The first generation to grow up with continual online access, Generation Z – also known as the iGeneration, Post-Millennials and the Homeland Generation – is getting ready to enter the rental world. Gen Z’ers consume technology at a higher rate than any other demographic – checking their smartphones every three minutes! With smart home technologies having played such a big role in their lives, they have some pretty high expectations about what life outside of mom and dad’s house should be.
Gen Z’ers want a personal, meaningful and unique living experience, which can create a challenge for some student housing operators. But it’s a challenge that should be accepted with open arms.
Here are some key items to consider when building out a technology plan to meet the demands of this new generation of renters:
- Personal connective devices like Google Assistant: These items were top sellers this holiday season. These devices are personal and connected to each individual user via apps and accounts, many owner/operators are considering these as move-in gifts for new residents. Being mindful of the user experience of each before making a final purchase.
- Smart locks: Have become a no-brainer in terms of establishing a smart home/smart community. They offer greater flexibility for both the resident and the operator to control who can enter an apartment home. Your staff will not have to deal with the key management time-suck at semester turn; therefore, they can quickly and easily create a new access and revoke access as students move in and out.
- Consider Makerspaces: Do you know what a makerspace is? With the rise and greater accessibility of technologies like 3D printing and the increased interest in STEM programs, Gen Z’ers are drawn to spaces where they can interact with others, invent, create and innovate. This collaborative work space, inside any public or private facility, would have more than just some computers and a printer – it would truly be a space built on technologies, tools and the ability to learn too.
- Package management solutions: Package lockers have quickly become an expected amenity in the multifamily housing industry. Gen Z will expect the convenience of accessing their purchases when and how they want. Consider looking into a comprehensive package management solution that includes lockers, smart room technologies and personalized access capabilities.
Want to learn more and hear what the potential ROI is on some of these smart home technologies? Be sure to attend Gear Up; What Technology-Focused Gen Z Wants on Feb. 14, at 10:15 a.m. at the NAA CampusConnex Conference in Orlando, FL.
Industry experts include, Package Concierge’s National Director of Sales, Regan Hartley, moderating a compelling discussion between Scott Casey, Chief Technology Officer & SVP of Strategic Business Development for EdR; Alex Eyssen, Vice President of Student Housing for The Bainbridge Companies; and Henry Pye, Vice President of Resident Technology Services for RealPage, Inc.