Millennials—folks born between 1981 and 1996, according to Pew Research—are choosing to buy instead of rent these days. But Millennial home buyers do exist! The trick is reaching them and appealing to their values. Here are 5 ways to connect with younger home buyers.
The overwhelming majority of Millennial home buyers turn to the internet to look for homes. That means targeting online advertising instead of print, radio, or television. But more than that, it means making sure that you have a well-developed web presence. A professional, updated website is a must. You should also make sure to have lots of appealing photos and a video walkthrough, if possible, to showcase your listings.
For Millennial home buyers, community is key. This goes beyond the basics of safety and demographics. They’re looking for friendly, walkable or bikeable communities. Having restaurants and retail nearby is a plus. Unlike previous generations, Millennials are more likely to work from home, so access to major roads may not be as important as things like green spaces, community gardens, or cultural centers.
Go Green and Eco-Friendly
Speaking of green spaces, Millennial home buyers tend to place value in being environmentally friendly. They’re often looking for smaller, more energy-efficient homes as opposed to the McMansions of yore. Highlight new homes built with eco-conscious materials and recycled components. Solar energy is also very appealing to younger buyers, so be sure to point out properties that are well-suited to installing solar panels.
Keep It Simple
Millennials tend to be minimalists. They aren’t holding onto antiques and family heirlooms [LINK TO FAMILY HEIRLOOMS POST] the way previous generations did. Typically, they want less clutter, clean and modern lines, and open interior spaces. When you’re staging a home to appeal to younger buyers, keep things simple and unfussy. Consider painting walls white instead of dated “builder’s beige” and opt for sleek furniture in neutral colors with the occasional pop from a piece of art or a striking vase.
Know Their Wish Lists
The list of must-haves for Millennial home buyers is very different from Baby Boomers or Gen-Xers. They tend to have smaller families, often waiting until later in life to have children. Instead of guest bedrooms and formal dining rooms, they want home offices and media rooms. And they definitely don’t want dated stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, or heavy cabinets in the kitchen. Hardwoods and tile floors are an easier sell than wall-to-wall carpeting, which is old-fashioned and hard to care for.
Most of all, they want spaces that can be transformed into their own personal Pinterest-perfect paradise. Essentially, they want it all—vintage details and modern design features, green spaces and urban centers. It’s challenging to connect with Millennial home buyers, but it’s also worth the effort to understand their needs and wants.