Millennials and Real Estate - What You Should Know!
I had just finished an excellent CRS (Council of Residential Specialists) webinar with Lisa Kittleman, a Millennial herself who does a large amount of real estate business with Millennials. The webinar was packed with useful information, and here are just a few key points.
1. The background and history of the Millennial generation (born 1982 – 2000) had a big role in shaping their values, beliefs, and attitudes. These experiences included the recession, 9/11, terrorism, Reality TC, Facebook, school shootings, our iWorld (iPhones, iPads, etc.), Helicopter parents, and more.
2. As far as values, Millennials want fulfillment in their lives and not just being part of the “rat race,” their quality of life, making a difference, and being involved in their community. They also value efficiency and having their lives made easier (who doesn’t, especially when buying a home?!).
3. Millennials, according to Lisa, are looking for a number of things in Realtors they want to work with, including authenticity (they like knowing who you are, your personal stories, your successes and failures) and NOT being sold. Do NOT be a politician!! But who likes that anyway?!
Transparency and honesty are essential – tell them the truth, and what they NEED to hear - as is being an agent they can trust. It's critical to be of service to them, and know our market so we can be effective in helping them. Understanding what they want and why that’s important to them is key – they will appreciate lots of questions. Which of course shows that you care!
4. As far as their purchases of real estate, they tend to believe it’s a smart investment (but it helps to show them how and why), and some are interested in selling again quickly, renovating and flipping, or having a rental. Buying in urban areas is desired, again because of investment, but also proximity to the things they want; having a big home with more maintenance is not always desired; they appreciate features that mean less maintenance, including smaller yards – point out these when you can.
5. You should create a brand they trust, which includes “clients first” (valued by any client I think), and be sure to follow through on your promises. They are interested in your mission and values so communicate this, verbally and in your actions.
Oh, and be responsive – answer the phone, your texts, your emails, and comment back on Facebook. And I thought her point that Millennials are NOT just all about texting was interesting – Lisa says many like phone calls, especially for important things. Creating a relationship – ask questions, share experiences, and be yourself – is key. “Be relatable!”
6. Lastly Lisa recommended not being a robot on social media and to NOT auto-post everywhere. Photos are important (don’t just post 1 pic at a time, but multiple so there is a + sign showing more photos exist…Facebook likes this). Be authentic (heard THAT before, right?) and yourself, and not just about real estate.
Millennials (and no doubt others) will like seeing that you support a mission of some sort – write about it, use photos, let them know what you are doing. And use plenty of video, including for testimonials.
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There was a ton more information but these were the highlights for me. What’s interesting is that while some things may be more characteristic of the Millennial generation, a number of these issues apply to most clients – being authentic and someone they can trust, for example. Certainly there are bound to be exceptions, and you should not make assumptions, just as your shouldn't for any client, but validate. Getting to know YOUR Millennial clients well, as you would anyone, will enable you to best understand and serve their particular needs.
Have you noticed these trends in Millennials clients you have worked with, or other trends? If you are Millennial, what are your thoughts?