Looking out for Generation Z

Posted by on August 8th, 2018

It seems that almost every segment of the real estate profession today is aimed at the Millennial Generation.

Makes sense. At 80 million strong, Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, are the largest demographic in history.

And now, most have graduated college, begun careers and families, and are settling nicely into the prime spending years.

But time moves inexorably forward, and it’s not too early to be talking about the next wave of potential homeowners – Generation Z.

Made up of the 75 million Americans born since 1996, Generation Z is expected to start buying homes in earnest within five to 10 years.

Analysts say they’re going to be a bargain-hunting, tech-loving, real estate–savvy force to be reckoned with.

Watching the Great Recession unfold, most are financially conservative. They know the value of a dollar and the mathematics behind long-term investment. With that savings know-how, many will be ready with a down payment when the time comes.

Raised on reality TV, they also know about the true value of housing. They know to ignore insignificant cosmetic problems in search of a good deal, the same way DIY flippers do on HGTV and Lifetime.

At the same time, they won’t gravitate toward a complete rebuild. They’re largely risk averse, and most would rather save money than spend it.

Here’s something else that should come as no surprise – Gen Z is rife with digital affinity. In fact, 90 percent plan to find the home of their dreams online. Many want real estate professionals to reach out to them on social media versus email or online advertisements.

A social media marketing tip: Generation Z sees Facebook as the providence of the old. Get hip to the Z with phone-friendly platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Tumblr. Most use their phone to research purchases before they buy and are even unabashed about pulling out phones to look for better prices right in front of salespeople.

In addition, Gen Zers  have higher expectations for in-home technology. What is considered a smart home of today is probably not going to cut it.

This generation values home ownership and sees it as an ultimate life goal. In fact, 97 percent of Generation Z plans to own a home before the age of 30, with 81 percent planning to enlist the help of a real estate professional.

Real estate professionals need to learn about this demographic ahead of time to update sales approaches and technology to their needs and desires.