It’s Time to Start Focusing on Millennial Buyers
Every day brings a new story about how millennials are changing yet another consumer market with their buying habits. Now that they're reaching an age where more of them are settling down and starting families, it's not just the market for wine and avocados they're disrupting. Millennial buyers are making major waves in the housing and real estate market, and are a significant driver in the recent uptick in home ownership rates.
Millennials’ Emergent Buying Power
While it's true that millennials tend to get married and purchase homes later in life than previous generations, we are entering a transitional point where there are enough millennials buying homes to have a major noticeable effect on the housing market, even causing rental prices to drop in some areas. Millennials will soon be the primary home buying demographic, and smart real estate agents will be quick to embrace the changes they're bringing to the way real estate is bought and sold.
Wooing Millennial Buyers
One of the most obvious ways realtors and real estate agents can meet millennial buyers halfway is to make effective use of the internet and social media. Millennials have grown up with online reviews, streaming video, immediate accessibility, and quick response times. They research major purchases thoroughly and expect multimedia experiences—why settle for a few still photos of the rooms in a house when you could watch a video walkthrough instead?
Millennials aren't just changing expectations for the way homes are sold, they have different needs and priorities when it comes to the homes themselves. Millennials are deeply invested in the cultural and social amenities of the neighborhoods they live in, and they like to be close to their jobs. They're more likely to seek out integration with their home life, work, and community than they are to prefer a long commute to an isolated suburb. However, millennials are less likely than their elders to believe that their first home purchase will also be their last, so they may be less concerned about buying a home that's big enough to fit the family they eventually plan on having.
What Millennial Buyers Want to See (and Buy)
When it comes to starting life in a new home, Millennials like to hit the ground running. In expensive, high-demand housing markets, the cost of their mortgage may not allow for expensive renovations, leading them to prefer homes that are move-in ready, not fixer-uppers.
As for what's inside, millennials tend to love big kitchens and open floor plans for social gatherings. Dedicated work spaces are often a big plus for them, along with new fixtures and appliances. Energy efficiency and eco-friendly building materials are also important selling points for this socially and environmentally conscious generation.
As the millennial homeownership rate continues to rise, there will be many opportunities for real estate agents and home sellers to take millennial interests and preferences into account. Millennials are not shy about sharing their tastes, likes, and dealbreakers to their friends and online followers. Enterprising individuals on the seller side of the equation should have little difficulty identifying what makes a home attractive to millennial buyers, and then renovating and staging homes so that they really stand out and appeal to them.