Moving into a new generation of technology, information, and how people live their lives, means growth and change. It is still somewhat of a grey line between Millennials and Generation Z. However, historians suggest that Gen Z includes anyone born in the early 90’s. Most importantly, Gen Z includes children who were born and grew up in the Digital Age.
With that said, the members of this younger generation are starting to launch their lives by looking for their first apartment. Let’s discuss the possible trends and changes property managers might have to face to ensure that the youngest of these adult renters will want to rent their property.
Millennials and Gen Z Research Everything
Living in a digital age, while being extremely beneficial, could have some draw backs, if your reputation is not squeaky clean. With this in mind, Generation Z and Millennials research everything. Before they call to make an appointment or drive to your rental community, they already know about all the amenities, if they can have pets and especially the negative and positive reviews posted about your community. It is essential to invest in creating a positive online image. Here are a few methods how your community can build an online image that aspires to attract a new generation of renters.
Make Your Website Appealing and User Friendly
Renters are looking for easy access to all your community’s information. Make all of the information easily accessible, including which apartments are available, what the amenities are, your community’s goal and mission, and your contact information.
Have Appealing, Up to Date Photos of Your Community
The new generation of renters respond to positive imagery. This means, have updated photos of your apartments demonstrating their true appeal (without false advertising). Make sure your photos and videos are up to date with the latest community changes. If possible, offer floor plans for your apartments.
Reviews Are Essential
As we all know, there are two types of reviews: positives and negatives. It is essential to include positive reviews on your website and social media pages. Suggest to your current renters (when appropriate) to post honest reviews about the community. If you encounter a negative review, always reply with the friendliest tone addressing the issue and suggesting a solution. There will always be a bad apple; however, it is what you do with it that showcases your community in the best light.
Pay Attention to Your Social Media Presence
Develop a social media presence that creates a community among your renters. For example, talk about the latest events, possible changes, and even post positive messages for your renters. This creates an environment that feels more like a positive community than a hierarchy of renter and landlord.
Millennials and Gen Z Demand Connectivity
There was a time when potential renters would first care about the bathroom and the kitchen. Now, potential renters primary concern is how good of a wireless connection does a community have. With this in mind, the first thing they might possibly comment on is how many bars their cellphone gets and what kind of internet service the community offers.
One last tip, if your community could offer an internet and café lounge, you may just seal the deal with a potential renter. Offering a common area where tenants can lounge, browse the internet, and connect to free wifi can be a huge plus when appealing to Gen Z and Millennials.
Generation Z and Millennials Want Upgrades and Smart Apartments
Wakefield research conducted a study that uncovered the unique preferences of the younger renters. The wish list included smart apartments and smart connected appliances. This means, younger renters are looking for smart thermostat that saves money and automatically adjusts to keep a desired temperature in place alongside security systems that may include keyless locks and electronic security. Upgraded furnishings are also appealing to younger renters alongside hardwood floors, modern amenities, and smart fridges or stoves.
Having an apartment with early 2000’s upgrades and carpet may feel “old” to particular renters and younger renters, from Millennials to Gen Z, do not mind paying extra for an upgraded apartment with the finishes they desire.
Millennials and Gen Z Do Not Write Checks
Almost a quarter of Millennials said they have never written a check so it is safe to say that this new generation will increase that percentage. The reality is, plastic is the norm! By plastic, we mean debit cards and credit cards. With this in mind, if you want your community to appeal to younger renters, offer an online payment system.
Gen Z and Millennials prefer to communicate with their property managers via emails or text messages. They may not check their mailboxes every day or write paper checks, but they check their phones daily!
Why It Is Essential To Adjust To This New Generation
It goes without saying that growth begins with change and to adapt to a new generation, you must change the old ways of doing things. The reason for this is because, by not adjusting, you will fall back and, while other communities are creating an edge, you will no longer appeal to a new generation. With simple changes, you can create a community that not only appeals to a younger generation, but also creates a welcoming feel for everyone!
We invite you to share with us how YOUR community appeals to the new generation. Contact us and tell us, what changes have you made or are ready to make? What have you noticed is working?