Will Generation Z Change the World of Real Estate?

It’s finally happening — millennials are entering the housing market, looking to leave renting behind to buy a home. With this changing tide, insights on how to reach this new segment of buyers and appeal to the needs of millennials have become all the rage, but what about the next generation of homebuyers? Any successful business, including those in real estate, needs to stay ahead of the curve. If agents and brokers don’t want to be left in the dust, it’s in their best interest to plan for the future.

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate (BHGRE) has taken this notion into account by looking into Generation Z, the 21 million US teens born since the mid-to-late 1990s, and their views on homeownership and the real estate business. Continuing this “groundbreaking industry research,” BHGRE conducted a focus group interviewing 13 to 18 year olds at its Madison, NJ Realogy headquarters. Discussions focused on the buying decision process, in addition to what this up-and-coming influential generation of homebuyers thinks about the role of agents, the information available on the web, the current transaction process and the American Dream of homeownership.

What can agents and brokers expect from Gen Z? BHGRE found that:

  • When making purchasing decisions, Generation Z factors in “following their gut instinct” when faced with too much information, and rely on advice from close friends and family when faced with an important decision. They also prefer to make large purchases in person through face-to-face communication, rather than online, while relying on input and personal recommendations from trusted sources.
  • Today’s teens would consider renting first after college and saving up, while paying off student loans and other expenses before buying a home.
  • When starting the home buying process, members of Gen Z would begin by researching an agent online and respond well to comprehensive agent profiles – just one more reason to make sure you have a prominent web presence.
  • On the web, Generation Z is attracted to pictures, video and virtual tours.
  • When working with a real estate agent, Gen Zers would contact an agent for assistance once they have narrowed down choices through their own online research.

Should the real estate industry’s focus move to this young group? According to Sherry Chris, president and CEO of BHGRE, “Gen Z is a new paradigm: a generation whose entire world and self-views are crafted by technology, immediacy, and access. To prepare for this, we shifted our discussion – and our gaze – further into the future.”

Have you starting preparing for the next generation of homebuyers, or is it still too early to focus on this demographic? What are your thoughts?

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