This statistic may be contradictory to the popular belief that significant factors are delaying the home owning process for Millennials, like late marriages and increased debts. In fact, a 1% increase in student debt directly decreases the likelihood of owning a home by 0.15%, and being married increases the probability of owning a home by 18%, even after factoring in age, income, race/ethnicity and education, Housing Wire points out. But these factors aren’t extinguishing the desire to own.
There has already been an upward trend of Millennials purchasing homes since Q3 2017, possibly because Millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. Homeownership rates for individuals under 35 (which can also include Gen Zers — born 1997 or later), increased from 35.6% in Q3 2017 to 36.8% in Q3 2018. “The under 35 age bracket continues to rally,” said Zillow Director of Economic Research and Outreach Skylar Olsen.
Millennials now own a significant and growing number of homes, meaning this demographic may represent the future of your business.
Millennials Love To Be Connected — Digitally
Millennials are focused on sports, news and work. Their desire to be connected to their hobbies, their jobs and newsworthy information is a driver for their early adoption of technology. With a smartphone in their pockets, checking the score, replying to an email or scrolling through Twitter is never more than a tap away.
Millennials are accustomed to accessing everything instantly through their screens, and they’re even taking their real estate aspirations online. It is common for Millennials to search for information on local home listings or home loans using mobile websites and specialty apps on their smartphones. Plus, Millennials might seek interaction with loan officers on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Millennial home buyers are likely to read up on loan officer’s content before working with them. With their worlds on their phones, Millennials are likely to review blogs before making a purchase, Forbes notes. Millennials want to quickly find answers, and the internet has always enabled speedy search for them.
Tips for Loan Officers: How to Work With Millennial Home Buyers
Working with Millennial home buyers requires a strategic approach. Millennials may be more tech-savvy than other buyers, but with the right tactics, you can increase your exposure and build a new client base.
Be Available To Answer Questions And Offer Advice.
You can’t be physically available 24/7, but you can make your expertise available all the time through your digital platforms and tools. As a loan officer, your solutions can include implementing an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot on your website to answer commonly asked questions. Likewise, consider hiring a virtual assistant to help consumers with simple queries.
You can also write evergreen deep dive articles that review common scenarios buyers may encounter during the home buying process. Millennial buyers can easily reference this content throughout their process, making your site a valuable resource at every step of their homeownership journeys.
Socialize With Your Millennial Prospects.
Mortgage Professional America (MPA) magazine notes that Millennials use mortgage technology and social media sites, like Instagram and Facebook, the most out of any demographic. But these borrowers find human interaction lacking throughout the mortgage process.
Determine if offline events, which allow Millennials the opportunity to get to know you, fit into your strategy and budget. Host events like cocktail mixers, brunches and wine-tastings that may attract Millennials. Take these experiences online by uploading photos and videos of the event to your site. Add testimonials from attendees to your pages to promote yourself and your brand as relatable and accessible.
Position Your Social Media As A Resource Hub.
Establish credibility and trust by authentically presenting yourself and your services. Video can be a powerful medium for conveying messaging and emotions. You can do a lot with a 10-second video shot from your phone. Share photos from your successful closings (with permission from your clients, of course). This allows prospects to envision themselves as your next happy clients.
Ask clients to give you video reviews in front of their new homes after successful purchases. Millennials will likely respond well to an authentic and genuine testimonial.
Reassure Millennials That They Can Afford A Down Payment.
Conduct your own research and offer advice for managing debt. Your advice can help prospective borrowers get rid of unnecessary expenses and view homeownership as an attainable goal. You can also suggest working with a financial advisor to tackle student loan debt.
Develop content to be shared as weekly emails to teach budgeting skills and provide savings strategies. Share tips for effectively managing credit card use to build a strong credit scores and limit bad credit.
Insightful Data On Millennial Homebuyers
From the National Association of Realtors 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, here is a deep dive on four Millennial consumer profiles who purchased homes between June 2017 and June 2018.
Buyers With Student Loan Debt:
- Median age of 35
- Median household income of $90,800, but with $28,000 in debt
- Most often purchased previously owned, detached single-family homes through agents and brokers
- Nearly one-third of these consumers cited “saving for the down payment” as the most challenging step in the home buying process
- Median age of 34
- Median household income of $88,750
- Nearly all purchased previously owned homes through agents and brokers
- More than half of these couples didn’t have children when buying
- Almost half of these unmarried couples cited their reason for purchasing a home as a “desire to own”
First-Time Home Buyers:
- Median age of 32
- Median household income of $75,000
- Most purchased previously owned, detached single-family homes through agents and brokers
- 54% were married couples, 16% unmarried couples, 18% single females and 10% single males
Individuals Active In The Armed Forces And Their Spouses:
- Median age of 31 years old
- Median household income of $80,000
- Most commonly bought previously owned homes through agents and brokers
- More than half of these consumers were first-time home buyers
Like marketing to other consumer segments, marketing to Millennials requires getting to know their habits and the ways they consume content. With tech-savvy methods of communication, you can market to these individuals as they claim their stake in the homeownership market.