This week at RGX, our focus is all about the future of real estate and the technology that powers it. So to go along with that, let’s take a look at the future of real estate—and who will have a big role in it.
Yes, I mean Gen Z.
It wasn’t too long ago we were talking about why real estate brokerages need to put the spotlight on marketing to millennials—and how to do it. But with millennials now reaching 23 years old minimum, they’re making room for the next generation, too.
What is Gen Z?
Gen Z is generally considered to be everyone born after 1997—which means that they’re starting to hit their late teens and early 20s. They’re growing up and starting to make money, and in the next five years or so, they’re going to start buying homes.
And naturally, that’s going to mean that real estate pros will need to know how to reach them. Unlike previous generations, Gen Z has grown up with the Internet. It has been around their whole lives; they’re fully accustomed to having information at their fingertips, especially through social media.
What are they worried about?
Even more than millennials, Gen Zers have concerns about buying homes. Last year, RE/MAX did a survey to see what this generation’s stance is, and a whopping 67% of them in Ontario and B.C. are actually stressed about it.
And a lot of this comes down to money.
Both Gen Y (millennials) and Gen Z face the ominous obstacle that is student debt. But where only 17% of millennials reported that student debt was their biggest obstacle to buying a house, that number almost doubles for Gen Z.
Is that bad for real estate?
It doesn’t have to be! The vast majority of Gen Z does want to be homeowners—it just means that their situations might require a little creativity. And it’s up to financial institutions and real estate pros to help them understand what their options are.
Starting to educate them about options now means that they have the information they need to start saving for down payments, rather than waiting because they think it’s out of reach.
What’s the best way to do that?
The best way to educate young folks about their options for buying homes is to reach them where they operate: on social media. According to this article, 51% of Gen Z uses social media almost constantly—and 90% of them use social media to consume brand content, rather than connect with friends.
Running “did you know” posts and branded educational content for upcoming homeowners can help them understand their options, and reach out to you for more information.
Email marketing is also a really good channel for reaching this generation. Email is far from dead, even for Gen Z—some studies have suggested that up to 85% of them use email for inquiries for things like apartment rentals, and for getting information from real estate companies.
What needs to be different?
As with most generations, the key here lies in how we use social media and email. They’re the same tools that real estate has used to reach previous generations, but we can’t use it the same way.
It’s important for the sake of being effective to tailor your message to the new generation; if you don’t try to communicate through concerns they actually have, the message won’t resonate with them. It’s also a good idea to mix up how you send your message. Visual platforms like YouTube and Snapchat are most popular with Gen Z; you don’t necessarily have to market through those platforms, but it suggests that using video content on your social media and through emails could be more effective.
What are your techniques for reaching Gen Z? Share them in the comments below!