Tips to Attract and Engage the Next Generation of Homebuyers
Millennials have been a driving force in the real estate industry for the past several years, having surpassed other generations as the largest segment of home buyers in the United States. And, with Generation Z, Gen Z for short, now beginning to enter the market and search for homes, the online experiences and expectations of what first time homebuyers want have changed.
Generation Z is typically defined as the 72 million people born between 1997 and 2012, but some, like Pew Research, define Gen Z as anyone born after 1996. Either way, there’s already another named generation after Gen Z, Generation Alpha, and as the children of Gen X, many Gen Z’ers are already adults! However you think of this important generation, the fact that millennials have surpassed all other generations as the largest segment of home buyers, who are also about to inherit the greatest transfer of wealth any generation has ever seen, and that Gen Z has entered the real estate market (and in some cases, started their real estate careers!), is cause for reflection. If you haven’t already, now’s the time to ask yourself whether the online experience you’re providing is what this new cohort of homebuyers wants and expects.
Keep reading to discover some of the ways younger generations are searching for real estate, what website features they want, and how to attract this new wave of homebuyers.
7 Ways to Attract the Next Generation of Real Estate Homebuyers
- High-quality images and videos
- Detailed information about properties
- Hyper-local insight into neighborhoods
- Ability to view floor plans
- 3D tour feature and virtual tours
- Mobile-friendly websites and content
- Real estate agent contact information
High-quality images and videos
Even before the pandemic, the real estate industry relied heavily on visual media to highlight properties and attract buyers. Now, with a rise in people buying sight unseen and even more people using the internet to search for homes, high-quality images and video are essential. Images and video are so essential, in fact, that according to the National Association of REALTORS’s 2021 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, 92% of people age 40 and younger said that having photos on a real estate website is highly valuable. This may seem obvious and we still recommend real estate companies invest in unique, high quality photos that ensure you stand out and create a strong first impression. Visual media allows potential buyers the opportunity to picture themselves living in the space and get to know the property better, especially if they can’t travel to come to an in-person showing. And using stock photos isn’t sufficient, especially for area and property photos.
Not only will having high-quality images and videos on your website attract younger generations, well optimized images and videos will give your site a boost in search engine rankings. Curious how to optimize your images and videos for SEO? Contact us today to learn more.
Detailed information about properties
Providing detailed information about properties is an easy way for buyers to determine if a listing is right for them. Though most real estate listings include the basics: address, property type, square footage, etc., including even more information will help your listings stand out. Use the listing description, images, or video to highlight unique features of the properties like bonus rooms, fireplaces or wood-burning stoves, walk-in closets, office spaces, and more. Paint a picture of what it’s like to call that property home. Too often do we see generic listing descriptions being entered into the MLS that miss the opportunity to focus on lifestyle elements.
Hyper-local insight into neighborhoods
Similarly, as Millennials and Gen Z are turning to the internet to do research on their potential home, they’re also searching for more information about the community. And, getting hyperlocal can mean having a neighborhood, community, or development focus. Young buyers want insight into the features and attractions that make the neighborhood and surrounding areas special. For example, some features and attractions could include places to eat, entertainment options, and recent home values (and growth potential) to name a few. You can incorporate this information on your website by blogging, in videos, on your social media channels, and more.
Creating hyperlocal content can also position you as an expert in your area and help gain and build trust with buyers of any generation.
Ability to view floor plans
Continuing on with the thread of the more information the better, younger generations say that being able to see the floor plan of a house is highly valuable to them. In fact, 73% of people ages 31 to 40 and 69% of people ages 22 to 30 cited viewing floor plans as important in their home buying process, according to NAR’s 2021 Generational Trends Report. Supplemented by images and video, seeing the floor plan and how everything is laid out – and with measurements – can help potential buyers see themselves living there even more; especially being able to determine if the furniture they already have will fit and if they like the flow of the house, important when a house doubles as an office, a gym, and more.
3D tour feature and virtual tours
3D tour features and virtual tours offer another more immersive experience for young buyers who can’t visit in person. Virtual tours allow buyers to “walk through” a property room by room and see the layout and any unique features. Virtual tours include utilizing 3D capability or a 360-degree virtual tour. 3D features provide the height, width, and depth dimensions of a home as you move through, while 360-degree tours are similar to panoramas, where you can view the space or singular room all around.
Mobile-friendly websites and content
Because we live in a mobile-driven world, having websites and content that are mobile-friendly is a must. NAR reports that 87% of homebuyers ages 22 to 30 used a tablet or mobile device in searching for a home. That being said, it’s essential for your website to have mobile responsive capabilities to make it easy to navigate, find information, and show off your listings. And, visual content like images and videos has a higher chance of being clicked on, shared, and viewed on mobile devices, so ensuring that your visual media is sized correctly is key. Having a mobile-friendly website and content means taking into consideration not only what type of information is available, but how it’s available.
Real estate agent contact information
Though many Millennials and Gen Z buyers are searching for homes online and educating themselves on the home buying process, the role of the real estate agent is still essential. Now, people are looking for agents that can help answer their questions, negotiate on their behalf, and be a support system for this life-changing process. Having an agent’s contact information displayed clearly on your website and with a call-to-action is important for driving leads. As basic as this seems, ensure your website header features an easy to click phone icon with your phone number so people can contact you with one click. And, look to redefine the agent bio, as in addition to being able to easily contact you with questions, Millennial and Gen Z homebuyers are increasingly looking for life advisors who can help them navigate where and in what to live. A lot of Millennials have waited to buy homes so they have more money to spend now; and, at the same time, others are looking to earn passive income from their property and/or invest in a fixer upper. Whatever their need, showing up for the next generations of homebuyers ready to provide your expertise to help them with whatever they need will go a long way to create relationships, and repeat and referral business, for life.
Curious to learn more about how younger generations are finding their homes and how you can create a great first impression with them online? Let’s connect to discuss your specific needs and craft the best digital strategy for real estate for you.