Welcome to the future.

The future we are referring to is known by many names. Generation Z, Centennials, Founders, iGeneration, Post Millennials and more. They’re naturals with technology and can simultaneously use their phone to order a cup of coffee at Starbucks, Instagram an edited selfie of the coffee, reply to a friend via text, and talk to their co-worker about the company’s next outing trip.  Multitasking is so yesterday!

The bulk of this generation has already graduated college and university and are the fastest growing group of workforce replacing the current Gen X and Gen Y (aka Millenials). They have jobs, some venture into ‘Startup Companies’.

Wikipedia explains that Startup Companies are :

startup company (startup or  start-up) is an entrepreneurial venture which is typically a newly emerged, fast-growing business that aims to meet a marketplace need by developing or offering an innovative product, process or service. A startup is usually a company such as a small business, a partnership or an organisation designed to rapidly develop a scalable business model.

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And they are out looking for independence, and their own apartment

Generation Z are more well-informed about budgeting and wise spending although being informed does not necessarily means they are careful! And a large majority of them are economically challenged.

They dislike being tied down, committed or stuck in one geographical location. If their jobs move or they need to quickly find a new job, they want the ability to move quickly in order to take advantage of new economic opportunities.

These are probably some of the main reasons in increased demands for the apartment rental market. And if you haven’t felt it yet, it’s ok because we are gradually moving towards that direction!

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Building Homes for the Rental Community

Gen Z’s  want affordable apartments with functional layouts. While older generations typically look for larger apartments, the Gen Z’s are comfortable with efficiently designed single and two-bedrooms.

The PSF (price per square foot) for the apartment isn’t as important to Gen Z as the total cost of the apartment. They are willing to live in ‘size efficient’ homes if the rent meets their monthly budget needs.

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Future Gen Z’s are also less likely to own a car. This trend has less to do with being “green” and more to do with choosing exactly where they spend their money.

NOwnership : Experiences Over Owning Things.

Gen Z  prefer to spend their money on experiences, and they place an emphasis on their personal lives over their work lives. Since fewer Gen Z’s  own cars than in previous generations, they prefer housing locations that have good accessibility to shopping, dining and entertainment area.

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Preferred Amenities

When it comes to building apartments for Gen Z’s, it is important to add the right amenities into the floor plans and the layout of the entire building. While previous generations were happy with a pool, clubhouse and fully-equipped gym, Gen Z’s  want open spaces that they can personalise for a short amount of time. For example, instead of building a fully-equipped gym, think about building a multifunctional, cardio class workout studio. This allows the resident to bring their own equipment and exercise according to their own needs. Eco-friendliness and green lung features are crucial matters to the Gen-Z’s.

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Gen Z are also connected to the Internet 24-hours a day through their mobile phones and other devices. They are more likely to spend their money on premium cable TV packages and Netflix than solid objects. For the items they do purchase, they prefer to shop online. I.O.T (Internet of Things) is a common topic among the Gen-Z’s.

Apartment buildings that cater to young adults should be Smart and Internet ready. Building-wide Wi-Fi is also a plus as are lots of indoor and outdoor electrical outlets for charging mobile devices.

 

Marketing to the Gen Z

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If you’re wondering how else to reach the Gen Z’s, here are some tips:

Personalise everything. Generation Z’s expect personalised communications. Gen Z’s want brands to be aware of them as individuals rather than a name or number on a list. Repeated emails and generic email blasts addressed to “Dear Customer” instantly turn this generation off. Gen Z share almost everything online and expect brands to use this information when communicating with them. So how do you reach this audience on a personal level? Think of the data they willingly share on social media (interests, hobbies, music, sports, and more) and use it to your advantage when personalising communication materials.

Connect with them through social media. Gen Z use social media for more than just connecting with friends – they turn to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat as information sources. They’re connecting with brands through their social networks and communicating with others who like the same products. Brands that are not taking full advantage of the real-time engagement that social media provide are missing the boat on reaching an entire generation.

Be strategic with advertisements. Advertising has come a long way since print ads and broadcast spots were the only ways to promote products. We’ve seen social media channels implement massive paid ad platforms to monetise social commerce. Brands shouldn’t abandon traditional media altogether, but to reach iGens, creating a new approach is critical. According to the 2014 MMNPL survey, 68% of Gen Xers first learn about new products from TV commercials – which makes sense for a generation that didn’t grow up with social media. That number decreases to 44% for Gen Z’s. SA found in the “iGen Goes to School” study that college applicants don’t watch television ads; in fact, they felt commercials made schools seem desperate. The verdict? Understand the platforms where iGens get their information and be sure to test your campaign on these channels prior to launching.

Excite Gen Z’s with content. The Generation Z is constantly stimulated – and overwhelmed – with content from multiple sources. They’re scrolling through news feeds, photos, and videos at rapid speeds. Brands must produce content that excites and ignites engagement to reach these digital natives. During focus groups, Gen Z’s suggested colleges and universities should include more interactive features in emails, such as video and photos, to make them more effective. Gen Z’s want more robust content and better designed websites. This is a visual generation. That’s why almost 50% of Gen Z’s who participated in the 2014 MMNPL survey turn to YouTube to learn about new products, compared to only 25% who read emails from brands. The Gen Z is living life online, and web design and content plays a major role in impacting brand decisions.

Use mobile to reach Gen Z’s. Does your brand, organisation or institution have a mobile presence? This generation is rarely without their smartphone and uses them to make decisions all day, every day. According to a POPAI study on shopping behaviour, “tweens” hold about $43 billion in annual spending power – and with increasing mobile and e-commerce, that number will only climb. Instagram is recently moving toward a “click-to-shop” option for retail brands, and mobile apps are adding to the wide selection of information sources for products, services and education. Brands are missing major marketing opportunities by not taking full advantage of mobile optimised messaging.

The Z Generation is here – now. They’re graduating from high school and college and entering the workplace. They have incredible purchasing power. They’re voting and making important decisions, taking a stand in society, and contributing to the economy. To reach Gen Z’s, we need to be transparent, personal, and overly social. Marketers either change the way they communicate with this generation of digital natives, or iGens will move on to brands that do.

Timothy L.