Thirsty for technology, information, instant gratification and convenience, millennials (22-37 years-old) are here and they are ready to buy their first home. Directly from three millennials themselves, here’s your must-know guide to working with this generation.
Where They Want to Live
KW Young Professionals (KWYP) member, three-time BOLD graduate and KW MAPS Coaching Mastery client Vincent Reyna, of the Fresno market center in Fresno, California, says millennials prioritize convenience when selecting a location to purchase a home. Proximity to entertainment, work and downtown are all important.
“Many find homes by driving the neighborhoods where they want to live based on proximity to places important to them.”
And, for those who aren’t afraid to move farther away from home, “Currently, Salt Lake City, Utah, is seeing a surge of millennials where 46 percent of all 2017 mortgage applications in the area were millennial-age applicants,” Reyna says. Other popular cities attracting millennials include Seattle and Austin, Texas.
KWYP member, three-time BOLD graduate and KW MAPS Coaching Mastery client Will Stallé, of the Milwaukee North Shore market center in Milwaukee, and fellow KWYP member, two-time BOLD graduate and KW MAPS Coaching Mastery client Kristin Schlesinger, of the Indy Metro West market center in Indianapolis, are also seeing a lot of activity with millennial home buyers in their markets.
What They Want in a Home
Both millennials themselves, Stallé and Schlesinger agree that there is great opportunity in working with millennials and that in order to be successful with this generation, you need to first break the stereotypes. “This generation is not lazy,” Schlesinger says. “They are hardworking and extremely loyal to brands they trust.”
And as Stallé points out, “This is a generation; we are talking about a large group of people and they aren’t exactly the same, so approach each client as an individual.” That being said, there are definitely some trends worth noting when it comes to helping millennials find their perfect home.
- Millennials are bringing back the formal dining room! “Having lived in apartments, which were one living space areas, they want to have multiple living spaces,” Schlesinger says.
- Move-in ready is a must! “It’s a seller’s market and homes are selling fast regardless of the updates. However, millennials still like to have it move-in ready,” Stallé says.
- A yard, or one within walking distance! “For the millennials who don’t have children, many have cats or dogs and having lived in apartments for so long, they are excited about having their own yard or at least a community with a dog park nearby,” Reyna notes.
They Want You to Know Your Data
This is a very educated generation and they grew up with instant access to information. “They move fast and they want to be informed,” Reyna says. “Although they will do a lot on their own, they want you to help them as a research partner. Millennials fact-check, are data-driven and expect the same from their agent.”
Ask Them Their Communication Preference – Don’t Assume
Reyna, Schlesinger and Stallé all agree that to work with millennials means to communicate primarily through text, email and social media with one condition – you still meet in-person first to kick-start the relationship.
“There is still value with face-to-face engagement to build the trust and set up the relationship, as well as asking how they prefer to communicate,” Stallé says. Schlesinger adds that when agents skip out on face-to-face interactions with millennials because they assume that’s what they want, they lose the ability to have the opportunity to maintain the relationship. “You have taken the value out of being a real estate agent.”
In addition to the common home-buying concerns such as affordability, debt, credit history and a general lack of understanding about the home-buying process, this generation is faced with an obstacle never before experienced by previous generations – unprecedented amounts of student loans. “However, with rising rents, millennials are realizing purchasing a home might not only be cheaper, but they will start building equity as a steppingstone to their next purchase,” Reyna says.
Reach Out to Prospective Buyers with Your First Home
To support its associates, KWU has released a complete one-stop seminar package, Win Big with Seminars: Your First Home. The package is complete with:
- A scripted PowerPoint presentation to help you present to first-time home buyers.
- KW resources to offer seminar attendees.
- Marketing resources to spread the word about your seminar.