Millennials, defined as people born between 1981 and 1997, grew up with access to cable television, computers, cell phones, and later on, iPods and laptops on which they could surf the web 24/7. By the time this generation reached adulthood, they had seen almost every ad gimmick there is, from spam email to As-Seen-On-TV commercials. This is probably why, according to the NAR 2014 Home Buyer and Seller Generational trends, younger homebuyers value their real estate agent’s ability to communicate honestly more than the older generations before them.
How can you make these qualities shine through when communicating with millennial clients? Here are five great tips:
1. Get on social media – and stay on!
Millennials get many recommendations and ideas from social media, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or the image-based Instagram and Pinterest. While there has been some buzz that young people are leaving Facebook, the facts do not support it. Recent studies point out that nine out of 10 millennials still use Facebook. This generation values the connectivity of these sites, and will reach out via social networks with questions and concerns about local companies and services. Create a personal profile to represent yourself as an agent. Once your profile is built, you must be active. This could simply be signing on at the end of the day to check messages and share a link to an interesting article or listing.
If you want to create a presence for your real estate office online, it’s best to create a Facebook business page, which can provide office hours and allows clients to review you. Facebook users have been shown to engage more often with image and video posts, so it is critical to feature multimedia content on your page.
2. Make sure your site and locations are mobile friendly
The National Association of Realtors® reports that nearly half of all millennial and Gen X buyers used a mobile device to research homes during their home buying process. Just last month, Google updated its search algorithm to prioritize mobile-ready websites. If you want clients to find you, you need to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Visit your site on a smartphone or tablet to look for discrepancies between the traditional desktop site and the mobile display.
In addition, buyers of all ages use their mobile devices for directions. Keep the addresses of your listings up to date and test them on Google Maps to make sure the directions are correct.
3. Make sure millennials have all the facts
Student loan debt and the recession hit this age group hard, but this generation is optimistic about owning a home. NAR found that about half of millennial buyers had to make sacrifices to save for their down payment, but 87 percent of the young homebuyers surveyed felt like their home was a good investment. To ease this financial strain, direct the online and in-person conversation to what makes a home a good investment. Use social media posts to inform your millennial clients about the mortgage process and show you have their best financial interests at heart.
4. Be readily available
Millennials are used to being able to contact anyone at any time. With text messages, emails, Facebook chat and phone calls, they are termed the “always on” generation. If you’re a real estate agent, you must try to meet these expectations. Encourage clients to text, call or email you with any questions. Larger agencies can set up live chat systems where an agent is on call to answer any questions that may arise.
5. Tell millennials the truth!
Above all, millennials want accurate and helpful information from a person they trust. According to the NAR 2014 Homebuyer and Seller Generational Trends, younger buyers want a real estate agent who can guide them through the process. Sharing stories of past clients, advising buyers about the challenges and benefits of each property and making sure they have all the information on the financing process will lead you to be a real estate agent millennials trust and recommend to their friends.