Millennials are the last generation to be born in the 20th century. They are aged between 20 and 35 years old and make up 27% of the global population. By 2020, millennials, otherwise known as Generation Y, will make up half of the global workforce. As the largest workforce group, millennials are becoming the largest property buyers and therefore the target market for real estate.
In 2015, millennials overtook the baby boomers as largest generation and therefore also biggest home buyers, making up 32% of all home buyers nationally. Millennials were the hardest hit by the great recession and have developed a financially savvy approach as a result. They are cautious with their finances, but they have ‘come of age’ and now must bite the bullet and enter the property market.
Begin targeting millennials by building a marketing campaign for this powerful generation. Millennials love the Internet for communicating and finding real estate opportunities. This generation grew up with high-tech gadgets, computers and smart devices, so online marketing and communication efforts are MUST DOs! Long gone are the days of flyers and newspaper ads that would have enticed Gen X.
A few stats…
More than 94% of millennials go online for home research
51% of millennials later found the home they eventually purchased online first
87% of millennials eventually go to agents for assistance
Reviews work as the digital version of word-of-mouth marketing. The majority of millennials read online customer reviews to form their opinions and 77% of customers are influenced by these reviews. Facebook reviews should be one of your first priorities. When your agency appears in search bars, clients will see your number of reviews and the star ranking directly under your name. Make sure your Review Tab is activated so clients can leave reviews.
Google is the largest search engine, having plenty of reviews to tell first-time potential clients about your agency will get them clicking on your site (and not your competitors’!) Verify your agency on Google so that reviews pop up in map searches and allow you to respond to reviews. Responding to reviews on Google is as important as it is on Facebook. You can get your business verified on Google here.
Availability is super important to millennials. Growing up in the dawn of the hi-tech age means they expect responses at any time of day or night. This may seem quite daunting for a real estate agent who has normal office hours, but there’s a solution!
Chatbots - an online automated messaging system. Chatbots, already used by 60% of millennials, suit millennials’ busy pace of life. They give instant answers to questions, similar to the virtual worlds and online friendships that millennials know so well. Another way to combat the instant response to millennials’ questions is to develop FAQs for your website. They can scroll to find answers to any question in their own time, in or out of office hours.
Content and visuals including images produce 650% more traffic
Although the tech age is upon us and there’s an ever-increasing use and need for everything electronic, fear not, real estate agents will not be replaced by robots! Millennials still value expert advice and see the importance of essential human interactions in real estate transactions.
Shareable blog posts and short videos posted on Youtube are a great way to increase traffic to your website. Agents writing their own blogs and posting videos from their smartphones on social media sites is very popular amongst Gen Y. There’s huge potential in this field and the growth rate of viewers is almost limitless!
“BooomTown!” is a popular real estate blog site amongst millennials. It talks about real estate trends and gives you up-to-date industry information. The nature of blogs is casual, especially here, even the name “BoomTown!” will entice millennials and this relaxed format appeals to millennials and their chatty demeanour.
“REtipster” offers real-world guidance for real estate investing. This appeals to the financially savvy, self-motivated millennials. This blog shows you how to make great money from real estate and making time for more important things in life!
Loida Velasquez vlogs on Youtube every week to make people aware of what she does! Here’s a video of ‘A Day in the Life of’ Loida Velasquez...
By now, I’m sure you’re aware that digi-tech has gained momentum in the real estate sector recently. There are many news tech-tools to help you secure real estate projects, which will make both your and your clients’ lives easier.
Tools - Let’s get digital
Interactive and innovative tools, such as apps, are becoming more and more renowned in the real estate sector. Make your interactive service smartphone accessible; one in five Americans own only a smartphone now, instead of having traditional home broadband services. In addition, 67% of millennials would encourage a dematerialisation and de-paperisation, moving to online only.
An example of an excellent app is Zillow, which prides itself on an enormous database of property listings. Zillow also offers many useful tools including an agent finder, local mortgage lender rates and information, and the ‘Zestimate’ home valuation tool.
Trulia is huge in the house hunting app world, with its main feature being its house searching tool. You can find homes, flats, open houses, price, neighborhood, number of rooms and more! It features an interactive map, with local info (schools, transport, crime rate) and video tours. This easy to use app is very appealing for millennials.
The digital world is not foreign to millennials, they are believable realities. Interactive Proptech solutions, such as 360 panoramas, virtual or augmented reality, voice search, investment simulators or 3D modeling, are encouraged by 71% of millennials. By creating interactive tools you will help your clients to feel in control, inspiring them to make the purchase without forcing it - the virtual experience will sell the property for you!
Here’s an example of how Matterport creates virtual tours for real estate agents and helps them reach out to potential clients with the help of VR technology:
Live streaming open house viewings will help potential buyers feel like they’re experiencing it with you! Millennials love openness; advertising live helps with transparency and authenticity too. After the open house live stream, clients can usually opt to save the video and view again later. Opendoor is a great example of a real estate agency that values Openness, striving to make the process as easy as possible!
See how real estate broker Jesse Peters from RE/MAX One Group live streams an open house:
The “adnostic” generation
Millennials are more financially savvy and budget conscious than any previous generation. They go through a complex pre-purchase research process. They are savvy in other sense too and are more resilient to traditional forms of marketing. Some may even call them the “adnostic” generation; having been overexposed to advertisement, they aren’t fooled by anything.
Furthermore, millennials generally have short attention spans, so a different approach is necessary, with emphasis on technology and entertainment. The old sales technique of: Attention, Interest, Conviction, Desire and Close still applies, but keep short attention spans in mind.
Millennials value authenticity and transparency and don’t react well to being lied to. They trust the opinions of their peers; word of mouth and Facebook reviews, as well as google reviews, are taken very seriously. As already mentioned above, you should think carefully about how you approach your reviews. Remember to be honest and clear in your marketing campaign to avoid bad reviews on your site. After all, honesty is the best policy!