What the hell is the point of Instagram stories? This was the question I asked my millennial coworker to explain during a late night in the office last week.
I left that conversation feeling like a dinosaur, and with a newfound respect for the speed this generation is changing the world.
Millennials have been delaying buying homes and having kids, but it seems like they’re finally starting to snap up real estate.
In fact, the latest NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study found that millennials are now 36% of all buyers…
In order to get a handle on what marketing to and working with millennials looks like, we asked 11 top producing agents for their feedback:
1. A Realtor Who is Available 24/7…
“Millennials want immediate gratification – be sure that you are always accessible and responsive 24/7. I text with clients at 11:00 p.m. and also at 6:00 a.m. – whenever works for them, make sure to let them know that you are available anytime they need. The days of, “I am leaving the office at 5:00 p.m. so I’ll get back to you tomorrow” are long gone, but millennial never even knew that type of business existed!
Since being on call 24/7 might not sound very appealing, here are a few ways to mitigate the burden and still impress our clients:
- Get an AI Chatbot to answer common questions on your website
- Hire an overseas Virtual Assistant to help with night time inquiries
- Make sure to write deep dive articles on the buying or selling process they can reference
- Adjust your working hours to start later and finish later
2. A Realtor Who Offers IRL Experiences & Education
Koki Adasi, team leader, Koki & Associates at Compass.
It may sound counterintuitive, but millennials love in-person classes, training, or other educational or entertainment events. In the marketing world, this is known as experiential marketing.
Think of it as a great way to not only attract, but nurture and keep in touch with past clients or fence sitters in your sphere.
It could be something as structured as a first time buyer’s class, or as informal as a happy hour or beer tasting at your office.
Here’s Compass team leader Koki Adasi on how he leverages experiential marketing to work with millennial clients:
”We also host bi-monthly happy hours in different neighborhoods throughout DC, VIP events like wine-tastings and brunches, and an annual party where our millennial clients, and those of other generations, connect on a personal level in a very casual atmosphere where selling a house is not the ultimate goal. We are a resource for our clients in networking and in home buying/selling. DC is a very tight knit community and it’s amazing the connections that our clients find when meeting each other. We have made our clients our friends, and they choose to hang out with us outside of work before and after we find them their dream home.”
3. A Realtor Who Comes Across as Authentic Online
Jordan Terrell, associate broker with Atlas Real Estate Group
“ Millennials don’t need you to tell them if you are “awesome or not” they can google that. Rather, they want to know whether or not they can trust you and whether you can give them the product they want and expect. Because they are skeptical, they are the most “marketed to” generation in history. So, the best way to really reach them is to be very loud digitally and very authentic relationally.
What that means is, they’ll expect you to be on (and active on) social media, but you should offer your presentation in a very real and authentic way. Meaning you don’t have to make it a production. There is a reason why some YouTube celebrities who film everything on their iPhones have millions of subscribers. Be authentic and let the world know what you care about and what kind of value you are capable of providing.”
4. A Realtor Who Has a Website With Everything They Need
April Wong, Director of Marketing at Chime Technologies
“Millennials are looking for accessible information. Information is now at their fingertips, so being able to research to their heart’s content is what they want. A robust mobile-friendly IDX where they can search through all the properties quickly in their target area will help. More importantly, they want someone who is knowledgeable and can get the answers they need quickly about area stats, etc.”
5. A Realtor They Can Socialize With
Cara Whitley, CMO Century 21
When the most recognized brand in real estate decided to rebrand, you can bet they conducted research to help point them in the right direction.
That study led to the creation of their (gorgeous) new logo and branding concept. It’s also a great window into what millennials really want from a real estate experience.
Century 21 was kind enough to share some of that data with us. Here’s a highlight:
- 82% of millennials shared that when they are looking for a real estate agent to help them buy a home, it would be important that they could socialize with their agent (aside from doing business with them)
- The two personality traits millennials ranked as the most important that their real estate agent have are:
- (42%) considered recommendations from friends or family members
Millennials ranked the following as important criteria they wanted to either know or ask their real estate agent before they hired an agent to sell their home.
6. A Realtor That Can Help Them Plan & Find Turn Key Homes
Michele Morrison, Silicon Valley Realtor
“Millennials have spent a significant portion of their house hunting and pre-house hunting life watching home remodeling shows. They love and expect properties that look like the “after” homes and will pay top dollar for them. Because their lives are very busy with establishing their careers and don’t currently revolve around a home (they are typically in apartments with leftover Ikea furniture from their college days), to them, painting is a huge undertaking. It’s rare to find a millennial that wants to deal with a remodel.
They also love to pre-plan. Most of my clients don’t have children yet, but are planning on having children at some point, so they want a place that works long term. And, unlike previous generations, they want to buy their “forever” or at least 10 year+ home. The generations before them (at least in the USA) understood they would be buying a first home, then moving “up”. Millennials see it as a 2-step at most process.”
Speaking of turn key homes, did you know that 33% of millennial home buyers purchase decisions were based chiefly on their dogs? Read more about this fascinating trend over on the BNTouch Blog here.
7. A Realtor Who Keeps up With the Latest VR Technology
Derrick Bozkurt, Colorado Realtor
“Virtual reality allows our clients to confidently tour properties in a meaningful way, before they get snatched up in this highly competitive market, and on their own time and schedule. The biggest benefit that our service provides is returning time back to their client, allowing them to focus on the properties that they are actually interested in. For millennials, and our remote and military clients, this technology is invaluable.”
8. A Realtor Who Provides Educational Content
Nathan Garret, Louisville Realtor
“It’s no surprise that (Millennial) Buyers are online looking for answers and information about buying a home. If you can provide solid articles that truly answer their common questions, you can dramatically increase your chances of being their new agent of choice.
Just this year we’ve had at least five first time homebuyers reach out to us because they were searching for things like first time homebuyer in Louisville KY.”
Here’s a quick example from Nathan’s website of a buyer’s guide designed to appeal to millenials. It’s a “gifographic” which is an infographic with interactive elements. Pretty cool!
9. A Realtor Who Has Great Video Reviews
Alen Kadimyan, President & CEO IEI Realty
Since millennials have been trying to figure out which reviews are real and which are fake their whole lives, they often don’t trust written reviews. After all, they know how easy they are to fake!
That’s why video reviews and testimonials are worth their weight in gold for marketing to millennials. Alen Kadimyan agrees;
“We Post Video Testimonials and Reviews, since millennials seek social validation, we try to capture video testimonials and reviews of our clients’ experiences to solidify our culture in social media.”
10. A Text Savvy Realtor Who Knows When to Text & When to Call
Olga St. Pierre, New Jersey Realtor
Every Realtor who has worked with millennials know their preference for texting. That said, don’t be afraid to get them on the phone when you have important matters to discuss.
11. A Realtor Who Uses Social Media Platforms Strategically
Jane Hadley, North Dakota Realtor
“I am relying more on social media this year than I ever have before. Millennials don’t read newspapers, they are online or on their phones. Incorporating Instagram and Facebook into my marketing strategy has been our focus lately. My team is creating content that attracts millenials, and then also using our social media to highlight my listings. Ironically, we’ve noticed that the average age of our followers on Instagram is 30 years old, so this is definitely where they are at.”
Over to You
Have a great tip for marketing to or working with millennials? Let us know in the comments.