Marketing to Millennials
Updated: May 10
Millennials make up the largest percentage of homebuyers. This fact isn't new (it's been true since 2014). But with interest rates on the rise this year, your millennial sales game is what will determine whether you're going to crush your number this year.
Millennials have gotten to the point where they have the income to buy a home. They actually have the second-highest median income among home buyers ($110,00). And like we just said, there are more of them.
Millennials are 50% more likely than all other demographics to pay over list price. Over 40% of Millennials are willing to pay up to 110% of list. Price is the most common compromise they make. This is where the quick purchases happen. This is where commissions get made.
How Do Millennials Buy?
Online first. This generation grew up with computers, and now that's how they buy. Only 17% of Millennials contact an agent as a first step. For 65% of them, their first step is online or asking their parents for help. 81% of them are first-time homebuyers, so their first exposure to your listing and real estate, in general, is most likely to happen without you in the room.
You've got to know your angles. Only 35% of agents use professional photos, but for the Millennial/Instagram generation, you need to make sure that your photos make your listing as saleable as possible. Check out the difference between these photos below. Yes, I know we're real estate photographers, and this is our gig, but listings with professional photos sell 88% faster. And for what it's worth, video doesn't hurt either (85% of buyers/sellers want to work with an agent utilizing video).
Mom and Dad will have say. With so many millennials buying for the first time, their parents have a considerable influence on the purchase process, even if they are not part of the 30% of millennials getting financial help from their parents or relatives. Not everyone will make it to the open house when homes sell in days instead of weeks. Millennials are making snap decisions with vast amounts of money, and sometimes all the parents see is the MLS listing before putting down an enormous down payment. Online profiles need to be clear, concise, and full of photos so your buyers can paint the picture for mom and dad on Saturday and put their offer in on Sunday.
What Do Millennials Care About?
Well, we already said it isn't price, so what is it? Turns out Millennials are more likely than any generation before them to want to avoid home renovations. There's a reason for the stereotype that millennials don't know how to take care of a home the same way their parents do. They're aware of that fact, and 46% of Millennials are looking at renovations as the biggest reason to avoid a listing.
So they don't like renovations, but they do like being able to customize their homes for them. Making their home "their own" is the biggest draw to a house that needs some work. Every house is an opportunity. It sounds contradictory, but sales is all about the right spin. Highlight the options a listing presents. Don't dwell on the work that needs to get done.
They are planning for their kids. Millennials are the generation having kids. Schools. Safety. Proximity to parks etc. That's the easy stuff. Emphasize a home's green features. Does it have new energy-efficient windows? Say it. Does it have energy-star-rated HVAC? Say it. This generation is the most willing to pay more for homes it sees as "green." That doesn't have to mean solar panels (it might be an excellent customization option for the future, though!). Call out the green features. Get good pics of any ratings or collateral that's available. Google it if you need to.
What Are Millennials Afraid Of?
Study after study shows that millennials are one of the least financially literate generations. And now they are being told to buy a home faster, with less experience, and less financial know-how than any previous generation. Buying a home is scary for anyone - every agent knows this, but the opportunity with this demographic lies in making them feel comfortable with the process. The pressure is already going to be there in a market like this. Help them find resources and equip them with the right digital assets to feel comfortable. Take as much pressure off your direct interaction and help them feel good about the purchase. Remember - people hate being sold to… but they love buying.