Millennials have really taken it on the chin as of recently, don’t you think? It seems like everyone from pundits to industry leaders to even their own parents have had something negative to say about this young generation, calling them everything from entitled and lazy to arrogant and spoiled.
It seems like even if you mutter the word millennial during your lunch at the local cafe you’ll be met with older folks shivering and reacting with a foul taste in their mouth.
In truth, many of the young professionals within the workforce now are resourceful, determined, industrious, and thoughtful people.
The millennial generation from a bird’s eye view:
The optimization of your own real estate enterprise is contingent on adhering to and capitalizing on the very specific and tailored needs of the generation that makes up 33% of today’s workforce.
Furthermore, the millennial generation should be considered a gold-mine demographic within the housing industry:
- Millennials are more educated than previous generations, with 1/3 of 25-34 year-olds having undergraduate degrees thus holding higher paying jobs than the preceding generations.
- Since millennials have delayed home buying longer than any previous generation, the demand to enter into the home buying market is set to explode.
- Millennials make up more than one-third of the homebuyer’s market.
To take all of this a step further, a PwC NextGen study notes that over 60% of millennials would prefer to work remotely inside the confines of their homes. Furthermore, this study finds that with the current economic landscape, it’s possible for 50% of the US jobs to be compatible with partial telecommuting.
This is placing an absolute premium on the homebuying characteristics of millennial buyers. If this trend increases (and all signs are pointing to such), millennials are going to be an exploding market that is putting an emphasis on the home and office combination purchase.
So what does all of this mean for you?
In order for you to capitalize on this burgeoning opportunity, you’ll need to equip yourself with the proper toolbelt in order to reach, communicate with, and make the most of these opportunities.
Communicating with this unique generation requires tact and strategy. As the old saying goes:
“I can sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman wearing white gloves.”
With millennials, you’re going to want to say,
“I can sell contacts to a hipster wearing thick-framed glasses.”
Your communication tool belt for reaching millennials:
As a real estate agent, you have many different means of communicating with potential clients. You are able to meet in person, call on the phone, text, send emails, and perhaps the occasional carrier pigeon (hold for the mountain-man agent who just happened to gain internet access to read this…thank you).
With all of these mediums at your disposal, texting should be the pinnacle choice in reaching this market.
Text messages do have several advantages—which is probably why 68% of millennials admit to texting “a lot” on a daily basis, compared to 47% of their Gen X counterparts. They’re instant and mobile, which means they can be read and exchanged at almost any time. Millennials are the digital generation. Most (if not all) of the millennials you know are probably literate in one or many forms of digital machinery.
Facebook and Twitter are perhaps the best social media channels for agents to use in order to relate to millennials, but if an agent can make use of Tumblr, Instagram or Google+ too, then they should.
Pew Research Center reports that 71% of people aged 18-24 are using Instagram on a regular basis. The research further concludes that 94% of the same age range of people are using Youtube regularly (68% regular Facebook users, 78% for Snapchat and 45% for Twitter).
While the statistics are always changing and at times difficult to track, Hubspot reports the best time to post and communicate through the respective social media outlets are as follows:
- In general, the best times to post on Instagram are on Monday and Thursday, at any time other than 3-4 p.m.
- For Facebook, on average, the best time to post is 1-4 p.m., when click through rates have shown to be at their highest.
- Good times to tweet average around 12–3 p.m., with an apex at 5 p.m. — which makes sense, given that it correlates with the evening commute.
The way you communicate through these digital means can also have a big impact on how it is received by your potential millennial buyer. Here’s a list of effective ways to communicate with millennials:
- Keep it simple and short: Modern day is calling for efficiency and expediency. Just as we like to grab our meal-on-the-go power bars for a quick bite, we also like our communication to follow suit. Get to the point. There is no need for the next Gettysburg Address when communicating with this buyer.
- Converse at their level: You’re definitely the expert here, let’s not forget that. However, millennials like conversing with people as if they were their friends; even in the context of doing business. You can quickly tune out and lose the interest of a potential millennial buyer by bombarding them with over the top industry lingo.
- Show them what you mean, don’t always tell: 98 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds watch video content on their smartphone on a daily basis. This is a fact. So when this generation is looking to purchase their largest investment, where do you think they are going to go in order to gather critical information? By now, you know how important video is in selling homes. Utilizing and texting links to show off your prowess is one the best tools you can use in communication with millennials.
- Have fun: Millennials want to be heard. They want to be catered to. In a world where it seems like you can customize everything from your burrito at lunch to the t-shirt you will wear to your next night out, customization to the experience of a millennial’s home buying shouldn’t fall by the wayside. Communicate in a fun and engaging way that really helps get to know your millennial buyer. Adhering to the agent’s job’s persona of an uptight professional yearning for the sale at all costs is so 1975. Make your buyer feel like they are the only person on the planet. Get to know their interests and hobbies. Use this information to build a custom experience around them.
As much as people are still going to want to poke fun at millennials and make sure they are the butt of all the jokes when it comes characterizing a generation, if the tactics illustrated above are taken seriously it can open up opportunities for you to tap into a market that is on the verge of redefining the entire industry. The American Dream is still alive and well. It is taking on a new shape and it will be the unique and tactful advisor that helps these millennials reach their dream.