How Real Estate Agents Can Reach Millennials
November 18, 2017 |
1. Who are millennials?
Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, are more tech-savvy than their parents. As a result, they are basically constantly connected online and to each other. They have grown up seeing social and financial crises in America. In their formative years, they’ve witnessed the Great Recession, 9/11, and ongoing political conflict. It is because of this that millennials are generally more interested in social causes, living a healthy lifestyle, and saving money.
As a generation emotionally and financially affected by the recent recession, millennials have had to delay decisions like getting married, starting a family, and owning a house. They are budget-conscious, and their purchase decision-making process is complex—highly based on comparative research and online reviewing.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s International Database, Millennials make up 25% of the world’s population. Roughly 1.8 billion people worldwide are considered Millennials. In June 2015, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that Millennials outnumbered Baby Boomers. In the real estate industry, millennials represent approximately 34% of the largest home-buyer group for the last four years. This is according to the 2017 National Association of REALTORS® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends. Real estate professionals must tailor their marketing messaging and channels to reach to this growing generation.
2. They shop online and especially on mobile devices
The above graphic (Nielsen 2016) gives details as to what percentage of age groups own smartphones (millennials are the 18-24 and 25-34 groups), what type of phones they use, and how the genders split with smartphone ownership. Millennials rely on their phones for information more than any other previous generation. For this generation, smartphones are not only a form of communication, but a tool to research deals on products and local business reviews. Mobile marketing is imperative especially given that around 97% of millennials in the U.S. own smartphones. Marketing through mobile devices is essential when targeting this generation.
According to Facebook, half of millennials access their social platform exclusively through mobile devices. This makes Facebook, and social media overall, one of the most important channels when targeting millennials. It’s no wonder online advertising has increased over the years. Millennials live online, and lucky for you, that’s the easiest (and cheapest) way to reach them.
It’s no secret that when it comes to mobile device usage, social media apps captivate millennial audiences. Share videos of tours and open houses on your Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube channels. Millennials are more likely to interact with you if your content is engaging. If they really connect with your message, they might even share your content with their friends. Check out our blog on how Facebook can help enhance your advertising.
3. Embrace social media transparency
The strength of social media influence cannot be underestimated. 89 percent of millennials have a Facebook account, which is the number one social media platform for this generation. It’s never too late to refocus your marketing efforts to the millennial buyer market in your area. Use social media to connect with millennials on a personal level. Share what you love about your community, be yourself, and offer genuine value and connections.
While growing your millennial fan base, don’t disinterest them with self-promotion. Millennials value human connection; especially with whom they do business. Tell them about your family, your favorite restaurants, what you do in your free time. They are looking to connect with you as a person, and they anticipate customized and attentive service from you.
Use different mediums to highlight features that millennials find important when searching for a home. Through pictures and videos, show them the neighborhood, restaurants, local stores, schools, and hospitals. This way, millennials are able to better picture themselves living there.
If someone poses a question to you on social media, respond to them as soon as possible. Millennials reject the idea of faceless organizations with unreachable leadership. They respond better to dialog and a culture of openness.
Videos are a great way to capture the millennial attention span. It’s more likely to attract these buyers because millennials often consume real estate video content at some point in the decision-making process. Use a social media platform to live stream an open house; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube all have live video features. You can engage with these viewers in real-time! Once the live stream is over, most social media platforms can save it as a video. Use and repurpose content like this to engage with many more buyers in the future.
4. Create content they can interact with to establish credibility
Since millennials value customer reviews as part of the buying process, the majority of them rely on their friends as a credible source of product information. You can find great success in connecting with these customers and creating brand ambassadors. These happy customers will share their story with their friends and recommend you to them. In this world of technology, word of mouth is still a valuable source of information; especially to a millennial seeking a personal connection to your brand.
Email is not dead. Utilize it to share updates and new listings, and maybe a digital newsletter if you’re so inclined. Any way you slice your email marketing, make sure those messages are customized. Millennials can spot canned messages and have an eye for spammy-looking emails. They will be deterred if your offering doesn’t involve personal flair. Try using their first name and customized talking points to start the email. New listings emails should relate to their previous searches. This illustrates to millennials that you’re privy to what they’re looking for. They want to know that you’re listening to them. These are steps towards building trust with that audience.
As millennials grow into adulthood, they become first-time homebuyers. Buying a home is a complicated process. It’s frustrating and an overwhelming process for a lot of people. It is imperative that you position yourself a resource first. There will be time to be a salesperson later. Your first goal should be to gain their trust. Agents offer more than just selling real estate. You should aim to be their go-to person for all home buying and selling questions. Use those opportunities to guide them through the process of buying a home. Once they trust you, they’ll buy from you.