Renting to Generation Z: Are You Ready?

The apartment industry has been obsessing over millennials for years. And for good reason.  Millennials are responsible for the recent, drastic increase in rental housing demand. But believe it or not, there’s already a new generation on the way. Generation Z or the “iGeneration” will be moving out and into the workforce starting in 2017. The iGeneration hasn’t been precisely defined yet, but it roughly consists of individuals who were born from mid-1990 to 2010.  Surprisingly, Gen Z is more interested in home ownership than their older siblings.  But that doesn’t mean the rental housing boom is anywhere close to finished.  These renters don’t expect to own a home of their own until they’re at least 28, well past the age of past generations.  Until then, they’ll be renting, so if you can identify and target the things this new generation values, you’ll have easy occupancy for years to come.

Generation Z is More Fluent in the Digital Space

Since its more common for young Gen Z’s to rent an apartment as opposed to buy a house, the rental economy is predicted to skyrocket once again.  Generation Z obtained the nickname “iGeneration” because they’re more “tech savvy” even than Millennials (or any previous generation for that matter). Unlike their predecessors who grew up with Gameboys, Tamagotchis and the classic “flip phone,” Generation Z doesn’t know a world without cutting edge smartphone technology and ubiquitous Internet access. They rely on the web and mobile devices to search for goods and services more frequently than their older siblings.  Which is why it’s more important now than ever to address your digital approach.

Finding Renters in the New Generation

Generation Z relies on the internet for most things in their lives. Finding an available property to rent, viewing said property, and contacting the landlord all from online resources isn’t anything out of the ordinary for this generation. 74% of tenants are below the age of 45, and that number is rising.  Whether you’ve experienced it yet or not, Millennials and Gen Z’s will become far and away the dominant renters in the coming years.  Catering to their digital ways will have a positive impact on your image as an effective landlord and will increase your re-signing rate. Get ahead of the game; don’t wait to be overlooked.

Generation Z has a fast paced, digitally focused life.  Millennials favored simple, digital solutions to their everyday problems – the iGeneration expects it.  For the rental housing industry, this means features such as online rental payment with credit cards, an interactive website, 360 degree virtual tours, online lease signing, and flawless connection and communication between tenant and landlord.  Catering to this sensibility will be challenging for those less “tech savvy” landlords, but it doesn’t have to be.  Whether it’s us here at Innago or someone else, find a great digital partner that can personally walk you through the steps you can take to prepare and respond to the changing rental demographics.

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2 comments

  1. I only manage 3 units and have typically relied on word of mouth to fill vacancies without too much of an issue. As a result I’ve never had my own website. Would it still be worth the time and effort to create an interactive site with 360 degree tours? and if so, is it costly to do (whether it be time or financially)?

    1. Hey Aaron, everyone’s situation is different, but the biggest factor that will impact whether or not you should invest in better marketing is whether or not you’re having trouble finding renters. Sounds like that’s not an issue for you, so I would say no need for now.

      I would expect that in the not too distant future, features like 360 degree tours will become expected more-and-more by potential renters. But there’s good news: a lot of new companies are building technology that attempts to solve problems like these really affordably. We’ve been keeping an eye on this trend and will have more to share on the blog soon!

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