Millennials have begun to enter the housing market in a big way, and now is the time to cater to them. Many agents still use outdated methods that may alienate their younger, tech-savvy customer base, so upping your tech game could result in more opportunities with millennials - who could turn into lifelong clientele. Many real estate agents know that reaching millennials can be challenging in many ways yet rewarding.
Millennials make up the largest generational group in America, and they’re growing up fast. Encompassing approximately 72 million US residents, millennials were born between 1980 and 1996 (although the end year is up for debate). Many are reaching the age where they have financial independence and are planning to buy their first home, regardless of where they want to start a family or not. Finding a way to put yourself in the forefront of their mind through your real estate business might push you outside your comfort zone. However, getting their business will work like a domino because a millennial that is satisfied with your work will only bring more work. The younger generation is more likely to recommend you to other young homebuyers, which may earn you extra business and connections. The millennial market has enormous potential, and even if that means putting in some extra work on your marketing strategy and the way you interact with them, it’s worth it.
What makes Millennials Different from other Generations?
This generational group is unlike any other before them. Just by looking at the evolution of technology, we can see tremendous discrepancies between what today’s young adults have access to and what their parents were privy to. Their values are similar to those of their parents and grandparents, but they are more vocal and believe deeper in them. Nowadays, you can do almost anything without even leaving your couch due to the incredible level of comfort provided by the worldwide web. From reading about anything and everything to purchasing whatever your heart desires, even a home. Everything is at their fingertips, and they can be more knowledgeable than any other generation before. While not all use this power to their benefit, a large portion of them do, allowing them to have a broader look at life and understand what is best for them.
However, while they tend to be more knowledgeable, they aren’t the most experienced when dealing with adult issues they haven’t encountered before. Some things can not be understood no matter how much you research them. As a real estate agent that wants to tap into this generational market, it’s essential to know how to work with them. They will ask you plenty of questions and are less likely to overlook aspects of the real estate process because they did their homework. For example, while around 70% are willing to buy a fixer-upper, they might not know what this will mean from a financial standpoint, but they see the work required, who they need to talk to, and why they want a fixer-upper. The spending habits of millennials may not be focused on the same logic as with other generations so don’t assume that they buy old because it’s cheap.
Tapping into the Millennial Market
If you’re looking to pursue business among the younger house-hunters, here are some to help you get started. Chances are, you may find that they’re more agreeable than you previously thought!
Social media, that is. Facebook pages, online profiles, and websites are a great way to snag the younger generation. Millennials do most of their shopping, chatting, and networking online, so getting into their airspace is a good start. Spend an afternoon setting up shop, update your professional Skype account, and try writing some SEO pieces or blog content focused on the younger generation. (Best places for first-time homebuyers, best nightlife locations, best places to raise a child, etc.) Online presence is crucial when targeting the millennial generation. Not too social savvy? Some of the best social media tools for real estate agents don’t require extensive Matrix-level coding expertise.
Regarding social media platforms, it’s vital to have and use them, but it’s also important how you use them. From a branding perspective, match the design of your social media platform to those of your website. It will be easy to link the various platforms together and build up your brand by providing the same visual. Now, these platforms aren’t only for listings. While that is the focus of your job, millennials don’t only see a house when they look at listings. They see everything that relates to the house as well, so post about lifestyle, tips, sustainability, green living, cooking, home decor, and everything else in between. Sharing relevant information and engaging with your audience is why social media platforms were created in the first place, so do just that. Considering the amount of online presence from millennials, you can bet that they base their choices on feedback and reviews available on these platforms. You can ask your clients to provide feedback on the work you did for them, write reviews on various platforms because others will be able to find you. If those reviews are positive, you’ll see your brand growing with each passing day.
Capture their attention
Whether you’re speaking with them over the phone, through an email, or in person, it’s best to grab their attention and hold it. The AICDC method, which consists of attention, interest, conviction, desire, and closeness, is an excellent method to apply when studying negotiation techniques for this younger demographic. Keep things short and concise, be witty, and get on their level.
Social platforms nowadays bombard users with tons of data, and finding a way to keep up and stay relevant in that tsunami of information may be difficult. Videos get shorter and faster simultaneously, and any content that is longer than a couple of minutes fails to keep the audience interested. Get creative and offer interactive and entertaining content. Whether video or writing, get up close and personal with your audience. Millennials get their information online most of the time. Providing them with all the information they need is a great way to keep their attention. Otherwise, they will just google all the statistics themselves and, unless you rock at SEO, you won’t appear on their radar.
Market to their tastes
Getting to know your client is always a good step, but it’s essential for younger people. Ask them questions, listen to their answers, and ask their opinions on different aspects of the home and area. Try to base your suggestions on what’s important to them - millennials tend to hold various things near and dear to their heart, and chances are they will appreciate the effort. They may even repay it by recommending you to their friends or coworkers, which can open up a whole new avenue and real estate niche for your business.
Some of the things that millennials are looking for in a home are open floor plans or a hybrid that provides some privacy. When we say they do everything online, we refer to work and the extra office space is at the top of their list of requirements. They like large kitchens where they can entertain friends and family, much like their parents, but lean towards a more relaxing outdoor space either on the property or nearby. Easy access to public transportation is also important as they tend to be less dependent on automobiles than previous generations. Bike-friendly infrastructure is also a necessity for plenty of them, so focus on those neighborhoods.
Be as helpful as possible
Many of these people are young and inexperienced when it comes to navigating the housing market. 90% of Millennials use real estate agents when buying a home, and while they may seem like daunting clients, they usually just want wisdom and guidance. The housing market is a roller coaster most of the time, but today’s market is appealing for millennials and they should know it. Be honest with them, give them some insight on how things work, and guide them towards the right decision for their taste. Honesty goes a long way with this crowd, earning their trust early on by not “selling” to them too hard, but approaching each conversation with a mentoring attitude goes further in this age group.
When you sell real estate to millennials, you’re not selling a home, you’re selling a neighborhood, so do your homework. Provide them with relevant information about the community, not only about the house. Some affordable cities will definitely come up on their radar, but that’s not all. Millennials want to be connected with their surroundings, so knowing where the best restaurants are, which parks are more likely to cater to their pets’ needs, and the events happening in the community will give you a leg up on your competition. Inside information is what it’s all about.
Millennials can be a fountain of networking and business opportunity. Many of them are looking to start their lives off on the right foot, so helping them find their way can work well in your favor. Learn how to talk to them, keep their attention, and don’t hesitate to lend a helping hand. It’s important to stay patient with your young clients. They may ask a lot of questions or need to search through a few more properties; however, patience and persistence will mean you get the deal.
Be ready to field a lot of internet searches and research from this age group. They like to spend their free time hunting online - showing the value of your access to the MLS and the experience you provide is a sure way to win their business. If you manage to get a foot in the door, you might just be able to sway other millennial buyers into contacting you.
In the comments section below, let us know if you have any other questions concerning millennials’ vast and unabashed generation. They aren’t as scary as you might think. More opinionated, maybe, but they have the best intentions at heart. Like & Share this article with fellow real estate agents to help dissipate the stigma regarding these wild, restless, and empowered young individuals who want nothing more than to purchase their own home and change the world.