By Maricel Tabalba
Millennials are getting the brunt of the blame for killing many industries that were supported by previous generations but, as it turns out, the real estate industry is alive and well. Understanding what Millennials are looking for in a potential home is imperative if you want to succeed as a real estate professional, as more Millennials are starting to search for their first home. Taking certain actions can give you an edge in attracting the Millennial market.
Highlight the Flexibility of Open Spaces
If Millennials are one thing, it’s indecisive. They’ve grown up with the idea that they can go anywhere and do anything. The trouble is that they want it all and can be fickle about where to settle. They may enter the home buying market several times before they seal the deal. What if there’s a career change? Are kids in the future or not? Maybe the contract job (and the regular income) will dry up. To close the deal with a Millennial buyer you have to show off, for example, how the spare room can be used either as an office or as a nursery. It can even be used to generate income by renting it out on space-sharing apps or to a regular renter.
Sell the Potential of Genuine Fixer-uppers
Saddled with debt and settled in lower-paying jobs, most Millennials can’t afford much more than a small, basic house. They understand that there is a potential value in a bigger home in questionable condition, though. Armed with confidence and education (and home-flipping reruns on TV), they are often open to investing in fixer-uppers. In a market where another agent is a text message away from a skeptical Millennial, don’t lose the trust of a potential buyer by trying to sell a lemon.
Balance Eco-friendly Features With Home Automation
If you want to catch the attention of the growing Millennial market, showcase how eco-friendly and smart the property is (or can be)! Be sure that a high-speed internet connection is available, and if not, research an alternative. Exchange appliances that are not energy efficient for ones with smart features. Being green is just as important, so consider advising the seller to invest in solar panels. Also, be ready to show off the outdoor living and gardening space.
Voice-recognized smart home devices from major tech companies are taking over home features. Demonstrate ways that the home can be fully automated with the right products and efforts. Consider featuring safety devices like security cameras or doorbell cameras that are tied into a smartphone app. Smart thermostats are becoming the norm as well, even in rented spaces.
Focus on the Convenience of the Location
The character of the home and neighborhood matters to Millennials, so point them to quaint communities, local small businesses, and art districts. They tend to work outside of the formerly typical nine-to-five, so routine meals go by the wayside. Proximity to restaurants and delivery options is important. Also, many Millennials enjoy non-motor transportation, as well, so distance from work hubs matters.
Since they also need to be able to afford it, a home in the suburbs may be necessary. If a home is located where a commute would be a necessity, be ready to provide travel times, fastest routes, and multitasking ideas like listening to podcasts or staying current on the latest news on NPR.
Assure the Simplicity of It All
Millennials pride themselves in not wanting to “adult.” Growing up, they weren’t involved in home projects outside of routine chores and many are often not concerned with home skills that were once considered common. Draw Millennials in with properties that come with amenities such as lawn maintenance or consolidated billing, but do avoid demanding Homeowners Associations. Update exterior features that require regular maintenance (a shingle roof to a metal roof, for example).
Prepare your buyers with the knowledge that will give them the confidence to close. Have a website or print-out of information that will let them know what to expect in terms of processes and costs of services related to purchasing a home. Millennials will close much more readily when they understand the system.
Maricel Tabalba is a freelance writer who writes about smart gadgets, emerging tech trends and environmentally friendly advice.