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How to Market to Millennials

Marketing to Millennials

Millennials are the age-range from 18-34 – today’s young adults and young professionals. They wield $1.3 trillion in annual buying power, and are incredibly diverse. Nearly 43% are non-white and 25% speaking a language other than English at home.

This is the generation most likely to be buying their first home, or expanding into a new home to accommodate a growing family. As a result, this demographic cannot be ignored by Realtors®. The question is, what’s the best way to market to millennials?

Recognize the Events that Shaped Them

Millennials are strongly shaped by the events of 9/11, as well as the general economic crash of 2008. Many of the graduated from school into a terrible recession and even now struggle to find work worthy of their education. They may have seen their parents struggle to hold on to their homes when the real estate bubble burst.

As a result, these young adults may not be as quick to buy into the “American Dream” of owning a home. They may see renting as a safer option, both economically and for their circumstances. It may take extra nurturing of this age group to encourage them to step up from renting a home to buying one. After all of the foreclosures they’ve seen, and the constant news of homeowners being underwater from 2008-2010, do you blame them?

You’ll have to gently encourage them to see home ownership as an accomplishment rather than a financial liability.

Respond Quickly to Inquiries, Then be Patient

You probably don’t need to be reminded that millennials are a fast-moving generation. These young adults have never known life without computers and the internet. As a result, they aren’t likely to wait around for you to get back to them when they submit an inquiry.

Inman recent published some sobering statistics about lead response time. Some of the highlights – or are they lowlights? – are below:

  • The average response time for an Internet lead is 44 hours.
  • 65 percent of all companies don’t nurture the lead.
  • Only 25 percent of all salespeople make two contact attempts.

While you need to respond quickly to get a millennial customer’s attention, remember that they will not necessarily respond quickly back to you. The Inman article goes on to point out that 80% of all transactions require five to 12 follow-ups.

Why? Millennials are on the go and try to do a lot at once. It’s easy for your first – or even second – response to get lost in the daily life of today’s young adult. Don’t give up. Reply quickly, and then be patient.

Build Relationships

Speaking of a generation that has grown up online, have you noticed how many more hucksters there seem to be than ever before? Yep, so have millennials. As a result, they don’t trust easily. You’ll have to build a relationship with them before they’ll become a loyal customer, full of referrals for you.

Fortunately, building relationships is largely done online. While some face-to-face interaction is wonderful (see my previous Leads over Lunch article), largely millennials prefer to talk electronically.

The great news for you is that this means that social media marketing, text marketing (via mobile phones), and email marketing are all great ways to nurture relationships with this key demographic. There’s one caveat – you have to actually care. If you fake it, they’ll know it, and you’ll be ignored in favor of your competitor.

Today’s millennials are in the perfect stage of life for purchasing their first and second homes. As a Realtor®, you ignore this demographic at your own risk. By recognizing the events that shaped them, responding quickly and then being patient, and building relationships with millennials, you’ll be tapping into a perfect customer base for your real estate practice.

How do you market to millennials? Share in the comments!

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