What You Need To Know To Prepare Your Multifamily for Gen Z Renters

Generation Z is finally emerging into adulthood. After coming of age during the COVID-19 pandemic, the oldest members of this internet-raised generation are finishing college, joining the workforce, and looking for places to live on their own. But who are they?

Born after 1996, Gen Z is more racially and ethnically diverse than any other generation in American history, with broadly progressive political and social views. “Zoomers,” as they’re sometimes called (referencing the earlier generation of baby boomers) have never known life without the internet. They’ve spent their entire lives online, engaging with smartphones, social media, and other new technologies on a level many older people may consider excessive. This digital dependency has only increased due to the social upheaval produced by COVID-19, which has seen many young people forced to attend school and socialize entirely online. Gen Z is also poised to become the most highly-educated generation in American history - many older zoomers are attending or have just graduated college, with their younger peers looking to follow suit. Tech, business, and other fields where the possibility of remote work is high are popular choices for members of Gen Z entering the workforce after college.

As the pandemic wanes and the economy begins to recover, many zoomers are entering the rental market in search of places to live. Some of them may even find your multifamily property an enticing option, but it may take some creative adaptations to suit their needs. Here are a few things to keep in mind that will make your property more appealing to this new market of renters.

Gen Z are Digital Natives

Food, shelter, WiFi - these are the bare necessities for Gen Z. By far, the most important thing for young renters who live their entire lives online, from work to play, is a strong internet connection. Making sure your property’s digital infrastructure is top-notch will go a long way toward attracting such a tech-oriented demographic. Spring for that fiber-optic cable connection during renovation, or even smart appliances and thermostats. Marketing your properties through websites like Reddit and Google, along with social media apps such as Instagram and TikTok, will also prove useful and set your property apart from the crowd.

Gen Z Appreciate Convenience

In a real estate context, most people think of “convenience” in terms of location. “Is there a supermarket nearby? What about transportation?” Gen Z, on the other hand, thinks “Am I going to get my Amazon packages on time?” For Gen Z, convenience means the world comes to them through e-commerce sites and food delivery apps like Uber Eats and Seamless. Property owners must keep this in mind. Make sure renters have adequate and secure mail and package delivery resources, whether this means improving mailboxes or improving on-site services that handle deliveries. Younger renters also absolutely expect to be able to pay their bills digitally. Making sure your online payment portal is up to date and easy to use, especially on mobile devices, is pivotal.

Work From Home Isn’t Going Away

COVID-19 forced many employers to scatter their workforces in the name of public safety. But as more people get vaccinated and restrictions ease, Work From Home has become a comfortable new normal for many workers who neither want nor need to return to the office - or for Gen Z, enter one in the first place. Plenty of young workers are using the pandemic to start their own businesses or establish a freelance practice, and your property can come in handy. Resourceful tenants can use the extra space in their units in various ways. A business or tech worker can build a home office. An upstart digital entrepreneur may need product storage. A creative worker could look to turn their place into a studio. They’ve got the ideas, and you’ve got the space.

Gen Z Are Willing to Pay for Quality

It’s not just because of the pandemic. Thanks to new trends in entertainment, from streaming media to gaming, Gen Z is much more homebound than previous generations. That means they’re much more willing to spend money if it means living more comfortably. Property owners should take this into consideration. Whether it means more kitchen space or a glass shower screen, premium furnishings or a spacious balcony, making tenants feel like their house is a home is worth the extra investment.

Gen Z Want Community

Like young adults of every generation, members of Gen Z have reported feelings of isolation after living alone for the first time. Nobody likes being separated from their friends and family, and to keep a young renter interested in your property, establishing some sort of social dimension to your property may be wise. Include communal spaces in your property and use them for events. Set up a holiday party or movie night. Build a gym so that tenants can exercise on property. With so many young people aiming for home ownership, it’s important to stay competitive. In other words, give them every reason to stay on your property and no good reason to leave.

In short, accommodating the needs of Generation Z means getting with the times. The world is more connected than ever, and if you need assistance bringing your multifamily up to speed, A&S Capital can help.