The millennial generation is extremely skeptical when it comes to sales. And this makes them one of the toughest markets to sell to. If you constantly interrupt them with emails and cold calls, they’ll tune you out. However, in 2021 millennials made up the largest share of home buyers, accounting for 37% of the market.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the best methods for advertising to millennials. We’ll show you best practices for winning millennial real estate clients both online and offline.
The formation of new households has been one of the biggest drivers of housing market potential since 2020. While home affordability is still a big concern in the US real estate market and many places, the demand for housing is still strong. According to a Pew Research study, millennial households now earn almost twice as much as other age groups did at any time in the past 50 years.
This is due to career growth and being able to pay off student loan debt. Nowadays, both the buying and selling sides of the real estate market are dominated by millennials. Based on a Zillow survey of 13,000 homeowners, sellers, buyers, and renters, half of all buyers are under 36 and half of all sellers are under 41. Therefore, Realtors should learn how to sell to millennials.
Marketing to millennials is about keeping their attention. This is no simple feat. Realtors who employ unique real estate marketing ideas to keep millennial consumers’ attention will perform much better than their counterparts in sales volume. And the best place to capture their attention is on social media.
A study conducted by the University of Southern California compared the habits of millennials with those of two other generations. In the poll, people were asked about internet usage, spending habits, and pastime activities. Surprisingly, millennials made up the smallest percentage of engaged internet users overall. But they dominated when it came to social media usage.
Before you market to millennials, you ought to understand the millennial home buyer. Who are millennials?
Although they do not want to be called millennials. A millennial is anyone born between 1981 and 1996. There are some similar preferences in our buying patterns:
Millennials who can afford them, buy expensive homes. Yes, there are many high-priced homes on the market as home appreciation rates are off the charts, yet there is a trend towards luxury homes. Millennials who can’t afford the high-priced homes in cities move to suburbs in search of their desired lifestyle. From a Zillow research, 47% of millennial homeowners now live in suburbs. Almost half (49%) of 30- to 39-year-olds reported buying a home valued at $300,000 or more in 2021.
They Are Well-Informed
Although first-time buyers, they know much about the home buying process and about the homes they want to buy. It’s easy to see why this is so. They are connected to online information sources. 60% of Gen Z and millennial homeowners found the properties they currently live in online. This means that a Realtor has to offer more than his market knowledge to the millennial home buyer.
39% of millennials and 36% of Gen Z consumers would be comfortable buying a home entirely online, sight-unseen.
Yet, they want to make smarter buying decisions. They don’t mind a longer buying window. On average, millennials obtain 6 mortgage quotes compared to 3 for baby boomers.
Despite wanting to buy a home, many millennials are still renters due to student loan debt, the economic fallout of the covid-19 pandemic, and historically high home prices.
Despite being connected to information sources, millennials are adept at filtering out ads and whatever seems like an ad. Call it content shock, a goldfish attention span, or instant gratification, millennials are a tough market to sell to.
Yet they have the highest purchasing power of the bunch. As a real estate agent, you’ll find that print ads, cold calls, and purchased email and direct mail lists do not work with millennials. You need to use novel approaches when marketing to millennials. Essentially, you need to hone your social media presence and then leverage social proof. And you should find ways to offer a kind of experience that turns your customers into brand ambassadors.
Millennials prioritize reviews, social presence, and word of mouth from friends and family when deciding on things to buy. You can be certain that your millennial seller client is going to check out your Google My Business page. He/she will also probably reach out to your past clients before listing with you.
Your content should appeal to millennials if you want it to generate lots of buzz. They share content much more than other age groups. Remember, they are active on social media and like to tell their friends about unique experiences, exciting things, exciting places, and helpful information.
At the same time, they detect BS quickly and would blow up on social media about negative experiences and poor customer service.
Content is really king when marketing to millennials as a lot of millennials consume new information. But not just any content – top-notch content. They are “digital natives”, downloading apps for almost everything.
Short-form video keeps growing in popularity with Instagram, Snapchat, and Tiktok stories. Create a lot of these for your brand in 2022, because marketers are focusing on them. Short, high-quality videos drive lots of engagement with millennials and Gen Zs.
Tiktok, though a new player, when compared with IG and Snapchat, is helping real estate agents grow their business. For example, Madison Sutton, a 25-year-old New York City realtor, witnessed a spike in interest for her properties once she started marketing on TikTok. Even though her venture into TikTok was borne out of boredom during the Pandemic, it yielded mind-blowing results.
“There were days I was getting two or four hundred inquiries for one apartment,” she recalled.
When creating content for millennials, focus on creating short social media videos that catch attention between 0 -10 seconds. These kinds of content get shared a lot by millennial viewers.
Here are some smart short video ideas to engage millennial real estate prospects:
Today, not knowing how to use tech tools would be career suicide for an agent.
That’s because your customers use the newest tech and apps. Millennials use a lot of digital platforms. They appreciate high quality photos and video content. This is why real estate agents who use cutting-edge technology and high-quality marketing tools will attract lots of millennial clients.
Gone are the days when having your properties in the MLS was sufficient. Nowadays, there are virtual inspection technologies, smart contracts, virtual staging tools, mobile apps, CRMs and more. It’s no wonder that 40% of millennials want to make offers on a home sight unseen, relying solely on photos and virtual tours.
It is okay to have 5-star reviews on Zillow and a couple reviews on your GMB page. But people want to see more. Videos can show the body language and tone of the person giving the testimonial. How excited are they?
Remember, millennials have a good BS sensor. Moreover, video testimonials set you apart from other Realtors. It’s easy to get video testimonials. Invite excited clients to share their testimonials through video.
Showing personality and leveraging social proof through videos will help build trust with new customers while keeping you ahead of your competition.
Customize this social media testimonial template, add in your footage to create a high-quality testimonial video for social media
Millennials would check you out on social media. In order to stand out from the average realtor, you need a strong social presence.
Your Facebook Business page
Social media for business isn’t about what you want to share, but about what your ideal client wants. And one of the things millennials want to see is an authentic content.
The most effective way to infuse authenticity into your content is via storytelling.
Ryan Serhant, billionaire real estate broker attributes a lot of his marketing success to storytelling. For example, using stories on social media coupled with influencer marketing, he rebranded a Manhattan neighborhood, South of Hudson Yards, to SoHy. His videos on YouTube also feature a great deal of storytelling and this is one of the reasons why he’s in the top 1% of Realtors.
Even when marketing mortgages to millennials, you can still create captivating stories that endear people to your brand. When the central character of your story is someone they can relate to, your target audience will relate to it and find it relevant.
Contests on Facebook and Instagram are a great way to boost engagement and brand awareness. When done right, contests might even give you lots of user-generated content for your marketing. So you want to approach them strategically – define contest rules and select the right hashtag.
When setting up a contest, you should browse around to see what kind of gifts will appeal to millennial consumers. You could gift tickets to a local concert, a home improvement gift card, or dinner for two gift cards.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on your contest, you should enlist help. For instance, you can partner up with a local business to score as many engagements as possible for both your brand and theirs. This is also a smart way to build your local reputation as a real estate agent.
Get a giveaway started by uploading pictures of your prize and contest requirements into a video.
In a national study in the US, only 11% of respondents said they could completely trust a real estate agent. It’s understandable that many millennials do not trust Realtors, especially Realtors that come off as salesmen.
On the other hand, when your customer service is top-notch, millennial clients are more likely to tell their friends about you. So, you want to create stellar customer service right from the onset – from the first call or text.
Here are two ways to create a memorable first impression:
Social media has become an integral part of marketing for many real estate agents. But the Realtors that get the most results on social are those that allocate a significant part of their marketing budget to social ads. Investing in social media ads exposes you to a wider audience of potential clients.
Here are the places to target as a realtor: Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram. These platforms have a high concentration of users who are at the home buying stage.
Now let’s talk about running ads on Facebook as a Realtor. It used to be easy to target potential home buyers on Facebook. But Facebook’s new rules do not allow targeting via age, gender, or zip code.
However, nowadays, you can use the automated ads feature to create Facebook real estate ads that tick all the boxes and generate targeted leads for your business. Want to create a Facebook real estate ad? Check out our Facebook advertising guide.
59% of Millennials are active Instagrammers. So as a real estate agent targeting millennials, Instagram seems like the place to be.
But marketing on Instagram requires more professionalism as your Instagram profile reflects your brand. Do you post stunning or bland photos? Do you have a bio that accentuates your experience as a Realtor? Is your marketing mixing professionalism and fun in a balanced way?
Like it or not, viewers judge your profile and content as either Instagram-worthy or not. For example, an Instagram-worthy home is a home that looks good on Instagram. Millennials admit to seeking out home decor items to make their homes Instagram-worthy.
Realtor Luis Iglesias‘s profile is an example of an Instagram-worthy real estate agent profile.
He mixes things up in a fun way, uses a lot of professional and stunning photos, and adds his contact information to every listing.
When you’re trying to attract millennial leads, you’re competing with the major real estate websites: Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia. There’s no way to beat these large companies in the lead generation game. Your edge is your local expertise. And you want to showcase this on your website as it will give you an edge.
Just like some companies have a page for every service or product they offer, you should have a page for every neighborhood, county, and city you serve. While they don’t have to be perfect, they should reflect your local expertise.
To get the most from your neighborhood pages, include some photos and videos. A picture tells a thousand words; videos tell even more.
For each neighborhood page, highlight:
Even though millennials don’t respond to conventional marketing tactics, FOMO (Fear of missing out) is a big thing with them. They want unique experiences and events. Realtors that can offer these kinds of experiences will win their hearts.
Jodi Beekman, REALTOR® and consultant of The Hemmert Real Estate Group, for example, usually arrange for pizza to be delivered from a local restaurant near her clients.
REALTOR® Mary Simmons-Maloney throws an interesting version of the conventional housewarming for her clients in California.
“We do a taco cart in the street and invite all the neighbors to meet our buyers or say goodbye to our sellers,” said Mary.
Offering unique experiences will help you win new millennial clients and create brand loyalty with existing clients.
More than half of Gen Zers and millennials follow influencers on social media, and they trust the influencers they follow, according to The Influencer Report released in 2019.
Millennials trust content from the influencers they follow more than they trust content from brands. This is why big brands partner with social media influencers.
When looking to create buzz around your properties, consider involving some lifestyle micro-influencers. Leverage your network to find people who have amassed thousands of followers. They may be willing to help promote your content to their followers.
Jeff Fromm Barkley says Millennials are interested in your “why”. The fact that they have a high purchasing power allows them to support companies that share the same values as them. Philanthropy shouldn’t be an afterthought for your real estate brokerage. A company that builds around its purpose can maintain consumer loyalty, consistency, and relevance.
There you have it. You can create a stand-out real estate business that attracts millennial consumers even if you’re just a new millennial real estate agent. Engage with them on social media, sell your purpose, offer top-notch customer care and customize the experience. You should also use high-quality marketing materials.
Promo’s Video Maker allows you to create high-quality footage using ready-made video templates and an award-winning editor. Give it a try.