Millennials are slowly but surely becoming the stereotypical buyers in a world that is increasingly digital and Internet-connected. However, real estate agents have yet to see the impact of these consumers on their market, as this generation is often affiliated with renting property rather than purchasing it. That’s about to change.
Seeking Alpha reported that 25 percent of 83.4 million millennials in the United States will soon be old enough to start considering buying real estate – that’s 20.85 million potential home owners. And combined with “improving labor markets,” the source predicted that the housing market will enter a decade of great gains. Therefore, it’s time (much like it’s time for insurers) to capitalize on the millennials home-buying market, and that means catering marketing efforts directly to that demographic in hopes of attracting and selling to them.
“It’s really a no brainer for anyone in real estate – or any industry for that matter – having the ability to focus in on a specific audience who are more likely to be interested in your product just makes sense,” Ian Bell, CEO of real estate agency First Exclusive, told Forbes.
“The first step to selling homes to millennials is to attract these clients.”
Millennials have very different preferences compared to other generations, and this is clearly evidenced by this age group’s hesitance to store money in banks, invest in automobiles and, of course, purchase property and real estate. This means that the first step to selling homes to millennials is to attract these clients.
Bell explained that his real estate firm leverages “geo-targeting” in an effort to directly market to specific groups of millennials, according to Forbes. This will help build a client base, and associations have many options. They can hang posters locally with imagery that resonates with a certain region’s interest or hand out brochures detailing available properties. Alternatively, real estate agencies can use tweets and Facebook posts that are directed to specific ZIP codes and interest groups.
Cater to the new clients
Once real estate agents have millennials interested in buying homes, the true challenge begins, as these younger, possibly recently married, individuals could be hesitant about investing in real estate. However, it is possible to win millennials over, and that is by catering to this generation’s needs. Print marketing is the solution again.
Nike John, founder of Vibe Residential, a real estate firm that serves millennials, told the Boston Globe that he treats his clients like a luxury home agent would, and this means picking out their likes and dislikes and finding homes based on that. Particularly, John explained that millennials want to walk to local establishments – bars, gyms, breweries, Whole Foods and other places that these individuals frequent. So, Vibe provides its client with a “necessity guide.” With a nicely printed brochure or manual-esque document, millennials will feel welcome and eager to move into new neighborhoods.
While many real estate agents might shake their fists in discontent at millennials, these individuals are the next home-buying client base, and as such, firms must be ready to attract and serve them.
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