Millennial and Gen-Z buyers make up the vast majority of current and potential buyers in markets throughout the country. These generational cohorts may wait longer to buy their first home than previous generations did, but, for most, it is an important part of their overall financial and lifestyle plan.
As a real estate professional, positioning yourself for these current and future buyers is an important part of creating a foundation for the growth of your business. Unlike older clients, however, younger buyers are often harder to advertise to. They’re looking to be educated and guided through the home buying process, not sold, so content marketing is generally more effective for reaching them than traditional ads.
If you’re trying to connect with younger buyers and renters in your area, here are some of the most important ways to make your services user-friendly and appealing through content marketing.
Choose (and use) effective platforms for content marketing
You don’t need to learn the latest TikTok dances to connect with renters and buyers in your market. (In fact, that might be a deal-breaker in some cases.) In fact, there is no magic bullet, no right answer, when it comes to the platform you choose or the type of content you create.
For long-form online content, you’ll probably have a combination of blogging, podcasting, and video already in place. For social media, choose the platforms you like and that you’ll update regularly for maximum effectiveness. Remember, you don’t have to be everywhere online—you just need to show up somewhere on a consistent basis.
Once you’ve decided how you want to present your content, the following strategies will help you decide what to present.
Create renter-friendly content
Believe it or not, many real estate agents don’t even return calls from renters. That’s because they feel that the return on investment is lower when working with a renter than when working with a homebuyer. While that may be true on one particular transaction, the long-term potential offered by effective service to renters makes them a group you need to engage with.
Instead of talking only to home buyers in your content, be sure and provide information to renters as well. Let them know how to get approved for a lease, how to get back their security deposit, and make them aware of market conditions in popular rental markets throughout your area.
Talk to first-time homebuyers
Similarly, take into consideration the unique needs of first-time homebuyers when developing your content. Create messaging that is specific to first-time buyers as opposed to the more experienced home buyers or luxury buyers in your sphere or online audience. Emphasize the guidance you provide so that your first-time homebuyer clients feel confident and comfortable when they reach out to you for information.
Get comfortable with video
Younger leads and potential clients are more likely to engage with video content, whether on YouTube, social media, or your own website. If you’ve been putting off video as part of your content strategy, forget your insecurities and make it happen. If you have a podcast, start filming it so that you always have valuable long-form video content to share.
Don’t assume all younger clients are the same
Some people talk about younger clients, and younger people in general, as if they are all alike. In reality, however, your younger clients have their own life experiences, goals, and priorities that are different from those of their friends, coworkers, or even the younger people in your office or household. Listen carefully to the needs, hopes, and pain points of your clients, no matter what their age, then use the information and questions you identify to inform your content creation.
Don’t talk down to younger buyers
Similarly, don’t assume that just because your buyer is younger, he or she knows nothing about real estate. For many of your young clients, you’ll need to provide a fair amount of education and hand-holding. Others will have active and involved parents who will help them make their decisions. Still others will have a thorough understanding of legal and financial matters due to their educational background and the work they do. Don’t make assumptions about what they do (or don’t) know and gear your content toward a variety of experience levels.
Leverage your professional network
Your younger clients may not know a real estate attorney or a reliable lender. They may not have a relationship at their bank or credit union or they may not know everything about homeowner’s insurance requirements. Tap into your professional network and feature their insights in your content to help your younger clients connect with those who can help them both before and after the sale.
Bring in reviews and testimonials
Younger people are convinced by the experiences of others. Before they do anything—from trying out a new restaurant to trying out a new product—they generally look for reviews from those who have gone before them. Gather together reviews and testimonials from previous clients and make them part of your online identity. Create social media posts that feature compelling quotes and feature testimonials prominently on your website. Link to your online reviews from your email signature or social media profile.
Be authentically you
Most of all, remember that younger clients have a finely tuned BS meter. They don’t like a hard sell and they’ll rebel against any attempt to manipulate them or their decision-making. In order to communicate effectively, you’ll need to come across as authentic, sincere, and focused on their best interests. Forget content that’s about how great you are. Create content about what you can do for them and how you can help make their dreams a reality.