Posted by: realtormarkpalace | October 10, 2010

How to Reach the Millennials

How to Reach the Millennials
The millennial generation has entered the real estate market in a big way. The average age of first-time home buyers — a dominant force in the current real estate market — is 30, Joel Singer, the executive vice president of the California Association of REALTORS®, told a crowd at the “Tech Tuesday Opening Session” during the California Association of REALTORS® Expo in Anaheim, Calif.

But these tech-savvy millennials, born between 1980-2000, have different expectations and views when it comes to home buying and differ in how they communicate compared to previous generations. For example, younger generations tend to favor texting for its instant response and social networking for building relationships, Singer said.

The millennials represent a challenge, however, because they are often conflicted when it comes to real estate, Singer said. Many millennials know someone who has suffered in the current housing downturn from delinquency or losing equity in their home. Therefore, some millennials may be hesitant to jump into home ownership. And while they find home ownership desirable, they may think they should rent, Singer said.

Therefore, real estate professionals’ job becomes one of educating and emphasizing the value of home ownership. For example, real estate professionals might stress the desirable low mortgage rates and the drop in housing prices that has made homeownership more affordable. (View marketing materials from the National Association of REALTORS® latest Public Awareness Campaign, What Matters Most, about the value of home ownership).

A panel of young real estate agents also offered some tips to reaching the younger generation:

Educate: Daniel Del Real with PMZ Real Estate in Modesto, Calif., uses his blog to share first-hand experiences of buying, such as examples of clients who have gone through the short-sale process and the obstacles they faced and how long the process took. The stories give buyers a snapshot of what to expect in various transactions.

Expand your Web presence: More than half of millennial clients found their real estate agent on the Internet, said Singer, citing buyer research. So how are you broadening your web presence? Del Real generated a bigger audience for his blog by taking advantage of free profile pages on Trulia that he uses to feature his blog posts. Del Real, who closed about 200 transactions in one year and generated a lot of his business from Internet leads, encouraged agents to take advantage of companies that already rank high on search engine results and set out to get on those sites so you can rank higher too.

One way Shannon Williams King, with SchoolHouse Realty in San Diego, has expanded her Web presence in her market is by having a Facebook page that features “365 Things to Do in San Diego, Calif.” The Facebook page has attracted nearly 35,000 followers.

Improve your mobility: Del Real said that having remote access to all of your business systems from anywhere is key to help meet the instant expectations of younger clients. He’s able to send contracts from anywhere on the spot, and he takes advantage of technology tools and smartphone apps to keep him as mobile as possible. For example, he uses LogMeIn.com, which allows him to log onto his computer remotely from another computer or even from his smartphone.

King says she can run nearly all of her business operations from her iPad and iPhone remotely. She takes advantage of cloud computing networks, such as Google Docs and Dropbox.net, to store, access and share her documents online. She also uses such smartphone apps as Zosh, which allows her to sign contracts on her iPad or iPhone, and conducts paperless transactions usingDocuSign to close a deal from anywhere.

–REALTOR® Magazine Online

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