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Beefing up your marketing strategy – Don’t forget about Gen Z

MAIN IMAGE: Grant Smee, Managing Director of Only Realty Property Group 

The next generation is starting to enter the property market, born in the mid 1990’s they’re known as Gen Z. They are the first generation who don’t know a life without the internet, and it shows, with many analysts dubbing them ‘digital natives’ who, some studies indicate, can spend six or more hours a day on their phones. It’s not only the volume of information they consume, but also the way in which they do it. The Property Professional recently featured an article about selling houses on TikTok, which is very much a Gen Z comfort zone.

Gen Z doesn’t just breathe all things technical; they care – a lot – about many things, most notably the environment, the economy and social equality. This generation wants to support brands that support their values. Another thing they’re passionate about? Homeownership.

Gen Z Want to Be Homeowners, Even If That Takes A While

Homes.com indicates that 85% of American Gen Z’s surveyed plan to buy a home, with 48% of them expecting to do so between the ages of 25 to 29. Their biggest perceived barrier to homeownership? Affordability, 42% of respondents are concerned with making enough to purchase a property.

Closer to home, Grant Smee, Managing Director of Only Realty Property Group says that while affordability remains a key challenge for Gen Z homebuyers, they are continuing to prioritise saving in the hopes of making their homeownership dream a reality.

“While many Millennials opt to rent for the flexibility this option offers, some aspirant Gen Zs have their sights firmly set on buying a home,” he says. “Many would-be buyers recognise the strategic benefits of investing in property as a wealth creation strategy. If they’re buying a home to live in, they’re thinking about the long-term appreciation of a tangible asset and the profit they will make when it comes time to sell. Other young homebuyers are choosing to purchase a rental property that will generate additional income while they continue living at home to maximise their savings (buy-to-let properties),” he explains. Smee notes that this perspective makes lock-up-and-go and mixed-use properties very attractive to this generation.

How to Reach Gen Z

“Social media and online marketplace forums such as Facebook Marketplace are often the best way to market property to Gen Z due to their tech-savviness. In Cape Town for example, several of the micro-apartment buildings that are aimed at Gen Z conduct extensive digital marketing campaigns through targeted videos, TikTok and Instagram ads extolling the benefits of their building. This ties into what Gen Z is looking for – the convenience of lock-up-and-go at an affordable price point, in a building that offers high-end amenities such as a gym, pool, entertainment area, co-working space and retail floors. A lot of the time we find that Gen Z is willing to give up space (i.e. a studio instead of a one or two bed apartment or a freehold home) for convenience and experience, as well as a central neighbourhood that offers opportunities for socialisation.

Many of these buildings offer micro-units for under R1 million and no transfer duty as they are built new, which aids with the affordability concerns that many Gen Z face.”

Make Your Business Attractive to Gen Z

Writing for Agent Image on Inman, Ian Lim, highlights seven secrets to selling a home to Gen Z, the main and most obvious being to have a large online presence (this is where they are most comfortable, and most likely to find you) and highlighting the technological features of a home (including smart appliances, built-in USB ports and the like).

Gen Z is also a very purpose-driven generation which means they care whether an agent or agency support corporate social responsibility programmes and green initiatives. Around 76% of this generation is worried about climate change and according to a First Insight report 73% of them are willing to pay more for sustainable products. “Remember: most Gen Zs prefer to work with an agent whose principles match their own,” shares Lim.

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