Wait a minute... They're old enough to live on their own?! Depending on which date range you look at, the oldest of these young adults are turning 17-22 years old in 2017. They're soon to enter the workforce. Some have graduated from college or even started families. They're moving away from home and entering the housing market... as renters.
And they already contribute $44 billion to the US economy. Want a slice of that pie? Then learn how to market to them.
Gen Z is the first generation that has lived most, if not all, of their lives in a world of smart phones, internet connectivity and social media platforms. They are tech savvy and do EVERYTHING almost exclusively on their mobile devices. They want instant gratification and personalized experiences. With all of the information available to them at their fingertips, they are very well informed and likely know almost everything they need to know before even talking to you or seeing a property.
To win this market over, you will need to incorporate social media and video into your marketing strategy. Additionally, with so much information being thrown at them at all times on their devices, they can get distracted easily if you don't capture them fast. To hold their attention you need to be concise and get to the point. No fluff. Be transparent: don't make them wait or jump through hoops for the information they want, or they'll lose interest and look for what they want elsewhere.
Strategies to consider moving forward
Collect payments, applications, and screen applicants online
This tech savvy and impatient generation doesn't want to have to come to the office to pay rent/utilities/deposits/application fees or submit an application and additional necessary attachments. With technological advances/innovations making services easier and more streamlined, this generation is more efficient then their predecessors and recognize the value of their time.
Give them the option to quickly and easily do all these things online (but please ditch the expensive "convenience" fees) and you'll surely make them happy. Besides, do you really want to try to decipher their handwriting or risk losing their pre-paid money order, anyway?
Quit relying solely on your website to generate leads
Although your website is a critical component to your lead generation success, it should not be your only marketing avenue. Gen Zers usually find the content and info they need via social media and You Tube. More times than not they find companies they use and buy from via ads or shares on 3rd party sites.
Incorporating cross channel marketing will surely help you get noticed by this social and connected young market.
Incorporate virtual reality
With almost 80% of this tech-loving generation having an interest in virtual reality, it goes without saying that it's not a bad idea to utilize it. The novelty of this technology will help you attract Gen Zers, while the immersive aspect serves to keep their short attention spans from getting distracted.
3-D walk throughs are an excellent use of virtual reality and are becoming widely used to more effectively illustrate layouts of spaces as compared to 2-D pictures. A newer application of this technology is being explored by luxury real estate, in which VR tours of properties are used to immerse potential buyers into a life like walk through of several properties from a singular location.
Use chat bots
Gen Zers grew up with Google and Siri, giving them access to unlimited amounts of information at their fingertips within SECONDS. Forget going to the office or waiting for an email when they have a question. They want answers NOW. Additionally, they do most of their communication via chat and they're the largest demographic to use chat.
You could hire and train employees to be available to answer chat inquiries from 9-5. Unfortunately, humans are erring, emotional beings who can't be available 24/7. What happens if they get a question they can't remember the answer to, or they have to deal with a difficult customer, or a chat comes in after hours? In come chat bots. Chat bots are computer programs that mimic conversation with people using programming and artificial intelligence. They're immediate, intuitive, close to infallible and run day and night.
For more info on chat bots, visit Bot Press.