Every generation lives through, and inspires, change. Although personal values might remain a constant across generations, the tools and information available to help make decisions changes with the times.
The mere access to information, generally speaking, does not make people smarter. They need to know which information sources to trust as they wind their way through life.
Millennials have lived their whole lives with technology at their fingertips, but does that make them more independent of needing helpful advice and a knowledgeable professional by their side?
Does technology replace the important aspects of a real estate agent’s value or does it enhance it?
I would suggest that technology enhances the capabilities of a real estate agent’s efforts when used appropriately. And I’d suggest that because of that technology, which is available to all, expectations are higher that the real estate agent’s knowledge is more comprehensive about neighborhoods, local services and the general livability of any particular home in any specific area of the city.
In the auto sales industry, the buying cycle has been shortened through consumers’ use of technology to research and select the vehicle of their choice. The car sales cycle 15 years ago was four to eight trips to several dealerships that had the type of vehicle a person was searching for. Now they start online, and when they are ready to make the purchase, they head to the dealership that has their choice in stock, which greatly shortens the sales cycle.
The available tools for today’s homebuyers far exceed any basic MLS listing. Those tools require real estate agents to exhibit their knowledge in a variety of channels to make sure potential homebuyers’ search results will yield that real estate agent, which, in turn, will shorten the homebuyers’ sales cycle.
It’s very easy to find out everything a homebuyer would want to know about a neighborhood including transit, schools, neighborhood shopping and entertainment venues. Even local crime rates can be found online.
Niche and neighborhood expertise is what millennials want to find their real estate agent is capable of — just as any other buyer does. This is no different from home sales of 30 years ago. The real difference is that anyone with basic online search skills can find the information, and millennials are just savvier at finding that information online and deciding if the source is reliable.
It’s up to the real estate agent to package the information in a way that provides real value to their client, to understand how to position themselves online to be found and to be the real estate professional who exceeds expectations.
What do you do to specialize your service for millennials? Please share in the comments section.
James Hussaini is the founder and president of Realty Point.