I recently heard Jeremy Conaway, a real estate industry consultant, speak on a subject I personally find fascinating- generational differences when it comes to buying a home.
Age can be a defining factor, or a generational challenge, when figuring out how to market a home to a particular segment of people. Different aspects of a home are more important to others, and your marketing can be adjusted to accommodate this. For example, according to Jeremy:
Civics - This group tends to value safety, security, they often moved within close proximity to other family members. Neighborhood promotion is what speaks to them.
Boomers- Boomers were consumed with working 80 hours a week and didn't care as much about neighborhood, as they didn't plan on being there long anyway. They were working towards being able to buy their next bigger home. Gated communities appealed to them, and big homes with room for all their toys. Their home could be thought of as a showpiece.
But let's focus on the group of people who are the next crop of home buyers:
Gen X, Y and Millennials - Grew up with their parents not being around as much, as they were always working, and are determined to enjoy more family time and be at all the little league games. The home is the center of their lifestyle, which means open spaces and highly upgrades kitchens for the family to hang out in are important. Neighborhood is also a very important, as lifestyle is something they think a lot about.
This group of people happen to be among some of the poorest, for a couple of reasons. First, they are willing to sacrifice higher paying jobs and longer hours for more time at home and secondly, inflation rates have accelerated beyond cost of living rates. But what makes this group even more challenging is they grew up with all the niceties that their more wealthy Boomer parents were able to provide and they expect that this level of comfort will not change for them. So while they are making less money, they have high standards.
Also interesting was Jeremy likened this group to that of a 3 year old, as a person who constantly asks ‘why' throughout the transaction. Why does the lender need those papers, why do I have to pay title insurance, why has this home been on the market for nine months. This group of people is very good researching online and because of this wants to feel like an equal in the transaction. They want to be constantly informed and communicated with along each step of the way.
The research they are doing also impacts what homes they want to see. Jeremy threw out a great phrase, calling this crop of homebuyers "frugal chic". When they say they want to see homes in the 200K, this is the highest price homes they want to see and showing them anything higher makes they feel like their research is being disrespected, which could easily lead to a firing. Verses when a Boomer says that they want to see homes up to 200K, they are really willing to go up to 300K if they find something they like, as they can probably afford it.
I realize these statements are painting a big group of people with a single stroke, and obviously isn't going to apply to everyone. But I find it fascinating to at least realize that there are guidelines out there to help when working with a particular group, as there is some truth when applied to the masses.