This article was originally published in Real Estate Agent Magazine Twin Cities, written by Charity Malmberg, Founder and President of Trademark Title
A new generation of homeowners is upon us. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, homeowners under 35 grew from 34.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 36 percent a year later – the largest increase in any age bracket. And while baby boomers still make up the bulk of homeowners, this increase could indicate a shift toward more and more young homebuyers.
You’re going to want to get to know this new group of future homeowners in order to connect with them and continue to succeed as a real estate professional. Every generation has their own quirks when it comes to purchasing. In order to help this millennial generation make one of the most significance purchases of their lives, you’ll need to understand these quirks and maybe even make a few changes to your marketing or business strategy.
WHAT MILLENNIALS WANT IN A REAL ESTATE AGENT
To help you on your journey, we reached out to a few recent home-buyers in this younger gen to see what they wanted and appreciated in a real estate agent.
THEY WANT TECH-SAVVY
Are you using the most up-to-date technology? E-signatures and texting and home-buying apps are all ways to connect with this new generation and service them where they’re at – online. As one buyer put it “an ideal REALTOR® for me is … utilizing modern technology as the basis, from contract to close.”
Finding ways to be more tech savvy is as easy as a quick google search of apps for real estate agents and setting up an account with an electronic signature service. Cumbersome ways of closing in the past are just that—in the past. Utilizing the new tech services within our industry will help streamline the closing process for all your clients, especially those used to using technology on a daily basis.
THEY EXPECT HONESTY & AUTHENTICITY
This generation does not enjoy the old car-salesman technique. They want it raw, honest and even fun. As one buyer said, “we really liked working with [our agent] because he was hilarious and sarcastic with us!”
According to a study by socialmediatoday.com, 90 percent of mil-lennials say authenticity is important to them when deciding which brands to support. In other words, no gimmicks. Be yourself!
Authenticity is a term that’s thrown around a lot, so it’s helpful to know that the same article above, reported that 60 percent of consumers says that ‘authentic’ branding is created by other consumers.
In other words, another consumer posting online about services, products and brands they appreciate is the most authentic way to find value. For you, this means encouraging pleased past clients to spread the word in their social spheres. Encourage them to take pics, videos and post their comments about your service online. You might get a critique now and again, but that just affords you the opportunity to show your response and make things right in the public eye.
WORD OF MOUTH RECOMMENDATIONS
Though it may be online, recommendations and ‘word of mouth’ referrals are still key with today’s homebuyers.
“The fact we knew him; it added a lot of trust for me,” said one millennial buyer.
When asked what they looked for in a real estate agent, another buyer said only that their agent was “personally recommended.”
These millennial homebuyers are not alone. The same article by social media today, referenced a study that found 70 percent of millennials said social posts by family members and friends impacted their purchasing decisions. Essentially, word of mouth still matters.
SIMPLY DO YOUR JOB WELL
Millennials are not all that different from the generations before them. They’re still looking for a real estate professional who knows their stuff, will stick with them through the process and is readily available. All things that are (hopefully) already part of your business strategy.
THESE MILLENNIAL BUYERS SAY IT ALL
“We bought a house a year ago and didn’t really look for a certain agent. We did, however, really like our agent because she knew the town really well, she understood our family’s situation…And she also was always willing to give us advice but never talk to us like we needed to follow her advice.”
“We looked at so many houses, and the house we ended up getting was the fourth house we had put a contract down on. But even with this one, he wanted us to make sure we were getting what we wanted and not just buying a house because we were tired of the process.”