Millennials Have More in Common with Their Parents than You Think When it Comes to Home

Coldwell Banker Launches “Guiding You Home” Campaign: New Ad Features Iconic Song “Homeward Bound” by Simon & Garfunkel and New Survey Reveals What Americans of All Generations Want When It Comes to Real Estate

MADISON, N.J. (March 10, 2020) – Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, a Realogy (NYSE: RLGY) brand, today announces its spring campaign, “Guiding You Home.” The campaign includes a new national ad premiering next week during the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament and a comprehensive consumer survey answering the most pressing questions in real estate.

The new “Guiding You Home” ad shows people from all generations celebrating the joy of returning home. To understand what different generations want in a home, Coldwell Banker commissioned the “Guiding You Home” survey, conducted online by The Harris Poll in February among over 2,000 U.S. adults. The findings reveal that millennials have much in common with previous generations. Desire, love and affection for a place to call home is universal, the “Guiding You Home” campaign is a celebration of just that.

“Guiding You Home” Ad

Coldwell Banker is the only real estate brand that has been guiding people home since 1906. Last year the brand unveiled a bold new look, called the CB North Star, their first rebrand in forty years. A star is now included in the brand’s logo, symbolizing the Coldwell Banker network made up of 94,000 affiliated agents who have guided generation after generation home, serving as their North Star. This year’s ad is the first time the new CB North Star branding will be fully on display to the public.

The “Guiding You Home” ad ranks as the top real estate ad of 2020, outpacing the industry average with high marks for likeability, attention and music as measured by Ace Metrix. Ace Metrix also confirms that “Guiding You Home” is in the top 3.4% of all ads for heartfelt scores.

In a recent Pulse survey of all generations “Homeward Bound” was selected as the quintessential home song, twice as popular as the closest competitor. For a “making the video” style breakdown of the ad, check out this behind the scenes footage.

“Guiding You Home” Survey

To celebrate how Coldwell Banker is the only brand that has guided successive generations home for 114 years, the brand is releasing a “Guiding You Home” survey examining generational preferences when it comes to home. The survey busts common real estate myths, paying special attention to the similarities between generations, and identifying what guides people home in 2020. Key survey findings can be found here, full results here and topline takeaways are below.

Are Millennials Becoming Their Parents?

Yes, when it comes to homeownership. Equally across the generations, almost all boomers (91% ages 56-74 / born approx. 1946-1964), Gen Xers (91% ages 40-55 / born approx. 1965-1980) and millennials (92% ages 24-39 / born approx. 1981-1996) say that owning their own home is important. When it comes to picking a neighborhood, the generations mostly agree:

  • Location, Location, Location: Eight in ten (81%) Americans agree that they value the location of their home over the size, with the majority of all generations in agreement: boomers (79%), Gen Xers (79%), millennials (81%)
  • Safety First: Boomers (98%), Gen Xers (98%) and millennials (93%) overwhelmingly agree on the importance of living in a safe neighborhood
  • Keep Your Friends Close, and Your Family Closer: Nearly three out of four boomers (72%), Gen Xers (73%) and millennials (73%) say it’s important to them to live close to their families
  • I Love the Nightlife, Sometimes: A slight majority (54%) of millennials say living close to bars, restaurants, and nightlife is important; those numbers drop slightly for Gen Xers (46%) and boomers (34%)
  • Americans want a Trusted Advisor (a real estate agent) to Guide Them Home: Millennials, Gen Xers and boomers who have worked with a real estate agent to buy or sell a home agree, the number one reason they decided to work with a real estate agent was to have a trusted advisor to help navigate the buying / selling process (58% of boomers, 45% of Gen X, 47% of millennials)
  • “Home Where My Music’s Playing, Home Where My Love Lies Waiting:” These lyrics are straight from “Homeward Bound,” and when it comes to what music evokes feelings of being at home, rock and country are the top picks, with 37% of Americans saying each of these genres makes them think of home. When it comes to rock, similar proportions of millennials (36%), Gen X (43%), and boomers (39%) say this type of music elicits feelings of home

If They Were in the Market to Purchase a Home, What Would Make Americans More Likely to Purchase?

  • The White Picket Fence: Millennials are nearly twice as likely as boomers to say that they would be more likely to purchase a home if it has a white picket fence (13% vs. 7%)
  • Hardwood Floors vs. Carpeting: Boomers are more likely than millennials to say hardwood floors would make them more likely to purchase a home (53% vs. 35%). Carpeting is significantly less popular than hardwood floors among all three generations, with 20% of millennials, 21% of Gen X and 21% of boomers saying that carpeting would make them more likely to purchase a home.
  • Americans Love Privacy: The top two features that would make Americans more likely to purchase a home are a master bedroom with a private master bathroom (63%) and a fenced-in backyard (51%)
  • DIY vs. Move-In Ready: Eighty percent of Americans say if they were purchasing a home, they would prefer to buy a move-in ready home over one that requires any updating, but what would they give up? Roughly 7 in 10 Millennials (70%) and Gen Xers (71%) say they would be willing to sacrifice home size for a move-in ready home within their budget, boomers agree but at a lower rate (63%)

Myth Busting:

  • Myth: Phone calls are dead
    • When asked how they make faraway family members and friends feel closer to home, calling them on the phone was the top choice among all generations (64% of millennials, 66% of Gen Xers and 77% of boomers); all generations picked phone calls above texting (62%, 64%, and 57%, respectively) or posting on their social media (35%, 38%, and 32%, respectively)
  • Myth: Spending on avocado toast (and at restaurants in general) is a barrier to home ownership
    • Sixty-six percent (66%) of millennials spent $0 on avocado toast at restaurants in the previous year and only 15% spent more than $50 on avocado toast in 2019
    • Americans spent only $35, on average, in 2019 on avocado toast at restaurants
    • Only 4% of Americans cite “spending on dining out at restaurants” as the main reason why they struggled to afford purchasing their first home, tied for last place with “spending on travel,” “paying down/off debt” was the number one main reason (21%)
  • Myth: Millennials only dream about experiences and travel
    • Millennials are more likely than boomers to say they believe that, in their lifetime, they will live/have lived in their dream home (81% vs. 67%)


Are You Homeward Bound? These people are, watch their heartwarming homecoming stories and learn about the biggest home buying trends with the Coldwell Banker “Guiding You Home” campaign


“The phrase ‘Guiding You Home’ encompasses much of what we do at Coldwell Banker. It’s what our agents do for their clients and it’s a feeling that unites us across generations and demographics. We commissioned this survey to understand how people across generations are finding their way home. This spot and our survey celebrate the many ways in which Coldwell Banker is helping guide people home in 2020, and for the next 114 years.”

      – Ryan Gorman, President and CEO, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC

“It is crucial now more than ever that brands are thinking holistically about their media strategy. That’s why we’re premiering our ad on TV, streaming services and social media during the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament, at the height of March basketball buzz. We’ve increased our streaming spend by 420% [compared to last year] to reflect changing viewing habits. This ad has the power to be incredibly impactful, the spot is the top real estate ad of 2020 and our campaign includes an iconic, timeless and beloved song “Homeward Bound” by Simon & Garfunkel. It’s no accident we chose this song – a recent survey dubbed this song the quintessential home song, twice as popular as the closest competitor.”

       – David Marine, CMO, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC

The ad was conceived and created by Siltanen & Partners, the national advertising agency for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

Methodology – Harris Guiding You Home Survey

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Coldwell Banker from February 6-10 among 2,002 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, among whom 543 are millennials ages 24-39 (born approx. 1981-1996), 540 are Gen X ages 40-55 (born approx. 1965-1980), and 569 are boomers ages 56-74 (born approx. 1946-1964). This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Anna St. Clair at

Overall survey responses fell into five generations: Gen Z, millennials, Gen Xers, boomers and the silent generation. Only 10% of survey respondents fall into Gen Z and only 6% of survey respondents fall into the silent generation. Our analysis focused on millennials, Gen Xers and boomers because these generations make up the largest home buying demographic. According to the NAR 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the largest home buying cohort falls into the millennial category, and, according to the NAR 2019 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report, Gen Z made up less than 1% of home buyers in 2019 and the silent generation 7%.

Methodology – SurveyMonkey Pulse Quintessential Home Song Survey

This SurveyMonkey Audience study was fielded January 28-29, 2020, with a representative U.S. sample of 535 adults, ages 18+. The sample has been balanced for age and gender using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States.

About Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC

Powered by its network of over 94,000 affiliated sales professionals in 3,000 offices across 43 countries and territories, the Coldwell Banker® organization is a leading provider of full-service residential and commercial real estate brokerage services. The Coldwell Banker brand prides itself on its history of expertise, honesty and an empowering culture of excellence since its beginnings in 1906. Coldwell Banker Real Estate is committed to providing its network of sales professionals with the tools and insights needed to excel in today’s marketplace and is known for its bold leadership and dedication to driving the industry forward with big data and smart home expertise. Coldwell Banker Real Estate was the first real estate brand to harness the power of big data; the CBx Technology Suite uses predictive analytics and machine learning to analyze markets, target buyers and sellers and provide agents with a simple platform to create unique and effective marketing plans for each listing. The brand was named among the 2018 Women’s Choice Award® Most Recommended brands for customer experience and overall quality. Blue is bold and the integrity and values of Coldwell Banker give the Gen Blue network an unbeatable edge. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each office is independently owned and operated. To join Coldwell Banker Real Estate and unlock the possibilities of Gen Blue®, please visit

About Realogy Holdings Corp.

Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY) is the leading and most integrated provider of U.S. residential real estate services, encompassing franchise, brokerage, and title and settlement businesses as well as a mortgage joint venture. Realogy’s diverse brand portfolio includes some of the most recognized names in real estate: Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, CENTURY 21®, Coldwell Banker®, Coldwell Banker Commercial®, Corcoran®, ERA®, and Sotheby’s International Realty®. Using innovative technology, data and marketing products, best-in-class learning and support services, and high-quality lead generation programs, Realogy fuels the productivity of independent sales agents, helping them build stronger businesses and best serve today’s consumers. Realogy’s affiliated brokerages operate around the world with approximately 190,000 independent sales agents in the United States and more than 112,000 independent sales agents in 113 other countries and territories. Recognized for nine consecutive years as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies, Realogy has also been designated a Great Place to Work and one of Forbes’ Best Employers for Diversity. Realogy is headquartered in Madison, New Jersey.

Senior Manager, Public Relations & Giving for Coldwell Banker. Grew up in Sarasota and attended college at Western Carolina University. Athena wanted to wake up in that city that doesn’t sleep so headed to Madison Avenue to start her marketing career. She has been with this awesome brand for more than 15 years and can be found generating buzz about CB in every way possible. Athena helps to grow the brand’s position as the most storied real estate company within the industry and has led many high-profile endeavors; she was at the forefront of the brand’s pioneering smart home campaign, raised $6 million in two years to build 130 Habitat for Humanity homes, and led the Homes for Dogs program in partnership with that resulted in tens-of-thousands of dogs finding their furever home. She currently leads the CB Supports St. Jude program, which encourages the Coldwell Banker network’s 96,000+ real estate agents to make donations to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital for every real estate transaction they represent. In her spare time, you can find her either digging up a new area in her yard for another flower bed or planning her next travel adventure. She's the proud mom of three cats Jolene, Ziggy and Lucy.

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