Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Bridget Gleason, the VP of sales at Yesware, for her tips on selling to the next generation of buyers.
Last year, Millennials accounted for 32 percent of the housing market in the US. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), that makes them the largest segment of buyers. And, despite their “soloist” reputations, Millennials are the most likely generation to go through an agent when buying a home, making them a key target for Realtors across the country.
But millennials pose a challenge for most Realtors. The average age of a Realtor is 56, making it difficult to cross the generational gap to connect with a new set of prospects.
So the question remains – how do you sell to Millennials? Here are three tips:
3. Be (Extra) Prepared – Millennials are always plugged-in—and this constant connection goes far beyond texting and social media. Millennial homebuyers know how to use the Internet to their advantage. Clients from this generation will likely have done a great deal of research on the real estate market and the listings available prior to meeting you, which creates a much larger barrier in regards to earning their trust. The best way to go about it? Gauge their knowledge level and look for opportunities to share new and important information as soon as it comes your way. You can make a lasting connection with this group of buyers by proving yourself as a valuable resource of information.
2. Understand Millennials Have a Different Perspective on Money – Millennials lived through a financial crisis during their formative years, and can be (understandably) concerned or even hesitant when it comes to making large purchases. In some ways, it has made them smarter with their money than the previous generation – Millennials are careful to save, use apps to better manage their money and jump at the opportunity for a discount. Millennials are also more likely to be realistic about what they can and cannot afford going into the home-buying process, so make sure to meet them where they are in terms of affordability. In particular with first-time home buyers, gain their trust by focusing on a price range the client feels comfortable with (rather than pushing for a higher tier) and be upfront about what their budget will (and won’t) get them in today’s real estate market. This is particularly important, because despite keeping a careful eye on their day-to-day expenses, many Millennials are struggling to meet the climbing cost-of-living and are burdened by a mountain of student debt.
1. Get to Know Your Client on a Deeper, More Emotional Level – According to Harvard Business Review, a positive emotional connection is the No. 1 predictor of what Millennials will buy. As a Realtor, that means establishing a connection both to yourself and to your properties. When showing off a new listing, be sure to humanize yourself by sharing your own first-time buyer experiences or a feature of the house that you feel makes it the perfect home for the buyers. To build that bond with the property, illustrate the life that could be had in the home by utilizing what you know about your client’s current lifestyle and, perhaps, future plans.
Bridget Gleason is VP of sales at Yesware, an all-in-one sales toolkit, where she manages the company’s sales efforts. With twenty years of sales and sales management experience in the high technology sector, Bridget is an expert on the inner workings on the sales cycle.