Despite the tough economic climate, the demand for property is ever present. It may fluctuate somewhat, but now a new generation has entered the market. It may come as a surprise, but Generation Z (those born between 1997 and 2012) are getting serious about buying real estate.
The oldest members of Gen Z are leaving college and starting on their career paths. Although that means they don’t have years’ worth of savings, their interest lies in homes in the most affordable areas.
In a few years this generation will be poised to buy their own homes, having learned from previous generations what works and what doesn’t.
We’ve compiled a short list of ways to make property pages more accessible to Gen Z buyers.
- Build a strong online presence
Gen Z spends a lot of time online and they don’t have the patience for companies that aren’t online at all, or who lack a strong web presence. But a strong online presence means more than just a website.
While a website is essential, you’ll reach many more potential buyers by using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. When Gen Zers browse property pages they don’t want to take down phone numbers. They want to be able to click through and interact directly with agents.
Making it easy for potential Gen Z buyers to find you and get in touch is crucial.
- Be available to communicate
A side effect of living in the digital age is the expectation (especially from Gen Z) of instant communication. This can present challenges to real estate agents not used to responding instantaneously.
But if they want to reach Gen Zers, they must be prepared to interact online and as speedily as possible. You can do this through email, social media, or a mobile app. The more available you make yourself, the more comfortable this generation will feel.
- Use informative marketing
Gen Zers range in age from 12 years to 24, and studies have shown that 97% of them want to be homeowners. While many will be contending with student loan debt, they generally seem to have a good grasp of finances. One survey showed that 65% of Gen Zers don’t feel confident in their understanding of mortgages. They’re looking for marketing that is educational and meets their needs. Infographics, how-to videos and any free online resources that relate to the real estate market will work in your favor.
- Be transparent
Generation Z has grown up in a society that is becoming more conscious of social justice and equality— or the lack of it. They value honesty and transparency.
Doing their own online research is how Gen Z operates. Negative reviews on social media or websites influence their perception of different agencies. Addressing complaints directly and with transparency is more impressive than putting on a front and not acknowledging shortcomings. Testimonials from satisfied clients go a long way to building trust.
- Cater to their needs
Part of becoming conscious of social justice issues is becoming more focused on diversity and inclusion; financial inclusion, too.
Most of Gen Z is not interested in the traditional “American dream” as much as previous generations. They want someone who can meet their needs. They are individualistic as well as community-conscious, and value equality.
Affordability is important to Gen Zers. They know all about student loan debt and want to avoid it as much as possible. Research has shown that buying a home will mean an 18-year-old has to save around $300 a month for twelve years.
This youthful population group is frugal and highly conscious of the financial climate. They’re more likely to manage their money carefully, taking advantage of free online resources like accounting templates and loan calculators that help them stay on track.
- Offer virtual viewings as well as face-to-face interactions
This makes even more sense with the current concerns about COVID-19. Gen Zers are online every day (and night) and they like saving time. Being able to virtually walk through a property as soon as they see it online is a very attractive selling point—for the agency if not for the property itself).
Despite this, Gen Zers want personal interaction when sealing a deal. This may be down to the healthy skepticism about how trustworthy online dealings are, or aren’t.
- Walk the walk
As we’ve mentioned, Gen Z is more conscious of social justice issues than their predecessors. They value diversity and equality. Something they expect companies to value too.
Gen Z expects people and institutions to take accountability for their actions; every transgression finds its way online. To appeal to Zers, realtors must walk the walk just as they talk the talk—have real integrity and not just a pretty façade.
As the past two years have proved, today’s world is an uncertain one. Despite that, the youngest generation is showing that they too want to invest in real estate, and are all set to become a buyer demographic on the rise.