What do real estate, millennials and Jimmy Fallon all have in common? More than you think.
Jimmy Fallon took over NBC’s “The Tonight Show” in February 2014 and has since become one of the most-watched late-night show hosts in history.
Even though Fallon is not technically a millennial (he just turned 41), he connects with a younger generation both on-air and off unlike any other host of “The Tonight Show” — even Johnny Carson.
Recent data from the National Association of Realtors suggests that millennials (people born between the early 1980s to early 2000s) make up the largest share of homebuyers at 32 percent.
This should be a blessing for real estate agents. But many millennials do not engage a real estate agent until later in the homebuying process.
Successful agents know that building a relationship from the start is critical to a smooth homebuying process, which, in turn, leads to more referrals.
So if Jimmy Fallon was a real estate agent, what would he do? Here are four ideas.
1. Build a website chock-full of goodies
Millennials are more likely than any other generation to watch and share online videos with friends. Fallon embraces this trend and pushes content that can be shared online.
Clips from “The Tonight Show” are featured on millennial-focused entertainment sites and have become viral sensations in their own right.
For real estate agents, this means a website full of pictures, bios, videos, testimonials, tips, free resources, a mortgage calculator, neighborhood information — you get the point.
Millennials like information — and lots of it. They like sharing it even more, so be sure your website has a plug-in that lets them share with the click of a button.
2. Let your thumbs do the talking
If there are two things millennials love, it’s text messaging and hashtags. One of Fallon’s earliest and most memorable segments from “The Tonight Show” combines the two in a hilarious union with #MomTexts.
What can agents learn from this?
A 2014 Gallup poll confirmed a truth that has become self-evident: text messages now outrank phone calls as the dominant form of communication among millennials.
Real estate agents need to respond accordingly. For example, if you’re scoping out a property, why not send a text of the lively neighborhood or photos of new homes on the market?
But it’s not just texting.
Responding to emails in a timely fashion is also crucial — even after hours and on weekends. Millennials are connected 24/7 and thrive on instant gratification.
3. Get #social
Fallon is highly active on his social media accounts, and he engages millennials in online conversation. He’s aware that millennials spend over three hours a day on social networking sites.
Earlier this year, Fallon started the #awkwardbreakup trend on Twitter. His tweet, asking followers to share their awkward breakup stories, received dozens of responses within hours.
It’s fitting that the hashtag has evolved from the humble number sign on a telephone into the conversation-connector on social media.
Hashtags help ensure that your tweets don’t get lost in the sea of conversations, but they also provide a way to entertain, attract customers and generate attention for events such as open houses. And they aren’t limited to Twitter.
You’ll also find them on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr and other social media platforms.
If you have testimonials, showcase them with a hashtag like #HappyClient.
Do you have a question? Use a hashtag to track responses. But like Fallon, keep it light and entertaining. It’s an excellent way to get millennials talking.
4. Skip the script
One of Fallon’s most admirable traits is his authenticity. This makes him likable and trustworthy. Millennials fondly look back at Fallon on “Saturday Night Live” as “the guy who broke character in nearly every scene.”
And Fallon brings that same sincerity and authenticity to “The Tonight Show.” He doesn’t stick to a script when interviewing guests. He treats each one differently.
So why not skip the script when it comes to writing a real estate listing?
Throw away the real estate buzzwords such as charming or spacious and include the square footage instead. Avoid description words like “nice,” “great” and “comfortable” that don’t tell the reader anything.
Instead, use the property’s features to convey those ideas. And leverage property history to build trust. For example, “This house recently had a 20-year-old roof replaced.”
The millennial generation is making their presence known in the real estate world. It’s no secret that the future success of your business depends on millennials.
This makes capturing their attention now essential to the health of your business later. Just take a lesson from Jimmy Fallon.