Marketing apartments to recent college graduates poses unique challenges and opportunities for savvy apartment management companies. Fresh grads are members of the fastest-growing contingent of renters nationwide, with 4.5 million entering the rental market in the past 5 years.
Gen Z renters have specific preferences, communication styles, and even shopping styles to consider. If you’re going to attract them in this competitive market, you must know how to speak their (online) shopping language and appeal to their social life and values.
These are our favorite top 10 trending tips for marketing apartments to recent college graduates.
1. List Properties on the Right Sites
Two highly popular apartment listing websites among Gen Z renters are Zillow and Apartments.com.
Zillow, with its user-friendly interface and extensive apartment inventory, allows grads to browse various listings, filter according to location and budget, and contact property managers directly. Apartments.com, known for its modern design and detailed listings, provides comprehensive information on amenities and nearby attractions, making it a preferred choice for Gen Z.
Apartment management companies without a large management portfolio and self-listed rentals should consider investigating which listing site is the most popular with younger renters in their market.
2. Emphasize On-Site Amenities in Ways That Connect
Younger renters want apartment communities that offer more than just living spaces. When you create ads or website content, add virtual tours of highly desirable community features such as fitness centers, study rooms, rooftop lounges, and communal spaces.
3. Prioritize Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Features
Gen Z graduates are increasingly concerned about environmental sustainability. Promote your community’s green initiatives, such as renewable energy sources, recycling programs, and energy-efficient appliances. Demonstrating a commitment to sustainability will strongly resonate with this environmentally conscious demographic.
4. Market Apartments with Open Floor Plans to Younger Renters
Young tenants prefer open floor plans that promote a spacious and modern living environment. Focus on listing images and virtual tours that emphasize open-plan flexibility and a seamless blending of living, dining, and kitchen areas. This layout caters to Gen Z’s desire for multifunctional spaces that can be used for work, relaxation, and entertaining friends.
5. Optimize Your Community’s Social Media Presence
To effectively engage with first-time renters, establish a strong social media presence on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat. Post visually appealing content that showcases your community’s unique features, events, and resident testimonials. Be responsive to inquiries, encourage user-generated content, and use these platforms to build a sense of virtual community.
6. Highlight Local Attractions and Connectivity
Recent college graduates often prioritize lifestyle amenities and proximity to entertainment, restaurants, and public transportation. Illustrate your community’s convenient location, walkability to local attractions, and easy access to public transit routes. Showcasing your apartment community’s connectivity will resonate with Gen Z’s desire for an active social life, with or without a car.
7. Know if Your Property is in a High-Growth Market
When marketing to those who’ve just taken their first job out of college, high-growth markets will offer the most opportunity to target recent graduates who are moving to where the jobs are. Cities such as Austin, Dallas, Denver, Seattle, and Nashville provide vibrant job markets, cultural opportunities, and a youthful atmosphere that appeals to young renters. If your property is in a similar location, focus your marketing efforts on attracting Gen Z graduates moving to the area.
8. Leverage Virtual Tours and 3D Visuals
We can’t say this enough: offering virtual tours and captivating 3D visuals of your apartments is essential for connecting with today’s online shoppers. Provide potential residents with an immersive experience by showcasing floor plans, amenities, and community spaces. Utilize technology to cater to Gen Z’s digital expectations and empower them to explore your community remotely.
9. Facilitate Seamless Digital Communication
Young renters prefer seamless digital communication methods such as online chat, email, and text messaging. Ensure your community’s website and online portals are user-friendly and mobile-responsive. Streamline communication channels to maintain prompt and efficient communication, ultimately enhancing their renting experience.
10. Offer Flexible Lease Terms and Move-In Incentives
Younger renters value flexibility and control. Consider offering flexible lease terms and move-in incentives like reduced security deposits or waived application fees. Flexibility and affordability are key considerations for this demographic, and these offerings can help attract and retain Gen Z renters.
The Right Apartment Management Companies Create Vibrant, Youthful Communities
Effectively marketing apartment communities to recent college graduates requires an understanding of their specific preferences and needs. By leveraging popular listing websites, highlighting desirable community features and amenities, understanding ideal apartment layouts, targeting high-growth markets, and embracing digital communication preferences, property managers can attract and retain Gen Z renters successfully.
Meet them where they are and show them the home and community where everyone their age will want to live. Follow these tips, and you won’t have any problem improving occupancy with the latest generation of energetic young professionals.