3 Steps To Better Real Estate Experience For Milennials
Currently, millennials make up the largest share of the home buying market, at 36%. And 79% of those are buying a home for the first time.
Although many millennials still prefer renting and are loathe to take on mortgage debt, 84% still believe in the American dream of home ownership and prioritize it over other major life events, such as marriage and having children.
How does Properly respond to the millennial market?
We know that technology plays a huge role in millennials’ lives. After all, they’re the first generation that essentially grew up with the internet. Specifically, mobile technology permeates their daily interactions.
While Properly was designed with a strong technology backbone, at the end of the day we are a customer-service company driven by technology. To that end, we’re emphatically customer focused. We interviewed hundreds of millennial homeowners about their selling experiences before even thinking about building a company to improve the process.
While our technology is proprietary, our philosophy on serving our customers is not. Here are three steps that any real estate agent can take to adopt a consumer-focused mindset that will attract millennial home buyers:
Step 1: Start off on the right foot with millennials
Millennials hate phone calls, even for the simplest of reasons. One third of all millennials in the U.S. use OpenTable to make reservations instead of calling the restaurant. In fact, restaurants that aren’t on OpenTable might as well not exist for millennial diners.
If you’re a millennial, you may have booked a cleaning person online through Handy, or hired someone on Task Rabbit to assemble furniture or hang a light fixture through Task Rabbit. A whopping 60% of Millennials say they would prefer to engage with their doctor via telehealth solutions rather than visit the doctor’s office. In short, millennials are used to interacting with service providers online and without making a phone call or having an in-person meeting.
What does this mean for realtors?
Engage this consumer by using their preferred method of communication. There’s a reason we ask every single customer their preferred mode of communication during our first contact – we want to make sure we are meeting customer needs right from the start. In a customer-centric agency, the way the agent prefers to do business is irrelevant – all that matters is engaging with customers when and how they want to be engaged.
Step 2: Continually ask for feedback for millennial home buyers and sellers.
Millennials are used to giving quick feedback, whether it’s a Yelp review or a 5 star rating on Uber. These insights are incredibly valuable, but you’ll only get them if you ask.
You can identify feedback even when it’s not explicitly given. We take the Amazon approach to customer service – whenever a customer has to contact us to ask a clarifying question or follow up on a conversation, we take that as a failure on our end. We either didn’t provide the right information or didn’t give it at the right time, and we figure out how to improve our process accordingly.
When your customers call you asking questions, take that as a signal you need to improve your communication, and change your process so future clients have all the info they need without having to pick up the phone.
Step 3: Invest in technology
The number of home sellers who told us during preliminary interviews that they had to go physically meet their agents to sign documents was shocking. Then we discovered that on average, the typical agent spends less than $900 a year on technology for their business. To put that in context, that equates to MLS fees ($250), their website ($379), a new phone ($200), and nothing else.
If your customer has to print out anything during your transaction, you’ve already frustrated most millennial consumers. This age group expects all their documents and information to be available on-demand in one place whenever they want access to it. Make all your information accessible online ahead of time and serve them when and where they need it. Even a solution as simple and cheap as Dropbox can improve the customer experience and reduce your workload fielding calls and emails.
The Properly platform was built to enable consumers to manage the sale of their home around the clock with input from agents only when it’s needed.
Even without our technology, agents can adopt a customer-focused mindset and adapt their process to the needs to the millennial generation.
Thinking of selling your home? Get started with a free home valuation.