The Millennial Buyer
Going after Millennials is going to be one of the most important tasks of today’s real estate agent. Millennials will be powering home sales for the next few decades. But real estate agents also have a problem; Millennials are far different from Baby Boomers.
This article from Inc. provides a great snapshot of the market in regards to Millennials. Two thirds of Millennials are first time home buyers and, overall, they compose a third of the current real estate market. It is time to search for Millennial clients as most of them will be buying homes within the next three to five years.
When looking for Millennials, real estate agents should keep in mind the profile of the current Millennial buyer.
To begin with, they are looking for new homes which don’t need updating or maintenance. They want a home that already has the modern kitchen and is energy efficient. Using the same information from the Inc. article, one out of every two Millennial buyers is looking for a home like that. It’s among their top priorities so, when you’re working with a Millennial, don’t bother to show them homes needing a little TLC as they will not be interested.
You should also keep in mind that Millennials are not relying on you, the agent, to provide them with a list of homes they might be interested in. Statistically, every Millennial is searching online for their next home. They are going to websites like Realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia. This is why you must be digital savvy. If your firm is still relying on the old methods, such as collating a list of houses for them to view on tour, it’s not going to work and the Millennial might find it a waste of both theirs and your time. They would rather check out homes on their iPhones, take a virtual tour and then tell you which houses they want to tour. It does help make your job a little easier instead of the old hit and miss process of showing homes to clients.
And if you think this also means they don’t need you, you are wrong. Over ninety percent of Millennials still prefer to work with an agent because an agent knows how to buy a home. The Millennials only know which home they want. They still need your guidance throughout the transaction.
But what kind of homes do they want?
Other than being energy efficient and with a modern kitchen, Millennials want homes featuring open spaces. They don’t want a house with a closed off, claustrophobic feeling. Builders are noticing this and building to those specifications so check out the homes being built nearby.
Being children of the Internet, Millennials also want homes with the latest technological upgrades. They want smart homes with smart appliances, uninterrupted Wifi capability and any of the other bells and whistles which come with living in the 21st century. This desire for technology also goes hand in hand with saving energy with solar panels and energy efficient water heaters.
One thing you might be thinking about Millennials is they want a home in an urban area, but you’d be wrong. The statistics just don’t carry that out. Only a quarter of Millennials live in urban areas. They still prefer to live in suburbs like their parents. The only difference is they want that suburban home close to work (if they don’t already work at home).
A few final pieces of notable information about the Millennial market is, if you provide a great service, they’ll be your client again. Millennials aren’t looking at the next home purchase as the place they’ll spend the rest of their lives. They see it as a stepping stone to a better home. In roughly six years, they’ll be looking to move again. This is four years less than the national average.
Finally, expect more parental involvement. Parents are playing a larger and larger role in helping their children with the home purchase. From the down payments (which is the most difficult aspect of house buying for Millennials) to closing, parents are far more involved in these transactions then they used to be.
With these facts in mind, you have a clear idea of what the Millennial market is and how to work toward helping them find their next home. As mentioned earlier, they are the future of real estate. Work toward helping them and you’ll have a successful business for years to come.