Mike J. Gold
Many real estate professionals have decided to go after a group not known for its home-buying habits: Twentysomethings. And to try to connect with them, agents are unleashing a new breed of marketing tactics, from posting homes for sale on YouTube to building snazzy Facebook pages.
The NAR reports that 90% of all home buyers use the internet to locate a home. This couldn't be more true for Generation Y. They use online resources - from searching for a home on craigslist, to choosing a realtor based on their online blogging presence.
The new target real estate audience has forced brokers to reinvent their advertising strategies. Some are going a step further and are hiring Gen Y-ers as agents to help reach younger buyers. They're spending millions on creative advertising, from Facebook to YouTube. Some are writing blogs.
In a report published in March, the National Association of Home Builders recommended that builders should re-evaluate their mearketing, in regards to Gen Y-ers or risk losing them to the competition. According to the report, members of Generation Y — generally considered those no older than 28 — command more spending power than preceding generations at the same stage of life "because they are well-educated and have higher starting salaries out of college."
Even so, in today's struggling housing market, real estate agents are so eager to find buyers that they're taking new measures to reach Gen Y-ers — along with younger members of Generation X. No one knows how big a proportion of the home-buying market is made up of these young adults; the numbers are small but likely to grow.