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
Embracing open software and hardware platforms, Lynxspring develops, manufactures and distributes edge-to-enterprise solutions and IoT technology, to create intelligent buildings, better energy management, equipment control and specialty machine-to-machine applications. Lynxspring technologies and solutions are simplifying connectivity, integration, interoperability, data access and analysis from the edge to the enterprise and is deployed in millions of square feet of commercial facilities. For more information about Lynxspring, visit www.lynxspring.com.
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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REAL ESTATE INFORMATION ANALYTICS – Harnessing the Power of the Data - 2/7/2019
It started with spreadsheets and pivot tables, moved to databases, then to data warehouses, onto analytics and business intelligence. Now, analytics often refers to machine learning and artificial intelligence. In the end it is simply about collecting and maintaining accurate comprehensive data and applying some form of sophisticated analysis to gain insight and make better decisions. Combining internal and external data can provide organizations with a better understanding of individual assets, portfolios and markets. This webinar will gather the industries’ most experienced professionals who are leading the way in using data analytics for real estate. Product options, data strategies, personnel requirements and more will be discussed.
Andrew Weakland is the Director of Systems Development for W. P. Carey, a net-lease REIT focused on providing long-term sale-leaseback and build-to-suit solutions for companies in the U.S. and Northern and Western Europe. W. P. Carey continues to focus on active portfolio management and demands technology solutions that deliver results. Andrew specializes in bringing emerging technologies into the real estate space to drive competitive advantage while maintaining the cohesiveness of the overall enterprise technology footprint.
As the Director of Information Technology at Woolbright Development, Luis Ramos is responsible for the corporate technology strategy, which includes the IT infrastructure and enterprise application platforms. Additionally, he is also responsible for implementing technology solutions toward the company’s existing business processes, and helping create new efficiencies throughout the company's business model. Since his arrival in 2004, his team has been responsible for the constant development of various industry-focused proprietary software applications and tools. These award-winning technologies have fundamentally changed the way commercial real estate has been done at Woolbright.
Prabhu’s career spans over 18 years of product, business, and customer experience focused on enterprise-scale software for IoT-based connected services, sustainable building solutions, and telecom network management. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, he was the Director of the IoT division of Zoho Corporation. At Zoho, he was responsible for and directly oversaw strategy, innovation, product, marketing and revenue operations of end-to-end telecom and IoT building solutions.