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Renting to Generation Z: Are You Ready?

June 9, 2017

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Are You Ready To Rent To Gen-Z?

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.

The oldest members of Generation Z graduated and entered the workforce starting in 2017. Gen-Z hasn’t been precisely defined yet, but it roughly consists of individuals who were born from the mid-1990s 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 Acclimated to Digital Spaces

Generation Z includes the most digitally acclimated members of society. While the oldest Gen-Zers are old enough to grow up with Gameboys, Tamagotchis, and flip phones, the younger ones don’t know a world without cutting edge smartphone technology and ubiquitous internet access.

They also rely on the web and mobile devices to search for goods and services more frequently than older generations. For Gen-Z, everything from school assignments, grocery shopping, take-out ordering, banking, and yes, even paying rent, happens online. 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. 65% of tenants are below the age of 39, and that number is rising. Whether you’ve experienced it yet or not, Millennials and Gen-Zers will soon become 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; Gen-Z expects them. For the rental housing industry, Gen-Z renters want 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 to prepare and respond to the changing rental demographics.

For more interesting content in the future, be sure to subscribe to our blog.  And don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Renting to Generation Z: Are You Ready?

  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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