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Millennials make life most difficult for agents, survey finds

By Mike WheatleyJuly 07, 2019
  • Younger adults are some of the most difficult customers for real estate agents, according to a new survey of 500 industry professionals from the online real estate brokerage Redfin.

    But that’s not to say older generations make life any easier, for baby boomers who’re aged 55 and up, are not far behind when it comes to causing headaches.

    The survey asked real estate pros which customers were the easiest to serve. More than half—52%—of real estate pros said Generation X, or those between ages 39 to 54, were the easiest. On the other hand, baby boomers and millennials trailed at 25% and 23%, respectively.

    “Millennials are accustomed to ordering and canceling ride-shares and meal delivery on their phones, and thus don’t feel the same sense of personal obligation when working with a buyer’s agent who, by and large, only gets paid when a sale is made, after months of service,” Glenn Kelman, Redfin’s CEO, notes in the study. “The other problem of course with younger customers, many of whom have student debt, is their struggle to afford their first home.”

    Regardless, real estate pros can hardly ignore millennials as customers. They’re the largest buying force in the housing market right now. Millennials represented 42% of all new-home loans, higher than both the baby boomers and Generation X, according to another study earlier this year from realtor.com.

    “We need to find ways to adapt our service to the on-demand world we now live in by organizing agents into teams, and to develop a consultative approach to the affordability challenges that are preeminent for so many home buyers, by training agents on all the ways a home can be financed,” Kelman notes in the survey.

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