For years, marketers have been focusing on understanding the demographic behemoth that is the millennial generation. But there is a new buying force on the market, and with oldest now turning 22, they are joining the workforce in masses. It’s time to understand Gen Z – especially since their lifestyle and spending habits are very different than millennials.

This powerful new group of consumers was born between 1995 and 2010. They are driven by the fact that they are the true digital natives. Another key aspect to remember is that they were kids during the Great Recession, and may have seen their parents significantly impacted by it.

The Differences Between Millennials and Gen Z

Millennials have turned their backs on any sense of ownership. Gen Z is taking pride of ownership back. One reason for this change could be that they already have disposable income. Many in this generation are skipping higher education to avoid decades of student loan debt and head straight into the workforce. Rather than utilizing car sharing services like Uber and Lyft, Gen Z is willing to sacrifice a good deal to own a car, including social media, new clothes, and a cell phone. 92 percent of the generation owns a vehicle, and 57 percent would consider buying a home over renting, even though many are under the age of 18. Gen Z is not only saving for home and vehicle ownership, they are also splurging, especially on eating out.

This pragmatic group is motivated by security and money and is realistic about the need for constant skill development to stay relevant and essential in the workforce. What does this mean for marketers? We have work to do to meet the needs of this unique, hard-working group.

How Will Gen Z Impact the Rental Market?

Gen Z is more motivated to own a home instead of rent, and that difference has dramatic impacts on the multifamily and self storage industries. It may mean that, as millennials move further into their 30s and decide to buy a home, there will not be enough Gen Z adults to fill the vacancies. Self storage may see a bump if they are buying a smaller home that doesn’t offer the storage space they need.

Another aspect to consider is that the latter half of Gen Z is still living at home. These teens are known to have tremendous influence on their household’s buying habits. If their parents have recovered from the Great Recession and rebuilt their savings and earning potential, they may be purchasing large-ticket items such as RVs, boats, or other items that need seasonal storage.

How to Market to Gen Z

It’s not just spending habits that differentiate Gen Z from millennials. They also expect to be catered to in a very different way. Even though they are the true digital natives, Gen Z prefers to communicate face-to-face, rather than through messaging apps or email. They crave an authentic connection and real value from brands and marketing activity. This group is motivated by security and ownership. What better way to establish trust than through a personal connection?

However, and this is important to remember, Gen Z multi-tasks online better than any other demographic. They are just as impatient and just as eager to have control over their buying power. This means that your digital footprint is more important than ever before – just make sure there is a stellar sales manager available to meet your new resident or customer in person when they stop by. It’s never wise to put all of your sales influence in one basket, and Gen Z is here to remind us that nothing is as authentic or powerful as personal relationships.

Balanced Marketing with the Right Partner

Millennials and Gen Z are evolving the face of consumerism, year-over-year. Keeping up with these forceful groups will require expertise in real estate marketing, data-driven insights, and innovative digital advertising. G5 is the partner you need.

Schedule a demo to learn how we can help you meet the needs of these two groups.