According to NAR’s mid-year demographic survey, the average real estate agent is a 55-year-old white female who attended college and is a homeowner. By contrast, the median age of first-time homebuyers is 33. That means that real estate professionals may not be plugged in to the platforms and processes that make for effective marketing and messaging to today’s most active homebuyers.
If you are trying to get your name in front of younger buyers, or just want to get better at communicating with your existing younger clients, these tips will help you develop the platforms and processes that get results. As always, make sure that your brand is well-developed and your message is effective in order to optimize the impact of your marketing efforts.
Younger buyers use online resources less for initial information gathering and more for confirmation. That means that if they hear of you through a friend, relative, direct mail promotion, or another marketing channel, they’ll check you out online to learn more about your reputation. Make sure your website is attractive, fast-loading, SEO optimized, and user friendly, and put time into gathering reviews and testimonials in online platforms to show off your track record.
It’s not important to be everywhere on social media. It’s important to be consistent and active on the platforms that younger clients are using. For the young and financially savvy demographic you’re looking for, Instagram is probably the platform of choice, with more than half of their 500 million daily active users in the 18–34 age bracket. Rather than trying to manage a variety of platforms, consider going all-in on Instagram posts, videos, and Stories, updating them consistently and actively interacting with your audience there.
Across all platforms, video is the communication medium of choice, so if you have been resisting creating video content, it’s time to get on board. The good news? You don’t have to look perfectly camera-ready on each video. Younger buyers are more concerned with authenticity than polished presentation. Make sure you have good lighting and be sure to include subtitles so that users can consume your video content with the volume turned off if necessary. For more help creating videos, check out this blog on common mistakes in video marketing.
You can no longer get away with low-quality selfies in lieu of a headshot or crooked camera-phone photos of your latest listing’s random corners. Hi-res photos, well-crafted content, and other professional presentations are no longer optional for younger clients—they’re a baseline expectation that reflects on you and your level of professionalism. And, don’t forget, ReminderMedia’s Creative Services team can help you create a winning headshot to use in your marketing.
For younger clients, common, everyday communication is primarily through text message or messaging apps, while more complex information and document sharing is through email. Notice what’s missing? Chatting by phone is considered by many younger consumers to be off-limits unless you schedule it in advance for a specific purpose. Talk to your younger buyers about how they’d prefer to be contacted if you’re in any doubt.
Younger people are not used to waiting for information and answers—especially for information that you should have at your fingertips. Create drip email and text campaigns for prospective and new clients and ensure that you always have commonly requested information ready to share in the form of a blog post, social media graphic, or sharable infographic. If your schedule makes it difficult to answer questions and supply information in a timely manner, put a member of your support staff to work screening for inquiries and answering frequently asked questions promptly.
One of the primary reasons young buyers prefer to work with a real estate professional is because they trust expertise. Let your younger clients know that you have the qualifications and experience to guide and educate them throughout the process of searching for and purchasing their home. Create and share original content that offers value-added information to reinforce your expertise.
While you’ll want to be a source of expert information, don’t talk down to your younger clients or treat them as if they don’t know their own minds. Many younger buyers pride themselves on the extensive research and preparation they do before they move forward with a decision, so they may have spent time reading, listening to podcasts, and watching video content about the home buying process as well as talking with parents and friends who have insights to share. Feel them out to find out where the gaps in their knowledge are and provide guidance where necessary.
You may think it’s not worth your time to work with a younger client because they don’t have the homebuying budget you’re used to. However, it’s important to remember that you have the opportunity to become their lifelong trusted real estate advisor, working with them again and again on both sides of the transaction as they upgrade to larger, more expensive homes. Once you have made a solid connection with your younger buyer, stay in touch and engaged so that you will be ready to help the next time they need you.
When they’re going through their first home purchase, every setback can seem like a disaster and every delay can seem like forever. Don’t think of your age as a handicap in connecting with younger buyers; think of it as providing you, and them, with perspective and the ability to know that, ultimately, all will be well. When they are uncertain or afraid, let your years of experience offer much-needed reassurance and inspiration.