How to Attract and Retain Gen Z Renters

Tips for maximizing your community’s appeal to this key cohort of residents.

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Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2012, is the first generation of true digital natives, exposed to the internet, social networks and tech gadgets since they were little. Some of them are now graduating college and starting careers, which means they will be renting apartments.

Although it’s still too soon to create a complex profile of the Gen Z rental applicant, they have shown some preferences, which can help property owners cater to them. This is especially important because Gen Z was the only generation with an increase in rental applications in 2021, according to a RentCafe study.

Reliable and Safe Connectivity

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Location is always important, but perhaps even more so is a strong and reliable internet connection. Property managers should be prepared by equipping their communities with powerful devices that provide good and secure connectivity throughout the property’s units and common areas.

For this specific amenity, big cities have it better than rural areas, but tech has you covered if your property is in a more remote area. For example, you could consider acquiring a signal booster. The only catch is that these devices can only help in areas where there is a signal because they amplify an existing signal, but don’t create one.

Focus on Sustainability

This generation has a much stronger attraction and attention to sustainability. Having information at their fingertips from early youth and being highly educated—thus having a better understanding the whole concept of climate change—means they are more aware of the effects of global warming and more determined to combat it.

To get them to sign a lease and, when the time comes, renew it, that property needs to have what they have come to expect: smart thermostats, LED lighting throughout the community, energy-efficient appliances, windows and doors, renewable energy and electric vehicle charging stations, as well as low or zero VOC construction materials.

Outdoor Space

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Zoomers like to take their devices and gadgets outdoors, making the best of both worlds. An outdoor space where they can let their hair down alone or with friends is high on their amenity list, and it can be either a garden, a deck, a balcony or a patio.

The pandemic also increased the need for safe outdoor spaces where they can socialize in person. So, Gen Z will look for a rooftop terrace when rental shopping, and will most definitely use that outdoor kitchen with grills and dining tables to spend time with friends and neighbors.

Updated design

A demographic that chooses energy- and water-efficient appliances, property technology, solar panels and the like, will have an eye for a modern, updated design. Everybody appreciates affordability, of course, by these renters will choose modern touches and updated living quarters over money.

A room with hardwood flooring will make them happy. Updated kitchen countertops will make them happy. New, shiny fixtures will make them happy. If they are happy with how the rental unit looks and feels, they will sign and renew their lease.

Coworking space

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The oldest Gen Z members are already in the workforce and, having started their careers during the pandemic, they most likely work remotely. That is why having a dedicated coworking area will boost your community in their search results.

If you’ve already invested in high-speed internet, consider adding some desks equipped with good lighting and suitable chairs. Then, place a printer and a coffee bar and you’re almost done. To complete your onsite coworking lounge make ready some video conference rooms.

Package room

This generation is accustomed to shopping online and their orders will range from clothing and tech devices to furniture and groceries. Even though they might be working from home, their availability might not allow them to pick up their orders when they arrive. So, property operators should consider creating a reliable package management solution.

The simplest way to do this is by transforming a room in your building into a secured space where delivery carriers can drop off packages. Use a video intercom system at the entrance and inside the room to monitor who has access to the room. To organize the packages, add some shelves.

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