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By Tara Sparrow

Sales Director, Reapit

OTHER FEATURES

How Landlords and their Agents can talk with Generation Z

The Victorian phrase “as safe as houses” well describes the security of the housing market as, whether they are buying or renting, people will always need somewhere to live. 

But whilst the foundations of the property market might be relatively stable, the consumers that buy-in to this market are an evolving generation. Now the next generation of renter is coming of age. 

Formally known as Generation Z, this demographic cohort represents those born roughly between the mid-to-late 1990s and the early 2010s. 

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These digital natives, many of whom have grown up with a smartphone in their hands, were estimated in a 2018 study by MNI Targeted Media to reach up to 40 per cent of all consumers by 2020. As digital trends accelerated during Covid, it is more important than ever that we all - landlords and agents - consider how to target the next generation of renters. So, here are six ways you can do just that.

1. Define Your Brand: How you present yourself and your services to Generation Z will be a big determinant in whether they choose you when looking for their next home. Being able to attract the attention of Gen Z, and progressing it, is vital. One widely reported statistic is that Generation Z has a attention span of approximately eight second but others argue that it is really more of an eight-second filter – having grown up surrounded by the flow of digital information, Generation Z are much more adept at filtering out irrelevant information. These incoming renters want to feel that your agency understands and responds to their needs, and that means being clear about what you can offer to Generation Z renters. 

2. Optimise Social Media: Generation Z is perennially engaged with the digital world and spend more time on social media than any other generation before them, devoting just under three hours per day to their favourite platforms. Their preferences are also changing and according to Hootsuite they are most likely to engage with brands foremost on YouTube (24%), followed by Instagram (17%) and Facebook (16%). Advertising your services on these platforms will likely grab the most attention among this demographic. Want to make a winning move? Posting videos and ads on these platforms will grab more attention than traditional means.

3. Use Targeted Messaging: One of the vital questions to ask Generation Z renters is “what are they looking for in a home”? Many of this generation entering the workforce and looking to rent have different priorities, values and needs than generations before. As an example, some of the most searched criteria for Generation Z are high-speed internet and proximity to gyms or leisure centres. So, when it comes to advertising a property or room for rent, aim to emphasize the attributes that will more likely catch the interest of Generation Z renters.

4. Think Smart About Mobile: Generation Z are all about smartphones – 98 per cent own one – and they are innate experts at using their phone for research and communication. One UK survey found that over 54 per cent of Generation Z consumers use their phones to engage with content on average 5.9 hours per day, and they are more likely to use their phone to look for a property than a laptop or tablet. Therefore, making sure your website, our your agent’s website, is mobile-friendly is crucial, in both how it looks and how it performs (remember that eight-second attention span?) You should also consider taking advantage of mobile push notifications to send our property alerts if they are subscribed to your mailing list.

 

5. Sharpen Email Marketing: Social media and mobile engagement may be the primary channels of engagement for Generation Z, but that does not mean you should let your email marketing slip. Email marketing definitely still works – 58 per cent of Generation Z check their email multiple times a day, but perhaps more importantly, 66.9 per cent receive 20 emails or fewer a day, which means that there might be less competition for your emails than on other platforms.  

6. Finally, Be Authentic: Generation Z values brand authenticity. This last one holds true for all engagement, but it is particularly important for Generation Z. This generation also trusts online reviews more than any other generation before them. One such survey by RentCafe found that the 30 per cent of Generation Z participants consider reviews and ratings in their rental research, more than any other generation before them. This swings back to brand but creating a great reputation for yourself as both reliable and in touch with the requirements of Generation Z will help your agency attract the next generation of renters.

Tara Sparrow is sales director at agency software supplier Reapit.

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    Didn't realise talking was an option with this lot. Thought they only texted and grunted!

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    It is a rapidly changing market. To give six examples of the changes in the last 10 years:
    1) previously over 90% of my tenants found me through the newspapers now I don't think any do
    2) The amount of tenants paying cash has dropped by 75%
    3) We now dress all the rooms beautifully ten years ago they just got cleaned if we got round to doing so
    4) We now have a website where tenants can see and apply for accommodation
    5) We now advertise on site such as spare room and gumtree and a lot of our tenants now find us through these sites
    6) we have started doing virtual tours of our properties.
    Jim Haliburton
    The HMO Daddy

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    Yes virtually all Cheques has stopped as well. They all now have iPhones of some kind & want to video your property. I tell them no, can you not see what they are looking at, if there friends want to see come & look or don’t. We now have virtual viewing, virtual rents in some cases and a West London Authority Demanding life time Tenancies for Social Housing most of them living of the Tax payer, dare I say it many are false claimants or design their lives to suit the system. Great idea they are already a priority just make it permanent, what mugs are buying paying Mortgages & full C/tax.

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