A recent study by the National Association of Realtors reveals that millennials are the generation that is most likely to use agents. This is good news, as millennials are now the biggest population of buyers in the United States.
However, millennials face newfound adversity: massive student loan debt, higher unemployment rates, and an overall struggling economy. A recent article from the LA Times elaborates on how California is one of the toughest real estate markets in the country for first-time buyers, who are mostly millennials.
Billions of dollars have been invested towards understanding this generation. Thus far, we have learned some undeniable facts: they don’t like being called millennials, digital space is the new standard for marketing and communication, brand-loyalty is strong, and traditional advertising techniques are substantially less effective. Your bus stop bench ad dollars are now better spent on Google AdWords campaigns and affiliate relationships with popular blogs.
While it’s crucial to understand the patterns of this generation as a whole, it’s also important to remember that no two people are the same. In our last installment, we explored what millennials look for in agents. Today, we’re turning the tables and telling you what to look for when working with them. Here are some of the variable aspects of the millennial generation that you should be aware of during your next encounter.
Age is a major indicator of social media usage. Facebook is the most popular social media outlet for all age groups by a large margin. However, for a few years, there’s been a running joke that Facebook is for old people. As seen in the infographic above, millennials are also becoming more active on sites like Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr. Regardless of where your target audience may fall, make sure to have a presence across all social media outlets. You never know just what doors may open with an Instagram photo of a new listing.
In the past 20 years, we have seen a push toward new forms of education beyond the traditional brick and mortar. This younger generation is happy to learn anytime, anywhere and does not shy away from podcasts, blogs, Webinars, Youtube tutorials and online learning sites such as Lynda.com. A great way to connect with potential buyers is to offer Webinars for buyers that are accustomed to conducting business remotely. It’s also important to diversify your content for different personalities and release it on a consistent schedule.
Millennials are used to lightning-fast communication. If you “aren’t a texter”, then you aren’t going to close as often with millennials. In fact, if don’t text back within minutes , some might even think that you’re not interested in giving them the time of day. You should also be prepared to adapt to their preferred means of communication. Some prefer email over text, but very few prefer calls over texts or email. For a more interactive approach, try integrating real-time video apps such as FaceTime, WhatsApp, and Google Hangouts into your pitch. These apps allow you to provide a quick, impromptu tour of your listing and are a good way to entice buyers into wanting more.
While it’s true that most millennials live comfortably in today’s technologically inclined world, not all are tech savvy, multiple-device-wielding social media enthusiasts that are inseparable from the Internet. Keep yourself informed about the patterns of this generation, while also resisting the temptation to make age-based assumptions, especially in buyer-facing situations. This will greatly increase your chances of connecting with your buyer and establishing a relationship that goes deeper than the surface level. For further insight into the mind of a millennial buyer, check out this open letter from a millennial author at Rethink.