- Times are changing and millennial buyers aren’t motivated by the same things as the generations before them; make sure you are appealing to their desire for meaningful experiences.
- Traditional advertising is not effective with millennial buyers; make sure your online presence is active, engaging and authentic.
Want to get a piece of the fastest growing buyer segment in the market today? Here’s how to reach millennial buyers. It’s easier than you think.
As a millennial, a real estate agent and a marketer, I believe I have some authority on the subject matter of attracting millennial buyers. I’ve seen countless real estate agents — spanning the vast spectrum of age and experience — scratching their heads when it comes to attracting this market segment.
Many real estate agents now agree that ignoring the millennial buyer means career suicide in many markets. According to Forbes Magazine, millennials currently account for about a third of all recent new home purchases; their impact on the market is only expected to sky-rocket in the next decade, reaching a tipping point in 2018.
If you think you’ve missed the mark with millennials, or are actively seeking new ways to connect with these buyers, here are some tips about attracting millennial buyers from a millennial Realtor.
Show them the good life
When communicating with millennials, whether it be through marketing or face-to-face conversation, keep in mind that they care less about keeping up with the Joneses and more about living the good life. The accumulation of material goods does not motivate millennials; instead, collecting meaningful experiences, having a social impact, and living a life of freedom is what really lights them up.
You now know the millennial buyer has a strong desire for meaningful experiences rather than manufactured goods. Ask yourself how buying a home will help them create the life they dream of. How will a home be less of a possession and more of an experience? How will a certain neighborhood add to the value of their daily existence?
NAR‘s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun states that 85 percent of millennial buyers view purchasing a home as a good financial investment. As millennials begin to settle down and have families, homeownership will naturally become part of the experience they desire, motivated by smart financial decision-making.
Let them know the real you
Millennials don’t care that your face is on the back of a bus, and they aren’t impressed by your front page feature in the paper (they’re not even reading the newspaper anyway). You will be much more appealing to these buyers if your social media presence is engaging, you are producing content that is relevant to them, and your reviews online are five-stars.
Once you have their attention, don’t bore them with self-promotion. Millennials value human connection more than the generations before them. They want to know about your kids, what your favorite restaurant is, and how you spend your weekends. They want to feel that you understand them, and they expect customized and attentive service from you.
Millennials grew up in the era of digital information. They are educated, and they can find just about anything they are looking for online in under 10 seconds. The key is to stand out from the enormous volume of average and repetitive content constantly being churned out online.
Use your blog as an opportunity to produce hyper local relevant content useful to buyers. Provide readers with market facts, stats, and valuable insights. Tell the in-depth story of your community, and become the go-to expert everyone needs. Attract millennials outside the community by sharing relevant regional information and news that spans the real estate industry.
Make sure your online presence is current, active and engaging. Millennials will visit your Facebook page, they’ll follow you on Instagram, and they’ll see what you’re tweeting about. They’re less interested in listings and pictures of beautiful homes, and more interested in seeing what’s happening in the community and trying out that new restaurant that opened in the neighborhood they like.
Not surprisingly, millennial buyers begin their real estate search online well before finding a real estate agent. According to the NAR 2014 Homebuyer and Seller Generational Trends, younger buyers expect their agents to guide them through the process and provide information and resources that support them every step of the way.
Engage, don’t promote
Millennials grew up surrounded by more advertising and sales than any other generation; for years, they’ve been inundated with hard sells across multiple platforms on and offline.
Because of this, millennials don’t respond well to that type of promotion. Providing useful and engaging information to millennials is the key to building trust and winning their business. Take everything that you love about your town or community and package it in a way that millennials can’t resist. Welcome them to a new life experience.
Be where they are
You wouldn’t try to land a luxury listing by knocking on doors in a rundown neighborhood, so why would you try to reach millennial buyers with traditional offline advertising? Millennials live online, and lucky for you, that’s the easiest (and cheapest) way to reach them.
Nearly half of all buyers chose mobile phones over desktops and tablets when searching for homes online. Mobile-first optimization of your website will increase your chances of obtaining business leads online.
Video content is more likely to attract buyers, with 80 percent of millennials consuming real estate video content at some point in the decision-making process. The strong influence of social media cannot be overlooked: 89 percent of millennials have a Facebook account, making it the number one social media platform for connecting with this segment of buyers.
The average age of millennials in 2017 is 27, and their power in the real estate space is rapidly increasing. It’s never too late to shift your focus to dominating the millennial buyer market in your area. By sharing what you love about your community, being yourself, and offering genuine value and connections, you’ll be well on your way to winning them over.