You can see millennials as your ideal clients, can’t you? You may be evaluating the value of how millennials reshape home ownership. Especially, when you juggle where marketing budget is spent and the number of long hours wading through offers and counteroffers to sell homes.
Why would you chase millennials who most likely have unrealistic wish lists, let alone, have poor economic stability to buy a home.
Whether you’ve considered this or not, the one thing you can do is admire millennials. This generation born between 1981 and 1997 has a way of accepting the world as it is and at the same time rejecting it for a better option.
They are also sandwiched between higher parental expectations and the fear of missing out (FOMO).
This is where you’re likely to worry for them. FOMO is putting undue pressure on millennials just to achieve material wealth or to make it seem as if they have this wealth.
They are teased with images of luxurious mansions and condos as they browse various social media platforms. Millennials have adopted a mindset of ‘if they can have a home like that, I can too’.
There are 3 reasons why they see real estate as their investment to this wealth.
- They want wealth sooner than their parents
- They have a greater urgency
- Their DNA is digital
Let’s look at each of these.
They Desire Wealth Sooner
Some millennials may be feeling their dreams of home ownership is out of reach because of (1) the high housing prices in major urban cities and (2) the implementation of the mortgage stress test.
This is made worse by:
- Rising student loans
- Slow job markets
- The volatility in the housing market, and
- Unstable global economic factors
The ability to save for a home was much more feasible for their parents than for them, today.
Despite all of this, their out-of-the box thinking is spurring them to reach their wealth goals. A ‘Jetsons’ style home isn’t that far off in the way millennials reshape home ownership.
Living Future in Real-Time
Global man-made disasters are impacting where and how millennials will buy homes in the future. Just look at the destructive examples below:
- The dam collapse in Brazil unleashed 12 million cubic meters of sludge which overflowed and destroyed homes and lives in the town of Brumadinho, Brazil.
- The Paradise California fires which were ignited by campfires decimated an entire city, laying waste to 18,804 homes and costing the U.S. $16.5B. This avoidable catastrophe is considered the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history, and is on the list of the world’s deadliest wildfires, ranking sixth on the list in the U.S.
- Another example is the 2018 wildfires in British Columbia, the second worst in history, destroyed 50 homes, displacing 5000 or more people. The smoke from these wildfires spread across Canada and, reportedly, as far as Ireland. Or, how about the sudden sinkhole in Nova Scotia in which scientists are unable to explain its cause.
Millennials are witnessing these unpredictable events from video reports at a faster rate than you did, say, ten or fifteen years ago.
Homes swept away in an instant because the brute force of nature is out of our control.
With such a glum perspective of the current world, you may wonder how can millennials feel optimistic about home buying when their home could end up in a sinkhole?
Frankly, this generation have nothing to lose.
Tap Into Millennial Digital Wallet
Despite the global environment and economic instability, millennials remain optimistic about buying a home. There are three things they have going for them:
(i) They see opportunity where we are unable to.
We have channeled our lazy belief that the resources of the earth are unlimited. Climate change is symptomatic of how we are using up earth’s resources faster than the earth can replenish.
As a result, they are being innovative, and less afraid to experiment. They will be the innovators in finding better sustainable materials, beyond solar panels, for homes to enable an eco-friendly world. It’s through this innovation, millennials reshape home ownership.
(ii) Social media ingrained into their DNA
Millennials are the first generation to communicate with social media rather than face-to-face communication.
Digital technology is second nature for them.
This means the way to reach them is through visual cues. When selling or buying homes, a curated vision of a warm, staged ready to move in home will capture their attention.
(iii) They have the untapped buying power
There are more of them – 83.1 million.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are now 83.1 million millennials in the U.S., making up a quarter of the population and surpassing the Baby Boomer generation by 7.7 million.
As you absorb this fact, also wrap your head around this statistic by Brookings:
“More than 1 billion millennials currently live in Asia alone; and, more broadly, emerging and developing economies are home to 86 percent of the world’s millennials.”
According to Accenture research, the baby boomers who have the spending power today will be surpassed by millennials. The projected spending power of millennials will increase to approximately $1.4 trillion annually by 2020. That’s a lot of potential open houses.
Investing Time Online is Wise
With these three factors in mind, real estate agents need millennials.
With such buying clout in years to come, real estate agents will need to list well-lit, organized, staged homes to get millennials to click once to begin that elusive online conversation. 57% of millennials feel that ads (sproutsocial.com) are becoming more relevant.
Once you have them at ‘click’, continue to chat with trusting and transparent engagement.
If you fail to connect with them, the speed to block you is hardly a blink of an eye.
Our perspective of millennials will require us to take a step back. Being on social media can seem like an abyss. But think about it, there’s little reason for a millennial to jump into an Uber, a train, or bus when they can simply search online for a home.
You must go to where their community thrives. Can you risk losing a return on commission?
Millennials are More Than the Mobile
The current market shifts are propelling them to think differently about what home buying looks like and everything in general that comes with being a homeowner.
Drop your preconceived notions as this generation is paying attention. This is your opportunity to shape their home ownership wish list into a long-term partnership.
Well, got to run, just a got a text to pick up my millennial from a bus stop…ah, don’t you just love them.