Today we hosted our second lunch & learn event, with a panel of millennial home buyers! With almost 30 agents in attendance, we had fantastic discussions about how to best work with these millennial buyers.
Couldn’t make it to the event? Here’s what we learned.
Our panelists were Caitlin & Kile Yurchak and Revae Embs, all hip young millennials who bought homes in the last year.
Millennials are not starting their home search with an agent.
Our panelists talked about how working with a real estate agent was kind of an after thought. They began their home buying process way before they were seriously looking, on sites like Zillow and Casamatic. By the time they realized they were ready to buy, they already knew what they wanted, and had a pretty good idea of where they wanted to live. A real estate agent was just necessary to actually get the process started.
As an agent, you can build relationships with people far before they actually start looking for homes, and establish yourself as the agent they want to work with when the time finally comes. Keep your Facebook/Twitter profiles full of content that is relevant to the years leading up to someone buying their first home. Think marriage, starting a family, moving to a new city, getting a new job, etc.
Once the time comes to start seriously looking, these young buyers will think of you first.
They need you to be transparent and personable.
Buying a home is likely one of the first big financial decisions a millennial is making, so they are nervous and skeptical. They need their real estate agent to be their friend, and be on their side.
First, make them feel comfortable working with you. Get to know them, why they’re looking to buy, what they do for a living, what they do in their free time, and their plans for the future. Knowing all of this will help you have personal and human conversations with them. As Caitlin stated during the panel, “It would be nice to have a conversation that’s NOT about home buying!”
Second, be honest and transparent with these buyers. They are skeptical of spending this much money on something, and they need you to be upfront with them about costs and potential risks. Revae mentioned that her agent gave her a heads up about a few homes she wanted to see, saying “I don’t think you’re going to like this house.” And Revae LOVED that! She felt so much more comfortable knowing her agent knew her well enough to know what type of home she wanted.
Millennials want to personalize their home, but don’t want huge rehab projects.
Caitlin and Kile expressed wanting to make their home their own, but not completely rehab-ing the house. They’ve given themselves two “project rooms” that they can work on when they have the time. Revae didn’t want to do ANYTHING to her new home. What we found in this discussion was that millennials really want their home to feel personalized and cozy, so some small projects might be okay.
When walking millennial buyers through a home, point out how easy it would be to personalize the place, like showing them neutral, easy-to-paint or easy-to-decorate walls. If there are any rooms that are slightly outdated, be sure to point out that they’re still functional (a bathroom with pink and green tile can still work, even if it isn’t pretty!). You could even give them some tips on cheap and quick ways to spruce up an outdated room, like re-staining faded floors or replacing light fixtures with more modern touches.
Overall, we found that these younger buyers, who are buying for the first time, just want to be informed of what the process will be like. Give them a heads up before paperwork is due, remind them consistently about what’s coming next, and make sure they understand each part of the process.
Want more tips on millennial home buyers? Check out some of our recent blog posts!