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Understanding Millennial Home Buyers: The Do's and Don'ts for Brokers

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Understanding Millennial Home Buyers: The Do's and Don'ts for Brokers

Has there ever been a generation more influential than the millennials?

There have been endless think pieces written about millennial culture and their values. But people in the real estate business don't have a lot of time to spin their wheels on the newest generation.  Millennial home buyers are ready to get property now. If you aren't ready, you could lose out a lot of potential profit.   Millennials are now at an age where home buying can be a priority, but recent news about them has real estate agents worried.

We're hearing about young homeowners that have buyer’s remorse. We're worried about a volatile and unpredictable market.  We can't tell you the future, but we can shine a light on a key demographic realtors need to know how to appeal to.  If you're ready to learn about what motivates millennial home ownership, you've come to the right place. Read on to learn more about how to appeal to a generation that could make or break your career.

What to Know About Millennial Home Buyers

We know that you came here to learn a little more about the best way to appeal to millennial buyers, but you should know that there isn't one strict formula that can apply to everyone.  Millennials are one of the most diverse generations in America. They are all individuals and have different tastes than what some agents are used to.  If you want to do your best to appeal to millennial buyers, make sure you keep these characteristics in mind.

They're Not out of the Recession Yet

If you look at economic charts, there's no way you can mistake 2019's economy for 2008's. The time may be different, but the mindset is still the same. A lot of millennials are still shell shocked from the housing market crash of 2008.  You're dealing with a generation of people that have been deeply affected by the economy. 

Older millennials may have graduated into a bad job market and don't have high enough wages to consider buying.

Younger millennials may have watched their parents struggle to keep up with their mortgages; some may have even watched loved ones sell their dream homes to stay afloat. 

A lot of millennials are also carrying a significant amount of college debt and may not have high paying jobs. That's why they're notoriously thrifty and cautious about making big purchases.

They Wait Longer to Buy 

In the past, a lot of people would leave home as soon as they finished high school, would work a few years, then settle down and have a family. But today's reality is much different for millennials.

It isn't unusual for some people to move back in with their parents, which is why millennials have been dubbed the boomerang generation by so many people in the media.  Beyond that, it can take a while for millennials to be in a financial position to buy a house. Wages haven't grown along with living expenses, and a lot of millennials aren't able to save for a home.

We just mentioned that there are a lot of millennials that struggle with debt from college. When you add that on top of low wages and limited job growth, you're looking at a lot of young people that need to wait to buy a home.  It isn't unusual for some millennials to not have children or get married until their late 20s or early 30s and beyond. Those are the usual markers to buy a home, and they keep getting delayed.  With this being said, there are 46 million of them that have yet to buy a home.  It is projected over the next 5-7 years the Millennials will become the majority of the home buying market!

Moving Isn't Unusual 

Home buyers of the past used to purchase homes they planned on living in for decades. It was a home they'd retire in and even pass down to the next generation.  The same isn't true for millennials.  This home could just be a place to fix up and enjoy until a job opportunity encourages them to move. The home they buy now may not be a home for retirement but could be a source of income for them through renters.  It isn't unusual for millennials to move several times, and that can include millennials families. Thanks to remote working opportunities, many millennials aren't tied down to a specific town or state.

Flexible Home Viewing Options Are in Demand

Everyone will want to visit the home they're going to live in, but in-person home tours are quickly becoming a thing of the past for millennial buyers.  Prospective buyers expect to see a lot before they even schedule a tour or meeting with an agent. This is where knowing a bit about online marketing and high tech visuals can come into play.  Having a 3D tour for properties you're trying to sell can help pique interest. Posting a thorough tour of homes people can look through online can do a lot to help sales.

It's important to be creative when you're thinking about different ways to show your home to millennials. Sometimes walking through a home during a Facetime call can be enough to give people a look at the property you're selling.

Tech Is Important

When it comes to homes, tech isn't just something that's trendy. Having a high tech home can save homeowners a lot of money.

Having an environmentally friendly home can be extremely important for millennials. They're a very environmentally aware generation, and having energy efficient low pollution homes can appeal to them. 

Homes with smart technology can also be appealing to millennials. Being able to have smart locks, an easily accessible security system, and other features can make homes a lot more appealing.

Dos and Don'ts for Selling To Millennials 

Now that you know about some common millennial characteristics, it's time to think about the best ways to sell to them.  Nothing will ever beat being accommodating, kind, and helpful during the home search. But when you're trying to sell to millennials, remember to keep these tips in your back pocket.

Do Be Transparent

The home buyer has more information available to them than ever before. Home buyers of every age consult the internet for buying advice and information, but millennials are the best at finding it.  Millennials are going to do extensive research throughout the buying process. The more information you have about the home and neighborhood, the better it'll be for you.   Learn every fact you can about the house. Be prepared to give in-depth answers to questions about renovations, home values, and potential upgrades. 

If you don't give them information, they'll be sure to seek it out for themselves. Make sure they're getting the right information from you.

Do Use Technology

The Millennials were weaned on video games and computers.  They have fully integrated technology into every facet of their lives and expect the same in their home buying experience.  They will gravitate towards listings that have 3D Tours, Aerial Videos, Augmented Reality, VR Tours, Virtual Staging and digital floor plans, all things that Hommati can help you with.

Don't Rely on Old Standbys

Millennials are a diverse generation, and you need to do your best to learn what motivates the individuals you're speaking to. Going by old selling points from the past could end up costing you sales.  A home in a great school district is great for millennial buyers that want to have kids but won't mean much to people that don't plan on having children. They may be more interested in finding a home next to a dog park instead of a playground.

Do Embrace Fixer-Uppers

A lot of agents and brokers would shy away from representing homes that need work. But if you avoid selling fixer-uppers, you could be missing out on finding millennial buyers.   Millennials don't shy away from rolling up their sleeves and trying out home renovation projects. Home DIY work is so popular that major retailers are cashing in on the trend.  Bathroom renovations, kitchen upgrades, and even adding an entire new addition to a home won't scare away millennials. Most view fixer-uppers as a way for them to build their dream home.

Don't Forget Your Smartphone 

Want to know one of the best tools relators and brokers need to get millennial home buyers? It's something most people know about, but may not be using correctly: their smartphones.  Millennials are a constantly connected generation. Use your phone to quickly reply to emails, send texts, and do video calls with eager young buyers.  Be sure to not neglect the camera part of your phone. Snapping a few pictures of properties you think your clients will be interested in and quickly sending it in an email or text can help sales.

Improve Your Selling Abilities

Now that you know how to appeal to millennial home buyers, you're eagerly thinking of ways to find more interested millennials.   When you're a busy real estate agent or broker, you may not have enough time to devote to the marketing efforts it'll take to attract millennial buyers.

We at Hommati have a variety of services that can appeal to younger buyers. If you want to see what we can do, check out our page for aerial home videos.