Don’t look now, but Generation Z – better known as Gen Z – is quickly approaching the homebuying age. This open-minded, “always on” mobile-first generation, born between 1996-2010, are becoming bigger decision-makers by the minute, as more young adults graduate college and enter the job market. As a real estate professional, you can do your part right now to make new connections and cultivate relationships with Gen Z, because when the time comes, they’ll be seeking your expertise and guidance of purchasing their first home.
81% of Gen Z’s want to work with a real estate agent when buying a home
Gen Z is eyeing homeownership, with 83 percent planning to buy a house within the next five years, according to a survey from Property Shark. As the age-old saying goes: “It’s all about location, location, location.” In the context of real estate marketing, you need to place your brand front and center in the eyes of Gen Z homebuyers, with marketing that clicks and converts. So, where do we look to find this group of expressive and social influencers… with shorter attention spans?
Just as millennials fueled the rise of Facebook, Gen Z is leading the charge with social media platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok. Assuredly, you’ve heard of TikTok, especially in recent weeks with talks of its U.S. business up for sale, or perhaps you’re a TikToker yourself. The video-sharing social network is home to more than 800 million active users – 60 percent of which are comprised of Gen Z. And its popularity is far from over. In the first quarter of 2020 alone, TikTok had 315 million app downloads, surpassing two billion cumulative downloads, making it the world’s most downloaded app of all time.
Video and sound has forever changed the social media game
Apps like TikTok and Instagram Reels are revolutionizing the social media landscape, with video and sound being the catalyst. In the era of short attention spans and endless scrolling, there’s no better way to capture an audience than with bite-sized videos. The best part? Anyone – even the most novice smartphone user – can create a clip of them lip-syncing to their favorite song, or even doing the chicken dance, with viral potential. Users have access to all sorts of advanced, yet easy-to-use video creating tools: filters and stickers, voice and sound effects, music, text layers, and more.
Social media algorithms are another game changer; a continuous feed of videos personalized to the ones you’ve watched and interacted with. And it never runs out of material. It’s always learning from you and over time builds a flexible feed based on your viewing habits.
Real people with real experiences favored over manufactured content
The allure of these social apps is its authentic and incredible user-generated content. No fancy Hollywood set backdrop or film crew necessary; rather, a video shot on your phone in the kitchen can garner unprecedented viewership. But remember, authenticity is the key. The ability to produce raw, real, honest content drives emotional reactions and engagement, presenting real estate agents with extraordinary marketing opportunities.
For Gen Z, they’re not interested in hard sells; they don’t want to be marketed to. Instead, sell an experience, not just a product. As you know, selling a house involves a whole lot of creativity. With apps Instagram Reels and TikTok, bring your wildest, outside-the-box ideas to life.
Sure-Fire Ways to Get the Attention of Gen Z on Social Media
The bread and butter is bite-sized videos, ranging from 3-15 seconds. Short attention spans (8 seconds is all you have) mean you need to make your content count…and fast. Videos featuring sound effects, music and overlays can prove to be a marketing win.
Interact and Engage
Be social on social media. Younger audiences want to do something when they see your content. Encourage users to share posts with a branded hashtag or consider interactive features such as conducting a poll. And don’t forget to interact with their content as well. This shows that you’re a real person and not just some automated software.
Share a Laugh
Gen Z is more likely to support brands they see as fun and cool. It’s okay to be funny and lighthearted in some of your videos and posts; in fact, it’s encouraged.
The dream of homeownership is alive and well with Generation Z; it may take a few years, but they’ll be ready. And when they do, you’ll want to be there to guide them through the homebuying experience. Now’s the time to build those new connections and foster relationships with this tech-savvy group. There’s no better place to build and cultivate an audience than the social platforms that they are already in. By being yourself and being real, Gen Zers are more inclined to trust you with major decisions, such as buying a home.
So go ahead and get creating!
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Fromm, Jeff. “TikTok Doesn’t Stop: How To Reach Gen Z Consumers With Influencer Campaigns.” The New York Times, March 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jefffromm/2020/03/05/tiktok-doesnt-stop-how-to-reach-gen-z-consumers-with-influencer-campaigns/#a24e669168af
Newton, Casey. “TikTok is having a monster 2020.” The Verge, June 2020.https://www.theverge.com/interface/2020/6/10/21285309/tiktok-2020-user-numbers-revenue-smash-hit-mea-culpa
Theiss, Eliza. “More Optimistic Than Millennials, Gen Z Is Here to Revolutionize the Housing Market.” PropertyShark, September 2018. https://www.propertyshark.com/Real-Estate-Reports/2018/09/04/more-optimistic-than-millennials-gen-z-is-here-to-revolutionize-the-housing-market/