What Do Millennials Want in a Home

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Millennials are a driving force in the current real estate market, accounting for the largest share of homebuyers at 35%.

What Millennial Homebuyers Want in a Home

Because technology plays a crucial part in their purchasing process, marketing to and working with millennial homebuyers requires a different approach than the one used with older buyers.

Given their limited budgets, flexible work schedules and tech-heavy lifestyles, millennial buyers are looking for homes that offer security, independence and value.

If you’re a real estate professional who wants to cater to this dominant market force, knowing how to best appeal to the millennial generation can drive a significant portion of your business. Here are some tips for winning over millennial buyers as well their must-haves when shopping for a home.

Millennial Homebuyers

How Real Estate Agents Can Appeal to Millennial Homebuyers

Maintain an outstanding online presence

Millennials grew up with desktop computers, high-tech gadgets and smart devices. The Internet is their go-to resource for researching listings. As a real estate agent, it’s important to know that these digital natives are more likely to respond to online marketing and communication efforts than to flyers and newspaper ads.

Take advantage of an online virtual office, which allows you to interact with prospective millennial homebuyers via social media, email, text alerts or video chat. For example, handing a millennial client a packet of paper listings may not be as impactful as sending him or her an email with a PDF attachment. Make sure your website is top-notch and regularly updated with current educational and interactive content.

Know that price matters

This generation is budget conscious, partly due to the student loan debt of the average millennial. As a real estate agent, it’s important to respect their budget and financial sacrifices if you want to earn the trust of these clients.

Show them affordable options within their price range and do your best to negotiate closing costs. You could also discuss the option of buying a foreclosure, offer listings of smaller homes, or explain which home renovations are the most manageable and affordable.

Provide high-quality photos

It pays to invest in high-quality pictures of your listings. Prospective millennial homebuyers rely heavily on Internet searches and are more likely to base their opinions on online images rather than a drive-by of the property and neighborhood. Impress this tech-savvy generation by staging the home and having a professional photographer take the listing pictures.

Or, use a drone for impressive, sweeping views. You can even create a virtual reality home walk-through to give the viewer an idea of interior and exterior dimensions and features. Marketing your properties in a visually compelling manner is key to attracting young homebuyers.

Be transparent

Millennial buyers crave transparency, mostly because they can readily research and find information online. If they feel like an agent isn’t being direct and honest, they’ll have a hard time building trust. Consider opting for marketing materials that are genuine and authentic instead of pushy sales pitches.

Be prepared to give in-depth answers to questions about home values, renovations and potential upgrades. Highlight your competitive advantage, real life experiences and education to stand out from the competition.

Help them every step of the way

Millennials purchasing a first home want an agent who can help them understand the buying process and negotiate price and terms of sale. As a real estate professional, you have the inside scoop on how the housing industry works. Sharing this vital information with millennial clients can help them make informed decisions and also help you gain their trust and confidence. Making an effort to educate young buyers can lead to future referrals and repeat business.

What Millennials Look for in a Home

Updated kitchen and bathroom

Most millennials’ savings go toward a down payment and furniture, leaving little left over for updates. You can appeal to these homebuyers by showing them listings with brand-new fixtures in the kitchens and bathrooms, such as stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops, hardwood floors and light-colored walls.

Smart technology

Younger buyers are drawn to home tech such as smart thermostats, televisions, doorbells and lighting. These smart systems are especially favored by millennials because they can be controlled from an app and don’t require a monthly subscription.

Be prepared to talk to potential buyers about smart home features, wireless service providers and carrier signal strength. Good cell reception and an array of Internet provider options can make or break your sale.

Open concept spaces

Today’s youthful buyers desire open floor plans, even if that means having fewer rooms in the home. Years ago, formal dining rooms were popular, but they don’t have much appeal for young people today. Open concept layouts that combine family rooms with kitchen and dining areas make it easier for this generation to entertain guests during family gatherings and parties.

Low maintenance

Millennial clients are not interested in fixer-uppers the way past generations have been. They seek turnkey homes to avoid major repairs and renovations. Low-upkeep features, such as wood floors and granite countertops, are seen as both attractive and relatively hassle-free.

A home office space

Working from home has become a popular trend among the millennial generation. Prospective homebuyers seek a dedicated space where they can work and take conference calls during the day. As a real estate professional, try showcasing a home’s live-work versatility by showing young buyers properties with office spaces.

Ideal location

The ideal neighborhood for millennial homebuyers offers a mixture of both suburban and city living. They crave a home that’s close to work, but in an area with pedestrian access to shopping and entertainment, good public schools, well-kept parks, green spaces and energetic downtown areas.

Final Millennial Homebuyer Advice

Appealing to youthful buyers is essential to achieving success in today’s real estate business. Fortunately, many millennial buyers are paying off their student loans at an accelerated rate now so their options for purchasing a home are increasing.

Utilizing these tips in your marketing efforts can reward you with a higher monthly income and a more loyal client base. For additional ways you can make your listings more appealing to the millennial generation, see the accompanying infographic.

Additional Millennial Buyer Tips

Millennial buyer tips via...

Bill Gassett

Teresa Cowart

Xavier De Buck

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