These days, finding the perfect loft with exposed brick, a subway-tiled kitchen backsplash, and wood floors, in a trendy neighborhood in the West Loop or River North is what Chicago homeowner dreams are made of. For many, though, embarking on a home search journey, including applying for a mortgage, is intimidating and time-consuming. While technology and accessibility to information has made the industry more competitive than ever before, the next generation of home buyers – millennials – have defined their own way to navigate the industry and make home buying closer to reality. After working and building relationships with a number of millennial clients and understanding their objectives, here are a few of my lessons learned and tips:
1. Setting Up
For a millennial, a typical home search journey usually begins somewhere like Redfin.com or Zillow.com – where dozens and dozens of properties are piled on top of each other, ‘contingent’ within minutes, and full of holes, only an experienced professional can answer. Understanding that these sites are in fact resources, means that analyzing how they operate and staying up to date with their accessibility is crucial.
Charge your phone! Regardless of industry, regardless of relationships, and regardless of time and place, smart phones are a staple most millennials don’t go anywhere without. Communication has turned into texting and emailing, and many real estate agents like myself have adapted to a quick pace and easy way to book appointments, ask questions, and make decisions, on the spot and via a short few lines. Being easily accessible and providing quick answers builds trust and can make the home buying journey a lot less tedious.
3. Rehab? What is that?
When it comes to making a commitment to a high cost purchase like buying a home, millennials typically want an all-in-one deal: a turn-key unit or property that requires little to no work. For some, that extra renovation isn’t worth the purchase, and for others there’s just simply no time. And with and more and more units being sold with updates, millennials prefer properties they can move into tomorrow.
Understanding the habits of the millennial generation is virtually the same as understanding a focused segment in your target market. It’s a challenge, but it’s also just as fulfilling and exciting. Our younger generations are smarter, quicker, and know what they want. And if practicing patience through their first home owner experience can produce a successful result, then that is the beginning of a great realtor + millennial relationship!