In 2019, Millennials became the largest generational group of homebuyers. And with older generations well-established as homeowners, and Gen Z still too young to represent a substantial percentage of homebuyers, Millennials will continue to be the largest and most profitable demographic in real estate marketing for some time.
You just need to know how to market to Millennial homebuyers.
The 2020 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report from the National Association of REALTORS® is packed with information about Millennials’ needs and preferences. Here’s the information real estate agents can use to market to Millennial homebuyers.
What are Millennials Looking For in a Home?
As we saw in our study of where Millennials are moving to, Millennials are interested in states like Texas, Washington, Colorado, Georgia, and Florida because of the comparatively low cost of living and good weather.
Generally speaking, Millennials are looking for homes that are:
Located in suburbs or small towns
Not too big
How are Millennials Finding Homes?
While 40–43% of Millennials start the home buying process by searching for homes online, a healthy 17% start by looking online for information about the home buying process. And another 12% start by contacting a real estate agent. Millennials are also more likely than older generations to ask friends and family about the process.
This information-gathering phase makes perfect sense since Millennials are typically first-time homebuyers. They haven’t been through the process before and want to know what to expect before they start looking at homes.
Once they’re ready to look for homes, they turn to the Internet. A full 98% of Millennials used home-finder websites as an information source. Another 86–89% also used their real estate agent as a resource, and around half attended an open house.
How are Millennials Finding Real Estate Agents?
Referrals are king! Around half of all Millennial buyers find their agent through a referral from a friend, relative, or neighbor. This number doesn’t include the referrals by employers or other agents/brokers.
Other reported means of finding an agent are:
Inquiring about a specific property viewed online (typically agents listed on home-search websites)
Websites (not related to a specific property on a home-search site)
Agents the buyer used in a previous purchase or sale
What are Millennials Looking For in a Real Estate Agent?
As first-time buyers, Millennials need a little hand-holding from their real estate agents. Here’s what the Younger Millennials (those born between 1990 and 1998) found most difficult about home buying:
Finding the right home — 63%
Understanding the process of home buying — 39%
Paperwork — 24%
And here are the top five things buyers report wanting from their real estate agents (percentages vary between Younger and Older Millennials):
Help finding the right home — 48–54%
Negotiation on the terms of sale — 10–15%
Negotiating the price — 10–13%
Help with paperwork — 8–10%
Determining what comparable homes were selling for — 4–7%
Notice the strong correlation between what Millennials consider difficult and what they look for in a real estate agent. Interestingly, despite 98% using home-finder sites to find a home, around a quarter of Millennials found the home they eventually purchased from their real estate agent.
Tips for Marketing to Millennial Homebuyers
Here are seven tips for marketing to Millennial homebuyers.
Focus on your referral business. With such a high percentage of buyers relying on referrals, it pays to build your business around referrals.
Launch a Renter-to-Homeowner Program. With so many Millennial buyers currently renting, launching a Renter-to-Homeowner Program is a great way to meet buyers where they are.
Blog. Millennials are searching for information on the home buying process, and blogging notifies search engines of content on your site so search engines can include you in the search results.
Maintain a Social Media Presence. Social media isn’t currently a top source of leads for most agents. But having a social media presence builds credibility with Millennials.
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Around 85% of Millennials are using tablets or smartphones to search for information.
Consider skipping the print advertising. Less than 8% of Millennials used newspapers or magazines in their home search.
Show them how your product meets their needs. According to Century 21 Home in Chino Hills California, marketing to Millennial buyers is about showcasing the “diversity, affordability, and sense of community homeowners in Chino Hills enjoy compared to living in the city.” Century 21 Home proudly calls Chino Hills “The Newport Beach of the Inland Empire.” Locals recognize this as being an indicator of the area’s wealth, diversity, and growth.
Choose one or two of these tips to focus on this month. Then add another tip or two next month until your business is optimized for Millennial homebuyers.
Get Your Real Estate License and Get in the Game
Millennials are buying today. If you’ve been thinking about getting into real estate, now is the time to enroll in your real estate courses and launch your new career.