ORLANDO, Fla – As the oldest Gen Z people entered the workforce, college and adulthood, the pandemic entered their (and everyone’s) lives. While the impact was felt by all, the event rocked Gen Z’s lives in a multitude of ways – from remote learning, missing graduation, rescinded internships and job offers, the necessity of moving back in with their parents, and more.
We can speculate that these hurdles may cause them to delay certain milestones like marriage and buying a home. More illuminating, we can hear from the horse’s mouth about their views on finances, employment, and future trends through The State of Gen Z 2021-2022 reports from the Center for Generational Kinetics (CGK).
Gen Z as future homeowners
Is Gen Z ready to purchase a home? Gen Z is still young relative to when this milestone is typically achieved; those surveyed range from 13 to 25.
Though an updated figure wasn’t available, the 2019-2020 report revealed that 91% of Gen Z plan to purchase a home in the future.
Big-ticket items such as vehicles and homes will soon be top of mind. For some, they already are. Of the milestones the pandemic delayed, 16% of those 18 and over believe it has postponed their ability to buy a home.
But Gen Z will be determined to make it off the sidelines. This generation understands finance and what it takes to achieve their goals.
Gen Z’s financial prowess
Actions speak louder than words, and Gen Z puts their money where their mouth is. Thirty percent are already saving for retirement, according to CGK’s research.
Additionally, four in five Gen Z members have set aside funds for unexpected expenses. As of the survey in October 2021, more than 26% have at least $1,000 for unexpected expenses, with 4% having $10,000 or more.
In mixed news, 37% saved more money during the pandemic, while roughly the same, 36%, had negative impacts on their savings.
Gen Z has the motivation to save for a down payment, though there will be bumps along their way to homeownership. When they are set to buy, it’s important to note their housing needs and expectations of the transaction.
Brand yourself for Gen Z’s business
Technology has been ever-present in their lives. Therefore, a presence on social media is likely your first point of contact with this generation.
CGK President Jason Dorsey explains, “If you want to reach them, you have to go to where they are because you have virtually zero chance of getting them to where you are.”
Google, who? Gen Z searches for information through TikTok, which received more traffic in 2021 than Google. You may want to consider an account if you haven’t created one yet.
Once you’ve developed a trusted brand, tap into their needs and desires.
Gen Z demands rapid delivery times, most within the day or even a few hours. Nearly half (48%) think products ordered online should be delivered within one day. They haven’t experienced a world without Amazon Prime, Carvana, and the myriad of food and grocery delivery services.
That type of speed may not be feasible for a home purchase. However, minimizing the time between contract and closing could be a strategy to set yourself apart from the competition. Strong connections in lending, appraisal and other areas that promotes an efficient transaction can provide that edge.
Another trait about Gen Z to note is their responsibility toward family. More than half (53%) believe they will have to financially provide and support one or both of their parents in the future.
What does this mean for housing? Perhaps their first or second home needs to accommodate aging parents or other relatives. Real estate professionals can form a connection by providing options and advice for multi-generational housing.
Lastly, remember their drive to save. Gen Z will gravitate toward a financial expert with information about different loan options, down payment requirements, and how interest rates impact the monthly payment.
Gen Z as future Realtors
Of course, Realtors will not only help Gen Z clients but work alongside them as colleagues.
The pandemic caused Gen Z to reevaluate career expectations and desires. Nearly three in ten (29%) Gen Z say real estate will have the best job and career opportunities in the next five years.
According to Florida Realtors’ membership data as of April 2022, Gen Z already represents 2.5% of agents and brokers. Though that’s not much yet, as more join and older Realtor members retire, they will gain a voice in the industry.
Following salary, the State of Gen Z 2021-2022 found the feature most likely to attract Gen Z to a potential job is scheduling flexibility. Forty-two percent of Gen Z (age 16-25) started or continued working in a gig job since the beginning of the pandemic. Many are confident they can do great work outside of a physical office environment.
With those aspects in mind, becoming a Realtor could be a fulfilling move for some Gen Z adults. Realtors often set their own schedules and have a variety of options for where they work.
Further, Gen Z cares about social causes. Their third most valued issue, protecting the environment, aligns perfectly with Clean Up Florida Waters, an annual event held across the state by Florida Realtors each July. Florida Realtors understands the importance of valuing our state’s natural resources. And throughout the year, Realtors are passionate about helping people and their communities. The synergy between the industry and the upcoming generation could lead to many positive outcomes.
Whether you’re ready or not, Gen Z is emerging into adulthood and will influence the housing market. Those who take the time to understand this upcoming group will be better equipped to attract them as clients and agents to their team.
Erica Plemmons is an economist and Florida Realtors Director of Housing Statistics
© 2022 Florida Realtors®