Millennials can be particular and hesitant to buy rather than rent, but they also represent the largest portion of home-buyers this year.
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Right now may seem to be one of the worst possible times for millennials to invest in their first-ever homes. And yet, the real estate market is booming for millennials. According to Realtor.com’s 2020 Housing Market Predictions, millennials will comprise the largest percentage of home buyers this year. This shouldn’t seem too surprising, as the millennial age group is currently the largest generation within the American population — except for the fact that millennials are infamous for preferring renting over buying.
Securing first-time homebuyers in the millennial generation should be at the top of a real estate agent’s priority list according to this recent data. Here are three tips to help millennial first-time home buyers complete a successful purchase that they feel good about.
1. Make everything a buyer needs to make a decision accessible online.
Covid-19 is only accelerating some of the existing macro trends in real estate, such as the importance of the ability to pursue the housing market online. In 2018, statistics found that, according to the National Association of Realtors, 51 percent of buyers now find their homes online. This is now more important than ever in COVID-19 times, when buyers are hesitant about meeting with a real estate agent to tour a home in-person, and open houses aren’t as frequent.
This includes taking advantage of 3D virtual tour functionalities, which allow millennials to tour from the comfort of their homes or share the experience with out-of-town friends and family members. This is important to note because over 25 percent of millennials still receive some type of financial assistance in home-buying from their family.
2. Give hand-holding assistance to anxious first-time buyers.
Many of these first-time buyers don’t fully understand the home buying process, which can spur some anxiety or feelings of instability. The more that you and your firm can provide support and knowledge to walk them through the process, the more likely they are to complete their purchase. Assess the potential barriers to entry that first-time buyers might face when beginning this process, and see how you can aid them in learning what they need to know to make everything go more smoothly.
3. Seek to understand the buyer’s values.
One of the core characteristics of the millennial generation is their emphasis on values. Values are what makes them more likely to purchase from certain brands or to work for certain companies. They stand for something, and want their purchasing dollar to reflect the same. These values will be different for millennials, with one commonly shared value of experiences. So, millennials tend to crave walkability (how far to their new favorite neighborhood coffee shop?) and proximity to things to do and experience.
These values can stir emotions, so understanding what matters most to a buyer beyond what they want from the actual house can help the sales process evolve more easily. For example, a beautiful new home in the suburbs may have the white granite countertops and the entertainment space on the back patio, but that may not stir excitement and a willingness to buy in a millennial buyer in the same way a home close to a weekend farmer’s market or a biking trail might. Get to know each buyer and find ways to include their values in the properties you show them.
Of course, these values are in the midst of changing with the times. But, that doesn’t mean all millennials will do what you expect them to. Their individuality is what makes them, well, millennials. Spend time with each new buyer to look for indicators of these preferences.