Marketing To Gen Z Home Buyers
Believe it or not, adult Gen Zers are now old enough to buy a home. And, according to a study conducted by Rocket HomesSM, 86% of them want to. Born between 1997 and 2012, Generation Z is the newest set of home buyers entering the housing market. Knowing how to market to them based on their specific wants, roadblocks and preferred way to get information can help savvy brokers win their business.
Here’s what we learned from the study, what we know about this generation and how you can apply it to marketing to Gen Z home buyers specifically.
About The Generation Z Study
The purpose of the study was to learn more about Gen Z’s home buying preferences and finances. For more accuracy, adult members of the generation, born between 1997 and 2003, were surveyed. A total of 1,483 people meeting these criteria were surveyed.
About Gen Z Home Buyers
Of the 86% of those surveyed who wish to buy a home, 44% of them plan to do so in the next 5 years. Given the age of this generation, it’s safe to assume the majority of Gen Z home buyers you’ll encounter in this time frame will be first-time home buyers.
Home Buying Barriers: Finances And Expectations
Four out of the top five obstacles they believe they’ll face when buying a home have to do with finances. Gen Zers believe they’ll come across these roadblocks to buying a home:
- Not having enough saved for a down payment
- Not knowing where to begin
- Not finding a home in their price range
- Not having good enough credit
- Having too much student loan debt
Here’s something else interesting the study found. Most of the Gen Zers surveyed (80%, to be exact) underestimated just how much it will cost to purchase a home. And with home prices skyrocketing since the survey was conducted, they may be even more far off.
These expectations may be hurting their ability to prepare for home buying. With expectations lower than reality, it’s likely they don’t know the right amount to save. That’s if they’re saving at all. According to the study, 25% of Gen Zers aren’t saving regularly. And those that are saving aren’t saving specifically for a home.
How They Consume information
While the study didn’t dive into how this generation consumes information, here’s what we do know about Gen Z that can help with your marketing strategy.
From the time they were young, Gen Zers were exposed to technology, smartphones, the internet and even social media. In fact, many can’t recall a time without those things. They’re skilled at getting their information online and will cross-reference many sources to verify it. Often referred to as “True Gen,” this generation is one of the most diverse generations in history, often refrain from using labels, demand transparency and want to know where brands stand on social justice issues.
Gen Z also has something older generations (even some Millennials) didn’t have at their age – the world in the palm of their hand. They can access information anywhere at any time. And with the popularity of Snapchat and TikTok with this group in particular, short form video content is key – and not just ad content. Remember that the video ads they’re seeing now are likely 15 seconds or less and can be quickly ignored with the swipe of a finger.
Long story short, you need to be accurate, transparent and an authority on your subject matter, and you need to deliver information fast and be creative and inclusive.
How To Market To Gen Z Home Buyers
An effective marketing strategy will combine the findings of the study with what we know about how this generation consumes information. Here are a few ideas.
Provide Educational Bites
This new generation of home buyers is young and will most likely be first-time home buyers. As the study showed, many respondents worry their finances will hold them back from achieving the dream of homeownership. They also don’t know where to start in the home buying process, including being able to find a home.
This is where short-form videos can really come into play, especially on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Try making short videos on the following topics:
- The home buying process
- The mortgage process
- How to find the right lender
- Information about mortgage rates and why and how they change
- How much you really need for a down payment (some don’t know it can be as low as 3% – 3.5%)
- Mortgage myth vs. fact
- Home shopping tips
- How to determine how much home you can afford
- What to look for during an in-person or virtual tour
- Questions to ask your broker and real estate agent
- How to create a budget
- How to improve your credit score
- Tips for saving money
- Tips for paying off debt
Give Them Various Sources
Gen Z is a group of truth seekers and their distrust in larger organizations is growing. They’ll question and cross-reference your information, so why not make it easier on them. First and foremost, provide truthful and accurate information. Secondly, provide data to back it up, along with your sources. Finally, bring the other sources to them. Quote experts in your content and bring experts on to your platform. Here are a few ideas:
- Interview subject matter experts on a podcast, video series or in an article
- Invite experts to guest write a blog post
- Host an event with local real estate professionals, like a lunch and learn, and cover all the basics of home buying
- Have previous clients and other homeowners share their experience and their tips for buying a home
- Provide your opinion on an expert’s own content and ask your audience for theirs
- Give your audience a list of your most trusted sources to get more information
Be Socially Responsible
Today’s young adults want to align themselves with ethical companies. That doesn’t mean you have to necessarily pick a political side. There are a lot of things you can do to show care and compassion for the world and its inhabitants in less controversial ways. For example, your company could:
- Donate to local charities and nonprofits
- Sponsor a local youth league
- Volunteer at a community event or shelter
- Offer free workshops
- Find ways to make your business greener, helping preserve the world for younger generations
Don’t try to hide the state of the world from this generation. These tech-savvy buyers are keenly aware of what is going on in the real estate market, mortgage industry and economy as a whole. They are inundated with this news daily – whether they’re seeking it out or not. Talk about the fact that home values are high and that interest rates have risen. The world isn’t what it was before the pandemic or even where it was last year. They know this and they’re concerned.
But don’t think you have to lie to them to ease their concerns. Address the problems head on and let them know you will help them get through it, with their best interest in mind. It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. You can be real while also being reassuring – even humorous, to a degree, with memes or funny videos that poke fun at yourself or how stressful the real estate market can be. It shows that you understand what they’re going through and that the things they’re feeling are very much normal.
Be Online And Mobile Friendly
While technology can’t match human connection, you must have an online presence to reach this demographic. And when we say an online presence, we don’t just mean a website and an outdated Facebook page. Go where this age group is and be active on those platforms. Engage with them and create content that engages them. That means you may have to download a few more apps, maybe get acquainted with TikTok and try your hand at various trends. And, of course, make sure it looks good – and works – on mobile devices.
More Marketing Assistance From Rocket ProSM TPO
From baby boomers and Gen X to millennial home buyers, each generation has its own personality, wants and needs and insecurities and worries. With every new generation, brokers like you have figured out the best way to reach them and find them a new home. Luckily, you have the help of Rocket Pro TPO. Our Account Executives are always on hand to work with you on ways to work with your clients and tips for marketing to them. We also have a bevy of resources available, including our Pro Performance trainings, Pro Talk Series and our in-house marketing hub, where you can find and customize marketing materials for your business. Just sign in to the portal and take a look around.
Stay up-to-date on the market. Take a look at what’s working for competitors. Peruse various platforms and see what this generation is talking about. Talk to family and friends that are Gen Zers or have children who are. And make sure you keep up on trends. The next generation of home buyers will be entering the market before you know it.