The Millennial generation is no longer comprised of college students. The generation that was born between 1981 and 1996 is now in their 20s to their late 30s, and this demographic is either already part of the homebuying market or on the cusp of entering it.
Millennials are expected to soon outnumber Baby Boomers, and many people in this group are very motivated buyers. They’re also discerning and often have priorities that are different from their predecessors.
From having the right real estate technology to connect with Millennial buyers, to their likes and dislikes in a home, what should agents know in 2020?
Millennials May Take a More Active Role
The way Millennials work with their real estate agent has changed. Millennials are more likely to be active participants in the entire home-buying or selling process, and while they do still prefer working with an agent, many younger buyers take it upon themselves to learn about the market.
Millennials are very tech-savvy, and they want things done quickly as a result of their connection with technology, so as an agent you are likely to be expected to ensure things move along quickly and seamlessly while also keeping your client in the loop throughout the process.
This age group may also be pickier as far as choosing an agent. There was research conducted by Zillow Group which revealed that Baby Boomers who wanted to buy a home interviewed an average of 1.6 agents before selecting one to work with while Millennials interviewed an average of 2.7 agents.
There is often a lot of competition when Millennials want a home because it’s usually in a high-demand urban area, or there is a limited stock of starter homes, so agents have to really make sure their negotiation skills are up to scratch.
As part of their goal to be active in the real estate process as well as their inherent connection to technology, many Millennial buyers and sellers put a lot of value on online tools.
For example, 88% of Millennials say they’re likely to use online resources compared to 70% of Boomers, based on the same Zillow research cited above.
If you’re an agent thinking about appealing more to Millenials, consider that according to the Homebuyer & Seller Generational Trends in 2019 report from The National Association of Realtors, 81% of older Millennials found their home through a mobile app.
In the 1990s and early 2000s, buyers focused on space, and “the bigger the better” was the general rule. Having an extra bedroom was pretty much non-negotiable, but that’s not the case for many modern buyers.
Millennial buyers seem to prioritize lifestyle features, and they’re willing to give up a bedroom to get other things they want. Outdoor space seems to be a big one and this can include a space for outdoor entertainment, gardening or space for a pet to run around in.
Living in a walkable community is also a perk in the eyes of many Millennials, as is proximity to public transportation.
The Millennial generation tends to be very socially conscious, and they often look for homes that have green or sustainability features built in, or perhaps communities where sustainability is front and center.
A lot of homebuilders are catching on to this and are building with energy efficiency and sustainability in mind.
Millennials don’t like the idea of a fixer-upper or having a lot of maintenance tasks to do. They often like to spend their free time traveling or doing other things they enjoy, so new homes are preferable for a lot of these buyers.
That doesn’t mean Millennials won’t buy older houses, but full-scale renovations may not appeal so much to this generation.
A few other things for real estate agents to know is first that price matters. Millennials still have a recession mindset, and many also struggle with things like student loan debt, and they often borrow from family members for their down payment. As an agent, you should work on showing Millennials what they’re getting for their money and the true value of it because ultimately they want to feel like they’re spending wisely.
Finally, Millennials love visuals. They turn to platforms like Pinterest and Instagram on a daily basis, so you need to make sure that your marketing is acutely focused on beautiful imagery. Homes should be staged, and photos need to be of the highest quality as this generation of young people are used to seeing amazing photos online all the time.
You may be interested in: “What is a Millennial?”