COVID-19 has sent a lot of Gen Zers out of the housing market, but it can’t last forever. When the job market picks up for them, they’ll be looking to move back out on their own. Gen Z grew up with the internet; they are tech-savvy and mostly well-educated. They are generally environmentally conscious and promote diversity. As they get older, Gen Z will be a larger generation than millennials in the housing industry and it’s best to be prepared.
Access is everything
While popular belief has said that cars will soon be a thing of the past, we aren’t so sure. Not only does Gen Z drive, they may continue to prefer it over shared spaces such as Uber, Lyft, and public transportation. As long as social distancing continues, it doesn’t seem very likely that car ownership will go away. This is especially true since concerns about COVID-19 have kept many people from wanting to use rideshare services. If people are avoiding rideshare, they’re going to need their own vehicles.
Car owners want to know they can easily go to and from their apartment without difficulty. According to Constructor Magazine, research shows that Gen Z is more likely to own a vehicle than millennials. This means communities with insufficient parking may lose out over those who have it. Safety has been reinforced in their minds since they were born. If they know they have a space to park their car that’s close to their apartment, they (and their parents, who are likely part of the process) may feel safer.
A place where mail can be locked and packages can be stored in lockers is a major bonus. Whether they’re working from home or on the go, it’s reassuring to know their packages and mail are waiting for them in a secure space. Package lockers add a level of convenience so residents don’t have to wait around office-hour schedules. They’re also helpful if your offices are still closed or by appointment only due to COVID-19.
Technology is key
Being the tech-savvy generation that they are, tech integrations, good WiFi, and quick responses from management are all important. The more access you give them to handle things through their phones, the better. This includes online rental processes, parking management and amenity reservations. Parking Boss gives you the ability to manage parking through a cloud-based platform and lets residents investigate parking violations with a quick scan of a warning sticker’s QR code. Make registering guest vehicles a breeze, too, with 24/7 online guest registration. A study by NMHC and Kingsley found that 80% of adult renters ages 25 and under see visitor parking as a priority. Offering a solution like virtual guest permits will give them the technology and convenience they want.
Community spaces are a plus
With the majority of people working from home and an already shifting work-from-home culture among younger professionals, coworking spaces have become increasingly attractive. While we’re still preventing the spread of COVID-19, these spaces are still something you can offer, but workstations can be spaced out with dividers, if necessary. With Amenity Boss, an amenity management solution, you can offer a limited amount of spaces and put caps on the time residents can use each workspace. Residents easily get virtual amenity passes by reserving a time slot at their amenity of choice. As coronavirus hopefully becomes less of a problem, you can continue to let residents reserve their times in the coworking spaces. This lets them be sure when they want to get out of their home office, they’ll have a spot to work.
You’ll also find that the younger generation wants to get their money’s worth out of the amenities you offer. With spaces like grilling stations, pools, fitness centers, and communal workspaces, you’re giving them more ways to connect with your community and get out of their apartments. As more businesses reopen, they’ll also look for places to be close to work and neighborhood hangouts.
Long commutes to work have gotten old. Gen Z renters would rather live in a smaller space if it means being closer to work. A walkable area with public transportation, restaurants, and other activities is more than enough to make them feel connected to the world around them. While they’re willing to pay more and sacrifice apartment size for a neighborhood with plenty of activities, they still drive and want to know they have a safe place to park their cars.
The next generation of renters is going to take over the market soon. Are you ready for them? They’ll love your community if it’s walking distance from parks, restaurants, or ways to get around town. With secure resident parking managed through Parking Boss, they’ll know their cars are safe at home. Don’t forget about all the packages they order; have package lockers installed if you don’t already. Give them areas to work and amenities they can enjoy outside of their small personal spaces. The most important thing that ties it all together is technology. Without technology integrations and convenient ways to manage parking, amenities, and the rental process online, you risk losing prospective renters.