Ever heard of the “sell me this pen” recruitment process? For those of you whom recently watched Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall street, you probably have. For others? There is a general belief that a good salesman could convince you to buy just about anything. Even a pen.
So why not ask them to sell something of greater importance in the first place? Something like a house. After all, isn’t that what you Real Estate professionals do on a daily basis? Up to here, nothing too challenging for you.
But what if I, millennial, came to your agency and asked you to “sell me this house”? Would you know how to convince me to buy that listing of yours? According to general beliefs, most of you would feel challenged by my request.
I’m Camille, one of the 2.5 billion millennials out there and here’s a millennial’s guide to selling us that house.
Initially used as an interview question, the purpose behind this is to see if you possess the four main skills of a salesman: gathering information, responding to information, delivering information and asking for something.
Though a millennial wouldn’t ask this for the same reason, following these points will help you cover the main expectations of the generation. In other words?
1- Be attentive: Gather information and find out what they want;
2- Be helpful: Respond to the information gathered;
3- Sell something bigger: Go beyond what is required and foresee what they want;
4- Close the deal: remember Glengarry Glenn Ross's "Always Be Closing"? That's the idea.
Want to know how to sell a millennial a house? Let’s walk through exactly what you can do to answer these expectations. This series of articles will make sure you smoothly get from Step 1 to 4 in no time.
Let’s get started-
First step? Be attentive. And I have great news for you: the simple fact you were interested in reading up on Millennials shows you have practically done half the work.
To get you through the other half, here are 11 must-know facts about millennials and real estate.
There is often a misconception that millennials have greater interest in renting than in buying real estate. With the oldest millennials whom just turned 35, many remain students and therefore are still active in the rental market. Nonetheless, studies show that 75% believe that homeownership is an important long-term goal. About 15% already own a home and over 60% are planning on purchasing a home in the next 3 years.
Only 26% of millennials are married. Compared to our parents, we want to marry and have children later in life. In fact, most of us millennials want to delay these big events until mid-20s or later. According to Goldman Sachs’ Global Investment Research, the peak home-buying years are between 25 and 45 years. (correlation)
With an average of $36,000 student debt for college grads with a Bachelor's degree, millennials still have options open to help them pay their first home. In fact, a majority have a credit score of 624 (or 4 points above the minimum required), which means most millennials are still able to be granted loans.
In fact, only 21% of millennials want to live in urban or city areas. A majority of 49%, instead, prefers focussing on living in suburbs.
Did you know 75% of millennials want a single-family detached home? So it is the case. It is also interesting to keep in mind that 84% of millennials want a 3+ bedroom home.
...and a particular focus is being placed on functionality of the living space. Thus, both stylish and functional features are to be combined to create a ‘smart house’. Wondering what features stand out to us? According to studies: a laundry room, outdoor lighting, energy-efficient appliances and storage options for clothes and cars.
The prevalence of social media today sheds a light on the importance given to the sense of ‘community’ in millennials' lives. Unsurprisingly then, millennials are equally interested in buying a new house than on achieving a new lifestyle and community. The key, with millennials, is therefore to sell the neighbourhood as well as the listing itself. Giving information about public transportation, local businesses and level of education for schools in the area will all be perceived as huge ‘plus’ compared to your competitors.
In fact, 94% of millennial clients will have used the Internet as support to find their new house. Surely this doesn’t come a such a surprise; after all, millennials spend up to 18 hours a day connected. Crazy, right? In the meanwhile, online is where you should be. Simply because it doesn’t take much time, can broaden your range of action and win you big. So what are you waiting for?
More than ever, the most valued traits in agents are honesty, trustworthiness and reputation. Studies show that 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts. In fact, it has been argued that on social media, 58% of consumers share their positive experiences with a company, and ask family, colleagues, and friends for their opinions about brands. Asking your best past clients to send you testimonials could help you boost your social proof and impact on social media.
Millennials have been used to facing between 300 and 700 marketing messages a day. Unsurprisingly then, even more importance is placed on the quality of your marketing. Millennials tend to be very visual and 88% claim that photos are the most important feature of a listing. Second to that, 83% argue detailed information about your listing is key. Millennials therefore place a lot of importance on making a well informed purchase, but value anything aesthetically pleasing when it comes to their future home. So have a look at this infographic; it summarises website features millennials value most.
Millennials are the most connected and communication focussed generation. Smartphones, in particular, constitute our main channel of communication. So though emails still do work with us, the most effective way of communicating with us remains via text messages.
I hope that this list of Millennial Real Estate facts has helped you understand my generation a little more. Just remember: at the end of the day, the best way to gather information remains going to the source. Though studies on Millennials give broad indications on how the generation works as a whole, the best marketing practice is to be receptive to your client's individuality. To ask questions and show interest in what they are looking for.
Ready to move on to Step 2? Come this way! Next up, we talk about your online marketing.
Jump to Part 2: Your online marketing
Jump to Part 3: Social Media Management