By Katie Kossev
How to better engage with millennials is a topic that we discuss weekly within our office since most of our agents are millennials themselves. We work hard to come up with plans to keep them engaged since it is VERY easy to lose them when a bright shiny object enters their line of sight. Here are a few strategies our agents use to better engage with their potential millennial clients and sphere of influence:
- Millennials love to give back. Let me clarify. They love to show the world that they are giving back on social media. If a REALTOR® has a cause that they support and can convey this information to the client, they are more likely to work with them. If our agent gives the client an opportunity to share that the purchase of their home helped build a house for the less fortunate in a Third World country, they will choose to work with us every single time. We have paired with GiveBack Homes on this because they simplify the act of giving back. They provide social media graphics, sign riders, etc. that help us share our culture of giving back, in turn attracting more millennial consumers.
- Understanding social media and the power of engagement. Our agents MUST be active on all social media platforms to stay relevant in the mind of a millennial. Each person has his or her preference of social media platform and therefore we must understand the vibe of each platform and deliver content accordingly. For instance, Facebook posts are very different than what you may post on IG stories. Being consistent with your online marketing strategy and making sure to deliver both personal AND real estate-related content is key.
- Must accommodate the client AND their parents. The New York Times recently published an article about millennials and the financial support they still receive from their parents (see https://nyti.ms/2HDflVJ). I agree with this article wholeheartedly, as an average of 70% of our millennial clients are receiving funds from a parent to help them with their home purchase. This means we must accommodate the client AND their parents throughout the transaction. From our experience, if you upset the parents, you have lost their child as a client since ultimately they are the ones making the decision.
- Transparency is key. Millennials have scoured the Internet for information before they ever reach out to a human. By the time they do reach out, they already know how the buying/selling process works (or so they think), but they want more and we must deliver. This means we must be prepared with video updates for each step of the transaction and automated emails that blast out during the different phases of the deal because they expect a seamless experience. They want to know what’s going to happen before it happens and they don’t like surprises. They view surprises as mistakes as they’ve already been led to believe that every step of a transaction should be stress-free after watching so many REALTORS® claim how perfect they are in promotional YouTube videos. FUN!
- Millennials want to work with friends – happy friends. They decide if you are worthy of their business/friendship by stalking you online, so you’d better put your best foot forward at all times. Negativity is NOT attractive. ALWAYS stay positive! If you can somehow come off like a motivated speaker, life coach and a REALTOR® all at the same time, you’ll get ALL the millennial business.
- You must upload videos of your listings. They are more likely to reach out to see a listing if they’ve watched a video of the listing. We attract a large number of leads simply from Instagram story home tours. We also get quite a bit more inquiries on our listings when we have videos uploaded on HAR.com. The Zillow 360 tour feature has also proved to be quite a powerful tool in engaging with potential millennial buyers. Believe it or not, they would actually rather walk through the house via video than in person.