Sponsored by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties:
Millennials not only represent a growing buying power in real estate, but make up 32% of the population who would love to buy a home. In effect, they are the biggest portion of home buyers.
Furthermore, if given a choice as to where to live, many millennials would love to set their sights on a home on one of the coasts. For this reason, among others, some of the top real estate companies position themselves to focus on Southern California. Berkshire Hathaway California Properties represents counties like Los Angeles and San Diego, as well as lifestyle-oriented counties to the north like Ventura and Santa Barbara. They understand the demand for owning a home in communities like Coronado, Rancho Bernardo, Montecito, Beverly Hills, and Malibu.
Seasoned real estate professionals who have built their careers working with Baby Boomers are missing out on a valuable slice of the market if they don’t understand how Millennials represent a new force in the real estate market. Specifically, they are missing out on building relationships with a segment of the economy that is shaping everything from technology to the direction of the energy market. With that in mind, here are three things that would be useful to learn about the lifestyle and purchasing habits of this new generation:
1. Millennials don’t call as much as Baby Boomers did when house hunting.
It wasn’t too long ago when real estate agents heard the phone ring all day in their offices. The drop in the volume of calls to inquire about real estate properties is not due to a lack of interest in home ownership. Millennials have found a far more efficient way of getting the information they need. Rather than calling an agent to look up the information for them, they prefer to get the information directly through the Internet.
Millennials are tech-savvy—they don’t have time for long-winded conversations when they can find the information they need with a few clicks of their mouse. In fact, only about 31% of Millennials have found a home with the help of an agent while 50% found it on their own using the Internet. While they did use a real estate agent for the process of purchasing a home, they preferred to work with agents who had websites with interactive maps, plenty of photos, and a detailed description of the features of a home.
What does this mean if you’re a real estate agent?
First, spend more time promoting properties through online resources and less time via print media.
Second, understand your best selling tool is not a glossy tri-fold brochure or door hangers, but an active social media presence and a high-quality website.
When creating a social media presence, an agent should at least be active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google +. Other excellent social media platforms include Instagram, Reddit, and Pinterest.
A high-quality real estate website is informative. It’s a website with modern design, easy navigation, clear descriptions, plenty of pictures, and interactive features. It should also offer a variety of contact options –not just a telephone number or an email option, but also chat software, maps, and so on.
2. Millennials focus on eco-friendly, efficient properties.
Millennials veer towards idealism, leaning toward a minimalist lifestyle. They prefer green homes if they have a choice as they would like to contribute to reducing their carbon footprints. Smaller homes are fine, and they appreciate the benefits of a smaller floor plan and limited living space and gardens.
They are not necessarily looking for big homes with large gardens that need a great deal of upkeep because Millennials who buy homes are usually working professionals with aspirational career goals who spend a lot of time in demanding technical careers. Consequently, they see a home as a base rather than a place to spend most of their free time.
3. Millennials hate being sold to, but they love to buy.
In the past, people with high selling skills were admired for their ability to use persuasive language when describing a product or service. However, the average Millennial has been so bombarded with advertising and promotional messaging that they have an aversion to fast-talking, high-pressure sales pitches. While a Baby Boomer heard about 500 advertising messages a day, a Millennial is assaulted by about 5,000 a day. When working with real estate professionals, they rate reputation, honesty, sincerity, and trustworthiness as the reasons they bought property.
Understanding the distinctions between Baby Boomers and Millennials will make a huge difference to marketing ventures. Understanding that Millennials value technology, environmental causes, and sincerity will make it much easier to work with this growing buyer base.