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There is a new generation of homebuyers coming to the market, bringing with them new expectations for buying a home. Millennials, commonly called “Generation Y”, are creating new opportunities for real estate professionals to grow their business by obtaining these lifelong clients. This generation of first-time homebuyers, an estimated 79 million strong, are already looking into purchasing a home.

In fact, 65% of the “twenty-something’s” renters say that their interest in purchasing a home has significantly increased in the past year. With this younger set of techie home buyers wandering the housing market, it’s important that real estate professionals re-evaluate their marketing strategies to connect with these clients.  So here goes our top four considerations on connecting with this group.

1) Who are they?

The demographic following Generation X, millennials are between the ages of 25 and 34 that are described as being optimistic,  handy, technologically savvy (almost dependent), and habitual multi-taskers. Generation Y’s access to new resources and their unique characteristics have shaped them into homebuyers unlike any past generation.

Millennials’ purchasing decisions are heavily influenced by word-of-mouth recommendations, which make them great brand advocates. If their friends have recommended a product or service, odds are they will make the same decision. In fact, 95% of millennials say that friends are the most credible source of product information and only 6% consider online advertising as credible. Furthermore, ninety-eight percent of millennials stated that they are more likely to engage with a friend’s post over a brand’s post. Take advantage of their online spending habits by interacting with them on social media – we’ll get to that in a second.

2) They evaluate risk factors when investing.  

Generation Y is now the second largest group of homebuyers, making up 28% of the entire housing market. Lucky for this crew, the combination of low interest rates and home values has made it much easier to purchase a home. Another reason is that their parents are nearing retirement and are willing to and even more importantly, have the ability to help finance their first home.  Millennials also believe that there is less risk involved in purchasing a home than investing in the ebbs and flows of the stock market.

3) They are handy and techie and want houses to match.

You must know what millennials are looking for in a home before you can successfully plan how to connect with them. Since they aren’t just an ordinary client, there are particular features in a home that are more important than what you may be used to.

Generation Y buyers love open floor plans because it allows them to entertain their friends and family. Other important features are ample storage, high ceilings, and of course, the most up-to-date technology available. Fifty-six percent feel that technological capabilities are more important than curb appeal. If they are willing to pay more for a house that needs fixing up, don’t be surprised because 72% believe they are handier than their parents and want to apply this to their own home. So, if you have a listing that “needs some TLC” or one that allows you to adjust the air, heat and lights from a smartphone, then push that filtered photo collage and video on YouTube and Instagram stat (more on that next)!  And don’t forget the #hashtags!

4) Get social. Get visual. Get mobile.

Online activity has become second nature to most of this generation, which is no surprise considering that they were born during the tech boom. Growing popularity and the ease of mobile accessibility has made sharing information on-the-go as simple as a status update.  So make sure you are giving them the information they are looking for. Connecting through social media has become the gateway to stirring up a buzz about your business. Don’t forget that 98% of Generation Y is more likely to engage with a friend’s post than a brands, so don’t be self promoting. Be personable and make sure you approach them as a “real” person and ditch the canned scripts.

Now that there are so many social channels available, it may be confusing to which ones are most effective. While your first instinct might be to jump all over Facebook and Twitter, think again because these youngsters are all about visuals!  It’s said that the information retained in one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words and as everyone knows, a picture is worth a thousand words. This is why YouTube, Instagram and other video and photo sharing sites are their “go to” source for social engagement. Videos and photos with strong visuals that highlight the amenities (i.e. fixer-uppers, hi-tech entertainment rooms, outdoor spaces, eco-friendly fixtures) that are most valuable to them will carry a lot of weight.

And speaking of visual marketing and reaching these millennial homebuyers, just launched our first-ever national TV campaign aimed right at this demographic! Lucky for you, with this exposure to over 260 million consumers (mostly Gen Y’s of course) will likely be viewing your brand and listings en mass!  The TV spot will air over 1,200 times during real estate programs on HGTV, TLC and DIY Networks through November.  Watch the TV spot here and find out why is your place to grow.