I’ve been in the consumer lending field for 4 decades now and in the mortgage industry for almost 20 years. Until 2015, the majority of my clients were Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, but then I noticed a shift starting to happen. Former clients began referring their children to me, and much to my surprise, they didn’t behave like buyers of old. Being a small boutique mortgage company allows us to outperform the majority of our larger competitors, and it also allows us to spend more time with each client. That is why our former clients really love us. You would think that a strong recommendation from a parent or grandparent would be enough, but in many cases, it just got us in the door.
The Millennial homebuyer didn’t want to give me their application over the phone, and they certainly didn’t want to come into the office for a sit-down. They kept asking me to text or email them a link, so they could put their application in with their phone (while watching Game of Thrones). They also wanted to know where they could read our reviews. I thought “reviews;” we aren’t a tanning salon or a café. That really threw me. Keep in mind that the majority of these kids were referred to me by their parents. I found myself in unfamiliar water, and somehow, I forgot how to swim.
Since there wasn’t a lot of reference material, I did what any dad would do. I asked MY Millennials. I have 3 adult daughters who were born in the late 80’s and early 90’s, and they were all neck-deep in Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, Twitter and something called Snapchat. Come to find out they were utilizing the same online tools when they made a major purchase or decided to try a new restaurant. With a new-found education, we baptized ourselves in the Millennial pool (enough with the water analogies). We invested in technology, updated our website and started to get involved with social media. (I also got hooked on Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Podcasts and YouTube). We started asking all of our clients to write us an honest review, which was challenging for some of our older buyers.
They always say “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” but this old dog has learned quite a bit in the last 4 years about our Millennial generation. I know comedians love to lament about the spoiled, everyone gets a trophy generation that we call Millennials, but that has not been my experience. I have found Millennial home buyers to become of the most informed buyers I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. They do their homework, ask great questions and have a better understanding of the process than previous generations. They have quickly become my favorite buyers to work with and according to recent studies, this generation is becoming a force to be reckoned with.
Here are some numbers that may shock you:
- Millennial buyers make up 66% of all first-time home buyers.
- Millennials associate homeownership with the American dream more than any other age group.
- Most Millennials plan on buying a home in the next 3-5 years.
- 99% of Millennials surveyed said they searched online for their home, realtor and mortgage.
- 58% say they found their home on their mobile device.
- 92% of Millennials used a Realtor to buy their home (the next highest group were Gen X at 88%)
- 68% of Millennials say their current home is a stepping stone to their dream home. Only 36% of all other buyers agree with that statement.
There’re countless stats available that prove this group of young adults are different than all other buyers that came before them. No one likes change, especially old guys like me, but these wonderful young people have invigorated me and my company. I’m not an expert yet, but if you ask me, every Real Estate Professional should start a professional FB page, create a Google & Yelp Profile. Take pictures of your closing and ask every client to take 5 minutes to write you an honest review. If you like this blog I would love to hear from you, please email me at [email protected] or contact me on https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-ogg-85436a47/
Ref: Nation Wide Mortgage Study on Millennials.