Gen Y Homebuyers Are the Future of Real Estate

Real Estate Agent with EXIT Pro Realty
Generation Y Home buyersDo you know your Gen Y home buyers? You better. There's about 70 million of them. They're educated, motivated, and programmed differently than any generation that has come before. They're high performance as well as high maintenance. Whatever generation you come from, you should know who you're working with, how they want to communicate, as well as what to expect and what they will expect out of you...<!--more-->

Generation Y, interesting bunch

question-for-gen-yGen Y is a funky bunch (disclaimer: I'm in the Gen Y pool too). Let's see why:
  • They're fiscally smart - 37% of Gen Y expects/expected to begin saving for retirement before they reach 25. 70% of Gen Yers contribute to their 401(k) plan.
  • They question authority as they questioned their parents. You better know what you're talking about when you talk to a Gen Y, otherwise, they're going to trip you up.
  • They believe in work-life balance... seriously. They already know life is short so work, play, and family are more balanced.
  • They're big on change. They've seen 9/11, the collapse of major corporations, and the ebb and flow of the economy. Gen Y doesn't expect to be in the same career in ten years, much less the same job.
  • Tech Savvy, information happy, and multi-tasking fanatics. Don't be surprised to find Gen Y talking on their iphone, texting a friend, and trying to view homes on the internet at the same time. These are the tech adopters that use facebook to talk to friends, texts to close a deal, and skype to keep in touch with family.
A lot of this means that they have a pretty short attention span. They want relevant information quickly and without fuss. Can you give it to them? Here are a couple of tips for dealing with this group of home buyers 70 million strong...

Be on their level

If you're already behind, playing catch up to Gen Y (and the following generations) is a lose-lose game. But, there are a couple of things you can do to appeal to their sensibilities:
  • Communicate 21st century style. The best way to find out how a Gen Y (or anyone for that matter) communicates is to ask them. Do you want to be contacted by phone, text, or email? Are you on Facebook? Do you use Twitter, Plaxo, or Linkedin? How often do you use these sites to communicate? Now, plan your communication with them accordingly.
  • Be knowledgeable. You are the Pro after all. When a Gen Yer asks you a question about recent comparables, demographics, or nearby entertainment options... you need to know that answer, or at least be able to get it pronto. Have a system in place so that you stay updated on as much as possible and can find what you need to find at a moment's notice. Use a feed reader and bookmark good school, neighborhood, and demographic websites that you can reach easily. Subscribe to industry blogs like those from RISmedia, Inman News, AgentGenius, and of course, The Exit Pro.
  • Treat them right. People that are of the Y Generation grew up pretty well for the most part. As a group, they grew up in suburbs, their parents were in the PTA, their educated and have an appreciation for art, music, and the finer things. Treat them the way they like to be treated, as an important client, and they'll reciprocate you're efforts by being a good client... and buying a home.
Above all, and this goes when dealing with all generations... Be a Professional. Be a Pro. How else can we deal with this generation to deliver the service they desire in the way that they want? What are some of the challenges? View the original post at
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Comments (3)

Jeanean Gendron
The Address Realty - Redding, CA
Specializing in Selling Unique Properties

Nice post Ben, this will move your business forward. Thanks for such a relevant and pointed post!

Jan 28, 2010 02:09 PM
Elizabeth Cooper-Golden
Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group) - Huntsville, AL
Huntsville AL MLS

I couldn't agree with you more!  I work with a large number of gen y buyers.  In my area, they are predominately young engineers that have been saving 20% down for their first home.  They want info, and lots of it.  I love it...knowing they are making educated decisions!  This "social networking" thing has been a stretch for my baby boomer self but I'm getting there :)

Jan 28, 2010 02:11 PM
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

Ben, I have loved doing transactions with Gen Y home buyers.  I have sold them a lot of homes.  I learned a long time ago that you either jump on to the technology bandwagon or you get left in the dust.  I can keep up with the best of them.  It helps that I have two Gen Y children also.

Jan 28, 2010 02:13 PM