The latest buzzword in the marketing and real estate community.
We as real estate agents see seminars on millennials, read blog posts about millennials (BTW - this one is the best!!) and we even talk amongst ourselves to try to get a grip on how these strange beings operate.
But before you go wasting your time on your own market research.
Let me shed some light on the subject and hopefully give you some new ways to think about how you can reach the “unreachable millennials.”
By the end of this blog, you’ll get two key tips on how to:
- market your real estate business to millennials
But first, a brief history lesson:
Let me reframe the sentiment about millennials and other age groups.
We all know that millennials always seem to be on their phones.
But before you act all “holier than thou”, how is that any different than how you grew up?
Didn’t you hang out with your friends all the time and speak in what seemed to be your own language according to your parents?
Sure, maybe the communication method has changed but the sentiment of having a group of people who understood you is still there.
My point is, millennials communicate much differently than any other generation.
The first step - grab your smartphones!
We all know there is a clear gap between the generations.
But the first, and smartest thing, for you to do is recognize the difference between both generations.
You know that thing you always see millennials on?
It’s that thing that’s in your pocket or in your handbag.
We call it a “smartphone”.
So go ahead and grab your smartphone and find the function that sends text messages.
Now, get used to this device because this will be how you’ll communicate to millennials.
But before you say something like:
Just remember, these are your potential clients and if you can’t find the words to text to them, they’ll find an agent who can.
To put this a little more bluntly a recent article wrote,
Of course, this can be skewed in the form of texting from a smartphone or through social networks.
At least when communicating with millennials.
Get to the point!
You may be asking to yourself why text messaging is so important to millennials?
Because it’s brief and innately utilitarian.
Millennials are always on the move, constantly on the go. They don’t like to waste time with fluff in the conversations.
Get to the point!
Can I buy this home?
Yes or no.
Why can’t I buy this home?
Tell them why!
What do I have to do to be able to buy this home?
Let them know why.
Basically, they are asking for the bullet points they need to tell their friends when they have a house warming party.
Tip 1: Listen & Text
Communicate in the way that your customers are communicating.
Start texting but don’t just send out mindless replies.
Listen to what they are writing back.
Thankfully there are easy-to-use tools out there to help with this.
I would also suggest you ‘Google’ a basic DiSC word profile to pinpoint what behaviour profile your customer exhibits.
If you can’t "feel out" the conversation, you need to review their language and speak it to them.
Bonus Tip - Showing emotion in texts is easy!
One agent asked me recently,
I didn’t hesitate to reply with showing them this:
Yes, that’s what we call an “emoji”
You know, the simple keystrokes on your laptop or mobile device that millennials use to show their emotions.
Fortunately most smartphones don’t need you to type in a colon and end bracket to resemble a smiley face. You can just pick from an array of different expressions to convey what you’re feeling.
Something to keep in mind before jumping into the exciting and sometimes over-communicated world of emojis:
You might grow annoyed at the lender joking about a listing, being too serious about getting documents submitted and overly happy when the offer was submitted.
But each one of these can play a vital role in expressing emotions to a millennial client.
Luckily, no matter what age you are experience still matters to a millennial.
Though, maybe not in the way we typically think about it.
Millennials have different values.
And they value their time.
Having experience with this type of mindset will help to understand how millennials often will value their personal time over “work time.”
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you likely know what Facebook is.
But what about Snapchat?
Snapchat is one of the newest social networking apps that allows you to create brief video clips and share them with your followers.
The evolution of social media has been immense over the years.
We’re to a point now where we can shoot videos and share them instantly.
We can even live stream videos as events are happening!
But what does this mean for you?
It’s all a part of that “experience” which millennials are looking for.
Not only will your experience need to be relatable in the sense of how long you’ve been helping people (or millennials specifically) buy and sell homes.
But also how well versed you are in their language.
And you guessed it, Snapchat and Facebook are part of their language.
See for yourself.
Next time you’re in a conversation with a millennial, go ahead and ask them about the last thing they purchased.
Then ask them about the last show they went to or the last trip they experienced.
And be sure to use the word “experience” in conversation and see what happens.
My guess is, their eyes light up at the sound of the question.
I’d also bet that they don’t hesitate to show you a video or picture (or two) of what they’re talking about.
Tip 2 - Hold an Event
Millennials love getting together and experiencing things together too.
Throw a party or host an open house party after hours.
The key here is to create a venue for millennials to have an experience worth sharing.
And while this isn’t necessarily a “new” tip, the end goal is where you’re going to be looking for new results.
For example, if your listing has a catchy street name create a special hashtag.
Remember, millennials use hashtags all the time and they will at your event.
Share your event photos including your business card and features of the home throughout the night while using the same hashtag I mentioned previously to reach those social followers organically.
On a smaller scale, rather than having millennials come into the office for initial meetings, go to a local restaurant or pub.
Millennials see their time as valuable, but they also want to share that value.
This is where the label of "look at me!" comes from other generations.
What they are really telling the world is "look at how I spend my valuable time, if you like what you see we should be friends."
They are sharing their experiences with others and now you have placed yourself in front of them and their entire network.
Food for thought:
Let’s go back to the behavior of millennials, if their friends want to be a part of an experience, wouldn't they try to reach out to their friends who are sitting with a Realtor to ask questions if they were interested?
And if that’s the case, wouldn’t they do it in real time, meaning as soon as they saw the image come up on Instagram?
Something to think about...
Bonus tip - Hold a virtual custom event!
Remember when I mentioned Snapchat?
Well, there’s actually an easier tool out there for agents.
It’s called Facebook Live.
Facebook Live is a live streaming tool built into your existing Facebook profile.
The great thing about the tool is that it allows you to broadcast a video to your Facebook friends and followers.
As an agent, you can host virtual open houses or a virtual listing showing without having to physically leave their current location.
Being able to accommodate your client and their schedule is crucial.
Facebook Live Pro Tip:
Use a Hashtag on each video and create a series of video home tours which are viewable to multiple buyers by searching the hashtag.
We all know or work with someone from different generations.
Using tools like Facebook Live touches on several key behavior factors to the millennial demographic.
As does texting.
I could go on and on about how these two tips are similar, however, I wanted to get to a workable reason why you should explore texting and holding events.
These are what the customer of today's market is looking for and if you do not deliver it to them, they’ll find someone who does.
This creates raving fans from these experiences in the real estate industry.
I want to hear your thoughts!
Let me know what you’re planning to do about connecting with the “unreachable millennials.
Chris Webb is a former Realtor who is known throughout Tuscon because of his unique way to analyze an industry and create unique marketing strategies for real estate agents based on how they will be viewed online. Click here to learn more.