It’s not an uncommon thing to hear complaints about millennials (anyone born between 1980 and 1995) amongst professionals trying to hire, work with and mentor them in the workplace, across all different fields and industries. You hear it day in and day out – they’re lazy, their attention spans are too short to be productive and there’s a lack of commitment to or ownership in their work. And now the “problem” seems to be affecting the real estate market, too.
Most millennials face a pretty sad situation for an entire generation: high unemployment, lots of student debt and the shock from a recession that took place just as they were getting the hang of being an adult. So it seems the only logical place to go was home – which is exactly what 15.3 million young adults in their 20s and 3.1 million in their 30s were doing in 2013. So most real estate agents either say why bother marketing to them or, truth be told, just don’t know how to market to them.
But the truth is, millennials are a stronger home buying – and even home selling – demographic than we could have ever imagined.
Last June, the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University published their report on millennials and the housing market. Despite all the issues facing millennials that would appear to keep them from buying that first home, the next ten years actually forecast a promising 24 million households from this age group in the next 10 years. (Extra food for thought: In that same period, 3 million households will drop from the baby boomer generation while 10 million will drop from the generation before them.)
If you’re not convinced, check out the infographic from NAR. Thirty-one percent of homebuyers right now are from this generation and 12% of home sellers. Surprising, isn’t it? It only highlights the strong foothold this generation actually has in real estate, with millions more to steadily follow in the next decade.
Another interesting data point the Harvard report mentions that really stood out is the decline in headship by twenty-somethings versus ten years ago: 1.1 million less or 2.6 percent. But as job growth continues, interest rates remain low, debts become reduced and that urge to leave the nest grows in intensity for this generation, it no doubt will be even more clear just how fast they will bounce back.
So rather than abandon all thought to this generation, it may be good to understand what makes them tick and to shift more of your marketing in their direction (but not too much – they may be entitled, but they’re still pretty smart).
Have you worked with millennial clients? What did you do to successfully reach out and engage with them?