We all think we know our target audience, but what if that target keeps changing? Today’s take away is that your audience is changing, and your technology is going to have to keep up. Fasten your seat belts and get ready to welcome Generation Z to your multifamily marketing plan and customer service efforts.
Gen Z typically refers to those born between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s. Their population surpasses both the millennials and the baby boomers, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
By 2020, 40% of all consumers will be from this generation (Fast Company).
Gen Z is the first group of people to be exposed to technology their entire lives. With that technology becoming increasingly compact and more affordable, it isn’t unusual to hear that this generation had a cell phone in their pre-teen years and was proficient in basic computer usage at an even younger age. Smartphones have become their window to the world, in addition to their social connection.
Your marketing efforts need to tell a story that fits in with their life, and it’s even better if your story is shareable. Help them help you by creating content that they can upload and share on their multiple media channels. Visuals are key, but a three-second ad or video is better than the soon-to-be antiquated 30-second plug. And stay away from fluff and obvious sales tactics—with this generation it’s all about authenticity.
Gen Z can scan the internet for an answer to their housing needs, formulate a quick connection if the community’s marketing story is fast and relevant, make a judgment based on reviews, and reach out--all within a few minutes. If you can’t keep up, you might as well give up. This means lightening quick response time is a necessity, not an option. Utilizing a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) app that is available through your mobile device or your desktop is crucial to ensure that you are available to respond as soon as the call, email, or the more likely text comes in. Training text message etiquette to your apartment leasing professionals is now more crucial than ever to keep up with faster communication demands.
Generation Z doesn’t expect instant answers, but they insist on instant acknowledgment. Don’t expect them to be waiting for your call if you haven’t responded within the day—they have moved on.
The good news is that there are relatively inexpensive and readily available technologies that can be used as part of your leasing agent’s daily processes. These technologies can allow you to more easily compete for Generation Z’s attention. After all, they are bombarded with digital content by the minute and have short patience for those who are not able to keep up.
Communication and speed are key, so invest in a CRM or other lead management tool that helps your leasing professionals do their job. But your responsibility doesn’t end once that fast-moving prospect has become a resident. This new resident is now a partner of your reputation. You will need to bridge the gap between technology and the human element by building an authentic, sustainable relationship. Follow-through on the story you have created with your new resident through consistency of service, communication, and image. You might also want to sharpen up those “social handles” and freshen up those tweets and text messages. You have a new generation to meet!
Want to learn more about CRM software for managing your Gen Z leads? Check out leasehawk.com/crm.
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