The real estate market is constantly shifting – adjusting to buying behaviors, national politics and economic factors. At the moment, there is one other big change emerging. Millennials are coming of age and they are buying homes.
“The largest cohort in America is growing up, and while Gen Y ages they become more traditional in their buying habits,” NAR notes in its 2016 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report according to a recent Market Watch article. If you’re strategy for 2016 includes attracting more of the millennial market share, here’s what you need to know.
Millennials are digital natives.
Growing up in the age of the internet, millennials are casual about their access to information. Instant answers are a natural part of their life experience, and they expect the same results when home shopping. If your website only offers the most general of information and encourages the viewer to call for more information, the millennial home shopper will likely continue their search online to find someone who will give them the information up front.
They won’t take your word for it. Because millennials are accustomed to online fact-checking and cross-referencing, they will look to backup any data you offer. Don’t just ask millennial clients to trust your instincts, offer resources that highlight WHY you are advising a specific course action.
They value transparency. Social media will be a part of how your millennial clients experience the real estate market. Comfortable with sharing their lives with the world, they will take pictures of a potential home and share it online asking friends and family for feedback. They make genuine connections on social media – which is why your professional social media presence needs to be more than an online billboard. It is likely to be the metric that many millennials use to decide if they want to work with you.
Millennials are accustomed to, and value, the benefits of personalization. They will expect you to remember the results of the new client form they filled out for you. The more you can tailor their experience to their specific wants and needs, the more satisfied they will be with the experience as a whole.
Go mobile with your online presence and connections. Millennials aren’t the first generation to be tied to their technology, but they are revolutionizing how they use it. Your online marketing must be mobile device friendly as a significant, and growing, percentage of all interaction and content consumption is taking place on smart phones. Not having a mobile responsive website is a guaranteed way to drive Millennial home shoppers/sellers straight to your competition.
Put It in Action
- Get specific with your niche. Millennials are not a group with a single perspective. Instead utilize social media to key into a local millennial demographic.
- Millennials need to feel informed and involved, not just marketed to. Focus your marketing efforts on offering useful, engaging education for home searchers/sellers in your area.
- Have someone on the team, within the millennial age group, and don’t be afraid to ask “Is this how you would search/find information/choose a realtor?”
- Millennials need their opinion to be important. Encourage them to talk about you and to you. Ask for feedback on your social media channels and in follow up emails after meetings.