Move over Millennials, Gen Z is in Town

Born after 1996, Gen Z is the next generation preparing to enter the real estate market.  They are currently in their mid-20’s. Like the generations before then Gen Z has a distinct personality which will affect their buying habits.   At the 2016 Realtors Conference a panel of 5 “Gen Z Consumers” was assembled to share key points and some insights on their view of real estate.  Here are some items highlighted during their presentation:

  • Generation Z views home ownership as the ultimate life goal
  • 97% plan to own a home in the future
  • They plan to purchase homes between the ages of 26 to 30
  • 81% plan to use a real estate agent
  • They use their phones to price shop
  • Communication with Gen Z should be through social media or texting

Although Millennials and Gen Z are often lumped in as the most recent generation there are important differences that need to be observed.

  • While Millennials grew up with technology Gen Z has interacted with it from birth
  • Gen Z is more frugal than Millennials
  • Gen Z is focused on long-term goals and financial stability (likely from growing up during Great Recession)
  • Gen Z is more likely to have learned about money and finances from their parents
  • Gen Z has seen the mistakes of Millennials overspending and struggling to purchase homes
  • Homeownership isn’t just about the American Dream for Gen Z, they grew up with YouTube and HGTV, customizing a home is their top reason for wanting to buy
  • Like Millennials they prefer a suburban lifestyle, but unlike Millennials the majority do not want to live in the place where they grew up

As a real estate professional, you should be positioning yourself to take advantage of the next generation of potential homebuyers.  Staying up to date with technology is not enough.  Updating your value proposition to appeal to this new generation, updating your marketing focus to encompass social media and figure out a way to become a go to digital resource.  Keep in mind that Gen Z is very aware of “being sold” and prefer recommendations from friends over potentially fake testimonials.  Sharing pictures and experiences while cultivating a network that refers you as a agent will be vital.

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