When you are in the real estate business, selling homes is your top priority, but with the changing demographic of the population, you need to address and update your selling strategies to maximize your opportunities. More than half the homes sold last year were sold to Millennials, and so you need to be able to understand their motivations to reach this generation effectively.
Your business must be online, and not just in a way that showcases the properties that you currently have for sale. Revisit your website design to make it more appealing to this generation. You need to know what makes them tick; their values and style of shopping differ greatly from previous generations. They want fast and convenient information, sites that offer them funny and personal content, and products and services that satisfy their long-term goals. Here are 4 key factors for you to consider for your website:
Your website must be mobile-friendly. In 2016, 42% of internet users accessed websites via mobile devices (cell phones or tablets), and this number is only likely to rise as the younger online audiences are renowned for being glued to their phones. Search engines such as Google favor mobile-friendly sites, so you must make sure that your website is fully functioning for a mobile audience. You need to test your current site’s mobile interface to see whether it is fully compatible for mobile access, and react to any findings that are identified.
The formal way of communicating by the written word needs to be adapted to today’s preferred reading material, such as blog-friendly copy with headings. Millennials do not want strict formatting or text; they want the content on your site to engage them in a natural and relaxed way. You can use a blog section on your website to provide them with information that they will want to know about; you can explain the process involved with buying a house, or perhaps articles on how to add value to your home.
Use your content to provide solutions for your audience. For example, they may want to buy a new home in Maryland, in which case, you would provide details of a finance program, details of a reputable moving company, or perhaps a local attorney to help with their purchase. By providing solutions to problems or queries, you are reinforcing your brand’s reputation with a go-to destination for reliable information, and increasing your appeal to a wider audience.
Millennials are used to having a digitized world at their fingertips, so play to this. Not only do they expect content to be accessible, but they also expect quality. They have grown up in an era where image is everything, so you must make sure that your listings are photographed professionally, and also look into virtual tours of your properties – millennials love visuals especially when combined with technology.
Make it easy
With modern life being so busy, you need to make accessing the information on your website as easy as possible. This includes the initial download time; if your website takes too long to load, Millennials will not wait, and they will click through to a competitor. Make your site easy to navigate; they do not want to be spending time looking for your contact details to get more information from you, although your website’s content should provide most of the details that they should want. The information you provide should be easily digestible!
Get out there
Do not sit on your laurels thinking that you have mastered your digital presence because you have a website. Your business’s website is only the beginning of your digital journey. Millennials use social media as their main tool for communicating and researching brands, and so you need to engineer your use of social media platforms in a way to connect with them: think Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. If you are not comfortable with this aspect of marketing your company, it is a wise use of your budget to hire a digital agency or marketing consultant to make the process as smooth as possible.
48% of Millennials hold a bachelor’s degree, and are well versed in the nuances of business. They want more bang for their buck, and have the resources of the internet to provide them with information that just wasn’t easily accessible to previous generations. If you hold information back, overinflate a property’s worth, or neglect to tell them about neighborhood issues, the chances are high that they will find out. This generation has been brought up with technology at their fingertips, and are more than capable of using it to their advantage; any information that you provide them can be checked there and then with a quick internet search – transparency is key.
Revaluate Your Listings
To gain the attention of a Millennial audience, you may need to revisit your property listings. What is attractive and appealing to older generations, may have the opposite effect on Millennials, and so you may need to adapt your listings, and indeed the advice you give to potential vendors on how to modify their homes for quick sales.
• Environmental issues are important to Millennials, so highlight and features such as insulation or solar panels, or the building’s efficiency ratings.
• Millennials want a laundry room. Whereas previously the mentioning of a laundry may be towards the end of a listing, they see it as a desirable feature, so move it on up!
• Storage is important to this generation, whether it be through linen-closets, a walk-in pantry or garage space, so make a point of emphasizing these features.
• Gardens and yards also need to be considered for their Millennial merits: they want to be able to entertain and eat meals outside, more so than previous generations. Another difference is the trend for decorating the space with rugs, table lamps and even lighting options such as chandeliers. Older generations focus on the size of the lawn and flowerbeds, whereas the Millennials are more influenced by the power of outside kitchen areas and entertainment suites.