Millennials have become one of the largest group of homebuyers. However, due in part to affordability issues and the reluctance of older generations to upsize or downsize from their current homes and free up inventory, Millennials also lag behind the benchmarks set for homeownership by older generations at the same stage in their lives.
The question facing many real estate agents now is how to successfully market to Millennials and help them achieve their goals.
Fortunately, Millennials are very much like the previous generations in their outlook about homeownership: they regard owning a home as a central part of achieving a lifelong dream and perceive it as an attainable goal. On the other hand, as I mentioned above, there are some obstacles that Millennial buyers face that previous generations have not. There are a few ways that a savvy agent can reach Millennial clients and help them make the best decision for themselves.
As alluded to above, Millennials do not have the same kind of financial wherewithal that clients in previous generations might have enjoyed: they are often burdened with debt from student loans and other financial obligations, and face the prospect of rising costs and stagnating wages. Millennials often buy their first home later in life than, say, members of the Baby Boomer generation and, as a consequence, are looking for houses that are inexpensive and simple to maintain.
In addition, and this cannot be overstated, today’s Millennial home buyer will search for homes online, via computer and smartphone. It is paramount that any real estate agent who wants to connect with the Millennial audience take this fact into consideration when building a marketing plan for his or her properties.
There are a couple important things to keep in mind in relation to this aspect of the Millennial audience:
- Millennials expect to be able to find the information they want immediately. Info about homes should be clear and easily accessible, whether on a website or social media.
- They also want to be able to see a lot of high-quality photos of properties online. They want to be able to obtain as much solid information about a property as they can before committing to seeing it in person.
Also, thanks to the influence of home renovation shows on TV and things like Pinterest and the proliferation of home decor magazines, many Millennials have different — some might say higher — expectations than previous generations when it comes to real estate.
- Millennials want new fixtures and updated bathrooms and kitchens. They want things that are new and they want the appearance of luxury and modernity.
Millennials are also, on the whole, more focused on “experiences” rather than the accumulation of things. This means that they place a greater value on certain aspects of a property:
- Millennials want open spaces within the house where they can entertain, and they want to be in urban or denser suburban areas where they can connect with others.
- Millennials generally speaking do not want houses that sit on large lots or are difficult or expensive to maintain.
- Millennials, in general, are not interested in houses that are in need of extensive renovations; they do not have the disposable income to complete renovations and would rather spend that money on activities and experiences.
Keeping all the above in mind can help real estate agents reach the Millennial audience and connect with them successfully.