You have likely seen the headlines heralding millennials as the largest segment of homebuyers right now, accounting for 43% of the market. And while Gen Z may only make up 2% of the real estate market, studies have shown that 72% of them are planning on, and highly value, homeownership. As a real estate professional, working this demographic requires a certain level of generational, cultural and socioeconomic understanding, as well a willingness to adapt to new ways of business. But you don’t need to reinvent the wheel; consider the following easy-to-implement strategies to better engage with the next generation of real estate clients.
Why your digital presence matters
You may have heard ad nauseam that a digital presence is critical to a standout real estate career, but why? So much of our day to day takes place online—and Millennials were among the first to adopt new technologies, where Gen Z has never known a world without abundant wifi and active social platforms. Millennials, acknowledged as the most educated generation, are savvy and well-researched. They, much like Gen Z, rely heavily on their own research when it comes to their home journey. Be sure your digital footprint is established, up to date and fully utilized. They will always do their due diligence, and that starts with a simple Google search.
Reviews carry weight
With millennial and Gen Z clients, reviews matter—and trust that they will fully vet potential pros long before reaching out. Leverage your current client base, and ensure your online presence speaks to your experience and expertise. With so much at their fingertips, this demographic knows how and when to put their deep dive skills to work. As marketing-savvy generations, millennial and Gen Z buyers and sellers are less likely to put too much stock in overt marketing and will go straight to the source—your former clients. With so much weight put on first-hand experiences with your business, it benefits you to solicit reviews. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but is well worth the investment in your business.
Elevate the overall experience
The same can be said for your social media platforms; creating educational content, like videos explaining the process or perks to working with you, go a long way to demonstrate your abilities and provide valuable resources. This demographic is also more willing to share their home search via social media, offering an opportunity for you to garner word-of-mouth marketing with one click.
Connection is critical
For millennial and Gen Z clients, their search is more than just a transaction, it’s an experience. They want to work with an agent that sees them as more than just a commission check, and are more likely to expect instant responses to communications. As an agent, forming meaningful relationships with clients isn’t anything new, but understanding these generations are accustomed to immediate answers will help you decide your best course of action. If your typical methods of communication rely on email, you may need to shift to text messaging or platforms like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp with these always-on clients.
Prepare for hurdles
Millennials, and Gen Z alike, are often saddled with high debt-to-income ratios and student loans or lack a sizable down payment. And with such high value placed on homeownership within these generations, they’re most likely to compromise in order to achieve their goals. Give your millennial and Gen Z clients an edge by partnering with a local mortgage lender. By teaming up with a trusted lender that understands the programs and grants available to your clients, you are providing them with the information and connection they need to be competitive from the start.