As discussed in this blog previously, the two biggest demographics to hit the real estate industry in decades are driving a dramatic shift in renting properties and purchasing homes. These generations are known as Millennials and Gen Z. With their own unique set of likes, dislikes, and behaviors, covered more in depth here, property groups and leasing agents must find new ways to attract these growing generations of buyers and renters. For the Millennial and Gen Z audience, there is an innate desire for a combination of highly personalized, high-touch service FAST. How fast? These audiences allow only around 12 seconds of attention to any number of companies targeting them.
As such, when marketing to both Millenials and Gen Z, digital is the way to go. These generations are more connected to the Internet than any previous eras. They grew up with it and it’s where they are. In fact, the latest Adobe Digital Index (ADI) reports that these groups own, on average, 7.7 connected devices and use 3.3 each day. A Goldman Sachs report showed that after conducting research online, 38% of Millennials actually prefer communicating with a company or brand via social media to any other channel.
Now that the who and where of these pivotal generations has been identified, it’s time to focus on tactical ways to reach them.
Video Is Key
While video isn’t exactly a new trend, where and how it’s used can be a crucial differentiator for many multifamily real estate marketers in attracting Millennials and Gen Z. Video has been shown to have a 135% greater organic reach than simple, still photos. And no wonder, as video can grab and hold on to a viewer’s attention in just seconds. Given the exceptionally short amount of time marketers have to cut through the noise and reach these audiences, finding ways to to incorporate video into the platforms they already use can be incredibly successful. Take Facebook for example. In 2015, Facebook was capturing over 5 billion video views per day on their platform, and that number grew to over 8 billion views per day by the end of 2016. Consumers aren’t just watching these videos either – they are engaging with them. 75% of Millennials share video content online. But, as quick as they are to engage, they are equally as quick to ditch these videos, or worse, if they sniff too much promotion. Keep video valuable to users, genuine, and centered on what they need to know, not your own interests.
Think Real Time
Every potential renter would likely prefer to see and experience a new living space for themselves. In today’s busy and increasingly global environment, that can be impossible. Why not try the next best thing? Allow them to tour spaces live and, virtually, in person. Research shows that people will spend 3X longer watching a live video than a recorded one. By going live, onsite teams are present to answer questions and show that individual consumer what they want to see in the space and begin to form a personal connection. For Millennials and Gen Z? They want that connection with every brand they use, and their home is certainly no exception. They also crave the way live video is inherently genuine. Even social platforms like Facebook and Instagram have begun successful live video options because of it’s success in reaching and engaging audiences. For the real estate market, there really is no better option for those who can’t visit a property or community in person. For the best, most measurable results, find a partner that can not only help multifamily properties get in front of their target audiences but provides control over who is touring, how, when and complete visibility into touring metrics.
Every communication with prospective buyers and renters should be as personal and real as possible. Don’t shy away from letting the personalities of the onsite teams and staff shine through. That sentiment goes ten-fold for Millennials and Gen Z. Brands are constantly trying to garner attention through increased personalization. Nothing is more powerful than engaging a lead by name and providing a catered, personalized, authentic experience for them. Equally, there is no more powerful experience in marketing and sales than being able to actively build a relationship, answer their questions, show them what they want to see and get them bought in on the space/property that you are showcasing.
The most common theme of all marketing attempts should be honesty. That honesty will build the level of trust and transparency Millennial and Gen Z audiences are looking for to convert into signed leases. By being real, showing the property the way it is, without Photoshop or heavily designed or produced aspects, properties can begin to build that trust.
Millennials and Gen Z are a different generation than any the real estate market has faced. As such they need to be marketed to differently. Thanks to technology, it is easier than ever to connect with ideal prospects; however, also because of technology, it is harder than ever to earn their undivided interest and attention. By knowing them, knowing where to find them and how to best reach them, the multifamily real estate market can overcome those challenges and continue to thrive.
Want to learn more about how you can use video to your advantage when marketing to these demographics? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d love to talk more about your video strategy.
Until next time…keep it real!