… My brief conversations with other members of Generation Y serve to highlight that we’re extremely mobile (we are never still, barely plugged in but always connected), reliant on technology, demanding and informed but still looking for someone to partner up with us.
As real estate professionals, it may be difficult but it is imperative to alter the way we communicate and do business in order to work well with this new breed of consumer. Coldwell Banker Mid America Group, Realtors in Des Moines, Iowa has done a great job at identifying some of the nuances of working with this next generation of homebuyers and sellers. Here are some observations and tips from Coldwell Banker Mid America Group, Realtors VP of Marketing Julie Reeves and her Top 5 agent Stacey Ward:
Shopping for homes:
1. Instant communication: Members of Generation Y want and are used to instant gratification. Therefore, real estate shopping needs to be accessible by phone and computer at all times. Agents need to be reasonably tech savvy through text messaging or at least through immediate email return. Diversify how you communicate with them. They might return your text instantaneously but not return your call on the same device! Finally, replies through technology need to happen sooner rather than later. The more they feel like they are being nurtured in a timely matter, the better. It is important to make them feel like a priority.
2. Very independent: This speaks for itself. This is why so much research transpires before companies even get a phone call for assistance.
3. Tech savvy: Smart phones, laptops, GPS, internet. Information needs to be at their fingertips which ties in with the instant communication/gratification piece. Last weekend, I was showing homes to a couple that wanted to know when to plant tulips. It was great to be able to Google the question on my phone for an instant answer.
4. They speak their minds: Unlike the days of buying houses and being afraid to say too much for fear of ruining negotiations, this generation seems to enjoys speaking their mind and sharing opinions. In addition, they like to collaborate with others after they’ve done their due diligence.
Buying a home:
1. Financially smart: Many Gen Y clients are concerned with return on their investment. Since they’re more than likely looking at their first house for the short term, it is essential in their own minds to find a “deal”.
2. Work-life balance: This generation seems to focus on how their job can be worked around their private lives. This spills over into how they are going to live in their homes.
3. They lean on others: Immediately define who the decision makers in their lives are as they have numerous resources and value the opinion of those close to them. Remember that these are children of helicopter parents
Technology has made the world smaller. Many say that technology has negatively impacted the way we all relate with each other (kids playing Call of Duty for 30 hours straight, people breaking up on twitter, etc.) but I feel that in its purest form its made the world smaller and allowed us to stay connected. More importantly, it has made communication…often controlled by ONE and disseminated to the masses…a two way street. Communication is now a conversation and this isn’t just a Generation Y thing. We’re all (at any age) a product of what’s happening now and it has left an indelible mark on everyone of us…it’s extremely exciting to see major companies altering the way they communicate and do business….involving us in the process.
We’re all more independent than at any other time…but are also more invested and dependent on each other…if that makes any sense.
Happy home shopping and Happy home selling!
I’d like to thank Julie Reeves and Stacey Ward for their great advice.