Gen Z Renters

By on May 5, 2021 in Marketing

The oldest members of Gen Z are turning 24 this year. They were just seven years old when Facebook launched and 13 when Instagram came along. They have never known a time without the internet.

And they’re poised to be the largest generation of renters ever.

Just when we’ve adapted to Millennial renters, this new generation enters the market with its own set of renter preferences. But how different are they, really? A survey of 2,500 renters revealed what Gen Z renters are looking for in their next apartment.

First, see the results from that survey in an infographic that you can share. Then, get some tips for attracting and retaining Gen Z residents. Finally, watch a video interview with a Gen Z renter who shares her take on today’s online experience.

Infographic: Gen Z renter preferences

Infographic showing data from a survey of Gen Z renters

Gen Z is a generation of digital natives who value technology above most traditional amenities. They search for apartments on Google, check out reviews first and consider high-speed internet to be more important than onsite parking!

While Gen Z renters may just be entering the market, their preferences indicate future multifamily trends. For example, this generation is 2x more interested than previous generations in smart home features like locks and thermostats. So for now, smart home features are nice to have. But in the future, will they be considered a must-have to demand the best rent rates?

3 tips for marketing apartments to Gen Z renters

The results of this survey were also discussed during the keynote address of the Apartment Innovation and Marketing (AIM) Conference’s virtual Reconnect event. In the presentation, Drew Davis, award-winning marketer and author, and Esther Bonardi, vice president of marketing at Yardi, shared strategies to attract and retain the newest generation of renters.

Here are three Gen Z marketing strategies from their session that you can use right now:

  1. Be everywhere they search

Go beyond search results. Make sure your community has a presence on social media channels (which also happen to show up in search results, sometimes giving you double or triple the real estate). But don’t expect Gen Z to follow you or interact with your content. It’s likely they’re just checking on you to make sure you are active, current and authentic.

“The Gen Z renter has never known a life that is not powered by technology,” said Bonardi. “We should not assume that their social experience is like those that came before them.”

2. Provide more tour options

Demand is increasing for non-agent tour styles, including self-guided tours, virtual tours and video tours. “The majority of Gen Z renters who responded to the survey — 52% — preferred nontraditional tour types,” Bonardi shared. “This shows us where we’re headed, as an industry. And it shows us that we need to not just offer it, we need to get good at it.”

But even if your new prospects don’t want to tour with an agent, they still want agents to be a part of the process. “Gen Z wants to be left alone to do their own research. But they also want you to be immediately responsive if they have a question,” added Davis. “This is easy to do with technology. It can be as easy as text messaging, or you can use a bot that texts and chats.”

3. Proactively manage your reviews

Of all the generations surveyed, Gen Z ranked ratings and reviews as the most critical to their research when looking for an apartment. “Ratings and reviews ranked higher than videos and the property website. But if you’ve got reviews on your property website, good for you. That’s what renters are looking for, so put them there,” suggested Bonardi.

The best way to get more positive resident reviews is to ask for them, but if you find asking for reviews challenging, Davis is here to help. Watch The Perfect Review Request to get his advice.

Learn from a Gen Z renter in the wild

Drew Davis recently had a chat with a Gen Z renter for Moments of Genius, a series of videos created specifically for property marketers. Watch now to see what he discovered.

Find out more

Join a webinar or read more about our smart chatbot designed to interact with today’s always-connected renters and discover self-guided tours that provide a high-tech, high-touch experience.

RENTCafé Self-Guided Tours product page
RENTCafé Chat IQ brochure

Meet up at AIM 2021

Connect with us at AIM Reimagine in Huntington Beach this October. We can’t wait to talk about the next generation of marketing with you! Use our discount code to save $100 on your registration: RentCafe20