Looking ahead: Marketing to Generation Z

The time is quickly approaching for real estate professionals to start planning for Generation Z. The oldest of this generation are now in college and, as a whole, show strong indications that homeownership is one of their top life goals.

“Wait. Generation Z? Didn't the Millennials just take over? How am I supposed to keep up?”

Don't worry. There is some forgiveness when it comes to marketing from one generation to the next – thanks to the overlap of shared experiences. For example, Millennials and Gen Z both grew up in the digital age, experienced the social effects of unprecedented terrorism, and saw cultural milestones like the country's first African-American president. Thanks to these shared experiences, marketing to Gen Z at the start will be much like marketing to Millennials. However, the similarities will become fewer and fewer over time.

Now is the time to get your plans in place for a generation unlike any other. Here's why.

Good news for home sales
Recent polls indicate that 97 percent of the upcoming generation view homeownership as an ultimate life goal, one they see within reach in their late twenties. Additionally, 81 percent plan to use a real estate professional to buy a home. While many are still teenagers, the oldest of this generation are now in their twenties and thinking seriously about the future. And, to cap things off, Gen Z will make up 24 percent of the global workforce by 2020.

Unprecedented debt
The size of this generation may be good news for future home sales, but the cost of higher education could potentially delay their ability to purchase a first home. In fact, 46 percent of Gen Z report feeling burdened by their financial situation. Though they may have debt, the generation appears to be more fiscally conservative than Millennials and Baby Boomers. The majority describe themselves as deal-seekers who would rather save than spend. Moreover, comparison shopping is at an all-time high with this generation, thanks to their inseparable relationship with their mobile devices (phones, tablets and laptops). This means they will be well-educated, thorough and prepared buyers.

How to reach them
Gen Z are more resourceful, informed and multicultural than any other generation before them thanks in a large part to the media saturation. The majority of this upcoming generation want companies to approach them to make a sale, and they want a good deal. As it pertains to marketing, their attention span on average has been studied to be four seconds less than that of Millennials, suggesting that highly targeted, honest, to-the-point marketing will be necessary to reach them.

So, what can you do to ensure you succeed in the future marketplace? Do your research on Gen Z now and going forward, so you can stay on-trend and relevant. A decisive, high-quality, well-rounded marketing strategy is a must. For a generation that receives the majority of its information digitally, a healthy dose of engaging online content with standout print marketing will be the one-two punch that secures their trust. Don't you want to be their agent?

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