Millennials have become the most dominant generation in the economy. Their unique characteristics and consumer habits have long served as a source of confusion and frustration for marketers. However, they are also a powerful market to unlock because of their brand loyalty and interconnectedness. Marketing to millennial home buyers can either make or break your business.
The problem is that millennials have a reputation for not being particularly interested in owning homes. This is largely due to the underemployment among this generation in addition to high amounts of student loan debt. Many came of age during the housing bust of 2008, which shook the idea of home ownership being a safe and solid investment.
Nonetheless, millennials are finally breaking into the home buying market. The 2015 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study found that they account for the largest share of recent home buyers. So if you haven’t begun to focus your efforts on marketing to millennial home buyers, here’s what you should do.
We all know that millennials are the digital generation. They are digital natives who largely use the internet to find information and shop for products or services, so you’ll be missing out on this segment if you’re not listing properties online. Similarly, you should maintain an attractive website that updates frequently with useful content. This typically entails a blog.
It’s important to note that your website needs to be mobile-friendly because most millennials will be accessing it on a mobile device. A site that’s not compatible with mobile devices appears clunky when viewed on smartphones and tablets, which turns visitors away. Not to mention the fact that Google penalizes websites that aren’t mobile-friendly within their search rankings.
Make sure to put extra effort into allowing easier digital communication, which means being okay with texting and online instant messaging. Millennials like instantaneous communication when they have a question, so this can go a long way when it comes to building client relationships.
You need to be leveraging the power of social media for your business if you aren’t already. Focus on building a strong brand and a commanding digital presence. Maintaining social media accounts is a must. Not only for marketing your listings but for connecting with current and prospective clients as well.
Focus On Advantages Of Home Ownership
Some millennials have avoided buying homes because they feel they cannot afford them and as a result, they do not need them. If you want to market homes to millennials, take extra care when guiding them through the home buying process and focus on the advantages homeownership provides.
Surprisingly, outstanding student loans can be an advantage millennials have in the home market in some instances. They are more likely to qualify for more flexible FHA-insured home mortgage loans because of student loan debt. This means they will often get a decent deal on a loan for purchasing a home, which might make it more advantageous than renting.
Millennials are savvy buyers and like to shop around to evaluate their options. This has an upside; they typically have done their research before consulting a real estate professional. This means they may have an idea of what they want but need a knowledgeable professional to guide them through the process.
Millennials don’t respond very well to shallow advertising and promises, especially with purchases as large as a home. They will instead appreciate you engaging with them on a personal level and informing them of all the facts so they can make an educated decision for their situation. Millennials want to trust you; if they are happy with your services they’ll want to recommend you to their friends. Transparency is a win-win for both sides.
Cost is Important
Attracting millennial home buyers means educating them on the financials and working with them through every step of the process. They’re savvy buyers and many feel like home ownership is financially out of reach. Help them to see that home ownership is possible—remember, they’re called starter homes for a reason!
Know What They Want
First, millennials are largely frugal and tend to only buy necessary items. This means they may opt to avoid rooms they won’t use, such as a formal dining room. They tend to like spaces that are low maintenance and flexible, which is why condos and townhouses are also good options for millennials. They like a more open plan that allows for casual dining and socializing. Homes with green features are extremely popular with this generation due to the eco-friendliness and cost savings these features provide.
The truth is, most Millennials want to own homes. And with the market improving in recent years, more and more members of this generation are beginning to seriously look into buying a home for themselves and their families. This may be a challenging group to market to for many traditional-minded businesses, however, focusing on this generation can help put you ahead of the curve!