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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UPCOMING REALCOMM WEBINARS
In-Building Wireless and Emerging 5G and CBRS Technology – The Potential Impact on Commercial Real Estate - 12/13/2018
There are nearly 5B mobile phone users in the world today. We’ve recently surpassed the 50% mark and now over half are smartphone users who are gobbling up bandwidth with live media and immersive content faster than the carriers can supply it. And with so many IoT devices coming online, from video security to automobiles, the demand is increasing exponentially. Although still a couple of years away, 5G and CBRS have not only become hot topics for carriers, telecom equipment manufacturers and end-users, but also building owners and tenants. Despite the high level of interest, there are still numerous questions on how building owners will actually connect with these technologies, and how they’ll impact tenants and visitor’s consumption of data. In this webinar we’ll explore how CRE stakeholders can best prepare to take advantage of these groundbreaking new technologies.
Jon Morris is a 20-year veteran of the telecommunications and wireless industry with deep experience explaining technology and contracting for, developing, and managing wireless real estate. He is currently CEO of Fifth Utility Solutions, an organization that provides advisory and consulting services to the wireless and telecommunications industry.
Mark Horinko is a successful telecom executive with more than 30 years of experience in wireless network strategy, network architecture and design, product development and large –scale network operations. As President of Airwavz, Mark is responsible for multiple, large-scale wireless and telecommunications network deployment projects totaling more than $1billion as well as development of five new industry-changing business and operational models.
Alex Moulle-Berteaux is the Chief Operating Officer for Starry, Inc., a Boston and New York-based technology company focused on re-imagining and revolutionizing how consumers connect to the internet by developing an eco-system of products designed to make broadband access simple and affordable. At Starry, Alex is responsible for overseeing the business performance and operations, network deployment and maintenance, product deployment, customer care, sales and marketing.
Soyola Baasan founded DASpedia, an enterprise cellular coverage testing and training firm, in August 2014. He brings 20 years of telecommunication industry experience including fiber optics, RF components, and wireless systems. Soyola provides industry guidance to DASpedia and runs its operation as a managing director.