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Reaching Generation Y & Turning Them Into Homeowners

August 13, 2012

Generation Y, individuals 25-34 years old, are in the sweet spot of home buying. They’ve mostly graduated from college or have been working for a few years. In the past, this has been a popular time to buy a first home, and invest in something they own vs. throwing money into a rental month after month.

However, the housing decline has also thrown Generation Y buyers for a bit of a loop. It’s not that they don’t want to buy a home – a survey by Pulte Homes learned that 88% do want to be homeowners. They just don’t think it’s possible.  They aren’t sure they can afford one, and some are spooked because their parents or family members have a home that’s lost value. Their defining real estate experience as adults has been watching home prices drop and equity disappear.

Marketing That Resonates with Generation Y
To overcome their reluctance, the first step is to recognize that the real estate downturn is probably the first experience with housing they’ve had in their adult lives. They are uninterested in facts that show being a homeowner, in general, has been a savvy financial decision. That doesn’t resonate with them the way it has with older generations.

Instead, real estate professionals should focus on life events that make people want to settle into a home. Marriage, children, divorce, job transfer. All of these circumstances can make a Generation Y buyer consider how they are living now and how they want to live. For them, it’s not about investing; it’s about lifestyle.

Technology Opens the Door – Or Closes It
Generation Y buyers have grown up with instant gratification when it comes to information. They are technologically demanding, expecting their online experiences to be fast, intuitive, and satisfying. They don’t want to be slowed down by registering or logging in for information. They don’t want to have to click through layers of navigation to find listings. They don’t want to try pulling up a website on their smart phone and find it’s unreadable. This market is accustomed to immediate information and has very little patience or willingness to wait. To reach them, you need to make sure your interface is designed to be fast, simple to use, and mobile-friendly.

You also need to be familiar with social media. That doesn’t mean they will friend you or like your page- they probably won’t. But the fact that you are in the social media space will be something they notice.




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