Why You Need to Prepare Now for Gen Z’s Influence on Real Estate
In today’s media climate, it’s become all too common for Millennials to be placed at the center of discussion regarding changes in the marketplace. While it’s true that Millennials influence businesses on a significant level, there’s also a completely different group of people shaping the market with their influence – Generation Z.
The real estate industry needs to be aware of Gen Z’s current role in the marketplace and prepare for the part they will surely play in the coming years.
Who makes up Gen Z?
Although Millennials have largely grown up with the Internet, a key distinction of their generation is that they remember a time (no matter how long that time may have been) when the Internet was not the all-consuming companion to our daily lives that it is today.
Gen Z is completely different. These are the people who grew up expecting each establishment they entered to have Wi-Fi. They grew up with a smartphone in their hands and access to anything they wanted at the tips of their fingers. The Internet has always been a part of their life, and they don’t remember it any other way.
How are they influencing real estate?
Despite their young age (23 or younger, as of 2018), members of Gen Z have shown to be rather open to the idea of homeownership. While the number of Gen Z members who own houses is a relatively small number, a recent trends report shows that Gen Z is prioritizing homeownership, with around 62% of them agreeing that owning a home is a crucial part of the American Dream.
Whether their inclination towards homeownership is due to a strong housing market or a sense of being further away from the 2008 housing crisis, the real estate industry ought to take note of this trend.
Gen Z’s mindset in regard to commercial real estate largely expands on the ideas of shared workspaces, flexible work hours, and constant online connection. In the minds of Gen Z members, work can be done from anywhere at anytime in every kind of setting, whether that be an office, coffee shop, shared workspace, or even their own home.
Based on those ideas, multifamily property managers should also “batten down the hatches” from a technological standpoint. This is a significant pressure point since technology and the Internet has always played a role in the lives of Gen Z members.
Digital amenities – such as online pay portals, high speed Wi-Fi, and virtual tours – are so important in the minds of Gen Z members that they’re not even worth calling amenities anymore.
A solid Internet connection is a barebones necessity. A recent market survey from MRI Software indicates that three of the top five amenities preferred by student renters are digital amenities. The most important amenity, high-speed broadband, was ranked number one by more than 80% of respondents, and in-unit laundry wasn’t even a close second.
How should property owners, operators and developers prepare?
As Gen Z grows in numbers and influence, there are a few ways you can prepare your real estate business on an internal level. An aggressive emphasis should be placed on investing in new technology that improves the flow and efficiency of your business operations. By improving your data management and reevaluating other internal processes, you can make your business more flexible, putting it in a better position to adapt to a changing market.
Having dealt with the Internet their whole lives, Gen Z members thrive in a high-speed, technology-driven environment, and incorporating this into your business practice will also help attract and retain the right talent for your workplace.
To meet Gen Z’s market demands and attract them as prospective renters and tenants, real estate organizations need to provide the right digital tools. Online portals and apps where users can sign their lease and pay rent are a good starting point to keep up with Gen Z.
Consumers drive the market, and the best businesses are the ones that meet the needs of the consumer and anticipate where they may lead. If your real estate business is proactively seeking to improve resident engagement and generate leads, then preparing for Gen Z should be a large part of your strategy.
This Week’s Sponsor
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With technology evolving at breakneck speed and impacting our industry more and more every day, every Corporate Real Estate, Facilities and Workplace professional should be thinking about how this is changing the way we design, build, operate and lease corporate real estate and facilities.
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UPCOMING REALCOMM WEBINARS
The Cloud, IoT, Sensors and More – The NEXT EVOLUTION of Smart Connected Buildings - 4/4/2019
The concept of smart buildings has been around for decades. What’s different now are the multiple generations of technology we have seen throughout the years. At first ‘building automation’ was proprietary and single-source, next came ’connected’ buildings which introduced us to the internet. Today, next-level thinking includes an expanded use of the cloud, the inclusion of non-traditional smart edge devices found within the Internet of Things (IoT), sensors, as well as integration into ERP’s other single purpose solutions and multiple telecommunication platforms. While the benefits of a smart connected building are great, the path to success is elusive. This webinar will feature the industries’ most accomplished smart building experts.
Tom Shircliff is a co-founder and principal of Intelligent Buildings, a nationally recognized smart real estate professional services company that was started in 2004. Intelligent Buildings provides planning and implementation of next generation strategy for new buildings, existing portfolios and urban communities. Tom is a speaker and collaborator with numerous universities and national laboratories, a gubernatorial appointee for energy strategy and policy and founding Chairman of Envision Charlotte, a Clinton Global Initiative.
Paul Maximuk is Energy Manager for Ford Land Energy where he is currently is providing project and program technical guidance to implement global metering of electric, natural gas, steam, water and compressed air systems. He is an Energy Engineer with over 30 years of experience in the HVAC/BMS field. He is an SME specializing in building management and energy reduction. Paul has focused his efforts in large industrial facilities but also has equal expertise in Class A buildings. Additionally he is a problem solver finding the root cause of why mechanical systems do not operate at their peak efficiency.
Gordon Echlin is Vice President Marketing and Business Development for Triacta Power Solutions LP, where he has been a management team member since 2009. Prior to Triacta, Gordon was a partner for a boutique venture capital firm, Venture Coaches from 2006 to 2009, and started a telematics company, Netistix Technologies, in 2002.
As a Senior Strategist for Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, Chris Fine is focused on Aruba’s Smart Digital Workplace initiative. The Smart Digital Workplace combines Aruba’s industry-leading networking technology and a growing ecosystem of partners in technology, real estate, smart furniture, and other specialties, to drive the growth of new experiences for end users and managers in the next gen Smart Office.
Rick has more than ten years of experience in technology and intelligent building engineering. Prior to cohesionIB, Rick served as the Senior Practice Leader at Environmental Systems Design in the Intelligent Building group. He led the technical design of global intelligent building and smart city projects in cities around the globe. He is passionate about designing digital solutions for the built environment that improve the experiences people have and foster the culture around them.
Anne is a high-tech executive with broad experience, starting from software design, architecture, cybersecurity, to managing teams to release telecommunications and enterprise software, building and leading research labs, managing developer relations, and initiating and driving cultural changes. She worked for over 10 years at SAP successively as Director of Security and Trust Research, VP of Platform Research and VP of Developer Advocacy. More recently she co-founded and became the CEO of Workrize PBC.