With Millennials now coming of age in the workforce and baby boomers set to retire, they are said to represent the most rapidly expanding consumer base in the U.S. alone. Yet according to Ballennetwork.com, the generation that came after the Gen X’ers, and who were born between 1980 and 2000, are not an easy sell when it comes to purchasing a new home. Why? With there being a job market downturn, Millennials are in general, cash poor, relegating them to a generation of renters. Or are they?
Here’s the truth of the matter. If you’re a newly licensed real estate agent who smartly took advantage of real estate license classes online, and who’s looking for a new pool of hungry buyers, look no further than the Millennials. The group of young, corporate ladder climbers and solo entrepreneurs are now said to make up one in three of today’s home buyers. And as the 2020s progress, that number is projected to jump as high as two out of three buyers. While Gen Xers are more likely to look for a stability in a home purchase, such as a two-story, four-bedroom, three and a half bath model located in a suburb which they can hang onto until retirement, Millennial shopping attitudes differ. For instance, many tend to look for real estate opportunities they can unload for a profit if they see fit. At the very least, they tend to purchase homes close to a busy city or downtown where all the coffee shops are open all day and the bars are active all night.
Whatever the case, one thing is for sure. Millennials were raised on digital technology and it’s the smart, young real estate agent who will take advantage of that. If that’s you, here’s five effective tips for selling homes to Millennials.
The last thing a Millennial wants to deal with is a home that’s a fixer-upper. They’re too busy with work, social life, both real and online, to have to deal with costly and timely home renovations. Says Bellennetwork.com, unlike their parent’s generation, they also tend to shift jobs more often which requires relocations. That means there’s very little time to spend renovating an existing property. That means a real estate agent trying to tap into the Millennial market should find listings that not only need no renovations whatsoever, but that are also smartly digitally wired to satisfy the electronic needs and wants of the young clientele.
Simply said, Millennials don’t like walls. They are social creatures who enjoy entertaining and just plain hanging out with friends and acquaintances. In general, they don’t want lots of spaces broken up by lots of walls. They like open floor plans, almost like city loft spaces, where people can co-mingle and enjoy one another’s company (this is also the new trend in office spaces). If you’re a real estate agent who has a listing you’re trying to sell to a millennial, try tearing down some non-load bearing walls to open things up a bit.
The Millennial generation grew up playing video games and hanging out on the world wide web. Staying informed via digital means is an artform for them. Therefore, when making decisions on which homes to buy, they rely heavily on real estate agents who can deliver beautiful, easy to navigate websites that offer virtual tours, mobile apps, and even virtual contract opportunities like e-signature technology and PayPal. Millennials prefer email and texting to telephone conversations and they expect quick responses to questions, comments, and concerns.
Homes not equipped with the latest and greatest sustainable features such as solar energy panels, energy efficient HVAC, proper insulation, energy saving lighting, plus green and eco-friendly building materials like wood, concrete, and glass, will more than likely not be attractive to a Millennial buyer. If you’re a real estate agent who is looking to attract a Millennial buyer, think creatively about retrofitting an existing listing with organic ideas like a green roof and/or exterior wall.
Since so many Millennials work from home at the kitchen table on their laptop, or in a home office, they expect their home to double not only as a place of rest, but also a workplace. It’s what’s called the work-life balance. They want to be able to work one hour, and play the next, all under one roof. At the very least, many want to have access to bars, eateries, gyms, and more right outside their front door. If you have listings in urban settings, where prospective buyers don’t need to get in a car to head to the local Starbucks with their laptop to blog for a couple hours while sipping a grande latte, make sure you’re getting the word out to the Millennials.
Millennials are a relatively untapped marketplace for any real estate agent, no matter your experience. Just make sure you’re giving this diverse, technologically educated, and green minded group of individuals what they're looking for in a new home-sweet-home.