The largest generation in American history is about to move into its prime spending years. They are poised, they want to reshape the economy and they have unique experiences, which will change the way we buy and sell, forcing companies to deeper examine how they conduct business. Sorry Baby Boomers but I’m talking about Millennials here.
According to the National Association of REALTORS® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends, Millennials made up the largest portion of home buyers in 2017 for the fourth consecutive year. Millennials have been the only generation to see an increase in their homeownership from the previous quarter, reaching 35.3%. In addition, 53% of Millennials are already homeowners and 88% of those who don’t currently own a home are planning to buy. So, if you think Millennials are more interested in spending their money on avocado toast than they are investing in real estate, think again.
Being the first generation native to the Digital Age, millennials’ have had access to an unparalleled amount of information, which sets them apart from past generations. As digital natives, they breathe technology and are immersed in social media. In other words, Millennials think visually and don’t want to be pitched in a traditional way. They are used to instant access to price comparisons, product information and peer reviews. They value authenticity and heavily consume branded content that is specifically tailored to them. For example, Millennials will spend $200 on a pair of jeans after trying on 67 different pairs and performing extensive research in order to find the exact right ones. The way they shop for homes is no different.
Millennials entering the housing market are likely to have already researched all possible homes, comparable homes, and more on the internet and via word of mouth before stepping foot into a home. Millennials have data at their fingertips, which makes dealing with these tech-savvy buyers challenging for real estate agents, who are considerably older than the homebuying population they serve. For decades, the telephone has been the real estate agent’s tool of the trade. But this new wave of younger homebuyers is changing the way agents use those phones. Millennials, those born between 1980 and the late '90s don’t want to talk. They want texts and now real estate professionals need to adjust their marketing messages and channels to reach this expanding tech-savvy market.