Real Estate Trends

How to Cater to the Millennial Homebuyer

May 28, 2019 - Posted by Debbie Bartlett - EVP, Title & Closing Operations

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The Millennial Homebuyer is projected to dominate the housing market in the not too distant future. Sharing audience traits and characteristics with many Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, Millennial Homebuyers are driving demands for new technology and an expedited closing process.

Who is the millennial home buyer?

The “millennial home buyer” (or millennials) don’t know what it’s like to live without a computer. Many do not own a home computer, but instead, have a smartphone or tablet they carry with them everywhere. Their world is not Monday through Friday from 9-5, but rather 24-7, and the expectation is for your service to be consistent and readily accessible. They do not need a paper phone book or newspaper, as their research is available instantly, online, anytime. If you are watching a movie and want to know how old Clint Eastwood is (born May 31, 1930) – they will provide the answer within seconds by easily accessing the information on their smartphone - which is in their hand.

What’s Important to Millennials?

They prefer to watch short and sweet videos as opposed to reading detailed instructions. They pay attention to ratings which are meaningful to them in making choices such as where to eat, what to order, where to workout, which gym to exercise at, which hotel to stay in, and whom to do business with. A vast majority of their socializing is conducted online. They don’t like to answer the phone, they prefer texting - and will most likely text you after receiving your phone call to see what you wanted.

How the Millennial Home Buyer Communicates

Given those traits and characteristics, give some thought to what paradigm shift needs to happen in your industry to cater to this new home buyer. They most likely will find out what they can about you online before they even contact you. Here are some questions to consider when making sure your online presence appeals to millennials:

  • What will they see when they Google you – what does your website have to offer?
  • What part of the services that you provide can be performed entirely online? Can they tour the home they are interested in buying online, apply for their mortgage – close their deal?
  • Do you have short and sweet videos that offer answers to their most commonly asked questions?
  • Do you have good ratings or testimonials to share?
  • Do you have the ability to text notifications throughout the life of the transaction, keeping them apprised as to what is going on?

Gone is the day when someone is expected to take time off of work, travel for miles, find a parking place, and sign ink on to paper to consummate a deal. Instead, “can I do it on my phone?” is the question most commonly asked. They seek and demand convenience – in the comfort of their own home – during their own time – not yours.

In Summary

Updated consumer demands are transforming the way we do business, causing us to move toward providing an entirely digital home buying experience from start to finish. Realtors, Lenders, and Title Companies are working together to address the busy and mobile nature of our customers through an enhanced and innovative approach to buying a new home or obtaining a mortgage. Some industries and partners are taking longer than others to overcome their hurdles and regulations. However, e-closing is here and now, and we need to continue to strive to meld our digital network. The result will be a new ecosystem for the real estate agent, mortgage lender, and title agent that puts the consumer front and center, and we will collectively achieve that soon. In the meantime, if you are not seeing primary components of your real estate transaction being offered electronically, chances are you’re not dealing with the right professionals.

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