Millennial home buyers have entered the housing market in a big way. As of 2015, Millennials surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest generational group in America, and they now make up the largest group of home buyers. As a real estate agent, marketing to Millennials should be among your top priorities. You’ll want to begin building marketing campaigns that are specifically targeted toward this powerful group.
Start by gaining a better understanding of the demographic trends of potential buyers and sellers in your area—especially Millennials. Then learn how to connect and build relationships with these important real estate prospects.
Understanding Millennial home buyers
Sometimes labeled as “Generation Y,” Millennials are people born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. They were projected to surpass 75.3 million people as a group in 2015, according to Pew Research Center. With the core group of Millennials between 18 to 34 years old, they are now within age ranges where they are most likely to need a place to either lease or purchase. Many of them (or at least those who can afford to do so) are beginning to buy their first homes and invest in real estate for the first time.
When marketing to Millennials, consider these helpful statistics on Millennial home buyers and trends, as provided by Inman and the National Association of REALTORS® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report 2017:
- 89% of Millennials would use a real estate agent. Yet, they may be harder to please compared to other generations.
- 63% of Millennial home sellers would use their agent again, or refer the same agent to another. These are the lowest percentages of any generations surveyed.
- 70% of Millennial home buyers would hire their agent again, or refer them to another.
- 45% to 50% of Millennials originally found their real estate agent through a friend or family member.
- Partly due to outstanding or delinquent student loan and credit card debt, the average Millennial credit score is 625 (per NerdWallet). As such, they are more likely to qualify under more flexible FHA-insured home mortgage loans.
- Millennials are more into social media and texting than any generation ever. Yet, 75% of Millennials polled also like to be contacted by telephone calls.
- Millennials love the internet for communicating and finding real estate opportunities. Upwards of 94% of Millennials use online websites for home searches. 51% of Millennials later found the home they eventually purchased online first.
- Millennials do love their high-tech gadgets but still rely on the wisdom of real estate agents, as noted by 87% of them eventually going to agents for assistance.
- Millennials now make up 32% of all home buyers nationally, which is the largest proportion of any generation. The Gen X home buyers make up 27% of buyers. Younger Baby Boomers are reported at 16% of buyers, and older Baby Boomers account for 15% (31% combined).
Not included in the report is Generation Z, the newest generation to start hitting the housing market. Read more here.
How to connect with Millennial real estate prospects
Millennials love their technology. They grew up with high-tech gadgets, desktop computers, and smart devices. When marketing to Millennials, know that they are more likely to respond to online marketing and communication efforts as opposed to newspaper ads, flyers, and postcards. Although you may have a physical office at your brokerage firm or at home, don’t forget to take advantage of an online virtual office, too. This will allow you to interact with prospective Millennial home buyers online—whether through social media, email, Skype, text alerts, or other means.
Some of the most effective options for targeting Millennial home buyers (and others) are shareable blog posts and short videos posted on YouTube and Vine. Many agents today are writing their own blogs and posting videos from their smartphones onto social media sites that can be seen worldwide. As more people “Like” their video tours of home listings or share them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Plus, Tumblr, or Instagram, the potential growth rate of viewers is almost limitless.
Sales technique for marketing to Millennials
Tech-savvy Millennials also tend to have very short attention spans. The famous AICDC (Attention, Interest, Conviction, Desire, and Close) sales technique—first developed by the Dale Carnegie Professional Sales Course several decades ago—still applies when marketing to Millennials. Try using the following AICDC sales strategy on Millennial real estate prospects, keeping in mind that the very first step may be the most important.
- Attention: First, you must grab or capture your prospect’s attention as quickly as possible.
- Interest: Once you’ve sparked their attention, kindle their interest by asking them lots of probing questions to uncover their primary needs and interests before offering them solutions.
- Conviction: Next, gain the customer’s conviction, or strong favorable opinions, by offering them evidence supporting beneficial claims, such as testimonials from past clients or exceptional housing price comps.
- Desire: Then continue fueling the client’s “fire” (or desire) by showing them solid housing data numbers, inspiring videos, or beautiful open houses that support your claims.
- Close: A high percentage of sales professionals are hesitant to ask for the close from the customer. But if you don’t ask, then the client can’t give you a very favorable “Yes” response after showing their significant interest, desire, and conviction in the product or service that you’re offering.
Marketing to Millennials may be challenging, but it’s worth the effort. To successfully grow your business as a new real estate agent, remember to focus at least some of your real estate advertising efforts toward this powerful target market. Learn how and where to find Millennial real estate prospects online. Then make an effort to connect with them in meaningful ways. Once you find the most qualified Millennial prospects, you can start building long-lasting relationships that will hopefully lead to lots of new referrals down the road.