There are 77 million 18-36 year olds that make up the millennial generation, and they are reshaping the way real estate professionals should be marketing their business. The lifestyles of Generation Y’ers are flexible and they aren’t settling down as quickly generations before them, which is why rental properties have become a more attractive option than buying a home. In fact, there was an increase of almost 4 million single-family rentals between 2005 and 2012 (Forbes) and the single-family rental market now accounts for fifty-two percent of the entire residential market (CoreLogic).
Rentals are on the rise and this group of young adults has been the driving force behind it, so it’s important to market your business where it counts. The average millennial is active on 3.5 social media sites, and with 93 percent of them owning smartphones, they are spending a lot of time (3.2 hours a day to be exact) scrolling through their newsfeeds. This offers you the perfect opportunity to get your foot in the door with these soon-to-be buyers, by connecting with them through social media and helping them find a rental.
Here are 7 things you need to know if you want to connect with Gen Y’ers through social media.
1. Stay Active on the Networks that Count
Homes.com and ForRent.com recently conducted a survey to find the most popular social media sites among renters. Facebook was the most popular, with 80 percent of respondents saying it was their favorite. This was followed up by Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram who captured 44 percent, while Google+ was preferred by 31 percent. Keep this in mind when you are creating your social media strategy, as you’ll want to focus your attention on the sites they use the most.
2. Keep Your Content Fresh
Okay, so you’ve posted a video that got a lot of “likes” or “comments.” This doesn’t mean that you can go a few days without posting anything. Millennials spend a lot of time scrolling through their social accounts, so if they see that you haven’t posted something in a few days, they will likely lose interest in your page. To stay top of mind, post relevant content on a regular basis and interact with their pages as well.
3. Contests Will Keep Them Interested
Millennials (just like anyone else) love getting things for free! Since most of these young adults are fresh out of college and broke as broke can be, they’re looking for anything that can help give them a step up. If they see that they can get a free Starbucks gift card for doing something as simple as posting a picture, you can bet your bottom dollar that they will do it. Try hosting a “photo of the day” or “photo of the week” contest – they’ll remember this opportunity and will keep coming back to your page for more!
4. Show Your Support
Gen Y’ers are very socially conscious, so they like to see when companies support a good cause. Sharing content about adopting pets, going green or promoting a charity event will show them that you both share the same interests. If there’s a local event around the corner that they may be interested in joining, be sure to share information about it across all of your social channels or even join in yourself.
5. Hashtags Will Help Spread Your Message
One of the main reasons millennials use social media is to discover content and information that they’re interested in. If you’re sharing rental listings, do a little research to see what hashtags people are associating with rentals in your area. Once they realize that all of your rentals can be found with a certain hashtag, it’ll be that much easier for them to find one when it comes time to move. Terms like #thiscouldbeyours or #adreamhouse to rent would be good examples of this.
6. Tweet Regularly
Twitter is where a lot of millennials get their dose of daily news, which makes it a great tool to stay top of mind. Be sure that you are tweeting at least a few times a day and that you are sharing the information they are looking for. Find out what topics are trending and share them with your networks. When you’re viewed as a viable source of information, they’ll be more likely to check back with you later.
7. Keep the Conversation Going
Social media is a two-way street, so don’t just wait on them to interact with you. Spend some time going through their posts and liking or commenting on them, because it will show that you are interested in what they have to say. If you are regularly engaging with them, it will give them a reason to contact you when it comes time for a real estate transaction.
Looking for a way to get the most out of social media? Homes.com Social is a comprehensive social media suite that has been designed to manage every aspect of your online presence. This will help position you as the go-to resource for these millennial renters, so when the time comes to buy a home, they will already have you in mind![cf]skyword_tracking_tag[/cf]