As Generation Y, or more commonly referred to as Millennials, have begun to take a greater role in the housing market, we have seen a major shift in the way real estate business is done. Here are the top ten ways that Millennials are changing real estate:
- Texting over calling: Many Millennials actually prefer to converse using texts or email over phone calls, so it is important for real estate agents and prospective buyers to clarify their preferred method of communication.
- Homework: With the ease of finding properties and homes online, most Millennials feel they don’t need agents to find homes for them. Since potential buyers in this age group feel that they can do their own research and compare price points, many agents are coming to realize that their role has shifted from that of providing the raw data, to helping potential younger buyers interpret whatever information they bring forward.
- Please, no surprises: Millennials want to know what to expect and when throughout the entire process. This could entail that the agents provide checklists, charts and timelines to help quell apprehension in new buyers.
- Customer Service, Now!: As the first generation to have Google at their fingertips, Millennials are increasingly impatient when it comes to customer service. That means they want quick answers and they expect agents to be reliable partners throughout the entire home search process.
- Apps: For better or for worse, this generation spends a lot of time on their smart phones and unsurprisingly use apps in the home buying process. Apps are usually the preferred way to check listings and gather other pertinent information.
- Online recommendations: Though many Millennials still use agents that family or friends recommend, an increasing number of buyers are looking online to research and find their agent. This means that they are browsing and checking out testimonials on agent’s sites and online reviews.
- Social Media: As this generation has grown increasingly involved with social media, it is important for agents to really involve their clients and make them feel apart of their business. Therefore, a simple Facebook page with listings will not suffice in engaging a Millennial homebuyer the way they expect.
- Personal Information: Unlike buyers of the previous generation, the Millennials have no problem sharing information like employment verification, bank statements or other data for mortgage approvals. This is primarily due to the fact that they are used to supplying everything about who they are.
- Upgrade costs: Most younger buyers have trouble seeing the core of a home and therefore often do not know what features can be upgraded at a reasonable cost. This is an area where they really value pointers from an agent. Agents should focus on how they can provide resources in regards to referrals to contractors and vendors to help younger buyers see the bigger picture of what their new home could be.
- Affordability: Finding a home at the right price point and in a desired location is a challenging feat for many agents and younger homebuyers, however, many are looking for creative ways to solve this issue. For instance, many millennials are embracing the sharing culture where they seek homes with potential rental rooms that may be rented out through sites like Airbnb.
By Michael Bain, an analyst for Move New Homes