Data and Trends

Reaching Gen Z: Marketing to the Next Faces of Renting


Just as we begin to fully understand what drives Millennials to a particular brand, we will soon redirect our marketing strategy to meet the demands of Generation Z.

Even with many similarities between them – growing up in the era of social networking and vocalizing societal issues – Millennials and Gen Zs couldn’t be more different. As such, property management companies should begin to evaluate their technological capabilities and brainstorm ideas to market apartment communities to reach this new demographic. 

So, who is Gen Z?

  • Kids born between 1995 and 2012.
  • They tend to be tech-savvy, goal-oriented and self-aware.
  • The first generation to be born into the Internet era

As members of Generation Z reach the age of renting their first apartments, it’s important for marketers to understand, engage and advertise to them effectively. Because of Gen Z’s affinity for media, online content will be a huge driver in the way apartment communities need to advertise.

Here are some other helpful tips to help you prepare when this cohort hits the rental market.

Make video content a priority.

Dynamic content, such as videos, will resonate more with the Gen Zs.This demographic prefers shorter, faster snippets of information, so leveraging tools that they regularly use, such as YouTube and online streaming, will capture their attention in a meaningful way. Without shareable videos, marketers may find it difficult to reach this group of renters. Generation Z welcomes production quality of all types, but focuses primarily on ad authenticity. They don’t have time for gimmicks; 100% transparency and to-the-point videos are preferred.

Focus marketing on social media platforms, e-mail and online ads.

Out-of-home and direct mail advertising are things of the past when it comes to reaching Generation Z. Focus on social media, e-mail and digital marketing on sites like Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube are extremely popular social platforms to direct your marketing message. Think about the actual product (amenities, apartment interiors, proximity to neighborhood nightlife) more than the “apartment living” experience – that’s what they’re looking for.

Also of note:  It’s essential that your apartment advertisements are responsive in design and look great on mobile devices. Smartphones are the device of choice for Gen Z.  They stream twice as many videos on their phones and mobile devices than previous generations. [1]

Think ‘inspo’ amenities that speak to their social and entrepreneurial aspirations.

A gym and pool are nice amenities to have. The Z Generation, however, values amenities that cater to their goal-oriented disposition and love of socializing…aka “inspo” (inspirational or motivational) amenities. Broaden your thinking with ideas like:

  • Craft rooms
  • Bike repair stations
  • Game rooms
  • Conference/ball rooms
  • Computer labs with UI/UX software (photoshop), budgeting software and Skype

By increasing your community’s focus on rich media content, digital marketing and the ability to create an environment that appeals to Gen Z’s social and innovative aspirations, you’ll be visible and relevant when the new faces of renting arrive.


  1. Kleinschmit, Matt. “Generation Z characteristics: 5 infographics on the Gen Z lifestyle.” Vision Critical, 4 Dec. 2015, Accessed 6 Sept. 2017.

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