You've probably heard the news, 2017 is going to be the year when many Millennials start buying their first homes. In fact, experts predict they will make up 33% of the buyer pool. This is nothing to sneeze at, so you'll want to be Millennial-Buyer ready to tap into this market.
The thing about Millennials though, is that they have different expectations than other generations. A flyer in their letterbox about the latest houses for sale just isn't going to cut it, neither is calling them on a landline to make a face-to-face appointment.
If you truly want to get into this market, you'll have to delve a bit into their mindset and above all harness the power of technology.
Let's explore the Millennial Mindset and discover what you can do to tap into it.
Whether it's shopping for clothes online or deciding what career path to take, thanks to the internet, Millennials have grown up in the self-service environment. This means they don't want someone to hold their hand through the process of buying a house.
How can you cater to this more independent style? By using technology.
A report from Experianhas found that Millennials use their phones more than any other generation. This means that if you want to reach them, you need to have a strong mobile presence. Apps are going to be huge for showcasing homes - without an agent being present.
Richard Graves, CEO/Founder of BKON Connect says that "Mobile plays a critical role in real estate transactions. Home shoppers use their mobile phones to research, but they also want information on-demand."
There are mobile apps that can deliver content to smartphones via Bluetooth beacons. Shoppers can discover information about the home, while they are standing on the front porch. Information could include details such as square footage, the number of bedrooms or bathrooms, information about the neighborhood, etc. Realtors can also offer a call to action like tap to text an agent, tap for an audio tour, or tap to arrange a showing.
Online rental applications
While not strictly related to buying a house, you'll want to impress soon-to-be-home-owners with your tech savvy ways, or they might just go find someone who is up to speed. The message is forget about asking Millennials to fill out rental application forms using pen and paper! Digitalization will be all the rage in 2017.
Noel McCann, Marketing Analyst at HomeSuite has made this prediction "In 2017, I expect that more tenants will be booking their properties directly online. Today's economy is heavily reliant on on-demand services, and more people will want to lease their properties on short-notice. As a result, more landlords will allow their tenants to book apartments like they're hotels, and more services such as Zillow will allow people to book properties directly via their sites.
"Jack FitzGerald, Founder at Disrupt Property, also predicts a digital revolution for 2017 "The rental market is full of pain points. From searching through listings to dragging yourself between apartments, submitting paper applications and getting approval. Zumper is automating this, providing real-time listings for house-hunters to search and apply, and digitizing the application process."
Make sure your website is geared for self-service. This means giving detailed listings, virtual tours, videos, and tech features such as e-signature technology can also give you an edge.
Personalized (home buying) Experiences
Millennials see life as an adventure and as a consequence, they love highly personalized authentic experiences. If you're sending these buyers any and all marketing materials in hopes of getting a hit, you're going to bore them out the door.
Instead be sure to send them content that speaks to their interests and aspirations.If you know they're interested in a particular neighborhood send them listings from that neighborhood.
If they're not yet ready to buy, create content that will interest them, and will help keep you top of mind. Send this content to them in regular emails. The content you create should be short lists filled with useful information such as "Top 10 Restaurants in the Area" or "5 Tips to Decorate Your First Home."
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Don't despair if you think highly-personalized content looks like a huge time zapper. Investing in a good quality CRM can do wonders for highly targeted, personalized marketing to your future Millennial Buyers without costing you loads of time.
CRMs can help you segment your lead and customer lists into their interests and buyer stages. You can go as granular as you want, perhaps you'll segment based on their interests in a particular neighborhood, or based on where they are in the sales funnel.
The best part is once these leads are in the CRM system the process becomes automatic. Thanks to automation you can nurture hundreds of leads at a time, without having to spend hours every day following up with phone calls, or meetings. \
There are many CRMs out there on the market to suit all needs and budgets. Take a look at our Ebook "Beginner's Guide to CRM" to help you get started.
Check your values
2017 is the year to get involved in a good cause and be vocal about it. Research has found that 4 out of 5 of Millennials will buy products from companies that support causes they care about.
Agents with a heart are signing up to platforms like Charitable Agents, where they donate 10% of their commission to a charity of the home buyer or sellers choice.
If you've been thinking about giving to charity, or rolling up your sleeves and helping a worthy cause, 2017 is the time to do it!
Hook into Social Sharing
Millennials are a generation that like to get social approval about their purchases through their social media channels. One way to hook into this is to use Live Streaming on Facebook or Instagram.
Not only can you get Millennials in the home without them having to leave their couch, they can also get the approval of their friends by sending them a link to the Live Stream.
Kevin Lawton, Real Estate Agent from Coldwell Banker Schiavone & Associates in Bordentown, NJ, is convinced that Live Streaming is the way to go in 2017"I think it will get even larger in 2017. Being able to target audiences and bring them inside the home through a live stream before you have even had one contact with them is great."
While technology can help you tap into the Millennial market, you better make sure that your tech works properly. This is a generation that grew up with the internet and the user-friendly interfaces of Apple, Google and Amazon.
This identification means they will embrace new technology quicker than their older counterparts, but it also means they have less patience with tech that doesn't work or is spotty.
Before you go head on into your amazing tech, test it then test it again, to make sure it works flawlessly.
That's it! Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments!
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