Millennials, the largest generation in history, are about to enter their peak spending years. Born between 1980 and 2000, this generation is 92 million strong, compared to baby boomers at 72 million. The great news for home sellers is that 93% of renters aged 18-34 intend to own a home someday. In order to effectively reach your share of those prospective home buyers, your Realtor may need to adjust her marketing techniques.
Remember that millennials are the first generation of “digital natives.” They’ve spent their entire lives immersed in technology that has grown along with them. They understand it and depend on it in a way we older folks may never relate to. Millennials look to their devices, apps and online platforms to access social connections, news and information, entertainment and shopping. They are accustomed to having everything they want or need available instantly – whether it’s the answer to a trivia question, an Amazon purchase (and delivery!), instant streaming of a movie or TV show, access to a bank account, or reaching a friend anywhere in the world. If a wait time is involved, millennials will move on to another source.
As buyers, millennials are most comfortable with researching purchases and comparing prices online. They build trust with brands through social media channels, blogs and reviews. Authenticity and
transparency trump a hard sell or straight advertising when it comes to millennials.
“There’s an app for that.” Creative minds and tech geniuses cater to millennials, and this generation values innovation. Think of the advances in audio and video technology, virtual reality, services like Airbnb and Uber, and a mind-boggling array of “smart” devices to make life easier. As home sellers, you’ll want to be sure your listing agent understands the millennial buyer’s mindset and uses marketing strategies that resonate with them. Here are six things to look for to make sure your listing agent can effectively reach and build relationships with millennials:
- To appeal to millennials, Realtors need an authentic online brand. Throwing a head shot on a generic real estate website and calling it a day is no longer good enough. Realtors should create and maintain social media profiles that give insight into their personality, work ethic, and specialty areas. They should converse and blog about relevant, personal topics such as their favorite coffee shop, the dog park near their listings, or the young couple who just got the keys to their new home. Featuring photos, reviews and testimonials from clients will instill even more
credibility with millennial buyers.
- Be sure your Realtor provides plenty of information and photos for your listing. Millennials are used to gathering information digitally to make comparisons and narrow down choices. Think beyond the home itself and include information about the neighborhood, parks, shopping and other nearby amenities.
- Realtor’s sites should be optimized for mobile devices. It’s critical that everything they use for marketing looks great on a small screen.
- Look for creative delivery of listing information, such as 3-D virtual tours, aerial shots of the neighborhood from a drone or interactive maps. Realtors who want to reach millennial buyers need to stay ahead of the curve with real estate related apps and online services.
- Using DocuSign or other platforms that enable electronic delivery of documents and digital signatures is a must for millennial buyers.
- It’s essential for your Realtor to be responsive. Millennial clients will want to stay connected via messaging, email or other apps.
As different as millennials might seem, they are simply looking for a place to call home and create a better life. With millennial-focused marketing, it may be in your home.