They’re smart, tech-savvy and in the market for housing, and they’re using social media to see what’s trending and who’s selling. Generation Z—defined as the 72 million people born between 1997 and 2012—are not your typical buyers, and that presents both challenges and opportunities for REALTORS® and agents. Real estate experts from the Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS®, Inc. (HGAR) and OneKey® MLS recently explored these Gen Z patterns and styles, and shared tips for successfully marketing to this new generation of buyers on a virtual panel held June 9. The session, titled, “Getting the Deal Done in NY: Real Estate Marketing to Tech-Savvy Gen Z,” featured Anna Klenkar, licensed real estate salesperson, Compass, New York City; Luciane Serifovic, CEO and founder, Luxian International Realty, New York City; and Jeff Goodman, licensed real estate salesperson, Brown Harris Stevens, New York City. Richard Haggerty, CEO of HGAR and president and chief strategic growth officer of OneKey® MLS, the regional multiple listing service for New York, opened with an update on regional housing market trends. “The market we had for almost a year and a half, after we reopened offices and started showing properties in person, wasn’t sustainable,” Haggerty said. “It was on fire and we were hoping for a soft landing and, so far, I think that’s what we’re seeing.”
Citing OneKey® MLS data to compare sales trends of single-family houses from May 2021 to May 2022, Haggerty noted closings are down slightly at 1.4%, while condos and co-ops are up. He noted one indicator “that’s a little dampening”—new listings for single-family homes are down 6% and the number is even greater for condos and co-ops. “We’re definitely seeing a drop-off of new listings, and inventory continues to plague us,” Haggerty said. “And, we’re hearing that what’s happening in New York—low inventory—is reflected in every single urban market across the country, and we’ll continue to have some big supply issues.”
The event was moderated by Brian D. Tormey, NTP, president of TitleVest, a NYC-based provider of title insurance and related real estate services. The hour-long webinar included discussion about leveraging social channels such as TikTok, Instagram and LinkedIn, creating content, branding and other best practices to successfully engage Gen Z and get deals done in New York.
“Both millennials and Gen Z are very adept at seeing through ads, and if they feel they’re being marketed to in any sort of sleazy way, that’s a complete turnoff,” said Klenkar, of Compass. “So, I focus on transparency, education and general knowledge. You can’t do that in a fake way. I’d rather educate you and then if you want to work with me based on that, great.”
Goodman, of Brown Harris Stevens, agreed. “People want instant gratification, especially within the digital world, but after that initial wave, the substance is still the same,” Goodman said. “People want to know that service providers are knowledgeable and are going to provide value for them. For this younger generation, ‘Generation-Skeptics’ as Anna called them, it’s important to show them we are experts, we’re respectful of their time and we’re going to do things in a fast and efficient way and not compromise that level of expertise.”
The panel also talked about the value of brand awareness and tracking success and progress via social media.
“Think about big brands, Verizon, Coca-Cola, they’re huge. And, you still get ads from them, they still have social media, and they still put themselves out there. It’s not any different for us,” said Serifovic, of Luxian International Realty. “Think about who you want to be and just put it out there. Be unafraid. Get that exposure. You cannot afford not to. People are consuming content on social media every day. If you’re not out there, people are not going to remember you and they’re not going to do business with you.”