While our millennial counterparts are still waiting on their participation trophy, Generation Z is gearing up to storm the real estate market. Realizing the sacred power of credit, Gen Z would rather pass on the $8 avocado toast and instead focus on building long-term wealth through homeownership.
It’s also important to note that your professional assistance will not only be respected and listened to, but also expected. But first, you must understand how this generation, born 1997 onward, thinks.
Undeniably ambitious, Generation Z is also realistic. Value, not to be confused with cheapness, is of the utmost importance. The 2008 financial crisis unfolded right in front of our eyes, during formative and developmental years.
Too young to do anything to help, yet old enough to observe the devastating consequences, we finally began piecing things together as we grew older. Hardened by adversity, shielded by cynicism, educated by hindsight and fueled by technology — Gen Z is quickly approaching home buying age.
There has been a lot of conflicting information and general misunderstanding on Generation Z, likely because of small sample sizes or general lack of representation. Although that information is good to build strategic foundations, there are some idiosyncrasies that could be lost in generational translation.
As a member of Gen Z myself and an agent at Compass’ Jere Metcalf Partners, I have a unique lens that allows me to view it through both perspectives. Thus, I compiled a list of common mistakes I’ve seen when trying to attracting Gen Z.
Mistake 1: Trying to advertise to them online
No matter how much you spend on digital ads, sophisticated funnels, or how suave your sales copy may be, Gen Z can see right through your games and isn’t having any of it.
As a digital native generation, we’re already steps ahead of the clutter with ad blocking technology — not to mention an ultra-discerning eye and incredibly short attention span. All of this combined with a general distaste (hatred) for being sold to online, digital advertisers are in for a rude awakening.
Potential solution: Include Gen Zers in part of your strategy. Ask their opinion, give them a platform, and provide them the means to syndicate it. Forge a bond now by creating that personal connection, so they end up coming to you and serve as a strong referral source. In other words, engage, don’t just passively advertise.
Mistake 2: Overly polished marketing copy or social content
Although authentic messaging is not a profound adage, Gen Z demands authenticity from brands and companies. Where this raises potential issues for marketers (no matter how genuine they may be in real life) is ineffectively conveying this through social media.
And I don’t mean creating a “meet our team” or the client testimonial videos. For all we know, those could be fake (see what I said about our cynicism)? They couldn’t care less about how shiny and perfect the finished product is. Gen Z is projected to be the most entrepreneurial generation. They want to be part of the come-up story or at least follow the journey of others. Embrace that.
Potential solution: Let them get to know and trust you as a person (or company) now. Create a YouTube channel, craft vlogs, and talk to the camera like you would a good friend. Sure, sprinkle in real estate here and there, but take it a step further.
Be raw, candid and vunerable, and promote your values. This documents and creates a journey, so that viewers get to know you, love you and trust you.
Mistake 3: Ignoring ephemeral content
Content without an expiration date might be doing more harm than good. Salesy content will be rejected and boring content will be ignored. Content should be focused on adding value, but also with the understanding that content for Gen Z is personal.
Ephemeral content — short lived messaging that focuses on a story and lasts up to 24 hours — has become incredibly popular thanks to Snapchat and Instagram stories. Capitalize on this by building credibility through an already trusted platform.
Potential solution: Invest in the long term-relationship by creating frequent, short content. Snapchat stories and Instagram stories are a great place for this. Show behind-the-scenes, day-to-day, and even the less-than-glamorous aspects of your job. Focus on being raw and relatable. Less is more when it comes to scripting. Talk to the camera like you would a friend, not a client. To listen to you, we must first trust you.