Generation Z, the oldest of whom are turning 24 this year, is a growing force in the rental market, but real estate experts are watching these consumers’ preferences closely for when they’re ready to buy. Sixty-two percent of Gen Z renters say smart-home technology is extremely or very important, according to a new RentCafe survey of about 2,500 respondents. High-speed internet was the most important feature respondents cited, coming in higher than parking, gym, or laundry. Further, smart-home features such as smart locks, thermostats, and energy-efficient appliances were ranked higher in importance than extra space.
“Embracing technology and social media as a way of living, these young adults seem to know exactly what they are looking for when it comes to renting an apartment, what they expect from their apartment communities, and how much they are willing to spend,” RentCafe notes in its study. “Although they are budget-conscious and still at the dawn of their earning years, Gen Z renters want the highest-quality apartments and rental communities that feature the most technologically advanced features.”
Instagram, the social media channel members of Gen Z use most often, according to the study, may be the best way to connect with them. They also rely on Google searches to find homes and use property ratings and reviews to decide where to live, the survey shows, and on videos and virtual tours. But when it comes to making the decision to sign a lease, Gen Zers still prefer in-person tours with agents first.