What Generations XYZ Mean to Multifamily

Spoiler alert: the residents currently moving into apartments have different expectations and goals than those who’ve come before them. 

From Generation X to Millennials to the incoming Generation Z, marketing can feel a bit like sorting through alphabet soup. Hold on tight, help’s on the way! With these tips and tricks, we assure you that your property keeps its ABCs in order. 

Who’s Who?

  • Generation X encompasses those born in the 1970s and ’80s. These are usually well-established, family-oriented long-term renters looking for comfort and amenities. 
  • Millennials (Generation Y) are the tech-savvy population born between the 1980s and the early 2000s. They are known for their connection to media and globalized worldviews. 
  • Generation Z is a budding population now coming into adulthood. They are referred to as “digital natives”, being the first generation to be introduced to cell phones and other smart devices from early childhood. They are accustomed to convenience and connectivity. 

Why Does it Matter to Market to Generations XYZ?

For starters, each generation is more numerous than the one before it because of increasing birth rates. For this very reason, the newer generations are becoming the largest and most powerful stakeholders in the market. 

The baby boomers who came before these generations enjoyed ample affordable housing, a thriving job market, and considerable economic growth and mobility. However, the three (XYZ) groups that followed the boomers missed out on the housing boom and grew up in the time of the Great Recession. These are smart consumers looking for housing that provides significant bang for their buck. 

If you want your apartment community marketing strategy to not be a complete flop, you need to make sure you are keeping this demographic and its characteristics in mind.

How do you make sure your efforts are focused in the right direction?

1. Increase your (inter)net worth

Let’s get this obvious fact out of the way: these generations do almost everything online, from shopping to making friends. In order to attract XYZ residents, you’ll want to have an updated, effective website and social media presence. Potential renters will want to see positive reviews on social sites and easily navigable web pages. We promise the time and money is worth it because it will make the first interactions with your customers 110% better.

2. Smart tech that’s actually smart

Smart technology features abound and they are most definitely here to stay. Renters from Generation Z especially expect to have their logistics, communication, and entertainment streamlined into a few handy screens. 

Thankfully, it has never been easier or more affordable to offer smart technology in your common areas and units. Companies like Homebase, LittleBird, and Zego offer products that keep your property relevant and desirable. 

Remote access control and automated features like Alexa can also be easily implemented on a per-unit basis. Many companies can work with your property’s existing AV and camera wiring to provide snazzy new common area amenities that will keep your property ahead of the curve.

Adding features like smart thermostats and lighting also appeals to the globally conscious and environmentally-friendly sensibilities of these new generations.  If you think you’ve now thought of everything, don’t forget this final detail– adding a “green” label can be a huge point of attraction for your community. 

Millennials and Generation Z share a penchant for uniqueness and personalization. Smart technology options can make each unit way more customizable. When residents can design the features of home, they are more likely to stay longer. 

Don’t brush this idea aside in the name of money.  Ramping up the smart capabilities of your property can be a huge rental revenue booster and competitive advantage over other communities.

3. Eye-catching amenities

According to a Harris Poll and Eventbrite survey, 78% of millennials would rather pay for an experience than material goods. That’s why the new frontier in apartment marketing and management is all about the amenities. With a 40% increase in the new build for luxury properties, it pays to set your community apart with a couple of “cool factors.”

Clubhouses equipped with accessible media and games are a great place to start. Fitness options including yoga and group classes will appeal to this health-conscious demographic. Fun, interactive community areas like barbecue pits or walking trails will also reel in the XYZ population. 

Some communities are even experimenting with new strategies for revamping commonly-mundane maintenance and logistical tasks. Gamification is a new technique that turns things like leaving reviews, attending community events, or paying rent early/online into virtual points that can be cashed in for goodies or community “credit.” Thinking outside the box to engage residents is always a good idea when interacting with the XYZ.

Also, these renters are smart about security. In the age of hacking and identity theft, they expect the highest standard of privacy and home security that technology can provide. Common area cameras, unique access codes, and secure communication networks are all important to your younger renters. 

4. Connected Communities

Let’s not forget that this demographic is hyper-connected. Instead of the community bulletin board in the elevator, residents expect instant, online communication. In 2017, Satisfacts found that 88% of renters prefer that community staff contact them by email, and 50% prefer text messages. There’s a wide variety of options to the communication challenge, some of which can even be grouped together with your current management items, like maintenance requests, and rent payments. Imagine having a go-to place for everything!  Go paperless and experiment with new communication methods.

Likewise, residents want to feel like a part of a thriving community. Offering engaging events are important for establishing a long-term community vibe at your property. With greater migration to cities and a diverse job market, these generations are more likely to live far away from their family members and are eager to establish a sense of belonging. Connecting residents with one another and their surrounding neighborhood is a great way to make sure they stick around. 

If you don’t want to take our word for it, look it up! Any article online will tell you that the differences between generations have a huge impact on modern society. Go ahead, we’ll wait.

Up to speed now? Now that you’re convinced that this is some serious stuff, you’d better take these notes into consideration and start implementing them into your property ASAP.

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