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Gen Z: What to Know About Post-Millennial Renters

For as much as everyone talks about Millennials, you'd think they were the only current generation of renters. However, the first wave of Gen Z, which generally refers to people born in 1995 and later, is already in their 20s and out in the rental market. Despite sometimes being grouped with the previous generation, there are some vital differences between these two generations that every investor and property manager needs to know about.

Reviews really matter

People in Gen Z came of age with technology everywhere and readily available, so they're more deeply linked with online communities. They share their experiences and trust their peers' opinions when it comes to finding products and services. They also don't respond as well to traditional mediums of advertising as previous generations did; they want to make decisions for themselves and simply don't want to be told what to buy.

Therefore, real reviews about your multifamily property are going to have more of an impact on prospective renters than any of your sales pitches. Members of this generation tend to view social media presence as a true representation of your business, and your community reviews play a big part in that.

Transparency is the name of the game

Naturally, you won't be able to make every person who reviews your units happy, but the simple act of addressing an issue can help you connect with Gen Z. This is a generation that is looking for authenticity, so you won't gain their trust if you try to shy away or cover up mistakes. Make a point of replying to negative comments in a constructive yet personal way. Even if you can't make this particular commenter happy, it's important that other prospective renters see that you tried.

Engage on more than one level

Members of Gen Z want an experience when they spend money. Your brand image can't be one-dimensional - namely just a money-making business. This generation wants to support a brand that's doing something for the community or a cause. You don't need to invest a ton of time or money to show that you're active in the community. Local posts on your social media accounts about special events, regular posts suggesting local hot spots and other tidbits show your dedication to your community and its residents.

An online presence isn't enough for this next generation of renters. Gen Z is all over social media and will expect you to be as well. Work on increasing your online presence and interaction so you're ready for when this generation becomes one of the biggest demographics in the country.

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