A few weeks ago, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reported that despite an improving job market and low interest rates, the share of first-time buyers fell to its lowest point in nearly three decades. |
NAR added that this is preventing a healthier housing market from reaching its full potential.
Well, anyone who knows me knows that if anything, I'm an optimistic guy. This news doesn't discourage me in the least. And it shouldn't discourage you either. Why? Because research points to an upcoming generation of first-time homebuyers who will make you glad you're in real estate. The generation? Millennials - those born in the early1980s to the early 2000s.
A new report from Nielsen and the Demand Institute is dubbing Millennials as the "the house-buying generation."
The report says Millennials will spend around $2 trillion on home purchases and rent in the next five years. Today there are only about 13 million Millennial households in the U.S., but by 2018 that number will rise to 22 million. More than eight in 10 plan to own their own home someday. And the suburbs and areas surrounding large metropolitan areas are going to remain important destinations. The report adds: "Communities that can fuse the best of urban living (e.g., convenience and walkability) with the best of suburban living (e.g., good schools and more space) will thrive in the coming decade."
So the question becomes, how do you reach Millennials? Here are a few tips:
Think search - Younger buyers start the home-buying process via internet searches. Google reports half of all Millennials in the United States visited real estate websites this summer. Investing in search engine optimization is likely money well spent. And, register your business on local business directories and review sites so you can be found online. Also, choose a technology partner that offers responsive web design solutions such as Homes.com.
Think mobile - So exactly how did those Millennials search real estate? Mostly on their mobile devices. In fact, a full 26 percent of younger buyers who ultimately purchased a home, found that home via a mobile device, according to NAR. Be sure your website and all digital communications are viewable on mobile devices.
Think testimonials - Millennials don't trust advertising so they look to more trustworthy sources. In fact, 95 percent reported their friends are the most credible source of information. Take time to get testimonials from clients and use them in all of your communications.
Think social - Millennials spend an average of 3.2 hours a day on social media, so stay active on these channels and share helpful content that prompts them to engage with you and become an advocate.
Think helpful - In the last tip, I mentioned helpful content. For Millennials, this is vital. Millennials are prudent and take more time than other age groups to research their next home - often starting their search six months in advance of buying. That means they're seeking relevant and helpful information. Be sure your communications provide valuable information about the home-buying process. Consider offering new home buyer guides and mortgage checklists.
Think video - If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, then a video is worth 2,000 words. Millennials like videos - it's no wonder YouTube is now the second largest search engine. Google says real estate videos on YouTube were viewed 13 percent more in 2014 than in 2013. Be sure to offer virtual tours and other video footage when you can.
Let me hear from you. How much have you thought about Millennials as a group? How is your marketing geared toward this generation? What can you start doing to appeal to and capture more Millennials? Bubba Mills is executive vice president of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems for residential REALTOR, mortgage brokers and real estate companies.
Related Articles -
Bubba Mills, real estate, Realtor, first-time homebuyers, Corcoran Consulting, real estate coaching, Bob Corcoran, residential real estate, Realtor advice, mor,