Being “The Cool” Realtor: Selling Homes to Generation Y

Interests and trends can vary greatly from one generation to another – from the clothes we wear to the ways we spend our free time – but these differences are often overlooked by agents and brokers when trying to buy or sell a home.

In our previous article “Millennials: How to Sell to Today’s Youngest Homebuyers”, we talked about some of the changing trends in regards to what Generation Y is looking for when trying to buy a new home. As a follow-up to our previous story, we would like to discuss what these young homebuyers are looking for out of the RE agent.

Gen Y - House
1. Think like a Millennial
Have you googled yourself lately? Odds are that your prospective Generation Y homebuyer has. Millennials have grown up in a world of instant access, where an almost limitless amount of information is accessible by the click of their finger. As a result, they tend to use the internet to research everything, so it’s important to be aware of your online presence.

This goes for social media too. Embrace social media and use it to as a marketing tool. List you what you specialize in, as your younger homebuyers are likely to be searching these mediums.

Similarly, younger homebuyers want to know that you recognize the differences between your interests and theirs. What they want in life may be entirely different than what you want, so try to understand these differences use this knowledge when searching for the right home.

2. Understanding their circle
While baby boomers are comfortable living 20-30 miles from friends and family, the same cannot be said about Generation Y. In fact the typical Millennial stays within a 10 mile radius.

This is important because Millennials place a high level of importance on input from friends and family, especially when it comes to a major decision like buying a home. As a result, don’t be surprised if you have several carloads of friends and family members showing up to see a house.

Instead of getting upset by a situation like this, use this opportunity to market yourself to new prospective buyers. When it comes time for them to look for a new home, you could be the first person they call.

Similarly, don’t be afraid to send your clients a friend request on Facebook. After they’ve had a positive experience working with you, they are likely to share it with their friends on Facebook, which could ultimately drive more business your way.

3. Learn their language
Millennials tend to communicate different than their predecessors. They value the speed of communication over the depth of communication, often times preferring to interact with their realtors – or anyone for that matter – through text or Facebook messages.

To address this issue, it’s important that you ask your younger clients, “How do you prefer me to communicate with you?”

While adapting to their preferred methods of communication can be quite beneficial, be sure to inform them that there can – and most likely will – be times where text or Facebook communication is not suitable, so be clear with them and set their expectations up front.

4. Know your role
The role of a realtor has shifted over the years, moving from the keeper of listing information to an interpreter of it. Be a resource to younger homebuyers by offering insight about the local lifestyle, what makes an area fun or interesting, and match up your clients interests with prospective properties based on these factors.

It’s also important to help your Millennial clients understand the processes involved in buying a home, as many of them are first time homebuyers.
Millennials already account for one third of new home purchases, and this number will only go up as time goes on and members of Generation Y find themselves advancing throughout their careers, getting married, and having kids. It’s for this reason that we all must adjust how we market properties and adapt to the changing trends among these young homebuyers.

What are your thoughts? We’d like to hear from you.

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