 10 hours per day, and that much of this engagement takes place on smartphones.
So while the majority of property managers are already using digital marketing to reach potential applicants, engaging this tech-native generation of renters may require a more nuanced approach. Marketing campaigns should include multiple digital channels and enable prospective residents to find all the information they might want about a property before ever reaching out to a leasing team.
Most importantly, all marketing materials need to be mobile-friendly, making it as easy as possible for potential renters to learn about your property and take the next steps toward applying directly from their smartphones.
3. Embrace tech that drives efficiency.
Gen Z consumers expect speed and convenience, and the best way to meet this expectation is to embrace tech that drives efficiency throughout the leasing process.
Many property managers already list available units online and allow prospective residents to schedule tours from their sites. But after a renter has expressed interest in a property, it’s important to make the process of applying and securing a unit fast, easy and efficient.
As almost any renter can tell you, this isn’t always the case. Between printed applications, written checks for security deposits and the potential back-and-forth involved in fulfilling guarantor requirements, multiple days can pass before the resident is able to sign a lease. The faster you’re able to make this process, the more leases you’ll be able to sign.
Today, there are various platforms and services dedicated to driving that efficiency. Some center on managing applications and leases, while others (including ours) focus on eliminating the cost and time involved in security deposits and guarantor requirements. So while your specific needs depend on where you face bottlenecks in the leasing process, there’s almost certainly a solution designed to fix those issues.
Sign more Gen Z renters with affordability, efficiency and a tech-forward approach.
Though the exact strategies that work for generating leads and signing leases have evolved over the years, the underlying goal is still the same: Show renters that you care about the things that matter to them. For Gen Z, those things boil down to affordability, efficiency and a tech-forward approach.