Real Estate and the Millennials- How will they find us?
By Rick Guthrie
Studying our new largest generation, the Millennials, has become a real passion of mine. Not just for helping with real estate careers here in Fairfax County, but for basically general knowledge. As with anything, our assumptions about others might not be accurate. Being a baby boomer and the parent of millennials, I felt that I knew what made the millennial generation tick. I thought that I knew all I needed to know. I must admit that I had some insight but most of my assumptions so far have been wrong.
I think back on how many times I’ve said, “kids of this generation know everything just ask ‘em, they’ll tell you”. I’m sure you’ve heard that too. The fact is…. they kind of do. Information is always at their fingertips and they will research that information at the drop of a hat if needed. The majority of my generation, in all humility, was researched challenged. Unless Mom and Dad fell prey to the Encyclopedia Britannica sales person or you had a good handle on the Dewey Decimal System, information was not easily forth coming. So for the most part, information came from the media and had a certain amount of subjection and or opinion. So we can assume, especially with the media inaccuracies of late, this practice doesn’t hold up for Millennials most of the time. I actually believe that they enjoy watching us banter over inaccurate information.
So what’s the point? The point is if we want to understand the Millennials we need to research Millennial Characteristics. The problem that I’ve had is researching very subjective and opinionated views. Sound familiar? Yep back to my old Boomer ways. So I’ve decided to actually survey the Millennials themselves. I’m not only surveying one on one but also in virtual surveys like Survey Monkey. Of course I’m trying to determine how to best meet the needs of my future millennial real estate clients but also attract millennial talent for careers in real estate.
My first research ah ha was from a conversation I had with my favorite millennial, my son. Now his occupation is in a tech related field and he is actually working towards his first home. My immediate assumption was that he would be virtually driven in his search for a real estate professional. Check this out.
Question: I’d like to hear your thoughts and quote you in my blog. If I wasn’t your Dad and you wanted help with your home search, what would you be looking for from a real estate professional? What value proposition would spark you to use me?
Answer: That’s a really tough question. I don’t know if I’d be the best person to ask, since I do tend to differ a bit from some millennials, but ultimately it’s going to come down to this. If someone I know, knows you and spoke highly of you or recommended you. As a first time home buyer, I have no expectations. I don’t know what’s typical and what I should be looking for. So I’m going to start asking people around me that I know if they have any suggestions and more likely than not, whoever’s name they throw out is going to be who I’m going to go to first. I might google that person’s name and see if anyone has said anything negative about that realtor, but if I don’t find anything they’ll be my first choice.
Isn’t that cool! We don’t need to change our mindset on relationships. Still our number one method of lead generation is asking for referrals. He didn’t say, “I’d go to the internet to get help”. Or, “I wish you guys had a robotic showing assistant”. Or, “I’d look at 3D floorplans”. He said he’d ask for personal recommendations. It’s still about that personal touch. I believe that’s going to be #1 in the real estate equation for a long, long time. Recommendations, referrals and relationships are how the Millennials will find us.
Wait till you hear what he said about contemplating a career in real estate. But that’s for next time.
Hey comment and give me your thoughts. Blog ‘ya soon.