Everywhere I look I see articles about Millennials: “5 Ways to Communicate with Millennials”, “The Real Reason Millennials Aren’t Buying Homes”, or “Why Millennials Don’t Work Well in Traditional Workplaces.”
Y’all are making us feel special or something.
In all seriousness, I feel it’s high time to tell you WHY Millennials are resistant to buying homes from a Millennial’s perspective. AND how you can change our minds about buying a home!
Why We Are Avoiding Buying Homes
What have we been doing for the past 4, 6, 8 (some of us professional students 10+) years? Living in places where we can walk to EVERYTHING! College campuses and surrounding housing are built with the intention of students not needing their own transportation. Some of us transferred all over the country and we have NO idea where we want to settle down at in the future. College has made us unsure of where we want to live, what we want to do, and honestly, allowed us to avoid things that are complicated (more on this below.)
Speaking of college, dare we talk about the student loan bubble? We’re in debt up to our eyeballs and solid, decent paying jobs are still tough to come by, especially in competitive fields. Alot of "experts" have said that this is not stopping us from buying homes. We may be able to afford the home on paper, but psychologically it's just impossible. It’s downright daunting to look at a student loan payoff and see DECADES ahead of us of loan repayment. We just can’t process adding a house payment to this as well.
We’re scared. See my second point, but this fear runs a bit deeper. We’ve seen what happens when you have a loan on something you can’t afford. Our parents, family, friends, someone we know, lost their home during the recession. We don’t want that responsibility! And where’s job security these days? Most companies have zero compunction about letting hundreds or thousands of employees go at the first sign of economic trouble. We live in the present because we actually feel like the future is not guaranteed.
Given all of these potential barriers, how is it even possible to start a conversation with potential Millennial home buyers?
No really, it is.
Educate us… but not too much.
We’re pretty heavy on the college education part, remember? Older real estate agents are used to being the ‘gatekeepers’ of all real estate information.
Heads up peeps: those days are OVER.
I pretty much Google anything I want to know and find the answer in seconds. Won’t let me look at homes on your website? Fine. I’ll google the address and look at it on someone else’s.
You are no longer gatekeepers, but custodians. Give us the best information about home loans, hidden costs, and the best areas to live. Put out GREAT content - engage us!
Until we’re ready to enter in a relationship with you, let us browse the aisles, just make sure they're stocked with the best products.
Treat us like adults.
Whoa. Slow down. We’re barely out of diapers, right? Or you’re saying something along the lines of “Just like an entitled youngin’ to tell US to treat them like adults.” Or maybe you said something about earning respect.
If you want to incite my interest in forming a relationship with you, then you have to act like I’m your equal - not your kid. Especially in this business, we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars that we might spend. We deserve, oh yeah I said it, DESERVE to be treated as equals, not inferiors.
Communicate in our language.
Don’t text? Not on social media?
We don’t know you, understand you, and probably never will.
Sound harsh? It is, but it’s also true. Don’t believe me? Here’s an experiment for you: go find someone under the age of 25. Ask them if they would be willing to meet someone WITHOUT first looking them up on social media or Google.
Go ahead. I’ll wait.
See what I mean? We’re nosey!! And we don’t want to feel hemmed in or committed, hence our proclivity towards faceless communication. I often overhear older agents complain about this, but it is the foundation for Millennial relationships. We’ll eventually have live contact with you, just give us time.
Simplify the experience by giving us clear directions.
What's the average attention span on adults these days? Something like 5 seconds?
Nothing, and I mean nothing, will cause me to walk away quicker than something lacking clear instructions.
Buying a home is HARD. You know that, you’re our super professional, on point real estate agent.
We’re used to instant, not weeks of searching for homes, a mortgage approval process that demands our future unborn children as repayment, and then re-negotiating over home repairs! Have a solid buyer consultation in place, explain every step of the process so that there will be NO surprises.
Remember one of the reasons why we’re NOT buying homes?
We’re scared. We’re scared of commitment, of that large responsibility, and of the unkown.
Take the time to explain how mortgage’s work, what tax credits are available to us as homeowners, and any other tips/advice that will help us overcome the fear! Hold our hand and help us avoid those situations!
The simple truth is that Millennials are going to become the largest group of home owners in the next decade.
Start laying foundations down now that will allow you to already be in productive conversations with this next wave of opportunity!