How to Appeal to Millennial Homebuyers
By Miriam Bornstein of Zillow
Millennials, anyone born between the years of 1980 and 2000, are sometimes referred to as “digital natives,” since they incorporate technology into their everyday lives. Often, millennials are characterized by their innate understanding of technology because they were raised with household computers and personal cell phones.
As of 2015, millennials consist of the largest homebuying group, and according to the Zillow Housing Confidence Index, 12.9 percent of millennials say they plan to buy a home this year. Only 12.1 percent of the overall population is hoping to buy in 2015.
If you’re a seller looking to target the millennial shopper follow these three tips to appeal to them.
- Use Technology to Stand Out
The advancements in technology changed the way everyone searches for data, communicates with each other and make decisions – especially for millennials. Today, you can set up alerts when a listing meets your criteria, get timely updates on open houses or pending deals and view properties inside and out from your device.
Millennials use technology throughout the homebuying process, from initial hunting to financing. Sellers can appeal to millennials by marketing their properties on all the major sites, including 22 to 27 high resolution images that best highlight their properties. Make sure the property is getting in front of the eyes of your audience.
- Price to Compete
Recent research shows that millennials can afford to buy about 70 percent of the homes on the market, assuming they pay 5 percent of the home price as their down payment and can spend 30 percent of their monthly income on their mortgage. Sellers are wise to stay within millennials buying range to help their listings move fast.
Use comparable properties to set a realistic listing price and stay within close range of the estimated home value if you want the house moving in the first 60 days. Homes priced 12 percent higher than their Zestimate® home values are 50 percent less likely to sell in the first 60 days. Millennials pay close attention to comparable properties and aren’t interested in splurging if they don’t feel confident in the property value.
- Appeal to Convenience of the Community
Treat an open house as an opportunity to spark interest in potential buyers. Showcasing the property’s desirability beyond its physical characteristics encourages millennials to view their lives in the community. When hosting an open house, highlight key home features that enhance millennials’ lifestyles, such as nearby transportation, dining, nightlife and shopping options. To further showcase nearby amenities, offer beer from the neighborhood’s local brewery or order takeout from the hottest restaurant across the street. Often times, the surrounding area or neighborhood is just as important as the house itself.
- Open the Layout for Heightened Interest
When it comes to buying or renting, millennials put more value on functional features than ostentatious amenities. Instead of buying a home with upgraded finishes, millennials are more interested in move-in ready spaces with room to personalize at their own expense. Beyond the appeal of functional layouts, like open floor plans, millennials also crave spaces that evoke socialization, such as large family rooms and kitchens, instead of layouts that compartmentalize a home. Sellers might consider knocking down a divider wall before placing a home on the market to capture the most attention from millennial buyers.
Because millennials communicate and transact differently than previous generations, it’s imperative to rely on technology to inform them, price properties fairly, create a community and appeal to functionality.