In Focus

Gen Zs are the next wave of tenants. What are they looking for?

Teleisha Thomas

Teleisha Thomas

October 2016

Born between 1995 and 2009, the older members of Generation Z are in their early 20s and starting to enter the rental property market. With forecasters predicting this generation will average 17 jobs and 15 different homes across their lifetimes, it’s worth considering what they might be looking for in a rental property.

General Manager, Jellis Craig Boroondara Property Management, Sophie Lyon, says the digital era and trends such as consumerism make Generation Z quite different to preceding generations including the Baby Boomers and Generations X and Y.

“Australian Gen Zs have grown up in an era of unprecedented focus on consumerism. Big brands have never been more influential, nor have consumer-focused programs on home improvement.”

“The result is that Generation Z has high expectations of their home and lifestyle. Rental properties that are shabby or showing signs of wear and tear will be quickly overlooked by Gen Z tenants.”

Generation Z are ‘digital natives’ – they were born into the digital era and have never known any different. They interact socially online, expect constant connectivity and feel adrift without the internet.

“Internet access points and a high quality internet connection are vital to Generation Z tenants,” says Sophie.

In today’s digital and content-saturated era, visual messages are everywhere. Generation Z are very comfortable with visual content, with many preferring to find the information they need from images and video ahead of text.

“Using video to advertise rental properties, and a further step of virtual reality inspections, are emerging trends as more Gen Z tenants hit the market,” says Sophie. “Whatever the choice however, quality property marketing is vital.”

The rise of Gen Z coincides with an increase in couple-only and lone person households as the population ages.

“This means there will be increased demand for smaller properties. Smaller homes that still provide a sense of privacy and space, and which feature an outdoor area, will be particularly sought-after by Gen Z tenants.”

Landlords with an eye to the future appeal of their rental property should factor in the experiences and likely preferences of the next generation, says Sophie.

“Within a decade Gen Z will comprise 12 per cent of the workforce. Keeping their preferences in mind is a wise move for any rental property owner, to broaden the appeal of their property.”

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