Millennial Myth Versus Fact (Episode I): Ignoring the Myths and Learning the Truth About Millennials Will Be Major Edge in Competitive Market.
You’re probably as tired of hearing about the coming purchase market (or low inventory, rising rates and inflation, for that matter) as we are. We’ve been hearing and reading for six months (or more) that we’re entering a more competitive market, and have to find ways to compete. Ad nauseum. And clearly one way to do so is to streamline operations, improve efficiencies grow your margins.
But that won’t always make you more competitive on the sales and marketing side. Just more profitable with what you have.
Let’s take what we do know about this market, and build our marketing on that. For starters, we know is that the Millennial generation is still powering the purchase volume. And why not? The Baby Boomers are beginning to “gray” a bit. They’re downsizing in many cases. Gen X? Not nearly as large a market as either.
So yes, this will be a piece about marketing to Millennials. In fact, we’re going to do this again from time to time. But let’s stick to fact, rather than myth. If you want to attract the Millennial market, assuming they’re all lazy or oversensitive will be a great way to find yourself selling your business low…or worse.
We’ll now set aside all of the usual negative assumptions about the most powerful homebuying generation, and think about reality. And let’s put the disclaimer out there that, like every generation before them, the Millennials are not monolithic. We’re discussing what commonalities have been observed (via surveys, focus groups, etc.)
Myth: Millennials only work from screens. They make purchase as they communicate: through a phone or tablet. As long as you’re high tech, you’ll win their business.
Fact: Millennials actually want a human or humans—knowledgeable, well-trained humans with good communication skills—to help them make informed decisions when it comes to homebuying. Tech helps, but it’s the substance that makes the sale.
A great article in Forbes Magazine not long ago acknowledges a NAR survey that advised 81% of Millennials buying homes in 2019 found their homes via mobile app. Seems to support what we’re calling a myth, right? Not necessarily. Millennials don’t always care how they communicate with a human, as long as that human is responsive and can help them sift through their choices. In today’s world, homebuyers (and not just Millennials) aren’t in a rush to buy a home that’s not a great fit, then customize it themselves. They’re seeking homes that fit their lifestyles and needs, and not settling for less. Some of the most successful apps are taking that initial point of contact, asking a few detailed questions, then pairing the potential homebuyer with a real estate professional best suited to meet their needs. As the article’s author puts it, “Treating the real estate agent relationship like a successful Bumble connection will likely result in a more satisfying experience for the Millennial.”
So yes, Millennials may have a greater affinity for the speed and ease of technology than previous generations. But that doesn’t mean they’re seeking the first fully automated mortgage. Humans—well-prepared and trained humans—remain just as important to the process.
Apply this to your marketing and sales efforts as you will, but the title agent or REALTOR who best understands his or her market already has a major edge. We’ll be back from time to time to separate what we believe to be Millennial myth from fact. If you’ve got an observation or idea as well, contact us now.