A New Generation Has Entered the Home Buying Market
Millennials have officially surpassed Baby Boomers and have entered the real estate market as home buyers in the Greater Boston real estate market! Great news, right? Yes, and this generation is tipping the scales, not only in sheer numbers, but in the way that they approach home buying. Successful real estate agents will need to make some adjustments to connect with this new group of home buyers.
Here are seven tips on how to successfully connect with home buying millennials.
Tip # 1 - Master Social Media
Social media was introduced by millennial Mark Zuckerberg, so it only makes sense that this generation has thoroughly embraced it. They use social media to communicate with friends and family, to be entertained, to engage with businesses and to conduct research.
Real estate agents don’t only have to be on social media, they must become masters of social media.
Sure, you should post a picture of your most recent listing and share industry news, but if that is all you are doing, it just isn’t enough.
Instagram and Facebook live make it fun and easy to connect with potential buyers.
For example: Highlight a great pool - gather the crew, sunglasses, flip flops and animal character swim rings and heading to the property to record an impromptu pool party on a hot, sunny day! Record it live and share it socially. If you have a client that has a pool on the top of his “must have” list, send him the video with a message about the listing.
Another example of social media mastery: If your new listing has an amazing chef quality kitchen, why not bring in a local chef and video a cooking class from this kitchen, share it live on social media. Post it on your website or YouTube channel and attach it to the MLS listing!
Be clever (not cliché) in your captions and always link them back to your website or listing.
Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat all have some version of stories and geofiltering, which allows you to overlay information such as where and when! This is a great branding tool!
Tip # 2 - Mobilize
We aren’t suggesting you get rid of that rotary phone, we are just thinking maybe move it to a shelf because this generation is all about going mobile!
They would rather communicate by text or instant messenger than to pick up the phone and have a conversation!
They don’t just use their phones to communicate, they rely on their smart phones for just about everything; from shopping, to getting facts to finding that perfect restaurant and yes, you guessed it, that perfect house. Millennials are constantly connected!
Make sure when the millennial asks Siri to find the perfect real estate agent, you are her first recommendation by optimizing your website and local listings.
Make your site is mobile friendly and develop your own app or get your listings in top real estate apps like HomeSpotter to help stay connected to potential millennial home buyers.
Tip # 3 - Get Close and Personal
This generation expects a personal buying experience; think personalized Coke cans, Starbucks cups or the Amazon shopping experience. They don’t want to waste time looking at houses (or anything for that matter) that aren’t going to match their needs.
They won’t mind you gathering information about them, but they will resent you not using it. They want to go to a real estate agency where “everybody knows their name”, a reference to that old Cheers song (which by the way they probably won’t get) but the key is that they will expect you to know them.
While it may sound a bit like stalking, take a few minutes to look at their social media and professional profiles to get to know them better, trust us, they looked at yours!
Tip # 4 – Earn Their Trust
Many millennial home buyers have put off purchasing that first home until their late twenties or even in to their thirties. As a result, they are often first time home buyers and they want to know that they can trust you to not only find them their perfect home, but to wade through the muddy waters of home purchasing.
One way to do this is to make certain that common questions and answers are included (and optimized) on your website and don’t just title them FAQs, try something creative such as “Everything you wanted to know about home buying, but were afraid to ask”.
Another way is to position yourself as a trusted, knowledgeable resource by authoring creative, informative content. Write and publish relevant blogs on your own website as well as becoming a guest writer on industry blogs and publications.
This group loves infographics; develop and distribute (print, website, social media) infographics on the buying process, the various home features, attributes of neighborhoods, and more.
Tip # 5 – Be Neighborly
Millennials will more than likely start their search for a new home by finding the right neighborhood. This group wants to be part of a community, be close to work, parks, local restaurants and businesses. Even if they don’t have kids, they want good school systems and safe neighborhoods.
To reach this generation, you will need to put as much emphasis on selling the neighborhood as you do in selling the house.
You need to be neighborhood ambassadors, know the tax rates, have a list of the top restaurants, a tip on where to get the best ice cream and where to buy the freshest organic produce possible.
Some fun ways to highlight neighborhoods are:
If that new house on the market is close to a train station, don’t just add it to the listing’s description and marketing materials, get up early and create a quick video or snap a picture of you at the train station in the morning with a cup of coffee and your slippers on. Add a caption that highlights how close it is to the home you are trying to sell. (Don’t forget to link it back to your website.)
If that new two-bedroom home is close to the cutest coffee shop, take a selfie with a latte (milk mustache optional) and post it on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat!
Tip # 6 – Be Responsive
Millennials are used to instant responses and great customer service. They are constantly connected by phone and technology. If you don’t respond quickly, they will notice. Make it a priority to get back to them right away and if you can’t, develop clever away messages letting them know that they are important and that you will get back to them soon.
A possible message is: “Hey there, thanks for texting me, I am out searching for that perfect home. Let’s connect when I get back to the office this afternoon.”
Another could be: “I would rather be texting with you, but instead I am at the dentist and he frowns upon my texting while he is filling a cavity, I will get back to you real soon, promise.”
Consider adding “Chat” to your website, this group wants answers and wants them now, don’t miss out the opportunity to work with this group because they went somewhere else to find what they were looking for.
Tip # 7 – Never Call Them Millennials
There is little that is more cringe-inducing than hearing, seeing or reading the word millennial. Especially if you are a millennial.