Residential Magazine

The Market You Need to Reach

Next Generation Z is coming of age and will soon be a homebuying force

By Cory Swain

While close in age, millennials and members of Generation Z share very different coming-of-age stories. Millennials faced the Great Recession and they clung to postponed dreams of homeownership as financial obstacles bubbled up.

Today, some of the older Gen Zers (born after 1996) are entering their mid-20s under a much different backdrop. Much like their closest peers, Gen Zers are a diverse group of educated individuals with favorable views of the government’s capacity to solve problems. On track to become the most educated segment of the population, this generation mainly believes in progressive policies. Both generations champion societal change that promotes opportunities for all people.

In contrast to millennials, Gen Z is arriving into the workforce at a later time, given their studious tendencies. They also will soon approach prime homebuying ages. Given today’s economy and their unique paths into 2021, they are better positioned than previous generations to live out their dreams of homeownership. Mortgage originators would do well to understand this demographic.

As savvy consumers, they can do their own research and turn a skeptical eye if they sense something is awry. Their approach to consumerism places a higher priority on partnerships with brands, instead of mere acquisitions from brands. In other words, they value relationships and honesty.

More than anything, they aim for a sense of community and belonging. This is why they can be easily turned off if they feel like they are being moved along a conveyor belt. To build this sense of community and foster partnerships with Generation Z prospects and clients, keep these approaches close to you as you work to truly connect and build new relationships.

Sense of community

Livestreaming on social media platforms makes this demographic tick. Initially used for livestreaming video games and monetizing channels, these platforms also support passions in ways no one thought possible.

New categories and community-building algorithms widen the door for people to share their love for art, music, cooking and other interests that attract large audiences. Suddenly, engagement has new meaning and the sense of community also has greater importance on these types of online services.

Gen Zers love their games. Microsoft’s popular Minecraft game has helped educate younger people about the voting process. Because any conceivable world is possible with Minecraft, organizers reimagined an ecosystem with voting-themed interactions. The setup allowed people to “gamify” voting exercises using unique Minecraft features. A supermajority of participants who joined completed the entire exercise, thus gaining new insights into an important topic by using a familiar platform. And it all started with a willingness to meet them where they are.

Clearly, social media marketing is a powerful avenue to reach new audiences and build relationships. There’s a lot of chatter on apps like Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. It’s not enough, however, to amplify messaging. Companies that create content and form partnerships based on the trends of the hour find success. Videos can ride the waves of what’s popular. What’s more, your content is in sync with the younger audience’s wavelength. As a result, they are more likely to engage with your brand.

Guided by conscience

Meeting Generation Zers where they are isn’t too complicated. They welcome it, in fact. But the dynamics are uprooted if the interactions morph into something that feels transactional. The better approach is to pick communities you know you can invest time in. Showing consistency and sincerity are two ways to win them over.

Remember, Gen Zers are attuned to transparency and honest dialogue. Typical marketing talk or cliches won’t get their attention in a meaningful way. This is why it’s important to express yourself. Show your authentic and sincere side to promote interaction. In doing so, you open space for more inviting opportunities for them to poke around and take notice.

Your brand must shine and hit the right notes. In order to better facilitate a connection, be aware of the values that Gen Zers gravitate toward. They interact with companies that think beyond the bottom line. Tie branding to your community involvement and other activities that demonstrate your commitment to values. In many ways, this tactic works because, as consumers, Generation Zers are heavily guided by conscience.

Messages that connect

Coming off too serious or sticking to marketing talk can be off-putting. Instead, focus on content that’s uplifting and entertaining. Get their attention by stimulating their inner self and funny bones, instead of simply dishing out the latest interest rates and your contact information.

Comedic videos are the preferred format, with inspirational content a close second. Sticking to a blend of these types of videos transports your audience to a happier place, increasing the chances of making an important connection.

Use strong visuals. It’s not that Generation Zers have short attention spans, but give them something to look at. Feed their creativity through dynamic videos, bold graphics and sharp photography. And don’t get too caught up in emulating viral visuals. Instead, focus on individuality and a unique presentation that speaks to your brand.

Getting young people involved in your marketing efforts can resonate with their peers. In order to effectively execute this plan, think about using their feedback and interviews as content building blocks. The more in touch you can be, the more likely you’ll craft messages that stick.

Despite your greatest effort, there’s risk for your message to land awkwardly. This is because Gen Zers are more suspicious of corporate speak. If you lack authenticity, they’ll pick it up and possibly turn on you. So, exercise self-awareness and remember that it’s not always what’s said but how it comes across. This demographic might not recall your exact phrasing, but they sure will remember how they felt. ●


  • Cory Swain

    Cory Swain is a managing partner of Premier Mortgage Resources LLC, NMLS No. 1169. Swain has been in the mortgage industry for 36 years. He joined PMR in 2015. Since then, PMR has expanded into a large part of the western U.S. PMR now has 31 licensed locations west of the Mississippi River and is staffed by more than 120 loan officers. The company has branches across eight states (Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Minnesota, Hawaii and Missouri). Swain currently resides with his wife and children in their hometown of Boise, Idaho.

You might also like...