Sarah Bytyqi is founder, owner and managing broker at Verbode Inc., a specialty boutique real estate agency serving the Oklahoma City metro area. She is also an active member of the Oklahoma Association of Realtors.
When you walk into our real estate office in Oklahoma City, you can tell there’s something different: an open design, modern aesthetic, 20-foot ceilings, and a state-of-the-art machine that makes just about every coffee beverage under the sun.
But we don’t mind that it’s not your typical real estate office, because we’re not your typical brokerage, and we like it that way.
Overall, we’re a relatively young group, which gives us an advantage in many ways because we focus our business on marketing to millennials in our city’s urban core. Our goal is to be innovative and adaptive when it comes to working with this audience, and we’ve found that this often requires out-of-the-box thinking that focuses on building connections rather than making sales.
Here are my tips — based on experience — for marketing to millennials:
- Get creative. Find something that works for you and helps put your practice at the center of activity. Put effort into its promotion and execution by inviting clients, prospects and the public, and encouraging interaction by catering the event. We partner with a local art curator and rotate work by local artists on our walls at least quarterly. Not only have we had the opportunity to host up to 300 people at a time at these events, but sales leads have been generated as a direct result. It’s also a great way to give back, showing potential clients that you are invested in local culture.
- Connect with the community. Find ways not only to serve the neighborhoods you work in, but also to create community within the agency; it’s a bonus if you can find ways to do both simultaneously. Every Tuesday morning, we hold an open-to-the public coffee date at the office. Our agents come in to bounce ideas off each other, troubleshoot, or even just catch up and connect. If they can’t make it in, they can join us via Google Hangout. We have great coffee and enjoy it when members of the community join us, as well.
- Nurture relationships, not sales leads. As a rule, millennials tend to be resistant to strong sales — they like to maintain relationships over time and have an opportunity to explore for themselves so they find a home that reflects who they are, as is consistent with children of the Internet age. Skip the sales pitch and get to know millennials. If you’ve done your homework about your neighborhoods, you should be able to connect them with the perfect home.
In the end, it comes down to knowing your neighborhoods and being in an area you love. Get to know the faces and the places, and prioritize making meaningful connections. This is what agents need and what clients want! If you work hard at this, the rest should fall into place.