The Next Generation of Homebuyers

The Future of Homeownership

Who do you think of when you think of homeownership? Is it an established family settling into their “forever home”? Maybe you think of an older couple who have lived in the same place for 20 years and plan on living there for 20 more. Whatever your thoughts are, it’s time to add new demographic to that idea of homeownership—Millennials.

Millennials, the generation known for its contradictions. They are revolutionizing their chosen industries and are proving to be savvy businessmen and women, but they don’t bat an eye at spending $4 for a cup of coffee. Yes, these Millennials are starting to enter the housing market and with a huge amount of buying power, they’re a demographic that can’t be overlooked any longer.

Some Statistics on Millennial Homebuyers:
• Millennials make up 66% of first-time homebuyers
• Millennials are the largest group of homebuyers, making up 34% of homebuyers overall
• 99% of Millennials did research online while looking for a home
• 64% of Millennials homebuyers did a walkthrough of a house because of pictures they saw online
• On average, Millennials kept their first home for 6 years compared to the 10 year average for all homeowners

This data shows without a doubt Millennials are becoming, and in many ways already are, a dominant force in the housing market.

So now the real question. How do you, as a real estate professional engage with this new and sometimes confusing generation of homebuyers?

Three Tips for Working with Millennial Homebuyers

1. Put Your Listings Online

Millennials grew up with the internet. It’s second nature for them to do their research online before making any sort of purchase, so you can be sure they’ll do their homework when looking for the perfect home. No pictures? Most millennial homebuyers won’t even take the time to read your listing. Appeal to them by having high-quality photos of your homes to go with your online description. You may find something as simple as a few good pictures could be the difference between a home sitting on the market or being sold.

2. Know Your Clients

As a whole, Millennials want everything to be just right. They are also extremely relational and care about people and businesses that are aligned with their own values. As a realty professional, take the time to get to know your client and develop a relationship with them. Many Millennials are first-time homebuyers are looking for someone they can trust. Building that relationship will open the door to know exactly what they are looking for so you can eliminate wasted time and become their trusted authority for all things realty.

3. Get Excited

If this all sounds daunting, don’t worry! Millennials may want something that is just right for them and they may come to you with their own ideas or even which houses they want to view, but 92% of Millennials bought their home through a realtor. As mentioned in Tip 2, many Millennials are looking for an expert on this issue they can trust. The good news is–that’s you! If you do your homework, establish a relationship, and learn what your clients are looking for, you can develop relationships, build trust, and sell some homes.

All statistics referenced in this post were taken from this excellent Inc.com article on how Millennials are changing the housing market. For further reading, check out this CNN Money article on some of the challenges Millennials homebuyers are facing. Both articles were used in research for this blog post.


By Matt Reihing