When people talk about millennials, it’s easy to picture older teenagers or young college students. Millennials have a reputation for being unsure about their place in the world and needing constant guidance, but as time goes on, this stereotype is becoming less and less true.
Millennials were born between 1982 and 2000, which means while some millennials are just entering college this year, the clear majority are out of college and in the “real world.” They’re working full-time jobs and looking ahead to their next major commitments.
Many are finding themselves looking to buy houses, which could change how the homebuying process works. Below are some things millennials need that other generations don’t, so the process can go more smoothly for everyone.
An easy-to-navigate website
Millennials grew up as the first generation to live most of their lives on the internet. They’ve seen everything from dial-up to smartphones, so they know how much of an advantage the internet can give them.
They’re going to be starting their search on housing websites to decide which real estate agent to work with and where to start looking, so listing, broker and agent websites should be as user-friendly as possible.
A social media presence
Millennials need to feel a personal connection to the people they trust to show them homes to tour. Having a social media presence is key to creating a connection, so start making a profile where millennials will see it.
And remember to formulate a strategy with your marketing that includes social media in addition to “old-school” tactics. For instance, when you host an open house, tweet about it, post it on Facebook, and don’t forget to hit those house hunting apps as well.
Like anyone new to the process of buying a home, millennials need an open line of communication between themselves and whomever they choose to do business with. They’ll have questions about the process and may not have anywhere else to turn, so be prepared for all questions, and always keep an open heart and mind.
They’re going to be facing decision fatigue, so know how to help them fight it, and the experience will be easier on everyone involved.
While they were growing up, millennials got to see their parents and family members buy the nice houses of their dreams — and lose it all when the market crashed in 2008. They’ve learned from that, so they’re buying more fixer-uppers.
Millennials know they might not be in a good financial place to buy a nice home, so it might be a good idea to point out the kinds of restoration or repair services they will need. Taking that one additional research step off their shoulders will be much appreciated.
A mobile-friendly website
Millennials grew up using quickly advancing technology to help them in their everyday lives. This means that when they’re faced with a problem, the first thing they do is turn to their phone.
They have apps that can help with just about anything, which is why a mobile-friendly website is key to reaching their generation.
If they do an internet search to find a real estate agent and find a website that doesn’t work or look good on their mobile device, they won’t stick around long enough on the page to decide if that agent is right for them or not.
Make sure to design your website to be equally accessible and user-friendly across all platforms.
Video is one of the best tools you can use to make millennials feel a personal connection with your website. They’ll find your site on their phone, and if they have an introductory video to watch where they can feel like they’re meeting you and learning more about you, it’ll motivate them to reach out.
You can even use 360-view videos for a more immersive homebuying experience that will attract tech-savvy millennials.
Just remember that 85 percent of millennials are smartphone owners, so always make sure any content you post will work just as well on a computer or a mobile device.
When people don’t know how to judge something before trying it, they look it up online and see what others have experienced first. The same goes for anyone looking to buy a home.
They’re going to look up and compare the ratings on real estate agents. Remember, millennials are especially in tune with the internet, so make sure your ratings are high to pull in more potential millennial buyers.
Above all, millennials often agree to hate one thing — being called a millennial.
Once you get an idea of what their age range is going to need out of the homebuying experience, try to erase the millennial stereotype from your mind. They want to be valued and respected as much as anyone else, so toss out the labels, and approach them as the interested homebuyers they are.
Every generation ends up having different values and desires, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared for what they’ll need.
Millennials are more active online than any generation before them, so put yourself where they already are. Make social media accounts, get your online ratings up and always keep an open mind about answering any questions they might have.
If they can form a personal connection and trust their real estate professional, their positive experience will result in many millennial clients in the future.